Visitors to Javea cannot fail to be impressed by the sight of the majestic Montgo massif. Located to the north of the town, it creates a natural barrier with the neighbouring town of Denia. Sitting proudly some 750m high, it is largely responsible for creating the unique microclimate Javea is famous for.
As well as forming an impressive back drop to the town it is also an important conservation site and was designated a protected nature reserve in 1987. A walk up the Montgo promises to be a delight for nature lovers, with over 650 types of flora stretching across the slopes including Mediterranean oak, rock violet and red lavender. It is a birdwatchers paradise with at least 8 known species of bird of prey including the peregrine falcon, kestrel and goshawk making their homes here.
Of course the main reason many people decide to visit Montgo is for the scenery. The views from everywhere on Montgo are breath-taking, however if you do make it to the top you will be able to see for miles in every direction! The towns of Denia, Oliva and beyond to the north; the entire bay of Javea of the south and inland to the Coll de Rates and Jalon valley. On clear days you may even see Ibiza sitting on the horizon!
Originally named Mont Jovis by the Romans, the name has evolved from there, with many visitors simply calling it the “Elephant Mountain” thanks to its distinctive appearance.
If you are looking for a great way to spend part of your holiday, why not explore this local treasure?
A number of walks are available, with the most popular starting at La Plana (on top of the elephant’s trunk). The walk to the summit from here is 8 km and takes around 2 ½ hours at a reasonable pace, with the descent taking much less.
To begin drive your car up the mountain as if you were heading to Denia. You will see on your right hand side a shooting club, 100m past here on the left hand side is a rough car park where you will begin your hike! Facing towards the mountain you will see there is a fairly flat, wide trail which is approx. 750m long. At the end of this trail is a cross roads with other trails – take the PR-CV 355 which is the trail you will follow all the way to the top. Some sections of the hike are hard going, and may involve some scrambling.
For keen walkers it is possible to continue on from the top along the elephants back. This route descends gradually and ends close to the pretty town of Jesus Pobre. This takes around 6 hours (just one way). You can also begin your hike in the Port area of Javea, taking the steep winding paths up the trunk to La Plana, passing near the ruins of the iconic windmills and joining the trail in the car park mentioned above.
Be sure to take your camera, plenty of water and a light jacket or jumper, as the temperature can be surprisingly fresh at the top!
Another popular hike is to the Cova Ampla or “Elephants Eye”. This covers a much shorter distance however does involve some steep inclines. The trail to the Cova Ampla begins at the same cross roads at the path to the summit; and is the trail to the left of the summit path.
Whichever route you decide on, you will be not be disappointed by the natural beauty that surrounds you!