Another recent discovery for my Blog Series: Undiscovered Spain – The Millenary Olive Trees Route. It is an amazing hike that involves both nature and history (plus it is completely undiscovered by international tourists and most of the locals – not bad, right?!). I highly recommend it to all the nature lovers: a route full of beautiful landscapes, golden fields, colorful blooms, and 2000-year-old olive trees…
The Millenary Olive Trees Route: Details
So-called The Millenary Olive Trees route (“Ruta de los olivos milenarios” in Spanish) is a circular hiking trail from the city of Canet lo Roig towards the monumental olive trees. Some of the trees are more than 2000 years old and have been present in the region since the times of the Roman Empire.
For centuries, these olives were a source of oil for the locals. It´s unbelievable how many generations have passed away during these 2000 years and these giants are still here. However, some olive trees in Crete are estimated at over 3000 years old: so, it appears those at Canet lo Roig still have a lot to catch up on after all.
Also read: An Oasis of Greenery – Lagunas De Ruidera
Nevertheless, 2000 years is quite a while, right?! Who knows how many years will the millenary olives keep growing in Canet lo Roig and how many more generations are they about to witness. So far, The Millenary Olive Trees route serves as the undeniable evidence of the Roman presence in Spain, like many other monumental landmarks – Tarragona, Merida, Cartagena, Segovia etc. There are quite a few of them actually. But that´s already another story…
Besides its historical value, the millenary olives hike is an amazing way to connect with nature and explore more of the rural landscapes and authentic Spanish rural lifestyle, completely off the beaten path. It´s relatively unknown yet, so you won´t meet crowds of tourists everywhere taking pictures. You are very likely not going to meet anyone at all [lol] And it is a huge plus: 5,8 km(1,5-2h) of nature, history, silence, and peace. Could it get any better?!
How to find it?
Here you have a link to the official city website, to check the details and maps. Although it is marked with signs, it took me a while to find a place where the route starts (in fact, there are several different routes you could do within the same area, depending on your time and level of preparation).
Also read: The Largest Palm Grove in Europe: Elche
So, once you get to Canet lo Roig, you normally have a place to park at one of the local squares. Then, head all the way down the hill, towards the fields in order to take the route SL-CV-58, which starts at Canal’s Fountain (“Font de la Canal”).
Even if you take the wrong direction at some point, Canet lo Roig is small and there´s only one road around the city. You just can´t get lost. By the way, be ready for the locals saying “hola” to you – it´s a village where everyone knows everyone: as a city girl, it still takes time for me to adjust to this [lol]
Anyway, starting at the Canal’s Fountain, the first part of the route (till the chapel) has an asphalt road, but then it is actually a bit of a rocky trail. They state all over the internet you could do the route by bike, car or on foot. Nevertheless, I wouldn’t feel comfortable going there by bike or car, even though the locals do so. By the way, the trail is circular, so you eventually end up in the city of Canet lo Roig.
Note that the nearby cities, Traiguera and San Mateu, also have their own olive tree routes. However, I liked the one at Canet lo Roig the most. One way or another, it could be a good alternative when you want more of the millenary olives in your life at some point.