The Benicadell and Agullent Sierras

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These are narrowish sierras separating the Vall d'Albaida to the north from the Alcoià-Comtat to the south. Sights here include, from the town of Ontinyent, a swimming hole called Pou clar (“clear well”) on the Clariano river, or the track through the mountains called the senda dels enginyers. From the towns of Albaida, Atzeneta d'Albaida or Beniatjar, there are various routes to La Covalta, the Fontanars ravine, and the fountain called Font Freda or the peak of Benicadell (1,104m). Near the peak and on the northern slopes are a dozen or so “snow wells” (pous de neu), once used for storing snow and ice and preserved intact up to the early 20th century. From the heights of the sierra one understands why the ancient Moorish inhabitants called this area “white” (albaida): limestone deposits make the valley look pale under a coat of green vegetation surrounding the many gullies and ravines.

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