Enclavado In a serranía coastal of the region of the Flat Alta, parallel to the coast is one of the most singular places of the province of Castellón.
The Natural Park of the Desert of them Palmes is situated in the province of Castellón and occupies part of five municipal terms: Benicassim, Cabanes, The Pobla Tornesa, Borriol and Castelló of the Flat.
It is enclavado in a serranía coastal of the region of the Flat Alta, parallel to the coast, with abundant crests and roquedos.
His geographic location, turns it into a special place where the inhabitants of the different municipalities come daily to enjoy of the historical wealths, natural and paisajísticas that invite to observe, walk and listen all the values that this natural space hides.
By all this, in the year 1989 went in to form part of the network of natural spaces of the Valencian Community. The surface protected occupies a total of 3.200 has., achieving his maximum height in the beak of the Bartolo with 729 m.
His environmental vulnerability is visible because of the last fires occurred in the years 1985 and 1992, that have left with this a sample of forest and thicket in process of regeneration. In the actuality can appreciate a good recovery of the vegetal cover.
Can arrive to the Centre of Information, of the Natural Place of the Desert of them Palmes (in the km 8 of the CV-147), from several points:
In the road N-340, in direction to Barcelona, once past Castellón and before achieving the location of Benicàssim, takes the road CV-147 that passes by the P.N Desert Of them Palmes and goes through the Hermitage of Magdalena.
From the highway AP-7,accesses through the exit 46 (Castellón North-Benicàssim), and continuous in direction Benicàssim.
From Benicàssim, can access to the place by the another side of the same road (CV-147) that goes out from the village.
Also it accesses to the Natural Place from Borriol, The Pobla Tornesa or Cabanes by the road CV-10 that links with the road CV-148 to the height of Cabanes, in this case the road is a rural way and although it is asphalted is very narrow.
1. The Bartolo
This route allows us have a general vision of the mountains of the Desert of them Palmes, effecting the ascensión to the highest peak of the natural park, the peak of the Bartolo, of 729 mde altitude.
The beginning of route is in the rear part of the building of the Centre of Information, from here goes out a senda that goes rising little by little. It passes between a dense and varied thicket in which we will observe different species, jaras (Cistus monspeliensis, C. albidus, C. salvifolius), madroños (Arbutus unedo), lentiscos (Pistacea lentiscus), enebros (Juniperus oxycedrus), romeros (Rosmarinus officinalis),etc. In some minutes find a crossing, follow direction to the Pobla Tornesa. The senda ends in a track of earth. In this point, turn to the right, can observe in front of us the imponente Mola of the Morico (694 m.). We follow walking by the track and to some 300 m find the font of the Mola, that usually does not have water. A bit more forward we take the track that turns to the right following the indication of the Bartolo.
From this point observe the Flat, the Serra d'Espadà, the port of Castelló. Fix us in the different coloraciones that present the rocks, differentiating the grey of the limestone, of the red of the rodeno.
Continuing by the track will go through the side of the But of Huguet, typical traditional rural house.
We find us in a crossing. The two ways will drive us to the same track asphalted. To continue to the peak have to continue the asphalt leftwards. Also we have the possibility, in this point, to begin the descent, if we turn rightwards and follow the indications.
If we opt for following to the peak, will rise during 1500 m, roughly, will leave the Cross of the Bartolo to the left and will arrive to the oriel.
From here we can divisar the two slopes of the natural space: the Flat and the beaches but also the mountains of the Maestrat, the Pla of l'Arc and all the interior castellonense, the villages of Cabanes, The Pobla Tornesa, Vall d'Alba, etc.
To the east Them Agulles of Santa Àgueda; northeast the Natural Park of the Prat of Cabanes-Torreblanca; to the southwest the Natural Park of the Saw of Espadán and northwest the beak of Penyagolosa. The clearest days see in the horizon, the beautiful silhouette of the Islands Columbretes and the Cape of Sant Antoni, in the Natural Park of the Montgó.
If we follow some three hundred metres by the track, will arrive to the highest point of the route and of all the natural park, 729 m. In the beak, between the antennas, can find the hermitage of San Miguel.
During this walk can observe some birds like cernícalos, ravens, hoopoes and golondrinas, and depending of the period of the year, can enjoy of a big variety of butterflies and other insects.
With luck, we will be able to observe in the heights, watchdog, the bird guardian of these earths, the eagle perdicera (Hieraetus fasciatus), considered like "vulnerable" in the Catalogue of Species Protected.
The descent effects by the road, will leave to our right the track by which previously habiamos accessed to the asphalt. We will continue by a pronounced descent, until arriving to an indication that will divert us to a senda, that arises to our right. In this senda find a row of pine rodeno (Pinus pinaster), of leaves and pineapples a lot main that the ones of the pine carrasco, that indicates us that the characteristics of the soil have changed: we go back to be in zone of arenisca red.
We continue our way until arriving to the ruins of a wall that during years has been saving the earths of the carmelitas. From this point observe, further down, the
Porteria Vella, place by where accessed to the monastery and where still today conserves the hermitage of Carmen and the rests of an antrum (place of prayer). Also it is a good place to admire the monastery of the Carmelitas, that was built after some strong rains turned into ruins the old monastery.
From here we will follow until the Centre of Information, full stop of this itinerary.
2. The Crests
The route begins in the Centre of Information, in a small senda that finds in the rear part of the building. The vegetation that accompanies us is typically Mediterranean: steppes (Cistus albidus, Cistus monspeliensis), romero (Rosmarinus officinalis), palmito (Chamaerops humilis). Immediately we find us a signal that indicates us that we have to continue our way to the left, direction the Pobla Tornesa, until arriving to the track. In this zone of natural park can appreciate the zones abancaladas that in his moment served like zones of crop to the peasants of the place, also observe some isolated farms that now find uninhabited. We follow our way going through the font of the Mola, leaving a track of earth to the right which also would carry us to the Bartolo. Once arrived to the Coll of the Mola can observe the seaboard of Benicàssim and the Grao of Castelló seen that in clear days increase his beauty. Already in the collado, in the same curve of the track, will continue by a footpath that goes out to the right, initiating like this a strong ascensión to the Cantal Gros (698.7m of altitude), once up can take a deserved break. Between loose rocks of rodeno accompany us different species arbustivas like jaras, heaths, palmitos... During all the distance observe exemplary adults of pine rodeno (Pinus pinaster) dumb witnesses that survived to the flames that arrasaron part of the vegetation of this saw.
They perceive distinct species of líquenes, good indicators of the excellent quality of the air that in the natural park breathes .
Like the footpath goes us carrying by the most elevated parts of the mountain is easy divisar during the itinerary the municipalities that wrap the natural park: west The Pobla Tornesa and Borriol, and north Cabanes. To measure that approximate us to the monumental Cross of the Bartolo , the vegetation leaves us glimpse Benicàssim and the Mediterranean sea, and in days in that the clouds allow it to us will be able to observe the Islands Columbretes (Natural Reservation).
We arrive to the cross of the Bartolo with his imponentes 18 metres of height, enclavada in one of the highest points of the natural space.
If we follow some three hundred metres by the track, will arrive to the highest point of the route and of all the park, 729 m. In the beak, between the antennas, can find the hermitage of San Miguel.
During the route will be able to observe different species of birds like cernícalos (Falco tinnunculus), crooked (Corbus corax), hoopoes (Upupa epops) and golondrinas (Hirundo rustica).
The descent effects by the road, will leave to our right a track and will continue descenciendo by the asphalt, until arriving to a yellow indication that will divert us to a senda, that arises to our right.
We will follow the indications of the signals of yellow colour that go us to carry until the ruins of “The Porteria Vella”, can approach us to to the oriel to contemplate the landscape. We continue by the footpath until arriving to the Centre of Information, full stop of this route.
3. Them Santes
The itinerary drives us from the Centre of Information to the hermitage of Them Santes (Cabanes) going through the emblematic Bartolo. The senda that splits from behind the Centre of Information passes between a dense thicket in which they abound the jaras (Cistus monspeliensis, C. albidus, C. salvifolius). To few metres will turn to the right. We will follow to the way to The Porteria Vella, before arriving to the wall, will twist to the left. A footpath of stairs carries us to a way of earth; we will continue by the left, until arriving to a track of earth and will follow the way by the right from where see the road asphalted that it drives us to the peak of the Bartolo.
From here it dominates the Maestrazgo to the NO, the Saw of Espadán to the UNDER and the Islands Columbretes to the NE. We will go up until an explanada that there is under the antennas, from where splits a manually left track. It begins then a strong descent by a track surrounded of bushes between which fits to stand out the enebros (Juniperus oxycedrus), different species of jaras (Cistus albidus, Cistus monspeliensis...), palmitos (Chamaerops humilis), etc. and where is not difficult to observe different forest birds.
To few metres of the descent the track forks and although both ramales drive to the same place, recommend the one of the left since discurre between a dense pinewood of pine rodeno (Pinus pinaster) with abundance of madroños (Arbutus unedo), heaths (Erica multiflora and Erica arborea), madreselva (Lonicera implexa), etc. Is this an appropriate place to observe birds such as the real whistles (Picus viridis), petirrojos (Erithacus rubecula), pigeons torcaces (Columbus palumbus), and perhaps some gavilán (Accipiter nisus) or some azor (Accipiter gentilis), all they forest species.
This track descends first until the bottom of the ravine for afterwards rise softly until arriving to a raft that serves of abrevadero. We will go leftwards by the track that follows the curve of level 650 m of altitude. Soon we will see to our right some impressive calcareous bluffs in whose peak still guess rests of a populated Arab. The way carries us in a northwesterly direction until arriving to dejareuna curve to the left where begins the descent to Them Santes. The track discurre between bushes and stones until penetrating in a young pinewood. The pinewood goes winning in density, in variety of species and in size, until arriving to the deepest of the ravine where will find the hermitage of Them Santes.
We will continue the way by the backside of the hermitage. A small rise approaches us to a flat from where can enjoy of the extensive pinewood adult that the another side of the ravine shows us (Pinus pinaster). Soon we will see as to our right the vegetation is substituted by cultured orchards of almendros and algarrobos mainly.
The track continues dotted by encinas and pines adults. Soon we will arrive to one of the geological zones more interesting, with outcrops of blackboards of the paleozoico with more than 230 million years. We will arrive to a collado where will take a senda to the left and between jaras us adentraremos in the pinewood, to few metres will see a footpath to the right that it goes us to drive to the peak of the Bartolo. The ascensión is quite hard since in few metres go up a desnivel of 400 m aprox. To 700 m aprox. But it results very pleasant to walk because of his vegetal variety. To measure that go going up can enjoy of the wonderful seen that the mountain offers us: The Pobla Tornesa to the NO, The Marmudella north.
Once we arrive to the highest height will follow the road asphalted to descend until the way of earth. To few metres will take a manually left bifurcation, from where can divisar the Flat of Castellón and the Port of the Grao. We follow the way of earth until finding to the izquierd to a yellow signal from where goes out a footpath of slope very accused that it will drive us to the wall of the Porteria Vella. Once in the ruins of the hermitage, will continue the footpath to the Centre of Information.
4. The pobla Tornesa
This walk begins in the Centre of Information in a small senda that finds in the rear part of the building. The vegetation that goes us accompanying finds in process of regeneration because of the last fires (1985-1992): lentiscos (Pistacea lentiscus), madroños (Arbutus unedo), romero (Rosmarinus officinalis), coscoja (Quercus coccifera). Immediately we find us a signal that indicates us that we have to continue our way to the left, from here can observe to the east the Castle of Montornés of the 10th century, north The Porteria Vella with rests of wall that in his moment closed the earths Carmelitas, and to the the Grao of Castellón. The footpath goes us showing the different types of soils that predominate in the Natural Space, rodenos (areniscas red) and limestones (calcareous rocks). The algarrobos (Ceratonia siliqua) and the zones abancaladas reflect that in some time were cultured zones. We arrive to a track by which will follow to the right until arriving to the Coll of the Mola (537 m).
If we continue our way by the same senda, the landscape goes changing to measure that go advancing, advancing,predominating the pines (Pinus halepensis,Pinus pinaster). From here already we can observe The Pobla Tornesa west, the Bartolo to the NE and in clear days looking to the NO the macizo of the Penyagolosa.
To measure that go descending, the vegetation results much more varied. The ravines are very humid and give place to different Mediterranean species like the madreselva (Lonicera implexa), hiedra (Hedera helix), encinas (Quercus ilex), heaths (Erica multiflora, Erica arborea), oak (Quercus faginea), pines adults that show us that this face of the Place has not suffered fires roughly from 30 years ago. This vegetal variety constitutes an ideal habitat for the avifauna, being able to observe different birds and mammals like the currruca cabecinegra (Sylvia melanocephala), jay (Garrulus glandarius), rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and the fox (Vulpes vulpes).
At the end of the track find us outcrops of blackboards (paleozoico 230 million years of antiquity). Once finished the track turn to the right and to few metres will find a tunnel to the left that it drives us to the same village.
Strolling by his streets can visit the church of the 18th century, the Palace of the Man, the Oven, the different hostales (the ancient that dates of the 15th century and the Hostal new that it is at present the Rural Box), the House of the Vila, etc.
The turn will effect it by the same way by which have come.
5. Castle of Miravet
It begins our itinerary in the Font of the Perelló. To arrive to the source have to go down by the ravine of Miravet and to 4 km find a detour that carries us to the source: there there is a chopera where will leave our vehicle. The way initiates by the track of earth of the right, from where can observe some farm with orchards of almendros and olivos. Some copies of encinas (Quercus ilex), lentiscos (Pistacea lentiscus), zarzaparrilla (Smilax aspera), madreselva (Lonicera implexa), are sample of the humidity of this zone.
To continuation a signal to the right indicates us the way to The Madroños; we follow to the left. The presence of water does that we can observe footprints of different mammals: comadreja (Mustela nivalis), wild boar (His scrofa), jineta (Genetta genetta), mouse of field (Apodemus sylvaticus), shrew (Crocidura russula) etc. Fits to stand out the presence of the palmito or margalló (Chamaerops humilis), emblematic plant of the natural space since it gives him the name to the Desert of them Palmes. We follow rising by the track until we find us with zones of crop abandoned, where goes back to have presence of algarrobos (Ceratonia siliqua), olivos (Olea europaea), higueras (Ficus carica), servales (Sorbus domestica) and almendros (Prunus dulcis).
We can observe while we go rising the Sufera and the antennas of the Mountain Bartolo west. To few metres find us a bifurcation, the track by which come follows to the right, but our way continues to the left in direction NE. We leave to the right a farm semiabandonada with crops of almendros; we go on down a senda that immediately will see. The footpath results very pleasant between palmitos, heaths, enebros, pine carrasco and lentiscos, and from here can observe to the NO the industrial polygon of Cabanes. We go through an orchard of algarrobos and if we turn the sight to the UNDER observe us Them Agulles of Santa Àgueda, the Sufera and the Bartolo.
The footpath goes doing narrow until situating us to 306 m of altitude. From here there is seen spectacular of the Prat of Cabanes-Torreblanca, of the Serra d'Irta in direction NE and in front ours already can divisar the castle of Miravet. The soil that now step has changed, to become of limestone mostly. We go descending until arriving to the ruins of the castle of the Miravet situated on a pertaining rocky hump to the municipal term of Cabanes (2500 h. aprox.). Fortress of Muslim origin that probably was a monastery of monjesguerreros Muslim consecrated to the saint war. In the year 1091 was conquered and inhabited by the Cid Campeador. In the surroundings of the ruins find resquicios of what in the past was a populated that disappeared in the 16th century.
6. The Sources of the Desert
For this itinerary will leave the vehicle in the oriel of Sant Josep, to split to the hermitage and the Font of Sant Josep. It is this source a place of compulsory "stop" to freshen , drives us to a zone abancalada with water of manantial natural. We will take a footpath that goes out to the left.
To few metres find a hermitage, the one of Montserrat, one of the so many hermitages that populate the area of the Friars Carmelitas. We will see a pine with two ramifications and a signal that indicates us that we have to go on down the left. We go through a zone of crop of almendros now already abandoned, and to few metres enjoy of a recovered and varied vegetation: encinas (Quercus ilex), steppe borrera (Cistus salvifolius), coscoja (Quercus coccifera), lavender (Lavandula stoechas), madreselva (Lonicera implexa).
Following the footpath arrive to a flat populated of enebros (Juniperus oxycedrus), where a signal to the right indicates us the Font Cut: we follow straight until the Pla of Muletes. In this point will take a track that goes out to the left, and to few metres forks, and continue our way by the track of the right. Descending by the way find the Dovecot Barrier; this initiative pretends to help to avoid the damages that the rapaces can ocasionar to the colombicultura of the near villages to the Natural Place. We go down all the track until finding us with a signal in the left part of the way, which will take to arrive to the Font of Roc. It is the manantial purer and in better state of conservation of all the natural space. After enjoying of his wonderful waters will continue our route by a small senda that carries us to the way asphalted of the ravine of Miravet.
We will take the track of the right and to 600 m find the Font Cut. The vegetation that accompanies to this source indicates us the humidity of these surroundings: poplars (Populus nigra) and elms (Ulmus minor). From this source can deleitarnos with the beauty of the Agulles of Santa Àgueda, geological accident that stands out by his coloración reddish own of the rodeno, and for housing in his skirts the only population of alcornoque (Quercus suber) in this space.
We will find some containers and a signal that indicates us the turn to the Font of Sant Josep. We follow the senda until a track asphalted that cross to restart the footpath. They are varied the bushes that there is in the slope: jaras, heaths, coscojas... That they go us drive until the bifurcation that previously have seen, finding us a wooden signal that indicates us that we have to continue by the right to arrive to the Font of Sant Josep.
7. Benicàssim - Font Tallà
This itinerary initiates in Benicàssim, walking by the road CV-147 that carries us to the Natural Place Desert of them Palmes. After crossing the bridge of the highway, to the right there is a way that will follow until finding a signal where will turn to the left.
The soil that predominates in this zone is clearly silíceo or commonly known like arenisca red. To measure that approach to the ravine of Miravet the vegetation results more abundant and appear the pines (Pinus pinaster), madroños (Arbutus unedo), madreselva (Lonicera implexa), enebro (Juniperus oxycedrus), that indicate the humidity of this zone.
The senda finishes in the road that discurre by the ravine of Miravet, where find pine carrasco (Pinus halepensis).
We follow the way asphalted until arriving to the Font Cut, situated to the left of the way, from where can observe them Agulles of Saint Águeda in all his plenitud. The skirts of this mountainous chain see accompanied of fantastic alcornoques.
Also we can observe, in half of the slope, a small casita of mountain that served like warehouse or shelter of the peasants of the zone. In the surroundings of said casita find resquicios of an ancient soto of carbonera, ancient place where elaborated by means of a process of burns the coal that used in the region.
8. Hermitage of Them Santes
It begins this walk in the Hermitage of them Santes. This sanctuary is enclavado in the ravine of the same name, in the municipal term of Cabanes. In the actuality, the hermitage has a recreational zone and a source of cool waters very appreciated by the lugareños.
We will split from the backside of the hermitage by the track that discurre to the southwest. This track serves during a good stretch like border of the Natural Place: those terrains that will see to our left will be enclavados in the zone protected.
The way begins with a soft rise between pines and abundant thicket. Heaths, lentiscos, madroños and palmitos do of this pinewood a luck of selva impenetrable in a lot of stretches. Soon we will see how to our right the vegetation goes being substituted by bancales cultured of almendros and algarrobos mainly. To our left the ravine does deeper and between the dense pinewood of pine rodeno appear big kill of ferns, numerous enredaderas like the madreselvas and the zarzaparrilla etc. The dotted continuous track by numerous encinas, dumb witnesses of what in other times were these pinewoods.
Soon we will arrive to one of the zones geologically more interesting of all the Place. The track passes on an outcrop of blackboards, the most ancient rocks that we can observe on which assent the Valencian territory, where is not easy to find these types of trainings. It treats of blackboards of the paleozoico, with more than 230 million years of antiquity. To our right can observe some big peñascos calcareous, the Marmudella.
We will arrive to one of the highest points of our itinerary, to 400 m. s. n. m. It is good moment to admire the summits of the Bartolo, the green umbrías of the Pobla and the striking rocky trainings where the rodeno dyes of red the landscape.
We turn to the left by a senda and between jarales go us adentrando in the dense pinewood. To our right can divisar the Barranc of the Porquereta and at the end, The Pobla Tornesa.
On the red soil follow our itinerary, leaving to the right an escarpada but beautiful senda that would drive us to the Bartolo. We go us adentrando between a dense vegetation where can feel the freshness of the environment. The presence of madreselvas, hiedras and
In this point can observe the different mountains. To the west, in the lejanía, heaves the Penyagolosa (1.813 m.). And in front of us, the Ravine of Them Santes offers us the vision of a forest in a good state of conservation.
They are numerous the animals that inhabit these earths: jinetas, garduñas, foxes, jabalíes, etc. Tests of this are the marks that will find us in all the route.
It is this stretch a privileged place for finding in him a lot of different types of jaras, standing out by his oddity the jara male.
After going on down the senda in a flat stretch and afterwards downward, arrive to the track, that comes from the Bartolo, where turn to the left. The track discurre between a pinewood that goes winning in density, in variety of species and in size. In the ravines more umbríos, exist copies of lentiscos and madroños that arrive to surpass the 5 metres of height.
Following the track, will arrive to the deepest of the ravine where will go back to the Hermitage of Them Santes, point of start of our route. Attention to the two enormous oaks in front of the hermitage, in the another bank of the ravine.