Lecrín Valley Walks. The Orange Blossom Route
Walking in the Lecrín Valley, Restábal to Melegís
Why not take the Orange Blossom Route from Restábal to Melegís and back? A walk for any time of the year. In autumn to enjoy nature’s colours, in winter the snow on the high peaks of Sierra Nevada, in summer for its shady spots and the river. But to honour the name of the trail, if you can, do it in the spring.
Springtime in the Lecrín Valley is a joy for all the senses and for one in particular, our sense of smell. The traditional terraced orchards are overflowing with orange blossom and its perfume permeates the air all around us. To walk through the orange groves is a pleasure worthy of pursuit.
The Orange Blossom Route
You can start the walk from Casa Tagomago. Turn right out of the house, down into the orange groves, cross the River Santo (or Durcal) turning right to Lake Beznar.
Follow the river for a while, looking back to get a wonderful view of Restábal (with Casa Tagomago in the foreground). Go down the slope to “ford” the River Torrente just before it meets the River Santo to become the River Izbor where it flows into the lake.
Carry along the road until you come to an irrigation ditch to the left of a steep slope up. This climb takes you to the Mirador Las Alvirillas in Melegís opposite the Restaurante Los Naranjos.
From here, wander through Melegís past the church and take a peek inside, take a turning off near here to discover the picturesque washhouse.
Back on the route again, walk through the village to the bridge over the River Torrente, straight on down, passing the orange groves and fields. Soon you’ll see the Lojuela Castle in the distance, high on your right,
Next cross the bridge over the River Durcal (or Santo!) in front of you. Follow the path round to the left and continue, always keeping on this same trail with the river running on your left, leading you back to Restábal.
Carry on until you come to where the River Durcal, on your left, joins the River Santo (or Saleres!) flowing from the right under the bridge over the main road.
Climb up onto the road to Restábal and turn left, past the exercise aparatus, to cross the Big Bridge – Puente Grande – over the river and sharp left again down to the river bank to rejoin the track that takes you back again through the groves to Casa Tagomago.
Or return through the village. It might be time for a cool beer and a tapa or two at the Bar Jovi.
How Long Will it Take?
The route is about 5km and takes about an hour and 35 minutes, not counting a stop at Los Naranjos on your way past! Approved by the Andaluz Mountaineering Federation, it’s classed as of Low difficulty and is accessible on foot, bike or horseback.
Download a leaflet of the Orange Blossom Route here. You’ll see that it starts in Melegís but there are several places you can start it from.
An Alternative Route
For a longer route with wonderful views over the lake and the surrounding valley, try this variation. Instead of climbing up to Melegís at the turning by the ditch (or acequia), continue right, round the lake until the trail leads up and over to the cemetery of Melegís, close to the main road down into El Valle. Walk down to Melegís, where you can decide to continue the route as described above or stop for lunch and take the shorter way home after! Whichever, we can guarantee a truly pleasurable walk.
You will find information on this route in the house.
Post and photos by Susan at Casa Tagomago
Remember, for the best rates always book direct with us through our Bookings Page or by email. For more book direct options, find us on the Lecrín Valley Tourism Association website, we are members: Turismo Valle de Lecrín Also find us on on Houfy.com, the fee free meeting place for travellers and holiday rental owners alike: Casa Tagomago on Houfy