Blasco Ibañez once remarked that El Montgó resembles a giant hand separating the towns of Denia and Jávea. The iconic landmark makes a stark impact on the scenery of the area owing to its impressive height of 753 metres which slopes down into the Mediterranean Sea in Alicante, Costa Blanca. The massif forms a living part of the coast thanks to its history, nature and caves.
Acting as a symbol of the Marina Alta region, as well as Alicante and Jávea, the mountain has been inhabited for some 30,000 years since the prehistoric era. Subsequently the Iberians, Romans and Arabs have been attracted to this idyllic place. The area continues to be popular, with the peaceful foothills now being populated by elegant villas which benefit from the beautiful scenery and the best of the Mediterranean lifestyle. Such is this that the Arabs dubbed the nearby town of Caón as “delight” owing to its fresh sea breezes and breathtaking views.
Nowadays, the mountain is a haven for nature and hiking aficionados thanks to the three officially approved walking paths which cut through the national park, one of which takes visitors to the famous Cova de l’Aigua (Water Cave). This naturally occuring grotto features Roman inscriptions as well as paintings by Iberian settlers. For some time the water from the cave was used by the Roman army, and the grotto was later thought to have served a similar purpose for the Moors.
The most difficult yet rewarding walk takes hikers to the top of Cova del Camell (Camell Cave). A gentle, one and a half hours walk allows access the mouth of the cave whereas a further, strenuous 90 minute hike takes you to the top- something that is not recommended for the elderly or children. The summit of the mountain, the Crueta de Xàbia, allows for superb panoramic vistas of the Mediterranean and lovely views of the Alicante mountains which are often overlooked. Furthermore the elevated position enables excellent views of the Puig Campana, the Aitana and the Sierra de Bernia, and even the Gulf of Valencia and Ibiza on clear days. Needless to say, those who reach the summit are rewarded with spectacular vistas.
From March to December, the Jávea Tourism Office organises guided visits to El Montgó which consist of varied walking routes with different difficulty levels ranging from slow rambles to the taxing trek to the top of the Creueta de Xàbia Cave. There is also a seven hour night walk.