Montanejos

Spain - Castellon
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Montanejos

Thermal swimming spots in a river dotted with pebble beaches & carved in a rugged ravine, in the interior of Castellón.

Montanejos (with 630 inhabitants) is known for ‘Fuente de los Baños‘. This is a spectacular natural site with a spring, natural pools and beaches in the river Mijares. This amazing thermal spot is located 1.7 km from Montanejos. The spring has a flow of 6,000 litres per minute and a constant temperature of 25ºC. Yet a bit further away from the spring, the water is much colder. The water has hydrogeochemical and biological properties. Bathing in them is beneficial to health.

There is a beautiful 7-pipe fountain right next to the natural pool. Drinking this water is also good for your health. It has medical indications for skin, kidney and digestive system diseases. Its water was declared of public utility by the Royal Order of October 13, 1863.

According to the legend, Almohad governor Abú Zayd constructed Arab baths. He believed this place gave ‘eternal youth’ to the women of his harem. Remains of ancient Arab baths from the 12th century have been found near Fuente de los Baños. These can still be seen on the right bank of the river.

Fuente de los Baños is very popular. In high season, there is capacity control and tickets are sold in advance. It’s a protected natural spot. Hence, it has many limitations in place (see the Restrictions section below).

Swimming in Montanejos-Castellon

The Mijares River flows through a gorge with abundant vegetation. The photo shows two swimmers entering the canyon.

getting to montanejos

Montanejos river beach is wide. In the background is the bridge across the river.

path to walk to Montanejos

From the nearest car park, go down this path to reach the thermal spot of ‘Fuente de los Baños’.

Montanejos- river mijares view when arriving

According to legend, the Almohad prince, Zayd Abú Zayd built Arab baths, so that the women of his harem would always stay beautiful and young.

Montanejos-thermal water

To the left of Fuente de los Baños is a building (open only in high season). It has toilets and showers, a place to change clothes and a kiosk for refreshments or snacks.

Montanejos-thermal fountain

To the left is the fountain of Fuente de los Baños. It has ceramic altarpieces of the ‘Virgen de los Desamparados’ and the coat of arms of Montanejos.

drinking fountain

The 7-pipe fountain recalls the legend, with an inscription about Abu Zayd.

beach in river

The spring water gushes out of the reeds. The constant temperature of 25 °C facilitates bathing all year round (at least in this area).

natural pool in river

In the high season, they charge €3 per adult and €1.5 per child.

swimming river
The Mijares river canyon is impressive in this area.

rocks of canyon in river

The rock formations and colours of the canyon are unique.

bridge over river and valley

If you turn around, you’ll see the river beach and the bridge over the river.

estrecho de chillapajaros

The strait ‘Estrecho de Chillapájaros’ is 1 km upstream from the Fuente de los Baños. It’s a section of the Mijares River with huge stone walls on either side.

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HOW TO GET TO - Montanejos

Getting There

Transport Options

The easiest way is to arrive by car at one of the 2 parking lots (see ‘Parking’ below) and then walk from there.

From Valencia there are 5 buses per week to Montanejos (duration 1h 30 min).
From Castellón de la Plana there are 2 buses per week (lines 323 and 322) to Jérica (duration 1 h 25 min).
From Jérica to Montanejos there are 5 buses per week (duration 21 min).

From Valencia, there is a suburban train to Caudiel and from there you can go by taxi to Montanejos.

Getting There

How to get to Montanejos

By car from Castellón, it’s 61 km (1h 12 min). You’ll pass through Espadilla, Toga, Torrechiva, Cirat, Arañuel, La Alquería de Montanejos and Montanejos. First, take Avenida de la Alcora and at the roundabout, take the exit for CV-16. Then take the CV-100 and at the roundabout take the CV-20. Cross Onda and take Calle De Vila-Real. At the roundabout, take the exit onto Avenida de Castilla la Mancha (CV-2002). At the roundabout, take the exit that leads to CV-21. Then you come to another roundabout and take the exit that continues into CV-20.

By car from Valencia it’s 89 km (1 h 16 min), passing through Caudiel, Montán and Montanejos. Take the exit from Valencia on Avenida Cataluña to the V-21 highway. Take exit 1A towards Sagunto and take the V-23 highway. Follow direction Teruel. Take Exit 37, direction Teruel, and join the N-234. Follow the N-234 and after about 100 m, take the detour to the CV-195, direction Jérica. Continue in that direction, and you’ll arrive at Montanejos.

Autocares Herca has a bus line from Valencia to Montanejos with these stops:
Valencia > Gilet > Albalat dels Tarongers > Estivella > Torres > Algimia de Alfara > Alfara de la Baronia > Algar del Palancia > Sot de Ferrer > Soneja > Geldo > Segorbe > Jerica > Benafer > Caudiel > Montán > Montanejos.
They leave Valencia bus station on Mondays and Thursdays at 10 am (it takes about 1 h 30 min).
From Montanejos to Valencia, they leave on Mondays and Thursdays at 9 am.

 

How to get to Fuente de los Baños

From Montanejos you can reach Fuente de los Baños on foot, or by car and then on foot. If you go by car, park in one of the 2 parking lots (see below in the Parking section). From there, walk along the paved path along the Mijares riverbed. This path takes you to both the archaeological remains and the Natural Park of Fuente de los Baños).

In summer, you can also take the Tourist Train from Montanejos.

Parking

The nearest car park is about 3 minutes walking from Fuente de los Baños, on the edge of the CV-20.

There is a second car park a little further away (1 km), specifically made to access Fuente de los Baños. It’s near the bridge of Montanejos village. From the CV-20, cross this bridge and then turn left. The parking is next to Mijares river.

The price of the parking is usually around 5 for 4h.

Both parking lots are often full in the high season, especially on weekends. If possible, go during the week and in the low season to fully enjoy the place and also to protect nature.

Location

Spain, Castellón

Coordinates

Villages Nearby

Arañuel (7.5 km), Cirat (10.5 km), Puebla de Arenoso (11.7 km)

Difficulty Level

It's easy to get there as it's very well signposted.

Walking Time

From the closest parking, it takes about 3 minutes to go down to Fuente de los Baños. From the parking lot that is further away (near the bridge of Montanejos), it's about a 15-minutes walk.

Drinking Water Spots

None

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USEFUL INFORMATION - Montanejos

Handy Things to Know

When to Go

This place to swim is beautiful all year round. In the high season, the opening hours are from 9 am to 6 pm. In the low season, there are no time restrictions.

Entrance Fee

In the high season, you must buy a ticket to access Fuente de los Baños. 

Tickets online: €3 
Ticket at the box office: 3,50 
4 to 10 yr old children and over 65 years old pay €2.
Tickets can be purchased at the wooden booths at the 2 entrances or bought online.

Activities

Swimming in the river
Snorkelling
Stroll along the riverbank
Hiking

There are companies in Montanejos specialized in activities in the areas around the village. These include: rafting, kayaking, climbing, water canyoning, bungee jumping, caving and hydrospeed.

Facilities

Next to Fuente de los Baños there are toilets, showers, a place to change clothes and a kiosk to have a soft drink or snack (open only in the high season). 

Kids

It is a perfect place to visit with the little ones. You have several areas to choose from and in many of these, the river is shallow. There are 2 parking lots nearby. Also, the path along the river from the large parking lot is paved and flat. Hence, ideal for strollers.

Dogs

Dogs are not allowed in the high season. Yet, they are free to go to the area 40 m away from Fuente de los Baños (behind the bridge).

Skinny Dipping

No

Wheelchair Access

Yes. From the largest parking lot (the one between the bridge and the Municipal Sports Center), there is a paved road without stairs (1 km). It goes along the riverbed until you reach Fuente de los Baños.

Restrictions

It’s forbidden to:
eat in the bathing areas
– bring household accessories (lunch boxes, cutlery, etc). You are only allowed to bring a snack and a 1-litre drink per person.
– bring camping equipment (coolers, umbrellas, tents, tables, tents, etc)
– bring bathing accessories (floats, mats, boards, inflatables, etc)
– bring pets (see below in the ‘Dogs’ section)

Camping, littering (leaving trash and cigarette butts) and making fires are also prohibited.

Remember that soap and detergents should not be used in rivers and natural pools.
Also, most sun creams contaminate the water, try to apply them well before taking a dip.

(Scientists have found that sunscreen releases significant amounts of titanium dioxide, which damages aquatic life.
Soaps have phosphates, are also non-biodegradable and harm the environment).

Managed by

Ayuntamiento de Montanejos – 96 4131032 – [email protected]Contact them for latest news & Covid

Things to Do – Montanejos

Things to Do

Things to do near Montanejos

Besides Fuente de los Baños, in Montanejos itself, it’s worth visiting:
Montanejos Spa is in a building in the centre of Montanejos (it uses the mineral-medicinal water from Fuente de los Baños).
– Remains of Montanejos castle
– Ruins of the old flour mill
– Bridge of San José crossing the river Montán (from 1803)
– Arab Tower (inside the village, integrated into the facade of the old Palace of the Counts of Vallterra)
– Parish Church
– Hermitage of the Virgen de los Desamparados (XVII century)

About 1.5 km north of Fuente de los Baños is the huge waterjet ‘El Chorro de Arenós‘. It’s the outflow point (or spillway) of the Arenós Reservoir, through which 41,000 litres of water flow out per second. To access El Chorro you can leave your car here. There is only capacity for about 3 cars. It’s about a 5-minute walk down to El Chorro.

The ‘Estrecho de Chillapájaros‘ is a section of the Mijares River in which it flows through a 25 m wide gorge. The vertical walls are higher than 100m. It owes its name to the sound made by swallows and swifts echoing off the rock walls.
It’s a place with famous climbing areas. It attracts nature and whitewater sports lovers. It’s 1 km upriver from Fuente de los Baños.
A route that passing this impressive place starts at the Cirat Dam, after the tunnel. There is only space to park 3 cars.

Arañuel is a tiny village, 5.9 km east of Montanejos, through which the river Mijares also flows. It has 3 good free bathing areas.
El Pozo‘ bathing area, ‘Los Chorros‘ bathing area, and the Arañuel Natural Pool.

If you continue east on the CV-20, 8.9 km from Montanejos, you will see the village of Cirat. It’s located in a privileged, green place. It has a free regulated camping area (‘Acampada Libre regulada’) on the edge of the river Mijares. It has several nice natural pools, ideal for taking a dip in nature.
On the south side of the village is the ravine ‘Barranco de las Salinas’. It has various fascinating pools, such as ‘Poza La Bañera’ and ‘La Caldereta’. If you continue walking along this ravine for about 4 km, you could reach ‘Salto de la Novia‘ (an impressive waterfall and natural pool). It can also be reached by following a road for about 4 km. This road leaves Cirat and is the continuation of ‘Calle Rosaire‘. This dirt road is not in a good condition. We had to stop several times to remove stones from the road to be able to pass.

Check out other amazing natural pools in the province of CASTELLÓN.

Where to Eat

Montanejos has about twenty restaurants. Most of them are on the CV-20 that crosses the town.

Typical dishes are olla, potaje (stew) and gachas (porridge). Local products include sausages, chanterelles and olive oil.

Accommodation

Being a very touristy place, Montanejos has quite a few large hotels. There are also hostels and rural houses in and around the village.

Camping is not allowed in Fuente de los Baños itself, but there are other options around Montanejos. Camping La Granja is on the other side of the village, 3.4 km from Fuente de los Baños. They don’t have a website. Contact them via Facebook or by calling 633 316 635.

There is a free regulated camping site near the village of Cirat. It’s on the edge of Mijares river, 11.3 km from Fuente de los Baños. It’s not always open. Call the Cirat Town Hall +34 96 4143113 before going.

Geography

Altitude

480 m. (1574 ft)

Size

The river is 12 m wide.

Under Foot

Pebbles

Maximum Water Depth

You can walk inside the river almost everywhere. Except between the rocky canyon walls (which you can see in the most famous photo of this place) and on the riverbed opposite to the beach.

Minimum Swimming Level

You don't need to know how to swim if you stay close to the rivershore.

Shade

There are only several trees under which you can shelter. Overall, there is little shade in this place.

How Clean is Swimming Spot?

Very clean

Water

Underwater

There is very good visibility (15 m) and many fish.

Water Temperature

It’s lukewarm close to the thermal spring source and cold elsewhere.

Water Colour

Crystalline blue

How Clean is Water?

Very clean (since it comes from spring water).
WILD SWIMMING
IN ALICANTE

 Wild-swimming-in-the-ocean--beaches-and-coves

Check out the best Wild Swimming spots on the COAST!

Cala Granadella
Cala Portitxol
Playa del Carabassí

Keep it Clean!

The Rules

Clean the swimming holes!

Swimming Safety

Read these Tips
&
be Safe
when Wild Swimming

DESTINATIONS

UK
Spain
Bali
Belize
Mexico
Trinidad and Tobago
Costa Rica
India
Martinique

SWIMMING SPOTS

Best places to swim in nature in the world

Check out the best places to go wild swimming, by the TYPE of swimming spot

Swimming Holes
Lakes
Rivers
Waterfalls
Sea

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