The Relleu Footbridge, a dizzying path over the abyss

Footbridge of the Relleu Dam

Not far from the tourist resort of Villajoyosa , the quiet town of Relleu , in the interior of the Marina Baixa region, is a small town with an agricultural tradition that has a highly relevant cultural heritage : the Relleu Reservoir . Built on the bed of the Amadorio river, the dam of the hitherto solitary reservoir is located at the entrance to a narrow and spectacular gorge known as L’Estret del Pantà (the strait of the swamp).

The newly installed —in January 2022— Footbridge of the Relleu Dam allows you to enjoy a vertiginous journey over the bed of the ravine. The wooden plank walkway has a route of 212 meters, at the end of which we reach a viewpoint with a glass floor . The whole set defies the void from its 40 meters high.

In this article I will tell you about the route to the Pantano de Relleu dam and the wooden walkway, as well as other interesting aspects of the town. Stay until the end to discover them!

Keep reading to find out all the details of the visit to the Relleu catwalks.

Index of contents

Visit Information

✓ Relleu Footbridge Hours

  • Summer Hours : Monday – Sunday, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and from 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (from June 13 to September 18).
  • Weekends: reservations 2 months in advance. Without reservation: queue of 1:30 hours approx.

✓ Reservation of Appointment only by telephone on the phones +34 613 033 336 and 865 759 650 (hours from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.)

✓ Gateway Ticket Price

  • €2.50 for people over 11 years old.
  • €1.50 for pensioners, retirees and children up to 11 years old
  • Free entry to neighbors registered in Relleu who prove it.
  • Payment at the entrance, in cash or card.

Appointments are being given in 15-minute slots, so that approximately 15 people can enter in that time (except groups).

✓ Presence of personnel monitoring the facilities.

The schedule varies throughout the year depending on the sunlight and the weather, so we recommend consulting the Relleu tourism website.

✓ Download the Route Brochure (PDF) below:

Description of the Route and Video

This simple route runs along agricultural paths between terraces of almond trees , a traditional crop in the area that, due to the Xylella fastidiosa bacterium, has seen its extension in the province of Alicante decrease.

The route begins in the same town, next to the Relleu Town Hall, where we find information about the route.

It is a circular route, a part of the route being easier as it is mainly on asphalt. On the proposed track, we follow the route in an anti-clockwise direction, although it can be done in both directions.

After about 3 kilometers of travel we arrive at the bed of the Barranc de la Cova , one of the channels that pays its waters to the reservoir. Bordering what would be the reservoir’s water sheet (which is normally dry), we arrive at the Casa del Guarda and shortly after at the vertical of the dam, the point where the vertiginous wooden walkway begins, 212 meters long and 50 meters high. : “The Little Path of Relleu”.

The walkway itself, although vertiginous, does not entail any difficulty and it is not necessary to equip yourself with safety material (it is not a via ferrata). The most vertical part is the final section, ending in a viewpoint with a glass floor.

Once we have visited the reservoir and the walkway, we return along the same path to the indicator that takes us to the other part of the circular route, back to Relleu on a slight climb. This part of the route has more asphalt, as it becomes part of it through the road that connects the town with the reservoir.

ROUTE SHEET

Rules of Use "Caminito de Relleu"

Footbridge of the Relleu Dam, Alicante
Footbridge of the Relleu Dam, Alicante

It is important to comply with safety regulations and make responsible use of the dam walkway.

Safety regulations establish a maximum of 4 people per section . Children must always be supervised by an adult.

Below you can consult the official information on the Relleu Tourism website:

Relleu Reservoir: Environmental Values

natural-environment-relleu-reservoir
Environmental information panel

Species as sensitive as the Bonelli’s eagle nest on the vertical walls of the strait that you are going to visit. That is why we ask you to access this space quietly, without shouting and slowly , so as not to disturb the native fauna.

The Relleu reservoir is a listed wetland that serves as a refuge and food source for many species of birds, amphibians and reptiles , as well as mammals such as foxes and wild boars.

History of the Relleu Dam

The Relleu Swamp
The Relleu Reservoir, with water (normally it is dry).

Like other dams in the province of Alicante, such as the Tibi or Elche reservoirs, the Relleu Reservoir dam is among the oldest in Europe. It is estimated that its construction was completed at the end of the 17th century, coming into operation at the beginning of the s. XVIII. Its construction was an initiative of the inhabitants of La Vila Joiosa , given the scarcity of water for their crops.

Designed by the Renaissance engineer Cristóbal Antonelli , the Relleu reservoir dam is 32 meters high (it was originally 28 meters) and 30 meters long. It is considered one of the narrowest and tallest of its time, thanks to the application of innovative techniques with an arch-vault-shaped construction that transfers the thrust of the water to the walls of the ravine.

Currently, the reservoir bed is partially clogged with sediment and remains dry most of the time, except in times of heavy rains.

Knowing Relleu

I encourage you to watch the following video about Relleu , in which you will be able to learn about the most relevant aspects of interest in this beautiful town in the Marina Baixa region of Alicante.

Accommodations in Relleu

The Masia dels Artistes, Relleu
La Masia dels Artistes, Relleu (accepts pets)

As always, especially if you come from outside Alicante, I recommend you spend a weekend in the area to get to know its cultural heritage, rich gastronomy and countless hiking trails in the area.

Recommended accommodations :

More Plans in Relleu

ruins-castle-relleu
Relleu castle ruins

A cultural visit to Relleu, strolling through its old town with its steep streets, discovering the ruins of its Castle and learning about its history in the town’s museum is more than recommended. And you cannot leave without tasting the tasty local gastronomy , with dishes such as Olleta, Borra, les Fassedures or Pericana, as well as traditional salty and sweet cakes.

The GR-330 Long-Distance Path connects Relleu with the towns of Sella and La Torre de les Maçanes , although it must be borne in mind that it is a linear path (one way). The Ruta dels Bortolons , on the outskirts of Relleu, is also highly recommended, especially in February, when the almond trees bloom . We cannot fail to mention that the branch of the Camino de Santiago from Benidorm or La Vila Joiosa passes through Relleu.

If you like cycling , the roads that connect Relleu with other inland towns are ideal for practicing it. The ascent to the Port de Tudons will test your strength while you enjoy a natural environment of great beauty.

For the more adventurous, there is a via ferrata in the Penya del Figueret and you can even practice canyoning in the Estret del Pantà , downstream from the dam.

You will find more information on the Relleu tourism website .

How to get there and Parking

On the official website of Turismo Relleu you can check the free car parks available in the town, from where the hiking route begins to visit the dam and the walkway.

Route Track

Although the route is very easy to follow, below you can view / download the track of the route for GPS via wikiloc.

Related Routes

Good practices
Respect other people and private property.
Respect flora, fauna and environment. Enjoy in Silence.
Always follow the trails. Tackling damages the environment.
Respect the Cultural Heritage (ruins, stone margins, etc).
Do not leave a trace of your passage, nor organic remains.
Find out, Plan and Equip yourself well to enjoy to the fullest.
Thanks!

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