Circular Route to the Bernia mountain range
- Difficulty: Medium
- Type of route: Circular
- Distance: 9.30 kms
- Elevation gain: +300 m. approx.
- Estimated time: 4 to 5 hours
- Start: Font de la Barca
- Paths: PR- CV
We will start our route at the Font de la Barca where we can leave the car.
Once here we will go up a zizagging path to the Font del Runar.
Leaving the Font del Runar behind, we continue along the path until we find a fork where we will find signposted the different points of interest depending on the direction we take. In this case, the idea is to first pass through the Fort de Bernia to return through the Forat, so we will take the path to the left. The path from here is quite well marked and is very intuitive, and every few minutes we will find the typical yellow and white lines painted on the rocks indicating the continuity of the Small Route Path (PR).
The Castle of Bernia was built to prevent Berber attacks, and of this there are only some remains such as arches of rooms, a cistern or the moat that surrounded the fortress, which was erected in 1562 by order of Philip II. After the expulsion of the Moors, King Philip III ordered its demolition in 1612, to prevent it from being occupied by bandits.
From here we can make a break for the more daring and climb to the top of Bernia.
We take the small path that leaves from the Fort towards the summit. The first slope along the hillside crosses an area of low prickly scrub that invites us to wear long pants. It is a small path between gorse, straight towards another no less friendly terrain, an inclined rocky slope of loose and slippery stone.
Some stone markers and red paint signs will be our guide as we make contact with the rock. The pass next to a solitary pine tree can be a good reference. After the tree, the ascent route turns left, makes a short horizontal stretch, and then directly faces the escarpments towards the ridge.
We will keep looking at the stone markers and the red paint signs will be our guide to follow the correct path. The pass next to a solitary pine tree can be a good reference. After the tree, the ascent route turns left, makes a short horizontal stretch, and then directly faces the escarpments towards the crest of the sierra.
The first one is saved with a chain located to the effect, as it usually happens in these cases, it is easier to pass in ascent than in descent, but once surpassed the rest easy. It is to walk carefully between the rocks of the crest, and easily climb the next obstacle, a channel of 4 or 5 meters high, not quite vertical, with numerous supports because it is embedded, and also has a rope next to grab in case of doubt.
The descent will be through the same place we climbed up to the Fort.
We will continue our way to the Bernia houses on the other side of the sierra, watching as the path turns into a track. In the houses of Bernia we have a small bar-restaurant which is not always open.
At this point we will continue the track following the indications that mark the forat. The entire route is very well signposted. We will arrive at the Bernia fountain, here, at the fountain, the pistero section ends and a series of steps give way to the path of ascent to the Forat.
Once up we will reach the forat, to cross it will be necessary to bend down a little at some point, but its passage is easy. It is not necessary to use a flashlight.
At the exit of this we will be again on the slope where we started, glimpsing again the bay of Altea.
We will follow our path to the right to enter a beautiful forest of palmettos, always following the signs marked in white and yellow.
We will follow our path with ups and downs and crossing some rocks until we complete the circular route in the place where we started it, the indication that marks the detour to the Font del Garrofet.