Journey through Peña Cortada

2019 cartell pcortada

Meeting place and time
Plaza de Toros (bullring), Chelva, 9:20 a.m.

End time
Between 12:30 p.m. and 1 p.m.

Total walking distance
3 km approx.



One of the Cátedra Demetrio Ribes research centre’s most solid commitments is to raise awareness of the most iconic Valencian infrastructures among the public. And what better way to do so than going straight to the sites themselves? This was how the ‘Journeys through public works’ were born. Through this dynamic activity, experts on the subject impart their knowledge from an educational yet entertaining perspective.

For this first edition, we would like you to set off on a route of outstanding beauty. We invite you to walk along the most iconic stretches of the Peña Cortada Aqueduct. But do you know anything about its history?

Two millennia ago, work began on this masterpiece, this Valencian wonder of hydraulic engineering: the Peña Cortada Roman Aqueduct. There are still question marks over its final destination and possible periods of inactivity, but we will get to glimpse some of the secrets of this great structure, made up of ‘[...] enormous arches; and with ditches and canals dug out from the rock and through the mountains: a thing to be admired greatly, as memories of it remain and can be seen to this day.’

These words, written by chronicler Pere Antoni Beuter in 1538, are still relevant today, though some of these ‘memories’ have not survived the passage of time. But they are in the minority. Most of the sections that constitute the best representations of Roman ingenuity remain in good condition. They still stand, impassive, frozen in time, bearing an indelible history that they will pass on to you.

Your steps along Peña Cortada will be guided by three experts on the subject: José Luis Jiménez (Professor of Archaeology at the University of Valencia), Juan José Ruiz (Director of Chelva Archaeological Museum) and Mayte Loscos, an environmental technician and cultural guide who specialises in this area. You will also be accompanied by members of the Cátedra Demetrio Ribes, with its director, Luis Arciniega, at the fore. We look forward to walking with you, but don’t forget: there are only 60 places available.

The route

Many of you will be travelling from different areas of the province, so we are going to meet directly at the car park at the Plaza de Toros (bullring) in Chelva at 9:20 a.m. So that the day runs smoothly, please arrive on time.

Of the 30 known kilometres of Peña Cortada, we will walk along 3 of the most beautiful and charismatic. Assuming all goes to plan and we begin at 9:30 a.m., the activity will end around 12:30 p.m. We will set off from the meeting point (bullring car park) with our respective cars and head to Barranco de las Alcotas Bridge. There, we will park and gather together to learn about the evolution of this extraordinary piece of the aqueduct. After a brief talk, we will get back into our cars and go to point 3, Peña Cortada car park. There, we will probably have a quick break to charge our batteries before beginning the walking section. At this point, we will split up into 3 groups of around 20 people, each of which will set off 6–8 minutes apart to avoid congestion. Our first destination on foot will be the Barranco del Gato Bridge. Then, we will head to the North Galleries and to the viewpoint. So that we can properly enjoy the area around Castro Tower, we will take a brief detour towards the southeast before reaching point 6, the South Galleries and Castro Tower. Point 6 is the end point of the outbound journey. From there, we will head north to point 5 then carry on back along our walking route until reaching point 3 and the cars. The timetable is approximate and subject to change for various reasons.

Sign up now! Limited places.

The registration form is available on our website. Fill it in and email it to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If you are among the first 60 to sign up, congratulations! We will send you a confirmation email. Otherwise, you will be put on the waiting list. If you are on the waiting list and are allocated a space on the tour, we will write to you via email on Thursday 13 June. We look forward to seeing you!

ruta pcorta web

Estimated timetable

  • 9:20 a.m.: meet in the car park at the Plaza de Toros (bullring), Chelva
  • 10 a.m.: Barranco de las Alcotas Bridge
  • 10:15 a.m.: Peña Cortada car park
  • 10:30 a.m.: Barranco del Gato Bridge
  • 11 a.m.: North Galleries and viewpoint
  • 11:30 a.m.: South Galleries and Castro Tower, before heading along another route back to point 5
  • 12 p.m. approx.: from point 5 back to point 3 (where the cars are parked)

Notes and recommendations

  • By registering for this activity, you are accepting the terms and conditions described on the website. Please let us know if you have registered but cannot attend the event. This way, we can pass on your place to someone on the waiting list.
  • It is crucial that you follow the guides’ and organisers’ instructions. They know the area and will therefore provide the information you need and advise you on how to proceed. On a similar note, please respect the environment during the course of this activity and be proactive in preserving the aqueduct and the nature that surrounds it. You will take part in this activity at your own risk. You are responsible for your own safety and, indirectly, that of others at the sites you visit. When making decisions, use common sense and your best judgement. Of course, you must not smoke, throw stones, run in dangerous areas, etc.
  • For those who suffer from vertigo or claustrophobia, please note that some parts of the route may be difficult. Unless you feel truly unable to complete the route, we would encourage you to overcome these phobias. If you cannot continue, you must wait at that point until the rest of the group come back. Make sure you take precautions. The outbound route between points 5 and 6 is different to the inbound route, but neither of them involves areas that could aggravate phobias.
  • To guarantee a positive, unforgettable experience, keep hunger and thirst at bay. Bring a snack, fruit and plenty of water. The latter is essential at this time of year. And don’t forget to protect your skin. Sun cream and a hat will keep you safe in the sun. Finally, don’t forget that this is quite a long walk. Make sure you wear sporty or comfortable shoes.

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