Route 2: The "San Roques"

Through a circular path we will visit the three hermitages of San Roque in the nearby towns of Jérica, Benafer and Viver. In addition to the eigenvalue of pleasant walk paths, we will have the opportunity to visit the villages, hermitages and some of his sources. And of course, to talk with people.

Technical sheet:

Length: 12 Km. (7.46 miles).
Approximate duration: 3 hours of walking.
Route considerations: Route with little difficulty and with a minimum height difference. Besides the time of walking between towns, estimate the time to visit each municipality.

Basic route description:

SECTION 1. FROM VIVER TO JÉRICA.

The route runs along the old road that used to walk to Viver Jérica and vice versa. Today only used as a hike or walk, and part of it no longer exists, since crumbled away, forcing us to cross some abandoned terraces. The trip coincides with the marked path PRV63.2 (white and yellow trace).

From the Fountain of San Francisco we went down the San Francisco Avenue, and when we arrive at the last houses we turn right on the Ula path (Camino de Ula) (warning signal PR). Shortly turn left to a clear track, which always go by the principal. Be attentive to the marks to leave the track and down a path in a lower abandoned terraces without trees. Follow the path through the grass, which then returns to track, reaching the road and near Jerica. Move forward about 20 meters and down the stairs next to the ruins of the old textile mill. We continue along the river, past the fountains Carmen, del Consuelo and Randurías, the latter already in the park of the same name.

Crossed the park and camping area, we enter the town, to climb through the beautiful streets to the Hermitage of San Roque, near the Torre de las Campanas, Mudejar style. We recommend a walk a while through the old case of considerable interest and beauty.

SECTION 2. FROM JÉRICA TO BENAFER.

We leave Jérica along Ojos Negros Greenway towards Caudiel (signposted, or ask the neighbors). We walk half an hour by road, crossing three tunnels, the second of them very long (is lit) and enough water seepage. After passing the rest area Novales, we take the first road to the left (between crossbars) and follow the main about 15 minutes. We will see to our right a large walls, ruins of the old mill called Capilla. At the end of the steep slope take a detour to the left (phyto stones), and following the main road through pine forests until about 7 minutes later, where we take the right (another FITA). Soon we reached the Caudiel road, we go through carefully, to look into the widening front fita with another signal hunting area. We went down the small embankment and on the way to the Nogales Fountain, pleasant recreational area. After a short break, we will reach Benafer by the access road suitable for cars, past the remains of another mill.

La Ermita de San Roque in Benafet is just outside the town, but close. To reach it is best to ask a neighbor how.

SECTION 3. FROM BENAFER TO VIVER.

Historically there were two ways to go from Benafer to Viver (or vice versa). Currently one of them is an asphalted road, which has a deviation that leads to Mount and Hermitage of San Roque (Viver). Despite its monotony, it is the considered choice, because although it is a road, has little traffic and is comfortable.

Leaving the Benafer Main Square (Plaza Mayor), we pass Church Square (Plaza de la Iglesia), and down a steep slope that leaves us on the bridge of theRocha ravine, and following the road to Viver we reach a path that leads away to the left also it asphalted, which leads up a slope to the hermitage of San Roque.

The view from San Roque is great. To the east is the 'Sierra Espadán', which include the mountains of La Rapita and Espadán. To the north is the 'Sierra de Caudiel' with its highest point (Las Palomas) and a little further west the 'Sierra de Cerdaña'. To the west are the mountains of Ragudo. To the southwest the silhouette of Peñaescabia mountain, and the background the 'Sierra del Toro'. To the south is the Cueva Santa and the Montemayor mountain behind, and away to the southeast the 'Sierra Calderona'. In addition are seen Caudiel, Jérica and Viver, and other remote villages.

From San Roque to Viver we can get down by the asphalt track, or by the remains of the old road on foot. For this option take the road out to west, at the end of the fence of viewpoint and soon turn onto the path on the left. This road is quite nice and crosses a war trenches. Both options lead to the national highway, now with hardly any traffic. Cross or use the underpass which lies some 20 meters after the leather factory. We have already reached Viver, and to go to the town center go down Castillo Street..

Saint Roque (San Roque)

San Roque is one of the saints whose devotion extends over large part of Alto Palancia. Every August 16th held by different municipalities in the region (Viver, Barracas, Caudiel Benafer, El Toro, Jerica, ...) celebrations and processions in his honor.

It is regarded as a saint "anti plague." Artists and sculptors symbolize the garb of a pilgrim, the bead and dog. His cult spread by the Alto Palancia and the rest of the community during the XVI century, motivated by good relations with the south of France at this time. It is said about San Roque who was born in Montpellier by the year 1295 within a wealthy family (governor of the city then belonging to the crown of Aragon) and at 20 years old, after receiving an inheritance from his dead parents, decided to divide his fortune among the poor, the city government and an uncle. Dressed as a pilgrim goes to Rome and along the way is dedicated to care for plague victims.

The hermitage of San Roque in Viver is situated at 686 meters above sea level on the mountain of the same name, trig third order. It was restored and provided with lighting on August 16, 1993, as well as a panoramic viewpoints from which the municipality and the beautiful valley of Palancia are observed. It has a beautiful ceramic altarpiece at the entrance, belfry and bell. Is typical the pilgrimage celebrated on August 16th where the image of the saint, which is carried on the shoulders of the pilgrims from the parish church in Viver to this hermitage, is feted by hundreds of bunches of basil, permeating everything with a pleasant smell.



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