We have to be honest, when we left for the day we weren’t actually heading for the waterfalls. We had planned to visit Guadalest up in the hills at the back of Benidorm. It was a very overcast and cold day and as we made our way up into the hills on the scooter, it started to spit with rain. But it wasn’t the rain that changed our plans, it was the hills – our should we say mountains. With two of us riding on a 50 cc scooter, those roads were just too steep. At one point it felt like it would have been quicker to get off and walk up, and we realised the scooter really wasn’t happy. (I blame all those cookies Nigel has been eating since he retired.)

We didn’t want to do any damage to the poor thing so turned back from Gaudalest and instead called into the Barony of Polop and checked out their quaint narrow streets and the castle and church on top of the hill. It was a pleasant 20 minutes visit then we were going to call it a bust for the day and head home.

A view down into old town Polop and the church from the top of the hill

As we were leaving Polop we spotted a signpost for the Algar Waterfalls and it had to be worth checking out, so another detour, a few more hills, but not at all as bad as on the way to Gaudalest and we found ourselves at the popular touristy spot.

About the Algar Waterfalls

The entrance to the waterfalls can be found on the outskirts of the village of Callosa d’En Sarria, approx. 15km outside of Benidorm. The river Algar empties into the Mediterranean at Altea. On its way there, it forms a series of roaring waterfalls, cascading down the rocks into natural pools. Known as Les Fonts dé l`algar, the entire area is a nature reserve and as such protected.

The approach to the waterfalls is full of either restaurants offering free parking to people who eat a meal there, or parking places where you can pay to park without eating. We had a good look around, and unless you want to park quite a distance away and walk in, there wasn’t any free parking close by. Even on a scooter we were charged the full rate to park at €3 which felt a bit of a rip off, but it’s all part of visiting these touristy spots. Wherever you go, scooter parking is usually free.

Entrance to the falls themselves is €4 for adults with reduced prices for children and seniors. Not a bad price if you consider that you can stay all day and bathe in the falls.

What are the Algar falls like?

In a word – fun! The water is channeled and managed and flows through a series of pools and falls to the small river at the bottom. At each stage, there are areas where you can access the water, either by wading in from the small pebbly beaches, or stepping in off the rocks, or even by jumping in from the sides into the deepest areas of the pools. The water is beautifully clear and clean and the whole area very well managed.

Hubby said it reminded him of the good old days before all the health and safety rules stopped kids having fun, and of the happiest days of summer in his youth when they bathed in the local river. There are lifeguards and firstaiders keeping an eye on things, and stopping anyone who might just be too crazy, but for the most part people are left to enjoy the water and have fun jumping in and swimming about.

The little ones can have fun in the shallower pools and on the edges, with adult supervision of course.

There are paths, stone steps and some wooden boardwalks leading up through the various levels. It’s a total length of about 1.5km and is not at all suitable for those with mobility issues or wheelchairs.

What to bring to the waterfalls

Do remember to bring your swimsuit and a towel. Even if you decide not to swim, you’ll still enjoy paddling and wading about in the pools, or just dipping your feet.

The rocks can be slippery when wet so water shoes are highly recommended and you can buy them in the various stores before entering the falls if you don’t already have them.

Bring sunscreen and a hat, maybe a rashguard if you are sensitive to the sun because you won’t feel the heat if you are in and out of the cool water. On the day we were there, it was very early in the season and a very cloudy and cold day so there weren’t any swimmers, but we were surprised to feel that the water was still pleasantly warm – certainly warmer than the air temperature. They aren’t advertised as hot springs, but if the sun was out, we think you could certainly swim there as early as March.

You can also bring your own food and have a picnic, but be aware that eating around the waterfalls is not permitted. There is a dedicated picnic area with playground a short walk up above the falls which has plenty of tables, drinking fountains and bathrooms.

Check the official website for opening times depending on season here. Here’s a quick video (not ours) to see what you can expect.

Our journey back towards Altea was crazy! It seems sometimes that Google Maps goes above and beyond when trying to find the shortest or quickest route home. Today was no exception. It turned us off a perfectly good road and onto some side road, and before we knew it, the road had disappeared to be replaced by an unpaved gravel track that zigged and zagged down through the hills, even across a ford, and through miles of agricultural land and greenhouses. We had a lot of fun on the way home that day, with the Google maps ‘off the beaten track, unpaved roads, live like a local’ edition. Even if you stick to the road, the area around here is very attractive so you’ll have a nice trip back down to the beaches.

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