Distance – 12k. Ascent – 400m. Time – 3 to 4 hours
Cavall Verd is the Valencian name for the ridge (Caballo Verde is the Spanish name) and it means green horse. The ridge gets this name due to history, myths and legends. Back in 1609 there was a huge battle on the ridge as the Spanish king, Fillipe II ordered the final expulsion of the Moors. The last remaining Moors had taken take refuge on the ridge near the rocky summit of Penya Roig above Murla. Legend says that a Moorish knight on a green charger rode out in an attempt to save them. Unfortunately, he failed and so the surviving Moors were deported from the port of Denia to North Africa.
In the spring the ridge is home to a wonderful variety of flowering plants including white asphodels, fennels, different varieties of cistus, rosemary and thyme. For me this is the best time to walk here as I love to see the flora in all it's glory, and there is so much of it that the walk always takes longer as I stop to admire and photograph each one!
The terrain at either end of the ridge is totally different. The eastern end of the ridge being home to the rocky peak of Penya Roig. When you drive down the Vall de Pop, distinctive twin peaks at the head of the valley beckon you – this is Penya Roig above the village of Murla. This peak is the true summit of El Cavall Verd. It is not accessible from the main part of the ridge due to the steepness of the limestone crags which would involve a serious scramble. The western end is the complete opposite with green pine woods which are refreshingly cool to walk through after a hot day on the ridge.
Keep an eye out for next weeks walk!