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THE WALK TO THE TORRE DEL CAP D’OR

The small Renaissance-style tower of Cap d’Or sits on the headland which forms the eastern border of the pleasant beach of El Portet in Moraira. It was originally one of a network of coastal watchtowers built in the 16th century on the orders of the Felipe II to protect his lands from attack by Berber pirates who were constantly prowling the waters off the coast. The tower was in contact with similar fortifications at Ifach to the south and Granadella to the north and consequently warnings of approaching marauders could be passed along the network quickly.

Built on the highest point of the headland and still is good condition, the tower is 11 metres high with a diameter of 26 metres. It doesn’t have a doorway, part of its defence system, and the only way to access it was by a rope ladder that would have been thrown down by the occupants. Inside there is a room with a vaulted ceiling and, accessed by a wooden ladder, an open terrace from where the sentries could monitor the horizon for potential attacks. There were also two cannons mounted at the top of the tower which provided some defence for the port of Moraira; these cannons were recovered in 1980. The tower was partly-restored in 1991 after the passage of time and the effect of the rain had caused some collapse.

The tower can be reached by a local path designated SL-CV 51 and the circuit will take about an hour. From the main parking zone in El Portet, walk down towards the sea and just before the beach there is a road to the left called Calle Puerto Lapice and a signpost which shows the way to the tower. Ascend the road and after about 250m, turn right at the crossroads into Calle Puerto del Sol. After about 175m, turn left into Carrer Puerto Andraitx and follow the road as it curves around to the right. After another 150m, turn left into Calle Puerto de Alcúdia and follow the road to the very end where the rough path to the tower begins. (You could also park your car here but spaces are very limited.)

Follow the obvious track up the hill and after about 300m, the track forks with the left-hand trail heading for the Cova de la Cendra and the way forward heading off to the right and passing through a micro-reserve so it is requested that walkers remain on the designated path. Follow the track as it passes along the eastern edge of the headland with the land dropping away steeply to the sea to the left and cliffs rearing up to the right.

When the track curves to the right, and almost turns back on itself for the final climb to the tower, there is another track which leads off to the left and this leads to the well which once served the watchtower as well as the remains of an Iberian site. The way on leads directly to the watchtower and the stunning views in all directions to Calpe’s Peñon d’Ifach in the south to the antenna-topped peak of Puig Llorença to the north, behind which sits the impressive mountain of Montgó.