This iconic ruin is perched high above the Guadalest Valley. We often include it on our walks, but it does require a reasonable level of confidence as it is a bit exposed. It is also known by the name of Alfofra Castle. The population in the area when the castle was first built would have been Muslim farmers, probably in the 12th century. The castle could originally be constructed as a look-out tower or defense tower, which later became the Islamic castle the remains of which you can still see.
It was conquered by the troops of King James I the Conqueror and given, in 1264, to Vidal de Sarriá, Lord of Callosa,and later passed into the hands of his son Bernat de Sarriá , And later it ceded it to the stately houses of Cardona and Ariza.
During the wars with Castile in the 14th century, the Castilians took control of it, keeping it active for a long time. The population and the fortress suffered extensive damage in the bloody battles during the period of the rebellion caused by the Decree of expulsion of the Moors in the year 1609. During the war of succession, the local population always supported the Bourbon cause and this castle had a great strategic importance due to its commanding location. You can visit this castle on our "In the footsteps of the Moors Walking Holiday"
A short but exciting walk that visits the spectacular ruins of Confrides (Benifato) Castle. A great time to do this walk is just before sunset when the sunlight picks out the pinnacles of the serella ridge above Abdet and lights up the castle whilst the valley below falls into shade. The last section to the castle involves some rocky steps, and there are steep drops form the castle ruins. With care this walk is OK for most people, and although the terrain appears intimidating it is actually reasonably straight forward.
Take your binoculars with you, you can pick out the houses in Abdet from the Castle ramparts.
It is possible to walk from the houses in Abdet which would give a few hours walking. For the short walk the best parking space is just near the col on the road below the castle. From Abdet drive towards Confrides and take the first surfaced road on the left (steep - signposted Don Bernado). Turn right almost immediately at a junction and drive around several hairpins and a short but rough section of road, and then take another right turn until the Castle comes into view. Drive until you see a small parking area on the left side of the road. The castle is now directly above you.
Start by walking back along the road until at a bend a track heads left up to some flattened grassy terraces. A good track heads up the hill (marked with red dots. After a steep section it bears left towards the coll between the Castle and the impressive rock butresses above it.
Take your time on this section as the views to the multiple ridges of Serella are excellent. Soon you reach the col and the shattered pinnacles that guard this side of the Castle. The path heading right drops down to Benitfato, we bear left between some of the pinnacles and past some recently collapsed cave entrances. In cooler weather you can feel the warm air blowing out of these holes. Now come a couple of rocky steeps and the remains of an arched doorway before the final steep climb to the castle.
Be careful of the hole in the floor (a vaulted roof has collpapsed). Also the Southern side of the castle has completely vanished so there are unguarded drops at this side. In the walls you will see some prominent stones that once supported wooden floors and there are also many smaller holes that were probably used to support wooden scafolds during the building process. It is possible to walk to the Eastern edge as well to get a good view of the whole castle.
The panoramic views are worth the effort. The Bernia ridge with it's Matterhorn profile, the immense white butresses of rock to the South, the villages of Confrides and Abdet and of course the Serella ridges are just some of the views to absorb.
When ready descend via your approach route to the col. If you timed your walk right the castle should be lit up by the setting sun whilst you decend into the shade. Spare a thought for the people who built the castle in such a dramatic loactio. The King of Spain decided the castle was a liability and blew up the walls with gunpowder!