The Torre del Gerro is a watchtower built in the XNUMXth century to protect the coast from pirate attacks. Its name comes from its shape of a jug or jug (gerro, in Valencian). It rises 125 meters above sea level and is a heritage asset of great historical and cultural value, which is also located in an incredible natural environment, in the foothills of the Natural Park Montgó.
Next you have an index with all the points that we are going to deal with.
The Torre del Gerro is at the end of the road from Les Rotes (You will also see it named as Las Rotas), in Dénia, reaching the limit with the municipal term of Xàbia. Les Rotes It is the coastal area of southern Dénia, characterized by its rocky coves, and includes the Marineta Beach Cassiana (still sandy), and the coves of El Trampolí, Punta Negra and les Arenetes. The tower rises on the final cliff of the Les Rotes coast, close to Cabo de San Antonio (Cap de Sant Antoni in Valencian).
How to get there
At the end of Les Rotes, very close to the restaurant Mena and the Cabo de San Antonio Marine Reserve, begins the Milky Way street, the way up to the Torre del Gerro. You have to leave your car here, before starting this street, and continue walking, because Vía Láctea street has no exit and access by car is only allowed for residents. It is not a very long climb, but it is quite steep. Halfway through, we find a point marked especially for taking photographs, where the path to the Cova Tallada:
From here you can get a good photo of the Cape San Antonio, which we are very close to.
Route on foot or by bicycle
There is a walk of about 5 kilometers (one way only), which runs through Les Rotes to the Torre del Gerro. This route starts from the Marineta Cassiana beach and goes through all the rocky coves until it reaches the end of Les Rotes, where the path up to the tower begins. Up to here it is an easy walk, shared by walkers and cyclists, that alternates tiles, asphalt, dirt road and cobblestone. As we have said, at the beginning of the Milky Way street, the climb begins, so the route leaves its plain and the difficulty increases.
In terms of accessibility, the Marineta Cassiana area is ideal because it is tiled; further on the path turns to dirt or stones and there are ramps because there are crossroads with ravines and boulevards.
The Torre del Gerro is a watchtower built in the 1553th century, between 1554 and XNUMX, for defensive purposes. At that time, the attacks of the Berber pirates, coming from North Africa, were a constant. The coastal towns of the Marina Alta lived in an atmosphere of fear, according to the historiography of the time.
The Gerro tower is part of the network of fortifications that extends along the Costa Blanca (the coast of the province of Alicante) with the same purpose. In fact, the two closest constructions on record are another tower located in the current lighthouse of Sant Antoni, and the tower of L'Almadrava or del Palmar (which no longer exists), in Marines in Dénia.
"Near the Lighthouse (of San Antonio) a little to the right, the San Antón tower was located, which made signs with the Portichol tower (...) and the Gerro tower, on the same esplanade, already in the term of Dénia , facing the Gulf of Valencia. Nothing remains of the San Antón tower. " Source: Watchtowers and defense against Berber pirates on the coast of the Kingdom of Valencia, by Francisco G. Seijo Alonso (Ediciones Alicante).
From Pilar de la Horadada, south of the province of Alicante, to Dénia, in the extreme north, there were 37 watchtowers spotting the enemy. The towers had visual communication between them, that is, they could see each other among the closest. And they also used other means, such as signs with mirrors or fire. They also had guards who guarded them and who gave warning of the dangers.
It is 13 meters high and is a circular tower with a frustoconical shape, with three floors: a solid lower one, sloping, and three superimposed vaulted rooms. The access door is on the second floor, which was accessed through a moving staircase. The tower was crowned by two machicolations: a machicolation was a structure at the top of the towers that allowed projectiles, stones, and burning objects to be thrown through holes, to protect the wall.
On the side facing the sea, the tower has the emblem of the Kingdom of València, four bars and the royal crown of Carlos V, on the double-headed eagle of the Habsburgs. Below are the weapons of the Duke of Maqueda, who had it built. Inside the different levels are connected by an opening.
When we get to the tower, the views of the sea, Cabo de San Antonio and Dénia are spectacular. Clear days you can see Ibiza and Formentera. And at night this is a privileged watchtower for look at the stars, because it is a point with very little light pollution and is far from the urban area.
- The Torre del Gerro has been known over the years also by Torre del Yerro, Cherro, Jerro, Agua Dulce, Ahua Dulce or Arenal.
- It is part of the Route of the Castles of the Border of Fear, designed by the Provincial Tourist Board of the Costa Blanca.
This route brings together the stone legacy that served to defend the Alicante coast from invading pirates. The fear of corsairs was enormous, and a maritime border had to be built with defensive towers and forts, also to combat the fear of the inhabitants. Within this route there are fortifications such as those of Villajoyosa, Benidorm, Altea, Calp or Xàbia and today it serves to enjoy the charm of our coastline.