Year of Grace Day 237. Pla de Corrals: a lost village in southern Valencia

Pla de Corrals is such a tiny partida that it fails to be properly recognized and acknowledged as such. Type in “Pla de Corrals” on TomTom and it does not appear. Perhaps it’s because area guides published by nearby cities as Xativa and Gandia refer to it not as “Pla de Corrals” but as “Els Corrals”and occasionally as “Els Corrals de la Valldigna.” A road sign from neighbouring Barxeta village does however point the way to Pla de Corrals. Nevertheless both the Movistar mobile company database and the Xativa city post office database had difficulty locating it. It would seem then that Pla de Corrals counts among the region of La Safor’s lost villages.(La Safor is the southernmost of the Valencia Community’s 14 comarcas.)

Certainly Pla de Corrals is remote and well hidden in its setting cradled by towering mountains. Its setting is all the more spectacular when you drive along the winding one-lane road from the villages of Barx and Puigmola. Each hairpin curve offers tantalizing glimpses of sun-dappled copses, densely forested mountain slopes, rock-strewn meadows, olive groves, and orange orchards until eventually you reach the valley deep within which Pla de Corrals is nestled.

Rock-strewn meadows full of wild irises, asphodels, and other ephemerals.

The parkland-like stretch of road from Puigmola to Pla de Corrals.

The drive on the narrow tortuous road can as well be totally unnerving, as other drivers, without exception, regard the 30-40 kph limit as mere suggestions that can be ignored at will. Perhaps this is one reason that the village remains largely unspoiled and sparsely populated: such a challenging road is a drawbridge that keeps all but true seekers of quiet and natural beauty out. And reason enough no doubt for official place-name verifiers from the metropolis to have refrained from confirming Pla de Corrals’ name from its long-time residents. But that’s all to the good: it does make Pla de Corrals all the more unreachable.

Pro bikers often practice on the narrow twisty road between Barx and Pla de Corrals.

Pro bikers often practice on the narrow twisty road between Barx and Pla de Corrals.

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