The route of the Estrechos begins at the Batán bridge (on the A-1401 road) on the Martín river, about 11 km. from Albalate del Arzobispo in the direction of Ariño and very close to the sanctuary of the Virgin of Arcos (XVII century). Several esplanades on the margins of the road can serve as parking areas.
From here, several options:
Los Estrechos: Batán Bridge- left bank Martín river- Rivera plant- right bank Martín river- Batán bridge. (Two hiking loops 3 hours 30 minutes):
It is possible to hike the Straits as a hiking loop (a sort of “8”). We recommend to go through the Straits first on the left bank always visiting numerous shelters with cave paintings and reach almost the Central Rivera to return on the right bank following the path of the Canal until you reach the bridge of Batán (about 3 hours and 30 minutes). It is also feasible to do from the Batán Bridge, only the first hiking loop and at the height of Chaparros return again to the Batán Bridge (2 hours).
The path of the Straits runs through the rocky cliffs that channel the river and offers a variety of scenic settings. Along the trail several viewpoints, interpretation tables and information panels will help us to understand and analyze this evocative and rugged landscape, as well as several rock shelters with ritual engravings as Christianization crosses that along with the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Arcos, try to show the sacralization of this territory from prehistoric times to the present day. It is not in vain that several groups of prehistoric post-Paleolithic cave paintings, declared World Heritage Sites, are located in this area of the river. Thus we find two shelters in Recodo de los Chaparros and a shelter in Los Chaparros, before reaching a picnic area that can be a good place to rest.
The GR descends to the river passing through an area characterized and modeled by karst phenomena. In travertine rocks, shelters were excavated in the rock with enclosures made of the same material that served to enclose livestock and shelter. There we cross a footbridge to the other side of the river and in a few meters by another footbridge we return to the left bank to find two shelters in the Estrechos II and a shelter in the Estrechos I that requires binoculars to observe the paintings that are located more than 10 meters high. At the foot of the Estrechos I we will cross the river again by a narrow footbridge, in the background we can see the “Rivera” Power Plant, to return to the Batán bridge always on the right bank (canal path).
In this return stretch from the Estrechos to the Batán Bridge, the trail takes us to the most aerial part of the route. The trail climbs gradually and the path is increasingly winding and aerial, so the views are also increasingly impressive, along the way have been placed some stairs and protective ropes that help and facilitate the movement.
During all this return journey the path runs parallel to a water channeling made in the early twentieth century -in some sections underground- that the workers opened during the work from an existing dam upstream of the Batán bridge, to the Rivera hydroelectric plant, which supplies water to produce electricity and which is encased in the walls that channel the river, hence it is known as the path of the channel for being the service and access path open for maintenance. The area is spectacular and fascinating because of the steep rocky cliffs through which the trail hangs and which require extreme caution throughout the entire route.
It is possible to consider the Straits as a crossing (3 hours and 30 minutes).and taking the path on either side of the river (remember that the paintings are always on the left bank) continue from the viewpoint of the Straits very close to the Central Rivera by a path parallel as always to the Martín river that was once recovered by some young people in work camp (now on the right bank) to an esplanade and from there along a path to the A-1401 road (this point is by road about 3 km. from the Batán bridge and about 7 km. from Albalate del Arzobispo).
Batán Bridge-Albalate del Arzobispo (4 hours): That implies arriving from the Batán bridge to the town of Albalate after crossing the Narrows (2 hours and 30 minutes without stops along one of the riverbanks), and taking a detour to Albalate, which is located on the left bank of the Narrows, and after climbing a path the GR runs along a road or track for 6 km to the town (1 hour and 30 minutes).