Our Virgen de las Nieves trail

“Following on the footsteps of any 3rd August on an even numbered year”
Eduardo Alberola Martínez


Our trail consists of around 7km. With an approximate duration of 1 hour and 30 minutes, it departs from Aspe’s Our Señora del Socorro Basilica church towards “El Collao” (border between the town councils of Aspe and Hondon).

Should you wish to continue towards the church at Hondon to see the image of Our Virgen de las Nieves, this will add a further 2km to the trail, i.e., an additional 25 minutes to our main route


We shall begin at the Our Sra. Del Socorro church. From this point, we will climb Francisco Candela street. We may also visit Aspe’s Tourism office along this road .

Once at the Basilica church, we can admire the sculptural work on top of each of its three entrances:

  • From its main entrance, we can see the sculpture dedicated to Our Sra. Del Socorro.
  • A further sculpture of St. Theresa is visible from the road of the same name.

Finally, the Sanctuary sculpture, dedicated to patron saint of Aspe, St John Baptist, is located in Sacramento street.

Located at the site of the old Arabic mosque, the Sanctuary remains open for most of the day.

We continue to march along Francisco Candela towards Aspe’s crest, where we shall join San Pedro street.

Aspe’s crest was placed on one of the old 18th century city gates that provided access to the town. It was part of the Orihuela Portal, as well as a network of gates that remained highly relevant until the mid 19th century to facilitate control of all incoming and outgoing traffic through the town.

This is currently exhibited at the History Museum.

We shall carry on towards Fuente La Pena fountain, found half way between the Basilica church and Orihuela Cross. This is also the location of the inn and Wagner Theatre.

In the old days, this fountain provided a meeting place for locals who came to collect water for their daily activities and their animals.

Leaving Wagner Theatre behind, we shall climb Castelar street to reach Orihuela Cross.

Orihuela Cross is a very prominent spot in the celebrations dedicated to Our Virgen de las Nieves. It is here where the local corporation, clergy, festival committee and maids of honour meet to chant “Los Tres Amores” Hymn prior to the fireworks display in her honour.

We continue our journey via Avenida Tres de Agosto avenue to reach Hondo de las Fuentes.

This was the location of the old public laundry, as well as a stonework aqueduct built in the 19th century featuring three large round arches.

Hondo de las Fuentes comprises a fountain resembling a tank with a single stream that runs below a wooden bridge. There is also a children play area and picnic tables.

Following, we shall take CV-846 road via the N-325/CV-84 underpass to reach La Columna, most commonly know as Casica de la Virgen (the Virgin’s little house).

At this location, Our Virgen de las Nieves maids embellish the image (also known as Serranica) with its ceremonial gown (Traje de la Entrada) and ornaments.

From this prominent spot, the Virgin is transported towards Orihuela Cross prior to continuing its procession with the big finale at Plaza Mayor square, where it is greeted by thousands of locals chanting a hymn called “Miradla” (look at her) before its entrance into the Basilica church.

At La Ofra natural site, we can enjoy its calm surroundings seated on tables available for further comfort during our stop.

During the outbound pilgrimage (Llevada), worshipers leave at 5am from Our Señora del Socorro Basilica church to reach La Ofra at around 7am.

We conclude our stop by following the old Hondon track until we reach our final meeting place at El Collao.

El Collao is the location where Our Virgen de las Nieves is swapped between the fraternal towns of Aspe and Hondon, pursuant to the 1848 Treaty.

Perhaps one of the most sentimental moments of the pilgrimage, particularly for Aspe’s locals, is the return of the Virgin’s image at El Collao to our neighbours from Hondon, during which gun salutes are fired and doves released.

At this point, we can choose to either finish our route or head towards Hondon de las Nieves to visit the church along the route followed by the Hondon pilgrims to Aspe on even numbered years.

For this purpose, we must advance along the Old Hondon track to reach Aspe-Hondon (CV-845) road. We shall go through a roundabout before continuing towards a petrol station that will be our point of reference in our trail towards the church.

We shall then continue down the same road (Requejo street) before turning left towards Avenida Virgen de las Nieves avenue. Then we shall carry on through Horno street on the right before finally turning left to continue along Pena street.