Walking and Trekking tour in Spain - 8 Days from £869
In the centre of the mountainous province of Alicante lies the Sierra de Aitana, the most dramatic massif on the Spanish Mediterranean.Although close to the Costa Blanca, this area has remained a secret from all but a few discerning visitors. The stunning rocky peaks and steep valleys, which sweep down to the Mediterranean coast, benefit from a privileged warm climate 300 days of the year - making it an ideal location for out-of-season walking.
We follow traditional footpaths and mule tracks, mostly along ridge lines, giving us spectacular panoramic vistas. After each day's rewarding walk, we descend into beautiful valleys with springs, castles and fantastic limestone amphitheatres.
Spend the week in three family-run pensions, each offering characterful accommodation with their unique style.
Exodus's local guides are members of a foundation which ensures tourism is carried out responsibly throughout the region.
TOUR DATES and PRICES:
(Based on London departures to Alicante, Spain - prices are per person and subject to change and limited availability)
Land Only options are also available.
Start Alicante Airport. Drive to the little village of Castell de Castells, where we stay in the lovely Hotel Serrella, situated on the footstep of Serrella. There is time in the afternoon to take a stroll around the village, visit the local ethnological museum or enjoy the recently opened Hotel Spa with amazing views across the mountains.
From Castells de Castells we take the old correuero footpath (postman's route) that climbs towards Pla de Daialt, a traditional farm settlement, and then up to the most spectacular rock formation of Arc del Atanços, a twin rock arch with an overwhelming presence that always surprises the very few walkers that get to this place.
From here, along tracks on the south face we get to the Summit of Aixortá (1166m) enjoying the fantastic views of Bernia Ridge on the east and on the north the depths of Barranc de Bolulla the second deepest gorge in the area (after Barranc del Infern on the adjacent Marina Alta Trek). From the summit, descend and lunch at Font dels Teixos spring waters. From this point we'll head down to meet the Castell de Bolulla where reach the last section of the correuero footpath again, leading back to Castell de Castells. Duration of walk: 7 hours
We walk up to the ruins of the castle, where we can enjoy the views of the most terraced valley of the area, the north slopes of Aitana. Then we climb the Serrella Mountain, through the Coll de la Canal to Pico Serrella and then descend to Abdet. We spend the whole day on the crest of the mountains with wonderful views on both sides. Along the way we will see snow wells that used to collect snow in the winter and supply it in summer to the fishing village of Calpe for preserving the day's catch. We spend the next 2 nights in El Trestellador, a classic Spanish pension situated above Guadalest village with views of the Mediterranean and the coast from the rooms. Duration of walk: 7½ hours
Walk up from the pension along the northern slopes to the Font de Partagat and then scramble through Pas de la Rabosa, the only natural break on the Aitana, which gives access to the summit from this north side. We have lunch at the Simas limestone fissures, up to 90m deep, situated on a ridge near the summit of Aitana. It is an impressive geological formation and a perfect place to have our picnic. If there is good weather, there's an optional climb to the summit. We return back to Trestellador along the ridge down to Peno Mulero, probably the most scenic descent and dramatic views of the whole trek. Duration of walk: 6½ hours
Walk to Sella along the most spectacular limestone peaks and needles of Pena Roc, through El Salt down to the Barranc de Sanchet. This area enchants people with its soaring towers and walls of rock all around. Early sunset lights will catch the spine of the jagged Castellets ridge that stretches down to Orxeta. At the climber's refuge at Font de l'Arc we take a tea/coffee/beer break before the last stretch to the village of Sella, discovering the beautiful 'huertas' green orchard with its citrus plantations, vegetable gardens and ancient water irrigation channels. We stay at L'Hort de Gloria a private farmhouse with a swimming pool (seasonal) near the village with wonderful views, gardens, and great hosts. Duration of walk: 6½ hours
A fairly tough walk to complete the week - the summit of the Puig Campana (1410m) with a 360° view! Almost all of the peaks and ridges traversed on the previous days may be seen. On the other side the Mediterranean stretches to the horizon. We approach the north face of this mountain along good trails and paths, embarking on a gentle climb passing the Collao del Llamp to the Collao Pouet, the actual base of the mountain. From here, we climb a new footpath on the north face of this spectacular peak, returning to our vehicle by the Sacarest access, over the Castellets. Return by vehicle to Sella. Duration of walk: 7 hours
A free day to relax or explore the lovely village of Sella, visiting the hermita (shrine), the Molí de Baix (one of the best preserved water mills of the Mediterranean, just under our guest house!). Alternatively, head for a quiet beach near the town of Villa Joiosa and visit the chocolate museum or sea kayaking or Altea where there are handcraft shops and art galleries (transfers not included).
Transfer to Alicante airport after breakfast. If your flight leaves before the group flight, please note a private transfer from Sella to Alicante airport will be EUR75 (paid locally to taxi driver).
Included Meals: (with a reasonable amount of local wine included)
- 7 Breakfasts
- 6 Dinners
- 5 Lunches
- 2 nights hotel
- 2 nights pension
- 3 nights farmhouse.
- Group Size - Min. 7, max. 14, plus leader. Minimum age 16
- Minimum Age: 16
- Tour Staff - Exodus tour leader
Tours available: January 2013 to March 2014
Flight departures from London to Alicante, Spain
Return flights from Alicante, Spain to London
ARE YOU A SOLO TRAVELLER?
Solo options are available on this tour. Single supplements from £125.
In 5 days of walking on the Sierra de Aitana trek, we climb four summits, Aixorta (1160m), Serrella (1318m), Aitana (1558m) and Puig Campana (1410m) with approx 1000m of ascent on each of these days.
We take traditional footpaths and mule tracks and some cross-country terrain, giving us spectacular panoramic vistas, helping us to appreciate the size of these mountains and to get to know the geography of the coast.
Sierra Aitana is very rich in flora and fauna and along the walks we will see a great variety of birds and flowers. We visit springs, hilltop castles and snow wells (remains from the old snow industry). We descend into the valleys for the evening, where we have chosen 3 small village guesthouses for their character, the warmth of their welcome and convenience for access to the walks from the doorstep, thus minimising the use of vehicles.
The short distance to the coast (30-min by car) always allows us to escape on a free day to some quiet, secluded beach. The routes vary in length from 6½ to 8½ hours per day, giving plenty of time on some days to soak up the village life.
There are some long days, but overall the trip is classified as Grade B (moderate), although it should be noted that this is one of Exodus's tougher
Grade B treks. The majority of the paths we follow are footpaths and mule tracks with a gentle gradient, though we will walk on some quite rocky paths and do some sustained ascents/descents.
Luggage will be transported for you. Altitude maximum 1558m, average 1100m.
- Terms and conditions apply to prices shown.
- Sierra De Aitana trek prices featured are per person based on twin occupancy inclusive of flights.
- Some dates may feature alterations in hotels, sightseeing and inclusions. The details of your itinerary will be confirmed with you at the time of booking.
- When paying by credit card a 2% surcharge applies.
- Prices are correct at the time of publishing (29th November 2012)
- Flights are based on departures from London.
- Prices are subject to change and limited availability.
EXODUS COLOUR CODING INDEX & WHAT IT MEANS
The vast majority of Exodus adventures are adult group holidays. Groups are always small in size. We strongly believe that this adherence to small groups means a better experience for all; more time with your guide, less waiting around and a reduced impact on the communities and environments visited.
Each group is generally made up of like-minded travellers - with singles, couples and friends all joining in together. All these trips are suitable for single travellers, but if you prefer to travel with clients booking individually, please see our Solo Departures page.
For those clients who wish to travel with a group of other solo/single travellers, on certain trips we have set aside departure dates that are specifically recommended for clients booking individually. Solo departures are aimed at taking away that concern that you may be the only solo traveller when you arrive overseas. Look out for the solo departures (marked with a grey icon's') by checking the notes in the dates and prices table.
However, please note that we inform any couples, or friends travelling together, who enquire about these dates that the trip is recommended for solos, but we do not refuse bookings from non-solo travellers, and we are therefore not able to guarantee that a solo departure will be exclusively made up of solo travellers.
No experience is necessary; those who take weekend hill walks in areas like the Peak District or Cotswold’s at home should manage a B-grade trek; good health and reasonable fitness are important. These Moderately graded departures are either fairly easy medium-duration walks or harder, shorter walks.
In order to provide a more accurate grading system, where a trip falls between two grades we use an intermediate or split grade, for example Leisurely/Moderate. Occasionally, there are optional activities available en route, in this case the optional grade is indicated in brackets, for example Grade Challenging (climb Tough+). Clearly, conditions may differ from region-to-region or month-to-month and as such the information given on these pages is designed to act as a guide only. In all cases you should refer to the respective holiday's Trip Notes for further details.
Fitness is important and you may have to improve yours before departure. Most treks at this grade compare to extended walking in mountainous terrain such as the Lakes of Snowdonia, but usually at significantly higher altitudes; climate and remoteness can also play a part. Previous trekking experience is desirable, but not vital if you are confident of your physical condition.
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