Trekking in the Marina Baixa, Alicante
Here in the Costa Blanca the beaches of Benidorm has defined a certain type of tourism, but don’t get wrong, just behind the coast there is a mountains scape that will surprise even the most experience trekker. This north part of the Baetic Cordillera which is mainly limestone gives this area and its mountains its archaic and serrated aspect. A playground of crags, cliffs, crests, ridges, gullies, gorges, pinnacles and peaks that create a unique landscape. Having an amazing net of paths and mule tracks, some of them built on Moorish times, is a paradise for trekking. Its rugged grandeur, wide spectacular vistas and its secret corners will enchant anybody that will overcome prejudices about the Costa-Blanca.
Inland Alicante, specially Marina Baixa and Marina Alta (where we will do our trek) keep all the charm with its small villages and old traditional farming and also have all the appealing of the warm and sunny Mediterranean Sea. 100% Mediterranean essence and flavor with its more than 300 days of sunshine per year and a really mild warm weather (17ºC-18ºC average a year).
This trip has the advantage of sharing the better of the two worlds: the mountains and traditional way of living of Alicante and the best of its Costa Blanca. We will use 3 base locations, Hostal El Trestellador, just outside Benimantell and Castell de Castell both places well known for its privileged situation and their own mountain character, and Altea, one of the best preserve coast villages on the whole Mediterranean coast.
11 good reasons to join this trip
- More than 300 days of sunshine and very rare chances of rain
- Wonderful and unspoiled net of well maintain path and muletraks. Still a hidden treasure.
- Unique ancient limestone mountainscape with hundreds of crags, gullies, pinnacles, etc that turns the trek into a more exited adventure.
- Climb 5 of the most emblematic peaks of the province, including Aitana(optional) the highest one of the province and Puig Campana the peak everybody want to climb.
- The mountains and the sea in the same package
- 45 minutes from Alicante airport
- The well preserve authenticity of the countryside of Alicante and the seaside village of Altea
- Professional guiding and leadership by an experienced guide based in Altea
- Itinerary carefully designed picking the best walks of the area but also trying to minimize the transfers. Clockwise itinerary with 3 base locations, Benimatell, Castell de Castell and Altea.
- Amazing gastronomy with its star dish ‘paella’ and the famous farmer stew both original from this region.
- We climb 5 peaks of the area including the famous and most wanted Puig Campana.
Puig Campana (1408m), Ponoch (1183m), Aixorta (1221m), Mallada del Llop (1361m) and Pico Serrella (1319m). Optional and depending on skills of the group (has a bit of scramblimg involved) Bernia peak (1228m)
Hostal El Trestellador is a privilege location just outside Benimantell at the foot of Sierra Aitana and just in front of the famous La Serrella range. The first lodging of the whole area and run by the 4th generation of women is well known for its hospitality and its traditional and tastefull cusine. With pool, impresive views and a great terrace is the perfect place to begin the adventure.
Castell de Castell in the parallel valley over the Serrella range is nestled in a fertile valley surrounded by La Serrella, Serra del Carrascal and Serra d’Alfaro ranges. This village is a reference in terms of ecotourism and his rupestrian art sanctuary has been declared world heritage site being a unique example of macro schematic paintings of 8000 years old.
Altea, is a peaceful small village in the center of a wide bay surrounded by a big amphitheatre of unspoiled mountains. Is a traditional village that has preserve one of the most beautiful old center in the area keeping a very authentic and local feeling and avoiding the big resorts, hotels and busy ambient of the towns that are nearby like Benidorm or Calpe. There are no soft sandy beaches like in Benidorm but also there is not a single tower in the whole area of Altea and in winter you will enjoy drinks and ‘cafes con leche’ with the locals in any of its terraces and bars. Altea is considered one of the most beautiful and well preserved old villages of the Spanish Mediterranean coast. Unique for a beach town in Spain.
Great hotel in the seafront of Altea : www.hotelcapnegret.com
Family run rural hotel in Castell de Castell, with small spa: www.hotel-serrella.com
Family run hostal just outside Benimatell El Trestellador. It is a nice hostal, just outside the village, with impressive views, pool and a well recognized cuisine. www.hostaltrestellador.com
The trip will be run by a fully registered and legal structure
Day 1. Saturday
Arrival to Alicante airport where a 2 timed group transfers are arranged. We drive straight to our hostal in Benimatell through an scenic road heading up the Guadalest Valley.
Day 2. Sunday (green route)
Leaving from our hostal we embark ourselves in a walk that will take us to explore the heart of Aitana Range. The easy scrambling of ‘Pas de la Rabosa’ and the ridge walking on the east side of the range make this walk unforgettable. We will see also snow wells, a remembrance of the prosperous commerce of ice on the XVI -IX centuries period, two of the most recognized fountains for the quality of their water, Font de la Forata and Font de Partagas and a wide variety of the most characteristic Mediterranean flora. A superb walk to begin our trip.
Day 3. Monday (red route)
After a short Transfer to Abdet we begin a steep climb that will have the reward of one of the most impressive views of the whole Marina Baixa. The ridge walking in between Pico Serrella (1319m) and Mallada del Llop (1361m) will bring to us a bit of ‘top of the world’ feeling. After that we descend to the fabulous Barranco de la Canal to connect with the pist that will take us to the second highlight of the day ‘The Castellet’ one of the oldest Moorish remains of the region and a strategic outpost controlling all surrounding valleys. Its wild location and glorious perspectives will make you understand the name of Castell de Castell (Castle of Castles) our overnight destination.
Day 4. Tuesday (blue route)
We are now walking on the Serrella range and this circular route will take us to explore the best of it with the goal of Aixorta (1221m) highest peak of Serrella. Mainly on good tracks and after traversing west to east a good section of the range we rich Els Ars, an impressive limestone arch formation. We keep going untill we rich the base of the peak and after a short climb the summit of Aixorta will rewards us with an impresive view of Bernia to the east and Aitana to the south west.
On our desdent we trek part of the famous postman trail, the old path postmen use in the past to take the post from Tarbena to Castell, From there back to our hostal in Castell where we will have some extra time to visit the interesting rupestrian and ethnological museum or to treat ourselves with the hotel spa.
Day 5. Wednesday (yellow route)
We leave Castell and take our transfer to Bernia. This walk will take us around the Bernia range crossing this spectacular serrated mountain by the incredible ‘El Forat’, a tunnel carved in the rock that connect both sides of the mountains. A wonderful walk that will allow us to see the Guadalest valley on the south and the Xalo valley on the north, and all of it with the constant background of the sea on the east side. We descend to Altea la Vella and we finish our day in our hotel on the seafront of Altea.
Day 6. Thursday
Today we have a free day when you can explore the old village, one of the best preserved of the whole Mediterranean coast. Old cobbled streets, a beautiful blue dommed church, local tapas bars, plenty of craft and art shops and a lot of view points (Altea is perched in a small hill). But basically you can enjoy the relaxed pace of this still traditional village. If you also want a bit of walking we can organize a half a day walk on Sierra Gelada, a small mountain range running parallel to the sea that connect El Albir with Benidorm or the climb of the ‘Peñon de Ifach’ in Calpe or you just may prefer strolling around the ‘Huerta’ of Altea, the farmland full of orange, lemon and nisperos trees just behind the village.
Day 7. Friday (pink route)
Today a great in-line route from Polop, a beautiful small village near Altea, to Finestrat with the purpose of climbing the 2 most characteristic peaks of the region. Ponoch (1183m) also known as the Sleeping Lion, and Puig Campana (1408m). Both of them face the sea and have the most impresive background of rugged landscape that you can imagine. A festival for your senses. We will finish our trip having famous group paella specially prepared for us.
Day 8. Saturday
Departure to Alicante airport where 2 timed group transfer is arranged.
- 7 nights hotels and hostels
- 5 days trekking
- Join in Alicante
- Meal plan: all breakfasts + 5 packed lunches (trek days) + 5 dinners (days 1,2,3,4 and 7)
- Group Size: 5-14 person
- Professional local bike leader
- 2 Timed group transfers from and to Alicante airport on Day 1 and Day 8
- All accommodation as described in the trip dossier
- Meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
- All transfers required during the trip
- Baggage transfer
What’s not Included
- Travel insurance
- Airport transfers (other than the single group transfer at the beginning and end of the trip)
- Some meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
- Tips for support staff and guide
- Miscellaneous expenses, drinks, souvenirs, etc