Self-Guided Walking in the Sierra de Aitana
Enjoy self-guided walking through rugged Spanish mountain landscapes
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Moderate / Challenging
Set among the inland valleys of the Costa Blanca, the region known as ‘Las Marinas’, is one to discover and savour. Still relatively unknown, this pristine area enchants visitors with its peaceful, rural lifestyle. Walkers are treated to a variety of mountain climates; from summit views above 1400m in the morning to tropical avocado and citrus plantations in the afternoon. In spring, wildflowers carpet the mountainside, and from late February to early April the sweet scent of almond blossom fills the air.
* All breakfasts, 5 picnic lunches and 6 dinners (plus wine with dinner)
* All accommodation (see accommodation section)
* Route notes and maps
* Luggage transport
- Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)
- Enjoy stunning views over the sparkling Mediterranean
- Follow traditional footpaths through rugged mountain landscapes
- Make the most of the 300 days of sunshine found here
- See the spectacular almond blossom (in season)
- 7 nights in a rural house (up to 3 bedrooms)
- 5 days centre-based walking; 1 free day
- Altitude maximum 1558m, average 1100m
- Self-guided tour. Min age 12 yrs
Start Aitana Natural Guesthouse
Arrive at Alicante airport and join a transfer to take you to Aitana Natural Guesthouse (approx. 1 hour). After you have settled in you will be briefed on the week’s walks by the local operator who has lived and worked in these mountains for the majority of his life – so should be able to answer any questions that you may have about the area. You will be provided with comprehensive route notes and a map, along with a GPS device and a smartphone, and instructed on how best to use these.
Follow the ancient paths from Sella to Relleu; walk back, or take the local bus
After a short transfer, today’s walk starts off relatively easy using the ancient network of paths that connected Sella and Relleu in the past. You will walk through almond fields, green orchards and old pastures to get to the town of Relleu, which has a very picturesque setting in the middle of a valley surrounded by mountains. You can choose to walk back, or take the bus (payable locally).
Short bus transfer; ascend Sierra de Orcheta from the Amadorio water dam
After a short bus transfer to the small town of Orcheta, you begin your ascent of Sierra de Orcheta from the Amadorio water dam. You are rewarded with views over the extensive citrus fields of Marina Baixa, with Monte Castellets and Aitana in the background.
Ascend through Passet de la Rabosa to reach Aitana peak (1558m)
After a transfer to the start point at Port de Tudons (10 mins), begin your walk at the old military base up the northern slopes of Aitana. You start on good tracks to the Font del Arbre, and reach the footpath up to the Font de Partagat, and then a scramble through the Passet de la Rabosa. There is a perfect picnic spot at the Simas limestone features, which are up to 90m deep and situated on a ridge near the summit of Aitana. Depending on the weather a climb to the summit (1558m) is possible; the descent to Font Pouet Alemany in Tagarina is possibly the most scenic and dramatic of the whole trek!
Circular walk following the ancient snow trading trails towards the coast and passing through Collado Papatxi
Today you transfer to Font del Arc and follow a circular route using the ancient snow trading trails towards the coast, passing through Collado Papatxi. The spectacular limestone peaks and needles of Penya Roc, and enchanting light of the spine of the jagged Castellets Ridge really make this a walk to remember.
Enjoy a day off from walking and relax by the pool, or take a guided visit to the local chocolate factory! Alternatively take the bus or train to Villajoyosa or Alicante and take a gourmet tapas tour, or spend the day relaxing at the beach.
Summit Puig Campana (1401m) for beautifully panoramic views across the Costa Blanca region
A fairly tough walk to complete the week – the summit of the Puig Campana (1,410m) with 360º panoramic views! 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. You 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, you climb a new footpath on the north face of this spectacular peak and return by vehicle to Sella.
End Aitana Natural Guesthouse
End Aitana Natural Guesthouse; transfer back to Alicante airport.
Aitana Natural Guesthouse
Seven nights at the charming rural house Aitana Natural. This unique property is set 1000m high, amongst 150 hectares of Mediterranean forest at the heart of Aitana. Within the surrounding nature reserve you can find eagles, owls, deer, muflons, wild boar and red squirrels. The town of Sella is only a 10 minute drive away. The old farm was fully restored and refurbished recently, whilst keeping in mind the traditional structure, stone work, spaces and style. The main house has a huge sitting/dining room with a chimney, 2 double bedrooms and kitchen for the guests’ exclusive use. The whole property is ‘off-grid’ and runs on solar and wind energy. The outdoor terrace offers fabulous views of the Mediterranean, Alicante and even Murcia in the distance. The owners of the property live behind the main house and you are welcome to join them on their daily routine as they collect medicinal plants for their massage essences which are distilled at la Torreta. Due to the remote location and lack of light pollution this is a fantastic place to take advantage of the clear skies and learn more about the stars and constellations. Once a booking has been made on this trip the passengers will receive exclusive use of the rural house for the entire time. We can accept bookings of up to 6 passengers travelling together, but please be aware that the property only has one bathroom so you will need to share.
All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 6 dinners (plus local wine with dinner) are included.
Breakfast: Continental style – local fruit, bread, cakes, tea and coffee. Lunch: Picnic lunches will usually consist of sandwiches with cheese and salad/meat, fruit, and muesli bars, biscuits or nuts. Evening meals will be served in the elegant dining room and consist of salads, vegetable soups, traditional legume stews, but also modern version of Mediterranean tagine and Middle-Eastern food with spices, rice and pasta.
Please note should flights change to arrive earlier, or depart later, additional meals are not included. Please also note that no refund will be given for meals not taken or taken other than where designated. Vegetarians/dietary requirements – we can cater for a range of dietary requirements. Please advise on booking.
Activity level 4 – Moderate/Challenging
This is a self-guided tour, so you can walk at your own pace (we recommend taking plenty of time to rest and enjoy the views!). The daily walks use traditional footpaths and mule tracks with some cross-country terrain. They vary in length and allow time to take stops and soak up the village life. As you are based in one place for the whole week this means that all of the walks are optional and you can make your decisions based on the weather predictions on a day-by-day basis. There are steep sections on day 4 and 7 and these in particular are not suitable for clients who do not walk regularly. The trip has a moderate/challenging rating and we recommend that you have previous experience of walking if you are considering this trip.
Av. daily walk: 16km (10 miles)
No. of days walking: 5 (all optional walks)
Terrain & route: varied; you will walk on mule tracks, traditional footpaths and cross-country terrain. Most days have a gentle gradient, but there are some steeper walks and there are many rocky paths and some sustained ascents and descents. Average altitude 1,100m, maximum 1,558m. When the weather is wetter the paths can become slippery so walking poles are recommended.
Most walks take between 7 to 8.5 hours including lunch stops and require a moderate level of fitness.
Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to walk independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodation and provide you with route notes so that you can walk at your own pace. A representative will be there to meet you on your arrival and will be on call throughout the trip should you need. You will be provided with comprehensive route notes, a map, a GPS device (and briefed on how to use it) along with a smartphone with the ‘Alpify’ app to track you down at all times and to use to contact the local operator in case you require assistance. Please be aware that although you will receive a briefing on how to use the smartphone and GPS device it is important you are happy using this equipment on this trip.