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Sierra de Aitana Trek

from $1,479.00

Beautiful off-season walking through rugged Spanish mountain landscapes

  • Reviews 10 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Guided
  • Activity Level Moderate / Challenging
  • Group Size Small Group
    4 - 14
All about the Sierra de Aitana Trek.

Although close to the Costa Blanca, the dramatic massif of Sierra de Aitana has remained a secret from all but a few discerning visitors. We follow traditional footpaths and mule tracks, mostly along ridge lines, giving us spectacular panoramic vistas, and then descend to beautiful valleys with natural springs, fantastic limestone amphitheatres, and where castles dot distant hilltops. The rocky peaks and steep valleys which sweep down to the Mediterranean coast, benefit from the privilege of a warm climate for over 300 days of the year, making it an ideal location for out-of-season walking.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.

* All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 6 dinners (local wine with dinner)
* 7 nights accommodation in pension, all rooms en suite
* Airport transfers (at designated times)

Tour leader throughout. Group normally 2 to 14, plus leader. Min age 16 yrs

What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • 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 on a late getaway
  • Gain cultural insight from our local Spanish guide
  • See the spectacular almond blossom (in season)
  1. Day 1 Start Benimantell village.

    The tour starts at our pension in the little village of Benimantell, half way up on Guadalest Valley on the north face of the Aitana Massif. It can be time consuming to make your own way there so we recommend you coordinate your travel arrangements so that you can join the group transfer from Alicante Airport – please provide your travel details in advance. There will be a welcome briefing at the pension this evening.

  2. Day 2 An enchanting walk passing the limestone needles of Penya Roc before walking through El Salt down to Collado Papatxi.

    We make our way to Racó de Tovaines, where we access the spectacular limestone peaks and needles of Penya Roc and walk through El Salt up to Collado Papatxi. This area enchants people with its soaring towers and walls of rock all around. Early sunset rays will highlight the spine of the jagged Castellets Ridge that stretches down to Orxeta. We return through Pas del Comptador back to Benimantell.

  3. Day 3 Walk up Peña del Rastrell for fantastic views over Guadalest Valley.

    From Benimantell we walk down to Guadalest water dam and climb on a track to Peña del Rastrell. From here, we make our way up Tossal Redó and Almedia above Callosad’en Sarria, where we are rewarded with breathtaking views of Altea Bay and Guadalest Valley. We then descend along the spine of Tossal Redó down through the old town of Callosa where we join the short transfer (approx. 25mins) back to Benimantell.

  4. Day 4 Climb Serrella Peak for vistas of the Aitana Range; descend via a magnificent gorge to Beniarda; visit a local olive oil factory.

    After a short transfer to Abdet, we begin by ascending to Pico Serrella (1,323m) and follow the western spine of Serrella to Mallada del Llop (1,361m). We usually stop for a picnic lunch here to take in the sweeping views of the Aitana Range, and even the Valencia Mountains on a clear day.After lunch we begin our long descent on the spectacular and remote Barranc de la Canal Gorge, with its two parallel fins of upturned limestone strata leading to an abandoned farmhouse at Penyeta de la Hedra. Inititally the descent is a fairly steep gradient on a rocky/scree surface, which we zigzag down. Scrambling is required on some sections. During the last stretch, the gradient lessens and we enjoy pleasant views of terraced olive groves and centenary carob trees, which lead us to the village of Beniardá.In Beniardá there’s time to visit the local olive oil factory, a small scale outfit producing award-winning olive oils. Afterwards we can either walk or be transferred back to our accommodation in Benimantell.

  5. Day 5 Free day; chance to head to the beach near colourful Villa Joiosa and visit a chocolate factory.

    Today is a free day to relax or perhaps take the chance to head to the the beach near Villa Joiosa and visit a chocolate factory.

  6. Day 6 Spectacular walk along the dramatic Simas Limestone Fissures; option to scale Aitana Peak.

    From the pension we walk along the northern slopes up 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 picnic spot. Weather permitting, it’s possible to climb the summit (optional). We then have another long descent today.

  7. Day 7 Summit Puig Campana (1410m) for panoramic views to the Costa Blanca and across the 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. 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, which is steep and rocky, on the north face of this spectacular peak, returning to our vehicle from the Casa de Dios. Scrambling is required on some sections.

  8. Day 8 End Benimantell village.

    The tour ends in Benimantell after breakfast. If you have not booked flights through Exodus but would like to join the group transfer back to Alicante Airport you must request this at the time of booking.**

tsa
Where you stay

El Trestellador Pension – Center-Based

TSA Spain

This is a centre-based trip, spending all seven nights at El Trestellador Pension in the village of Benimantell. El Trestellador is a pleasant family-run pension with a lovely garden, a large terrace, and simple en suite rooms. There is also a small unheated swimming pool, and picturesque Guadalest village is within walking distance. The pension’s restaurant is locally renowned for its excellent traditional cuisine, and specialities include espencat vegetables and gazpacho manchego. There are tea/coffee/hot chocolate facilities available at all times in the restaurant, at the Exodus meeting point.

Single accommodation is available (on request). Please note that paying for a single supplement only guarantees a room for single use and does not under normal circumstances mean that a twin or a double for sole occupancy will be provided.

TSA Spain
TSA Spain
Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 6 dinners (plus local wine with dinner) are included.

Breakfast: Continental style – local fruit, fresh orange juice, different types of bread, cakes, cheese, ham or bacon, tea and coffee.

Lunch: Picnic lunches will usually consist of bread rolls with cheese and salad/meat, fruit, and muesli bars, biscuits or nuts. Our local guide usually also provides some snacks such as pickled olives, chocolates and dried figs.

Evening Meal: As the main meal of the day, we enjoy a large variety of local cuisine including espencat, minxos (small pancakes) and oven-baked rice. Most of the food is freshly prepared from locally grown seasonal produce, and the pension produce their own olive oil. A reasonable amount of local wine is provided with the evening meal but additional beverages are not included.

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, vegan and gluten free are well catered for given prior notice, and most other dietary requirements can also be accommodated as long as you let us know in advance (at the time of booking).

Mealtimes in Spain are later than in many other countries; dinner is usually taken between 20:00 and 21.30.

This trip is Activity Level 4 (Moderate/Challenging) 

You should be confident in your physical condition and ability to deal with heights and difficult underfoot terrain. The walking routes are all fairly long (around 15-20km a day) and vary in duration from 7 to 8.5 hours per day (including stops). The trek is more on the challenging side – in five days of walking we climb three summits, Serrella (1,361m), Puig Campana (1,410m) and Aitana (1,558m) with approx. 1,000m of ascent and descent on each of these days.

The majority of the paths we follow are footpaths and mule tracks. Some sections are with a gentle gradient, whilst other sections follow quite steep rocky paths (sometimes with scree slopes) and there are some sustained ascents/descents. We also trek some cross-country terrain.

This trip is for anyone confident in their health and fitness. It is not recommended as a beginner’s trek. It is suited for those who regularly hill walk and have put in some physical preparation beforehand.

Sierra Aitana is very rich in flora and fauna and along the walks we will see a great variety of birds and flowers. Castles dot distant hilltops, and we visit springs and snow wells as well as having plenty of time to soak up village life. In the evenings the hosts of our charming family-run village pension will make us feel right at home.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 11/11/2019
5/5

Great autumn walking in a beautiful area

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Views from the summits, particularly Serella and Puig Campana. Also, those amazing sandwiches!
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Jose, was excellent throughout.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take walking poles for the quite lengthy descents
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    We were pleased to be able to book a grade 4 (moderate/ challenging) holiday in Europe and would welcome more at Challenging grade.

Reviewed On 20/09/2019
5/5

Fabulous holiday

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Walking & views
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    We were lucky enough to have both guides who were great,
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go to the BBQ on the free night, fabulous food and a great atmosphere

Reviewed On 20/09/2019
5/5

Amazing holiday- go now!

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Striding along the mountain ridges in the spring sunshine. The sunrises from the hotel were awesome too.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Jaime and Jose divided the week between them, which was a bonus. They are both exceptional leaders, with different personalities and areas of expertise. They took great care of us, and were generous with their time and knowledge. ( They are the only people who lead this tour and they stay at the hotel while doing so).
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Go now! This tour may not last in its present delightful form for ever. The hotel has been In the same family for four generations and the charming couple now running it will retire fairly soon.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    It is very easy to get to this holiday, though most people should avoid the current Exodus group flights. These leave Gatwick very early in the morning on Sunday and return there very late at night. Inconvenient for anyone who does not live close to Gatwick, especially those who have to go to work on Monday mornings. There are plenty of cheap alternative flights to Alicante from almost every UK airport. Contrary to the current Exodus advice, it is straightforward to get to the hotel from the airport , even if you do not use the group transfer. (This anyway returns to Alicante on Sunday morning, so that there is time to explore the city and/ or get an earlier flight home). Staying in Alicante before the trip is another option, which I much enjoyed.

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

Sunshine in Spain

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching so many beautiful summits with amazing 360' views. Another highlight was the hotel kindly baking me a cake for my birthday!
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leaders (Jose and Jaimie) were excellent - very knowledgeable, friendly, and laid back yet extremely competent. I had complete faith in them but could also enjoy a laugh together. They provided a briefing for each walk on the night before and provided useful information for the "free day" and our departure day which we spent in Alicante. As mentioned in previous reviews, very good picnic sandwiches at lunch!
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book this trip! I hand't previously heard of hiking in the area, but it far exceeded my expectations. Other advice.. -when we arrived we had time to explore local Guadalest which is a lovely town with a hilltop castle and a good tapas bar! -highly recommend visiting Aitea on the free day, especially in good weather -we had a late flight back on the Sunday so spent the day exploring Alicante (the hike up to the castle is worth it!) -no need to take extra cereal bars as plenty are provided!
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I really loved this trip so hope you do too!

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

Fantastic winter breaker.......

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching various summits with breathtaking views across the Aitana range. The journey's to the summits were challenging but do-able and made fun whilst walking with a terrific group of like minded walkers and an outstanding leader.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Jaime is an experienced, knowledgeable, confident, passionate, kind, caring, people focused individual with Michelin star qualities for making superb sandwiches and surprised us daily with extra treats to keep us going. He's got a very kind and gentle way, supporting those who need it and is always keen to pick up sayings in different languages; he's know fluent in Dutch too! :-)
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be sure and confident of your capabilities, abilities and fitness; it requires confidence in walking along steep ridges, across scree, a bit of scrambling and steep ascents and descents but all the hard work is absolutely worth it when you get to the top.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The hotel is conveniently located for walking straight from and back to the hotel, which saves on spending time on transport. Although the nearest village is about 30 minute walk away, it's a very steep descent and ascent coming back so not a 'stroll', which is sometimes too much after a day's walking. However, the hotel provided us with everything we needed. The rooms are basic, quite small and sometimes the shower water was tepid. If we had needed to hang out wet clothing and walking gear, the room would have been uncomfortably small and pretty impossible in my view. No tea/coffee making facilities in the room but the designated area in the communal area downstairs is free and available 24/7 whilst holidaying there to make drinks.

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November 24, 2019
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