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Sierra de Aitana Trek

from $1,549.00

Beautiful off-season walking through rugged Spanish mountain landscapes

  • Reviews 50 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 25/06/2020
5/5

SIERRA DE AITANA - AN UNEXPECTED SPANISH TREASURE

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The scenery is amazing and really unexpected so close to the cultural graveyard of the Costa Blanca. There are impressive limestone peaks and ridges stretching into the distance. Views from the tops are amazing - even Benidorm takes on a certain grandeur when spied from afar! The trip also offers a good dose of rural Spanish culture. The village of Sella is a delight, there is nothing better than coming off the hills after a great day of walking and retiring to one of the village bars for beer and tapas!
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Jose is a fantastic leader - knowledgeable, great company and a pleasure to be with on the hills. His enthusiasm for the area is infectious and I shall certainly go back.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A pair of walking poles is useful particularly for some of the steeper downhill sections. The trip starts on a Sunday so consider spending Saturday night in Alicante, which is just a short 3.75 Euro bus ride from the airport. The old town is worth a look and a fun way to spend a Saturday night - very Spanish with not a rowdy Brit in sight. It also means there is no stress with linking in to the group transfer should your low cost regional flight be delayed.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you enjoy walking and want to swap drab UK November weather for a bit of Spanish sunshine and culture this is the trip for you.

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

SIERRA DE AITANA TREK

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Actually doing 6 days of good walking and achieving some really good summits combined with full and long days of walking.  Also, having a large group that was of a mixed age and gender, that gelled from Day 1 with a passionate, do anything leader who made fantastic sandwiches too!
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader was Jose Fraile and we very quickly warmed to him.  He is local to the area, passionate about the historic footpaths, tracks and abandoned terrace farms.  Jose is very patient, eager to please, has a lovely persona, humorous and makes lovely sandwiches with a different filling each day!  He even keeps the footpaths cut back and stops them getting overgrown.Even on our free day, Jose made sure that everyone was taken care of and was happy to transport us to our different destinations.Couldn't have wished for a better leader. 
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    We did this trip as a mature couple and thoroughly enjoyed it so, don't even think about it - just do it.  This is a superb winter destination to top up your walking and is as good as a week in the Lakes. On the first day it rained and was cold.  On the second day it snowed on the high ground.  This did not stop us achieving our walks on either day, so be prepared for indifferent weather and take some warm clothing as we wore everything we took from the UK, even though we thought we had gone over the top with our warm and wet gear. The remainder of the week was sunny, hot and blue skies - just what we had expected. Check the weather forecast before you go and search on Sella and not Benidorm.  Every day was not a walk in the park and you need to be prepared for some tough ascents and long descents, especially at the end of a full day.  There are no coffee or refreshment shops on any of the trekking days (thankfully), but you do get the chance of a beer at the end of some of the walks and in lovely village bars.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This is a really fantastic, underrated trip and we wonder why Exodus do not offer more in this area as we would certainly return again to sample different walks of the same calibre.Our trip ran in reverse, starting at Sella and ending at Benimantell, which in our opinion is the better way of doing the trek but you get the best accommodation first - you can't win them all! The accommodation at Sella is superb and relaxing, although the shared bathroom is a bit overrated.  The hosts, Steve and Liz can't do enough for you and the food is superb, the honesty bar very welcomed and the free tea and coffee making facilities a bonus.  Nice social areas for relaxing in on all floors.Unfortunately, Benimantell is not a patch on Sella but in an area with limited accommodation, it did the job! 

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

Sierra de Aitana Trek in Spain

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Getting to the summit of Puig Campana on the last day.jj
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Jose is a great leader. He is so knowledgeable,enthusiastic and efficient. He also made our lunches!
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Drink plenty of water as the weather can be very hot.

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

High Sierra

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching on the last day the summit of Puig Campana, which dominates the surroundings and looks almost impregnable (although it can be ascended without too much scrambling).
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    José Miguel lives in this area and knows and loves it intimately. You are not just being guided - you are being introduced to a way of life in an arid and potentially hostile environment. He is an expert and inspirational leader and leaves nothing to chance.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A Platypus or Camelbak water system is preferable (as well as maybe a bottle or two of water). Springs are rare once you leave the villages. It is worth exploring the village of Sella (and maybe its handful of bars!) if you can make the time - there are a couple of short walks around the village available on Tripadvisor through which its history and development are illustrated.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This trip is easily accessible via Alicante airport, yet a world apart from the Spanish Costas and gives a glimpse of a traditional rural Mediterranean lifestyle.

Reviewed On 25/06/2020
5/5

Saying "amazing" doesn't do it justice

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Reaching the peak of Puig Campana. I really struggled at the beginning of the week as I'm not an experienced hill walker, and the temperatures were high. I'm also not great with heights and some of the climbs were intense. It was a great feeling to make it to the top and down with the pictures to prove it. Casa Roc - the accommodation in Sella was really special. Amazing views from the apartments and Steve and Liz were great hosts.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Jose Miguel was a fantastic guide. He's really passionate about the area and incredibly knowledgeable about the history and evolution of the landscape. He also lives and breathes sustainable tourism, so we were treated to the best home made sandwiches ever, nisperos from his garden, fresh water from the mountain springs and lunch bags (and napkins) made by his mum.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a Camelbak or similar... it's a hassle to try and get your water bottles out of your day pack all the time and you go through a lot of water. And Compeed. Lots of it.
  • Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Really fantastic trip... and amazing attention to detail. Don't be put off by the fact that it's not as exotic as other locations. Sierra de Aitana is really a hidden gem.

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