Walking Holidays in Spain - Mainland - Alicante - Mountains to the Sea


Holiday Highlights
  • Walk in the valleys of Marina Alta, a quiet area with mostly "uncharted" terrain
  • Explore diverse countryside following ancient footpaths from mountains down to the sea
  • Visit intriguing Moors caves and stay in traditional whitewashed mountain villages


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Self Guided walking holiday - Click here to find out more about Self Guided walking holidays          

 
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This is a seven night self-guided hotel-to-hotel trek exploring the valleys of the Marina Alta – a little known range of mountains lying a substantial distance inland from the well know Costa Blanca on Spain’s Mediterranean coast.

This trek takes you through diverse countryside following ancient footpaths and tracks created by Moorish and Balearic settlers to interlink whitewashed mountain villages that date from the Moorish occupation of Spain. This area is little visited so you will be exploring mostly "uncharted" terrain and are unlikely to meet many other walkers.

Throughout the region, lush valleys rich in groves of olive, orange and almond soften the mountains and limestone rock formations. The total stillness and silence is only broken only by the sound of bees collecting pollen from rosemary and heather and a vast variety of other herbs and plants which grow profusely. Tranquil paths will lead you through forests of scented pines emerging onto high ridges with far reaching views. Wonder at the construction of ancient mule tracks so skilfully engineered by the Moors centuries ago. In addition to this, Moorish castles, Neolithic cave paintings, the regions interesting biodiversity and birds of the mountains and marshes enhance each day. 

Most of this trek follows well marked paths made up of ancient mule trails, forestry tracks and mountain footpaths. Some are rough and stony and there are steep climbs. Tarmac walking is mostly limited to short sections close to the villages. Overnight stays are in whitewashed mountain villages that date from the Moorish occupation of Spain. 



Day 1:
Transfer from the airport to your hotel just outside Adsubia and spend the rest of the day relaxing by the pool or walk down to the village and explore the old town.

Day 2: Adsubia to Beniali. You start your trek by ascending an ancient cobbled path that takes you up past the ruins of Gallinera Castle, formerly of great strategic importance to the Moors during their resistance to the Christian re-conquest in the early 13th century. Continue along the western escarpment of the Gallinera Valley amongst dry limestone uplands which contrast with the deep green of the irrigated groves of oranges and mandarins around Adsubia. Leaving extensive views of the Gallinera Valley, descend to Beniali for your overnight stop.

Ascent 740m Descent 550m. Distance: 8.5 miles  Time: 5 hours

Day 3: Beniali to Alcalá de la Jovada. Today’s route travels up through the Gallinera Valley (Vall de Gallinera) and passes through the attractive villages and hamlets of the upper valley, La Carroja, Patró, Llombay and Benissili – the highlight of today’s walk. Visit the remains of Benissili Castle, former stronghold of Al Azraq, the last Arab Moorish Vizier to rule these mountains and of great historical importance. The ruins of the castle are difficult to explore, but offer a panoramic view of the Vall de Gallinera. From the castle follow a ridge, taking a short detour to the site of a Bronze Age Iberian settlement and enjoy extensive views of the three adjacent valleys. The route continues ascending the ridge before gently descending into the Vall de Alcalà.

Ascent: 880m Descents: 550m. Distance: 9 ½ miles Time: 6 hours

 Option: a shorter alternative route (ascents 700m, descents 250m 4 ½ miles 3 hours) 

Day 4: Alcalá de la Jovda to Vall d’Ebo. After visiting an ancient, well preserved ice house, continue to the abandoned and Moorish village of L’Atzúvia, one of several abandoned hamlets that dot this valley and which were never repopulated after the Moors were expelled in 1608. L’Atzuvia features several stone archways characteristic of Moorish architecture. The route then ascends to La Penya Forada, a natural rock arch and focal point for the neighbouring Vall de Gallinera before continuing on to the Cova del Moro, a fascinating cave dwelling built by the Moors. From here ascend through pinewoods to emerge onto the quiet and desolate limestone moorland separating the valleys of Alcalá and Ebo. Descend towards the distant Ebovalley and village and your overnight stop.

Ascent 590m Descent 770m.  Distance: 11 ¾  miles Time: 5 hours

Day 5: Vall d’Ebo to Fleix. Leaving the Vall d’Ebo, cross over into the Vall de Laguar by ascending the Serra de Carrascal. Much of the ascent follows an ancient mule trail before traversing the summit ridge with excellent views of the surrounding mountains and valleys as well as a glimpse the impressive Barranc del Infern gorge. From the Serra de Carrascal you drop down to El Collau, a saddle at the head of the Vall de Laguar. Continue on ancient stepped footpaths along the shady northern flank of the Serra del Penyò, resplendent in Springtime with displays of orchids on the path verges. The day ends heading northwards below the peak of the Cavall Verd where survivors of the massacre at the hands of Phillip lll’s troops sought refuge before surrendering to their final expulsion from Spain. Continue through Campell with its notable wash-house, and on to your accommodation near Fleix.

Ascent 670m Descent 645m. Distance: 9 ½ miles; Time: 5 hours

Option: a shorter alternative route, Ascents 640m, Descents 530m, 7 ½ miles, 4 ½  hours

Day 6: Fleix to Benimeli. The day starts with a fascinating descent in to the Barranc del Infern gorge following a stepped footpath built by the Moors; a remarkable feat of engineering being built entirely by hand through some of the steepest terrains and now one of the most significant walking routes in all of Spain, locally known as ‘The Cathedral of Hiking’. Leaving the Barranc del Infern the path levels before a thankfully gentle ascent of the quiet and forgotten Serra del Migdia. As the day draws to an end, descend to Tollos passing through groves of oranges and mandarins and fertile plains to Benimeli and your overnight stop.

Ascent 600m  Descent 900m.   Distance: 11 miles,  Time:  6 hours

Day 7: Benimeli to Dénia. From Benimeli you ascend the Serra de Segaria to the Pas de Benimeli, a saddle separating the western and eastern parts of Segaria before passing through a small valley rich in orange groves. Here you pick up the asequia, where the route follows the course of a redundant irrigation channel that skirts the southern flank of Segaria before emerging onto the coastal plain at El Vergel. Passing through the town you pick-up the Via Verde, a redundant railway track converted into a cycle and footpath. The Via Verde crosses the coastal plain through yet more groves of oranges and mandarins to arrive at the trek’s end at the charming coastal town of Denia.

Ascent 345m Descent 445m.  Distance: 10 miles, Time: 5 ½ hours, 

Optional extra days in Dénia.

Denia is worthy of an extra night or two to explore the Serra de Montgo to visit the caves with Roman graffiti carvings; visit historic Dénia castle and the old town, experience the fish auction, or just potter about the beach and seafront enjoying the gastronomic delights offered in harbour side restaurants and bars.

Day 8: Transfer to Alicante airport for your return journey home.


Self Guided

You can walk entirely at your own pace and we provide extensive walk notes giving distances route directions ascents and descents and many optional variations to shorten or lengthen the journey. We also provide relevant maps.

If you wish to lengthen the journey we can easily add a rest day when you make the booking.


Baggage transfer

Your bags will be transferred daily to your next hotel so that you can enjoy the walking with just a day pack. 


Walk Grading

Self-guided – Moderate, with some remoteness. Total for standard week ignoring variations:- Ascent 3825m, Descent 3860m, 60 miles.

This map is for illustration purposes only and we cannot be held responsible for its accuracy.

Mountains to the Sea Trek

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We have selected typical accommodation which complements the character of the walk; small quiet Spanish family run Pensions, Casa Rurals and Hotels and those which we offers  the best quality of service from the choice available.

You are assured of a friendly welcome at the end of the day’s walking with supper on the terrace or aperitifs on your balcony depending on the location. Accommodation is half board (breakfast, and supper) and packed lunches are available if required. WI-Fi is available everywhere.

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Availability Information

We do not recommend July or August as it is generally too hot, but from mid-September onwards the climate is ideal for walking. During November, December and January temperatures average between 10ºC (min) and 17ºC (max).

Please note our best to go information is generally referring to the walking which may fall in the early or late season in some places. This may mean that not all tourist facilities will be open at the time you visit.

When to book your walking holiday in Spain - Mainland - Alicante - Mountains to the Sea

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