This was an excellent week of walking. The paths are steep in some places but well defined and Jose guided us with care and attention on the challenging ascents and descents of the Sierra Aitana. The walks were well-paced by Jose but the days are long so you do need to be fit. We trekked through a number of landscapes illustrating the historic and current use of the area and Jose with his local knowledge enhanced our understanding of how this area has evolved over the centuries as well as the current challenges. The views from the walks were amazing – one way you could see the coast from Alicante to Benidorm and beyond and the other the folding valleys and mountains of the interior. The skies were blue and the days sunny and warm and we experienced very little wind even on the summits. We were based at the Hostel Rincon de Pepe where we had a wonderful week being looked after by Raquel. The food was amazing and hearty (three courses plus wine). The terrace was also great place to have breakfast every morning as the sun rose out of the Med, as well as a beer or two after the walk as the sun disappeared behind the mountains.
Walking Holidays in Iceland
Best Walking Holidays in Iceland
Jane Hallett Sierra de Aitana Trek
Michael Dunford Sierra de Aitana Trek
This is a great week’s walking in a little-known (and underrated) part of Spain. The Aitana range is a compact set of mountains so you get to tick off almost all of it, and there are great views from the top of all the peaks, out to the coast and across to the surrounding peaks. Most of the walks are reasonably demanding, but also rewarding.
Being based in one location, with very short transfers (or none) for each walk makes for a very relaxing week aside from the walking. It’s also a fairly short transfer to/from Alicante Airport.
The vast majority of meals are included which makes it much better value than some other (apparently similarly priced) holidays.
Jose the guide is exceptional: hard-working, helpful, supportive and deeply knowledgeable about the area.
Sally James Sierra de Aitana Trek
Thank you to our leader, Chandra, guides Prasan, Sagar and Mingma and helpful group of porters for an amazing trek. Our group was also amazing, great company and full of interesting travel stories!
Top 5 Natural Sights to See on Iceland Walking Holidays
Alftavatn Lake: Wedged between the rugged rhyolite mountains on the Laugavegur Trail, Alftavatn Lake, also known as Swan Lake, has a staggeringly beautiful backdrop. The lake is renowned for its many species of fowl that congregate around the water, and it’s likely you’ll be able to spot swans, ducks and other waterfowl here. Alftavatn is a tranquil oasis and a popular spot for avid birdwatchers. While camping here during the summer months, you’ll also get to experience Iceland’s Midnight Sun, a natural phenomenon seen north of the Arctic Circle.
Skogafoss Waterfall: One of the largest and most spectacular of Iceland’s waterfalls is Skogafoss with its waters thundering 60 metres down a sheer cliff face in the Skoga River. If you want to experience the real force of the falls, you can walk right up to the cascade to feel the spray on your face and listen to its almighty roar in stereo sound. Alternatively, climb the steep stairs that wind up to the observation platform and enjoy the magnificent view of the falls from above.
Mt Hekla: Having erupted more than a whopping 20 times, Mt Hekla is the most active volcano in the country. Sadly, it has caused great destruction over the centuries, in particular the surrounding forests of the area, and it is certainly a force to be reckoned with. Mt Hekla makes up part of a volcanic ridge which stretches for 25 miles. The area is a favourite for hikers, and you can follow a trail that takes you almost to the summit.
Myrdalsjokull Glacier: Spanning nearly 600 square kilometres, Myrdalsjokull is one of the country’s biggest glaciers and stands on top of the active Katla volcano. When walking in Iceland, it’s worth taking a tour to the volcanic plains to get a closer look at this frozen wonder. Katla is one of Iceland’s most active volcanoes and erupts around once every 50 years. Because it lies beneath Myrdalsjokull Glacier, the eruptions create huge ash clouds. The landscape surrounding the glacier feels quite surreal and it’s an eerie atmosphere looking out across the vastness.
Markarfljotsglufur Canyon: Cutting through the remote landscape of the Icelandic Highlands, Markarfljotsglufur Canyon is stunningly beautiful gorge that looks like it could have stepped out of ‘Lord of the Rings’. And because it is lesser frequented than many other natural sites owing to its location, you may well be the only visitors here at any one time. The canyon drops a staggering 200 metres and can be seen when trekking along the famous Laugavegur Trail. Markarfljotsglufur was originally formed 2000 years ago from an enormous eruption of the notorious volcano Katla, which caused great flooding in the area.
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