Sierra de Aitana Trek

8 days
from
$1,435 USD
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Traveller ratings
4.8 / 5 from 79 reviews >
Trip code: 
TSA
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Walking & Trekking
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–14

Spectacular ridge walks amidst limestone towers and rural landscapes of the Aitana Massiff

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.

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)

Key information

  • 7 nights pension, all rooms en suite
  • 5 days guided walking; 1 free day
  • Group normally 2 to 14, plus local leader. Min age 16 yrs
  • Altitude maximum 1558m, average 1100m
  • Some rocky paths and steep ascents/descents

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 6 dinners (local wine with dinner)
  • All accommodation
  • Transfer for group flights

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas & Vaccinations
  • Single supplement
Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

5

Days of Walking & Trekking
Pace:

Approximately 7-8.5 hours walking per day

Terrain:

Low altitude; uneven paths and mule tracks, some sustained ascents/descents and short scrambles

Day by day breakdown
Day 217.0km/11.0miles
Day 312.5km/8.0miles
Day 415.0km/9.0miles
Day 617.5km/11.0miles
Day 714.5km/9.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Benimantell village.

    The tour starts at our pension in the little village of Benimantell, half way up on Gualdalest Valley on the north face of the Aitana Massif. It can be a little difficult 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.

    Meals included: Dinner
  • 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.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • 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 Callosa d'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 to riu Algar. The day ends by walking through avocado and citrus orchards in the lower part of the valley where we join the short transfer (approx. 20 mins) back to Benimantell.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • 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.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • 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.

     

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • 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.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • 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.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • 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.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Spain

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

Spain

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

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 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 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.

Weather

This area is known to have the most benign climate in the whole of Europe. The Winters are mild and sunny, with more than 300 days of sunshine a year. At night however, temperatures can be chilly, especially in the mountains. The little rainfall is usually concentrated in very few days at the beginning of Autumn, but rain cannot be discounted altogether on any of the departures. The daytime temperatures in winter usually vary between 14ºC and 20ºC depending on altitude and orientation. These Winter temperatures are ideal for walking although, with the exception of the months of July and August, one can walk here the whole year round. In Spring and Autumn temperatures should be between 25ºC and 30ºC but May, June and September departures may experience some even warmer days, up to 35ºC.

Valencia

Is this trip for you?

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 18-20km 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), Peña del Rastrell (1,160m), and Puig Campana (1,410m) with approx 1,000m of ascent and descent on each of these days. There is also the option to ascend a fourth summit- Aitana (1,558m) but this will be optional.

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 characterful family-run village pension will make us feel right at home. 

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

El Trestellador Pension - Centre-based

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 plunge 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.

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.

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
1 844 227 9087
Call for tailormade trips:
1 800 267 3347
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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  • Reviewed October 2018
    Steve Fulton

    Just Fantastic!

    Recently returned from this wonderful trip. Everything was perfect - The Mountains are beautiful and have a remote feel (we saw very few other walkers); The Hotel (El Trestellador) was basic but comfortable with stunning views of the mountains and sea and the food was just superb. Our two guides were excellent - knowledgeable, informative, amusing and very professional. The walks were great and well designed, especially the more challenging walks later in the week. I can't think of anything negative to say - this was a fantastic trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Just being in these delightful and beautiful mountains.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    We had two leaders during the week, Jose Miguel and Jaime. They were very different, but both were superb - helpful, very knowledgeable and informative, very amusing and totally professional.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is a great trip - go for it!
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Melanie Sims

    Great walking with Jose and awesome sandwiches

    A great week's walking as graded, brilliant family run hotel, superb guide and awesome sandwiches.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Views from the tops

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Best leader, passionate about the local history and geography. Great sandwich maker.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Book this trip.
  • Reviewed June 2018
    patricia caddy

    A week in the mountains

    It was a very well organised holiday and our leader was very attentive, friendly, experienced and knowledgeable. The walks were varied and through dramatic and lovely scenery. At the welcome meeting the evening before the 1st walk, Jose emphasised that we were on holiday and should walk at our own pace. Unfortunately, there were some very fast walkers, who took off at some speed every day, which then set the pace, leaving me, very much, at the back. I felt I had to try and keep up and fell over a couple of times (not seriously). I think that this resulted in the leader thinking that I wasn't up to some of the walks. I have done several walking holidays of this grade and managed well at my own pace. I realise, that with such a small group, there is less likelihood of there being a variety of walking speeds.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There wasn't one particular moment. The photos that have been kindly shared, showed just how beautiful this area is. It was so peaceful and wild, helped by not coming across other walkers, apart from a couple of times.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jose is totally committed to making the holiday a good experience and chose good routes. He arranged some fun things to do in the evenings, which helped to make the group gel. His sandwich making is legendary!
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Paul Baranowski

    Fantastic Adventure

    Many thanks to Jose Miguel for such a fantastic adventure in the Sierra de Aitana. The hiking was really wonderful and all the hikes were well thought out and carfefully considered. Staying at the El Treestelledor was a delight, particularly with the wonderful cooking and warmth from Charro, the chef and owner. The location of the hotel was also perfect in relation to the hikes to minimize transit time and allow starting hikes hotel, as well.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I experienced many beautiful moments on this trip, particularly while hiking and feeling that we are part of such an amaizing world with stunning nature. I felt that this particular hike and area are hidden treasures and should be highlighted even more. I was delighted by each breakfast and dinner - prepared with joy and a warm heart by the chef.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jose Miguel is warm, kind, thoughtful and dedicated. He looked after each one of us and shared his knowledge and passion of the locale with us to ensure we experienced the most we could on our holiday. Please consider taping his inspiration for the Cabo del Gaga Trek, as I surely would sign up. Jose Miguel ensured that we all were well looked after and that each of our dietary requirements were satisfied. I know he put forth extra effort for me and I wish to extend my genuine gratitude.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for a wonderful adventure and to experience beautiful old world hospitality at the hostal. What a wonderful adventure.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Please consider shifting the BBQ dinner to an evening on a day of hiking, rather than the day off.
  • Reviewed June 2018
    Paul Brennan

    The other side of Benidorm in Benimantell.

    There were 11 of us, of various nationalities, gathered with our tour leader Jose Miguel in the homely pensione Hotel Trestellador 2km outside the village of Benimantell on the sloping foothills of the sheer, craggy Sierra de Aitana. We spent the next wonderful week trekking under,over,through and around the spectacular mountains of this beautiful valley. On three of the days we were able to start the trek from the front door of the Hotel and collect the freshest of water from a spring 1km up the road which complemented the world beating sandwiches of our packed lunches supplied and made for us by Jose Miguel. On our return every night bar one,"Mother Charro" and her team fed us like royalty with amazing huge dishes of local cuisine and a bonny flow of the wines of Alicante.On her night off Jose Miguel took us to the local "climbing hut" where we feasted on a gourmet barbeque of MEAT and roasted vegetables garnished with plenty of local wine.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The two trips that we had to use the van to access were the two most inspirational walks of the week.They were different in character but equally exhillarating. The trip to Pico Serrella takes you up into remote secluded wood shrouded valleys and up across mildly exposed beautiful scree slopes to the magnificent lonely ridge of pico Serrella with it's beautiful dry white marble like rock with views to the coast of Costa Blanca and all around to the Mountains of Aitana.Majestic. From the summit one descends via a scree path to the amazing dry gorge valley of Barranc de la canal for a long scenic descent between towering walls of rock on both sides of the valley and a veritable flower garden of mountain flowers,shrubs and trees each wafting up beautiful scents from their many coloured flowers in the glorious sunshine of a hot Spanish May. The final descent to the little village of Beniarda skirts a steep river gorge diving out of the adjoining mountains,with some welcome shade from the evening heat and if you are lucky you may meet the delightful 92 year old owner of the award winning Beniqueis olive oil in the village of Beniarda. The final trek up the Puig de Campana takes you nearer the commercial heart of the costa Blanca though the initial walk in is along the quieter tracks of the foothill valleys on the aitana side.The final hour is steep and scrambly in sections and there are many more people climbing/descending the trail then we had on our other outings.The view from the summit is spectacular all along the Costa Blanca and right down into Benidorm on one side and over to the beautiful long ridge of the Sierra de Aitana and it's deep adjoining valleys on the other side.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jose Miguel Garcia was our group leader and he was truely excellent.He was very helpful,friendly and encouraging with a hilariuos sense of humour and a quick wit expressed in better English than I have myself. It added greatly to the experience of the trip that he was a local guide who knew the history and stories of the area and was generous in the telling of them and he is definitely the king of sandwich makers and we got to sample his creations as packed lunch every day;MMMarvellous!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You need good fitness and stamina for this week.You need well broken in boots and good socks as the walking is mostly over dry hard rock terrain and tough on the feet.i would also recommend at least a two litre camel pack for your sack. I was drinking at least two litres every day in the heat and almost 3 litres on the Puig de Campana day which was probably the hottest day of our week in May.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The hospitality and facilities in the Hotel Trestellador were fantastic and it is the ideal base for this active week of trekking.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    donal fitzgibbon

    Great trip

    Excellent from start to finish. Great leader in Jose. Hostal El Trestellador in lovely location with warm & friendly service. Meals were superb, home cooked traditional food, tasty and plenty to eat. Hikes were enjoyable & challenging. We had great weather and views. Nice day off in Altea, then pleasant barbeque that evening. The hiking group were excellent and friendly, a pleasure to meet.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me, it was the enjoyment I experienced throughout the full week.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jose - great personality and leader with great humour. Great company to be with. Passionate about the area he works with good local knowledge. He's as good as it gets.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Worth training in advance for the hikes, you'll enjoy them better

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I expected the week to be excellent having done an Exodus hike previously. I give this week 10/10, it was really good.
  • Reviewed April 2018
    Paul Corbett

    Sierra de Aitana Trek

    This was a really good walking holiday, with challenging walks and spectacular scenery. We liked the fact that it was based in one hotel as it meant you could settle into the hotel and weren't having to pack up and move on. There was plenty of things of interest and variety of walking in this one area to fill a week. Also helped by the fact that the hotel was very comfortable and the food great. We went to the coast on the free day which provided a good contrast.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The highlight was reaching the top of the Puig Campana which although not the highest point reached is a proper peak close to the sea which emphasises the height. Parts of the ascent and descent were the most challenging parts of the weeks walks. There were also highlights on the other days particularly days 3 and 4 where we also reached notable summits, days 1 and 2 were needed to find our legs and get used to the terrain.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jose the group leader was great. He has a passion for this area in which he has grown up and this came through in the enthusiasm and information he imparted to the group. He was also good fun and very attentive to everyone in the group lending a hand on the tricky sections if necessary.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Hillevi Moller-Blackwell

    Trekking in Aitana

    A marvellous week in empty mountains so extremely close to the populated coastline, hard to believe it can be so easy to find bare nature.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Everything about the trip was inspirational as there was always a good team spirit and the two leaders had so much enthusiasm to keep us trekking.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Jose and Jamies were brilliant. Exceptionally funny and inspiring and full of local knowledge. Willing to talk plenty whilst walking but also giving holiday makers space for peace and quiet.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The grading of the holiday is very appropriate, all treks will be managed if you pace yourself. Remember weather can be changeable in the mountains.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Jennifer Child

    Sierra di Aitana trek TSA

    A great weeks walking in a surprisingly unknown area, with stunning views. The walks for the week were over very varied terrain and we were led by the local guide José who was excellent and very knowledgeable of the area. His local experience was also valuable in adjusting the schedule for the week to account for the weather. This ensured we were able to cover the most scenic or challenging days in the best conditions. The transfers were very short and several walks were direct from or back to the hotel. This is graded as Moderately/challenging as there are long ascents and descents over sometimes challenging terrain. We agree with this grading. We thoroughly enjoyed the week. The small local hotel was really friendly and comfortable with good food and wine.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    All the walks were good. Perhaps the ascent to Puig Campana at 1410m.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    José was very good and had worked hard to provide great walking for the week over varied terrain. He also provided support and information in providing extra activities for the rest day.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip notes. Boots with good tread and walking poles are advised. Unusually we needed blister plasters, so these might be worthwhile packing.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Really enjoyed the weeks walking. We were lucky to enjoy the almond blossom too.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Jane Von Ruhland

    Sierra de Aitana Trek

    The trip gave a great opportunity to see almond blossom in full bloom . The leader has years of experience and rearranged the walks according to changes in the weather for us to see the area at its best . It was great to take in the scenery on foot , and in good company . With my special dietary requirements , I could not have asked for more from the gluten free meals and snacks provided . The family run hotel was very welcoming.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Seeing colours and hues of the valleys shift from pink to purples with changes from almond to olive groves as we walked amongst orange rocky mountainsides .

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader was involved in mapping the area , and creating the paths we walked along . He researched the routes used by local people with them , His knowledge and abilities are extraordinary , He stops to talk about the history and the places , and shares this with us . He is excellent and I felt very safe walking in what can be fairly challenging conditions with him leading..

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes, go on this trip if you like being outdoors learning about the landscape and people and are used to walking alot , especially up and downhill

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Gaudalest and some of the cafes and bars we visited were worth going to to get a sense of the areas history . The hotel has alot of painting of the local scenery and people . There is alot to see , and it would have been nice to stay longer!

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