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Popular Cultural Holiday
Download the detailed trip notes for everything you could possibly want to know about this trip, including detailed itinerary and full kit list.
We did this trip last year and missed 2 of the climbs due to inclement weather and my partner missed the final climb due to illness. So - we felt we had to repeat it as we'd enjoyed so much the walks we were able to do last year. So glad we did - the weather was good except for some summit mist on one day and our wonderful guide Jose even arranged for the sun to disappear behind clouds on one of the very steep ascents just to allow us to summit in cool conditions!
Doing the ridge walk on Sierra di Aitana and my second ascent of Puig Campagna! Also hearing nightingales in the vicinity of our lovely guest house.
Extremely knowledgeable about the flora and fauna of the area and we even had a history lesson on the Spanish Civil War - fascinating. His English is excellent and he has a very entertaining sense of humour. It's nice to laugh as well as to be informed. He was also very concerned about safety and warned us to take care in places where it was necessary.
I think the warning to people who might suffer from vertigo is understandable and you definitely need experience of some challenging climbing before you embark on this. The going is rocky in places and you need to be prepared to scramble but help is at hand from Jose and the scrambling is not particularly exposed.
Great climbing, wonderful scenery, remote and far from the hectic crowds of the coastal areas. If you want to be spiritually restored this is the trip for you. Be prepared to put on weight and enjoy the wine at dinner!! The barbecue dinner on the free day is a must.
Comfortable accommodation in wonderful surroundings, excellent meals, varied and challenging walks led by a knowledgeable and proficient guide with a real passion for the area, its history and culture. The packed lunches praised in previous customer reviews did not disappoint.
Finding two chairs that someone had thoughtfully carried up to the Castell de Castells.
Very capable and well organised. He contributed greatly to our enjoyment of the trip.
We believe that the trip notes had changed between the time that we made our booking in the autumn and the start of the holiday the following spring. Neither my wife nor myself recognised the passages warning about being exposed to heights, or of the walks being unsuitable for those with vertigo. These would probably have led us to discount the holiday as being unsuitable. As it is, we both enjoyed the holiday very much. However, we feel that we should have been informed of these changes beforehand and given the option of switching to a different one.
This area of Spain is little known and on three walks we saw no-one else and on one we saw just one couple. It is just behind Benidorm but is little touched by tourism and gives an insight into rural Valencia. The walks are demanding but the views are breathtaking and are either to and from the hotel door or after a short drive. The weather in February was mild and sunny and the lower slopes were covered with almond blossom, making it an unusual opportunity to do European mountain walking in the winter months.
Each of the walks had its own charm. I remember particularly a long descent from the Serrella massif down a hidden valley.
I have travelled frequently with Exodus and other similar trekking companies and Jose was one of the best tour leaders I have walked with. He was enthusiastic and knowledgeable about mountain walking and about the ways local people have responded to the challenges of the environment over the years. He combined this with a mischievous sense of humour.
Get fit in advance: the walking is 1000 metres ascent and descent in a day and the paths are often rocky and uneven.
The start hotel is located in the village of Benimantell which is approximately an hour and a quarter drive from Alicante airport, depending on traffic. As such, it can be difficult to get to by yourself and we encourage you to join the group transfer if possible.
Private arrival and departure transfers from Alicante Airport to Benimantell can be pre-booked through Exodus. Pre-booked private arrival/departure transfers cost in the region of £82 each way (prices are per vehicle for 1-4 persons).
Alternatively you should be able to get a taxi from the airport to Benimantell for around 135 Euros. Please contact Exodus for further details.
Kelly Reid- Product Manager
We spend 7 nights in El Trestellador pension in Benimentell which is a good standard and within walking distance of the village amenities.
El Trestellador is a clean and simple family owned pension with a lovely garden and terrace, offering views down the Guadalest Valley. Bed linen and towels are provided and all rooms have en suite bathrooms with a bath and/or shower. Most (if not all) rooms have a window, a TV, air-conditioning/heating, and a hair-dryer. The pension has its own restaurant which is locally renowned for its excellent traditional cuisine; specialities include oven-cooked rice, espencat vegetables and gazpacho manchego.
Single rooms can be pre-booked for a supplement, however please note that these are limited and are available on a first come first served basis. Please ask your Sales Consultant for further details.
Kelly Reid- Product Manager
The routes vary in length from about 7 to 8½ hours walking per day (including rest breaks, photo stops and a picnic lunch) and we cover in the region of 17-22km on each walk. In 5 days of walking we climb four summits; Serrella (1,361m), Aixortá (1,160m), Aitana (1,558m) and Puig Campana (1,410m) with approx 1,000m of ascent on each of these days.
The trip itself is classified as moderate to challenging grade (activity level 4) taking into account the pace, duration and distance of the walks as well as the amounts of ascent/descent and the terrain under foot. You should have some prior experience of walking and be used to regular exercise.
The majority of the paths we follow are footpaths and mule tracks with a gentle to moderate gradient, though there are also some sustained ascents/descents and some rocky sections and scree slopes. The ascent of Puig Campana is the toughest walk of the week but is entirely optional.
You need only carry your daypack with clothing layers, waterproof, water, snacks, camera etc. Walking poles are strongly recommended.
Jennifer Cox - Product Executive
Yes, the tap water is perfectly safe to drink throughout the trip and in both of the accommodations. During the walks you will also be able to refill your water bottles from streams and drinking fountains along the routes - your leader will adivise how much water you should carry during the walks and where the next chance to refill your bottles will be.
Jennifer Cox - Product Executive
The best time of year to see the beautiful pink almond blossom in bloom is usually February, March and early April (although please note that this depends on the year to some extent).
Jennifer Cox - Product Executive
All the staff at Exodus share a passion for adventure travel, and are always happy to answer any questions you may have. You can find an expert for the area you are interested in here and can contact them to get further information. If you don't see your specific country listed, please email [email protected] and they will get the answers you need!
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Want a longer trip? Should you wish to extend your trip, most departures can be combined back to back with our Sierra de Aitana Mixed Activity trip (trip code ASB); please enquire for details.