Spain: Sierra de Aitana Trek
Exodus Europe Trip Manager Andy Buswell recently went on our classic trip the Sierra de Aitana Trek in the stunning mountainous province of Alicante, Spain. He described it as 'a hidden gem'.
As we neared our destination of Alicante I gazed out of the window whilst our solitary plane cast its shadow over a range of mountains and isolated valleys.
In stark contrast to the purpose built and infamous tower blocks of the Costa Blanca this is one of the most natural and spectacularly beautiful landscapes in Spain and Central Europe. The Sierra Aitana lies just inland from the coast and, within full view of holidaymakers and their sea, sand and sangria, is the mighty Puig Campana providing a stunning vantage point of the surrounding area.
After manoeuvring our way along winding roads under the looming peaks of Aitana (1558m) and Campana (1410m) we began our trip entering the rugged Serrella mountain range and the little village of Castell de Castells.
Our base for the first two nights of the trek is the lovely Hotel Serrella, which is locally renowned for its excellent cuisine and offers amazing views across the mountains. After an insightful introduction by our long-standing leader, Jose Miguel, I was able to picture the horse-shoe shaped path that has formed the core of our trek for so many years.
The first day’s walk takes us along the old correuero footpath (postman’s route) climbing up to the spectacular rock formation of Arc del Atancos before reaching the Summit of Aixorta (1166m). If the fantastic views of the surrounding gorge and the freedom of the tracks from other walkers were not enough to whet your appetite for the week ahead, then the relaxing sauna and jacuzzi back in the rural setting of Castell is a must.
We leave behind Castell de Castells and after the ascent to the remains of an Arabic Castle, Penya Castellet, we spend the whole day on the crest of the Serrella Mountain with wonderful views on both sides. This is a luxury you will become accustomed to over the course of the next few days with views of the sparkling Mediterranean and the coast from the guesthouse, El Trestellador.
The trek begins to heat up now with a little scrambling through Pas de la Rabosa, the only natural break on the Aitana, as we set our sights on the summit. Lunch is taken surrounded by an impressive geological formation, the Simas limestone fissures, and if the weather is in your favour the climb to the summit is almost too tempting to miss out. A day of limestone peaks and soaring walls of rocks leads us to the village of Sella where we stay at L’Hort de Gloria, a private farmhouse with a swimming pool.
To end the week the ascent of Puig Campana is the most rewarding, offering views of almost all the peaks and ridges traversed throughout the trek. A perfect opportunity to take a moment at the summit and reflect on some of the hidden gems you have conquered.
Find out more about this trip!