Aitana walk

Self-Guided Walking in the Sierra de Aitana

Loading...
Traveller ratings
5 / 5 from 1 review >
Trip code: 
LKZ
Way to Travel:
Self-Guided
Activity:
Centre-based Trips
Min age:
12

Discover the unknown area of Sierra de Aitana

Set among the inland valleys of the Costa Blanca, the area known as 'Las Marinas', is one to discover and savour. Still relatively unknown, this pristine area enchants visitors with its peaceful, rural lifestyle. Walkers are treated to a variety of mountain climates; from summit views above 1400m in the morning to tropical avocado and citrus plantations in the afternoon. In spring, wildflowers carpet the mountainside, and from late February to early April the sweet scent of almond blossom fills the air.

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
  • See the spectacular almond blossom (in season)

Key information

  • 7 nights in a rural house (up to 3 bedrooms) 
  • 5 days centre-based walking; 1 free day
  • Altitude maximum 1558m, average 1100m
  • Self-guided holiday. Min age 12 yrs

What's included

 

  • All breakfasts, 5 picnic lunches and 6 dinners (plus wine with dinner)
  • All accommodation (see accommodation section)
  • Route notes and maps
  • Luggage transport

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation
  • Visas or vaccinations

5

Terrain:

Varies between mule tracks, traditional footpaths and cross-country terrain

Day by day breakdown
Day 210.0km/6.0miles
Day 316.0km/9.0miles
Day 420.0km/12.0miles
Day 514.0km/8.0miles
Day 720.0km/12.0miles

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

Alicante
to
Alicante
  • Day 1

    Start Aitana Natural.

    Arrive at Alicante airport and join a transfer to take you to Aitana Natural (approx. 1 hour). After you have settled in you will be briefed on the week's walks by the local operator who has lived and worked in these mountains for the majority of his life - so should be able to answer any questions that you may have about the area. You will be provided with comprehensive route notes and a map, along with a GPS device and a smartphone, and instructed on how best to use these.

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Follow the ancient paths from Sella to Relleu; walk back, or take the local bus.

    After a short transfer, today’s walk starts off relatively easy using the ancient network of paths that connected Sella and Relleu in the past. You will walk through almond fields, green orchards and old pastures to get to the town of Relleu, which has a very picturesque setting in the middle of a valley surrounded by mountains. You can choose to walk back, or take the bus (payable locally). Walk approx. 5 hours, ascent 200m, descent 200m.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Short bus transfer; ascend Sierra de Orcheta from the Amadorio water dam.

    After a short bus transfer to the small town of Orcheta, you begin your ascent of Sierra de Orcheta from the Amadorio water dam. You are rewarded with views over the extensive citrus fields of Marina Baixa, with Monte Castellets and Aitana in the background. Walk approx. 6-7 hours, ascent 400m, descent 400m.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Ascend through Passet de la Rabosa to reach Aitana peak (1558m).

    After a transfer to the start point at Port de Tudons (10 mins), begin your walk at the old military base up the northern slopes of Aitana. You start on good tracks to the Font del Arbre, and reach the footpath up to the Font de Partagat, and then a scramble through the Passet de la Rabosa. There is a perfect picnic spot at the Simas limestone features, which are up to 90m deep and situated on a ridge near the summit of Aitana. Depending on the weather a climb to the summit (1558m) is possible; the descent to Font Pouet Alemany in Tagarina is possibly the most scenic and dramatic of the whole trek! Walk approx. 7-8 hours, ascent 500m, descent 700m.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Circular walk following the ancient snow trading trails towards the coast and passing through Collado Papatxi.

    Today you transfer to Font del Arc and follow a circular route using the ancient snow trading trails towards the coast, passing through Collado Papatxi. The spectacular limestone peaks and needles of Penya Roc, and enchanting light of the spine of the jagged Castellets Ridge really make this a walk to remember. Walk approx. 7.5 hours, ascent 750m, descent 750m.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    Free day.

    Enjoy a day off from walking and relax by the pool, or take a guided visit to the local chocolate factory! Alternatively take the bus or train to Villajoyosa or Alicante and take a gourmet tapas tour.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Summit Puig Campana (1401m) for beautifully panoramic views across the Costa Blanca 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. You 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, you climb a new footpath on the north face of this spectacular peak and return by vehicle to Sella. Walk approx. 8.5 hours, ascent 1200m, descent 1200m.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    End Aitana Natural.

    End Aitana Natural; transfer back to Alicante airport.

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 sandwiches with cheese and salad/meat, fruit, and muesli bars, biscuits or nuts. Evening meals will be served in the elegant dinning room and consist of salads, vegetable soups, traditional legume stews, but also modern version of mediterranean tagine and Middle-Eastern food with spices, rice and pasta.. 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/dietary requirements - All the restaurants cater for vegetarians preparing the same traditional dishes when possible and will try to cater for other dietary requirements. Please advise on booking.

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 temps should be between 25ºC and 30ºC but May, June and September departures may experience some even warmer days, up to 35ºC.

Is this trip for you?

Activity level 4 - Moderate/Challenging

This is a self-guided tour, so you can walk at your own pace (we recommend taking plenty of time to rest and enjoy the views!). The daily walks use traditional footpaths and mule tracks with some cross-country terrain. They vary in length and allow time to take stops and soak up the village life. As you are based in one place for the whole week this means that all of the walks are optional and you can make your decisions based on the weather predictions on a day-by-day basis. There are steep sections on day 4 and 7 and these in particular are not suitable for clients who do not walk regularly. The trip has a moderate/challenging rating and we recommend that you have previous experience of walking if you are considering this trip.

Av. daily walk: 16km (10 miles)
No. of days walking: 5 (all optional walks)
Terrain & route: varied; you will walk on mule tracks, traditional footpaths and cross-country terrain. Most days have a gentle gradient, but there are some steeper walks and there are many rocky paths and some sustained ascents and descents. Average altitude 1,100m, maximum 1,558m. When the weather is wetter the paths can become slippery so walking poles are recommended.
Most walks take between 7 to 8.5 hours including lunch stops and require a moderate level of fitness.
Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to walk independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodation and provide you with route notes so that you can walk at your own pace. A representative will be there to meet you on your arrival and will be on call throughout the trip should you need. You will be provided with comprehensive route notes, a map, a GPS device (and briefed on how to use it) along with a smartphone with the 'Alpify' app to track you down at all times and to use to contact the local operator in case you require assistance. Please be aware that although you will receive a briefing on how to use the smartphone and GPS device it is important you are happy using this equipment on this trip.

Accommodation

Aitana Natural

Seven nights at the charming rural house Aitana Natural. This unique property is set 1000m high, amongst 150 hectares of Mediterranean forest at the heart of Aitana. Within the surrounding nature reserve you can find eagles, owls, deer, muflons, wild boar and red squirrels. The town of Sella is only a 10 minute drive away.

The old farm was fully restored and refurbished recently, whilst keeping in mind the traditional structure, stone work, spaces and style. The main house has a huge sitting/dining room with a chimney, 2 double bedrooms and kitchen for the guests' exclusive use. The whole property is 'off-grid' and runs on solar and wind energy. The outdoor terrace offers fabulous views of the Mediterranean, Alicante and even Murcia in the distance. The owners of the property live behind the main house and you are welcome to join them on their daily routine as they collect medicinal plants for their massage essences which are distilled at la Torreta. Due to the remote location and lack of light pollution this is a fantastic place to take advantage of the clear skies and learn more about the stars and constellations.

Once a booking has been made on this trip the passengers will receive exclusive use of the rural house for the entire time. We can accept bookings of up to 6 passengers travelling together, but please be aware that the property only has one bathroom so you will need to share.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed April 2017
    Jimmy Gannon

    Self Guided Walking in Sierra De Aitana

    For us the self guided option was the best. It allowed us to take as much time as we wanted to explore the routes and to linger as long as we liked enjoying the scenery. We were not confined by group dynamics and though it was just the two of us we really enjoyed being on our own. Our accommodation the Aitana Natural Guesthouse, we were the first guests, was just excellent. Not for everybody that there was no mobile signal or WiFi but that is just what we wanted. We were 'off the grid' and the hot water and electricity were provided by the elements. Cecillia (Ceci) and Natxo (pronounced Natcho) were wonderful hosts who cooked absolutely beautiful food and kept the house tidy but in general we were left alone. This was hiking at home with the weather!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    All the walks were inspiring but climbing Puig Campana to get the 360 view of the Sierra De Aitana countryside for me was the highlight.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    While we didn't have a leader Jose Miguel from Aitana Aventura was absolutely excellent. He provided us with maps, a walks description handbook, a GPS and a handset with the App Alpify loaded on it. Alpify allowed Jose Miguel to follow our progress remotely. This was very comforting just know that you are not alone, especially in new territory in a foreign country. Just what we wanted.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    You can find Aitana Natural - Guesthouse on facebook look them up you'll be amazed! Bring your own reading materials and enjoy sitting in or out reading, or doing crosswords or suduko or whatever takes your fancy. You're at least 4km from Sella but Natxo All the routes are well trodden and pretty well all marked. The GPS can be slightly off the exact trail but stick to your paths and you will be fine.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Thank you to Jose Miguel, Ceci and Natxo for making a good week really great!

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Trips you might also like

Call us on 0208 772 3936