Headwater - Vistas of Valencia Walk

8 days
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£1,069
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4.5 / 5 from 2 reviews >
Moderate
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Trip code: 
W07VA
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Walking & Trekking
Min age:
12

The deserted mountains behind Valencia form a varied region where traditional villages, perched on sharp ridges and valley sides, are a world away from the popular Mediterranean coastal resorts just 20 minutes distant.

Just south of Valencia's architectural splendour, the spectacular mountains of the high Marina Alta guard citrus valleys, vineyards and steep almond terraces blossoming with pink in early spring. It's a contrasting and dramatic region where traditional villages, perched on sharp ridges and valley sides, seem a world away from the popular Mediterranean coastal resorts nearby. 

Highlights

  • Excellent contrasting walking with majestic mountain and coastal scenery, panoramic views at every turn
  • Spectacular peaks, dramatic gorges, tumbling waterfalls, ancient Arabic trails
  • Traditional white villages, stunning turquoise bays, citrus groves, olives, almond blossom
  • Intimate, exquisitely restored hotel in a quaint wine village with wonderfully friendly hosts
  • Over 200 varieties of wild flowers, butterflies and rare birds of prey

Key information

  • 7 Nights, single centre
  • Departs Selected Saturdays from 10 Feb '18 to 4 May '19
  • All continental breakfasts, 6 lunches and all evening meals, with wine
  • Managed locally by hotelier
  • Led by experienced local guide
  • Map provided

What's included

  • All continental breakfasts, 6 lunches and all evening meals, with wine
  • All accommodation (see accommodation section)
  • Map provided

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas & vaccinations
  • Single supplement
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
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
Terrain:

The walks on this holiday are on uneven mountain tracks, and paths are stony in parts.

Day by day breakdown
Day 212.0km/8.0miles
Day 315.0km/10.0miles
Day 410.0km/7.0miles
Day 67.0km/5.0miles
Day 712.0km/8.0miles

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

Parcent
to
Parcent
  • Day 1

    Arrive in Parcent

    Arrive in Parcent where a light lunch is provided. You can then enjoy a stroll around the village before dinner.

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    El Somo Circuit

    Today's walk winds between three inland gorges each more spectacular than the last! Farm paths through cherry orchards lead over open ridges, with ever more expansive views of the coast before we picnic in a ruined farmhouse below a castle on a ragged vertical peak. From here, we wind past bright pink valerian above a sunken chasm, and descend through almond terraces perfumed with camomile back to the start.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Caballo Verde

    A ferocious battle between the Moors and Christians, the last on mainland Spain during the Spanish Reconquest, took place on the Caballo Verde Ridge high above Parcent village in 1609. Today we follow a steady stepped trail cut centuries ago by Arab traders through almond terraces leading up to this ancient battlefield, marked by a lonely cross on the rocky hillside. We picnic with views out to the distant Balearic islands before descending from a rocky ridge into Benichembla village for a drink in the lively local bar.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Coll De Rates

    We walk through orange groves into the Carrascal range, ascending the Barranco Negro and picking wild blackcurrants as bee-eaters wheel and chatter overhead. Look out for jonquils, perfect tiny daffodils, while thyme and wild Angelica line the mountain path almost all the way to the summit, from where we have views over several surrounding sierras. On returning to the village in the late afternoon, look out for the pelota players thrashing a ball to and fro along the main street to the cheers of local supporters!

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Independent Exploring in Valencia

    After breakfast, we give you a lift to the station to catch the 45 minute train (tickets included) to the splendid city of Valencia. Visit the Plaza de Mercado, cathedral, Museo de Bellas Artes, with original works by Goya and El Greco, and the UNESCO world-heritage site of the Llotja de la Seda (Silk Market). The landmark of the city is undoubtedly the City of Arts and Sciences, an architecturally futuristic museum complex that attracts in excess of 4 million visitors a year.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 6

    Smuggler's Cove Walk

    Many coves and beaches near Parcent were well used as smuggling depots in olden days. Our route winds down a rocky, narrow gorge filled with lavender and wild fig to a stunning turquoise bay, where the surrounding cliffs are honeycombed with illicit storage caves connected by mule tracks. We ascend to a superb seaside trail beneath the soaring cliffs and walk below tumbling waterfalls, before returning to the beach for a swim, and a transfer back to the hotel.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Bernia Ridge

    Few walks offer as many high impact views as today's circular route around the 1000m high Bernia Ridge near the coast where a steady ascent leads to an amazing natural cave. After ducking through (it's just 15 metres), fabulous coastal views stay with us to our picnic spot, a ruined C16 Moorish fortress! After exploring the extensive ruins we pass over a ridge to Echo Gorge and follow a breathtaking traverse to the sound of cicadas and skittering lizards, before an easy descent back to our starting point. Tonight David cooks a huge wagon-wheel sized paella on the terrace to round off your week!

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    Leave Parcent

    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 continental breakfasts, 6 lunches and all evening meals, with wine.

All the food at Casa Carrascal is sourced locally and is prepared with flair and originality. The menu changes weekly so that it can reflect the best and freshest food available. Everything is cooked to order and so individual needs can be catered for and a vegetarian option is always available.

When you think of Spanish cuisine, probably the first thing many people think of is paella. Valencia is the home of this national dish. Traditionally served at lunchtime, it is cooked either de carne, with chicken and rabbit, or de marisco - a seafood version. Every good Spanish home has their own special recipe for the perfect paella and Sue and David are no
exception!

Although fish is not used in the Valencian paella, it is still a very important part of the local cuisine. A huge variety of fresh fish is available including fantastic sardines, mackerel, sea bream and sea bass and all these find themselves on David’s menu regularly.

Other regional dishes include arròs amb fesols i naps (rice with beans and turnips) or arroz negro (rice cooked with squid turned black by the squid’s ink). An alternative to the ubiquitous rice is fideuá which is a paella made with noodles. These dishes are often accompanied by a portion of alli oli, a delicious garlic mayonnaise.

Weather

Spring generally enjoys pleasant daytime temperatures (12-23ºC) and a little cooler in the evenings. There is the chance of some rain, which then offers views of beautiful spring flowers. Summer months are hot and dry with daytime temperatures of around 21-35ºC, dropping to between 17 and 25ºC at night. Autumn brings cooler weather although it is still fairly dry. The possibility of rain is more likely in winter months but temperatures stay mild in the daytime, becoming cooler after sunset.

Is this trip for you?

This trip is Activity Level 2 (leisurely/moderate) with 5 days of walking.

The walks on this holiday are on uneven mountain tracks, and paths are stony in parts. Walkers should be confident and moderately fit and have hill walking experience. Short stretches of Smuggler's Cove and the Bernia Ridge are unsuitable for people with a fear of heights. Walking boots are essential, walking poles are recommended.

The walks are led by your hosts Sue, David and their trusted guides and mostly follow the extensive network of ancient Arab trails and mule tracks that lace the surrounding sierras and villages. In spring and autumn, the paths are awash with daisies and spectacular orchids perfume the hillsides dotted with ancient ruins of deserted dwellings, farmhouses and inns. Spectacular views of coast and country are a constant and there is a wealth of flora and fauna to discover whilst a variety of wild birds circle overhead, including choughs, peregrine falcons, bonellis and short toed eagles. You'll also visit Valencia, a cosmopolitan city with an abundance of historic and futuristic buildings to discover. 

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
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

Hotel

Based in the heart of hilltop Parcent, a colourful Spanish pueblo where tourism is virtually unknown, a warm welcome is always waiting at Casa Carrascal, an exquisitely restored, traditionally decorated C17 hotel. There are just six en suite bedrooms, each lovingly adorned with antiques and a comfy lounge/library area where you can enjoy an aperitivo from the honesty bar. David presides in the kitchen and his mouthwatering menus are served either on the terrace or in the rustic dining room.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
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 November 2018

    Well organised walks and great food but environmental impact must be addressed

    This holiday is suited to the average reasonably fit professional British person, who will have the opportunity to experience some of the delights of rural Spain in the company of other, mainly British people, including the hosts. Not from Britain and not currently not living in the country, my Mum felt somewhat out of place, but certainly welcomed. She couldn't access some of the conversation topics, but was rarely bothered by this. Her loosely articulated and unclearly thought-through opinions and ideas were sometimes taken too literally and seriously, in true British form, which I believe bothered the other guests and hosts more than it bothered her. The walks are well-managed, varied and beautiful, and the food (which seemed to me to be a British-Spanish fine dining fusion) was the best quality I have so far had on any walking trip I have been on. The hosts were very generous with their alcohol, which is a huge bonus if one likes to drink a great deal of it. Timings felt slightly rigid and somewhat strictly imposed from the perspective of myself and my mother (we are often late and rather sloppy in our own approach, especially on holiday), though I imagine most of the British people had no issue with this. Providing three choices of main and two choices of starter for meat eaters at every meal and only ever one for vegetarians felt a little unfair, though as I said, the meals were excellent. The hosts made a huge effort to entertain in the evenings as well as providing meals and walks, which provided much entertainment to the group. My main issue is with the use of plastic bottles for drinking water, both given to each person at mealtimes and for drinking during walks. A huge amount of plastic waste is produced as a result of this practice: thousands of bottles must be used annually by the hosts for their guests. I travel with Exodus knowing that it is an environmentally conscious company, so I was deeply disappointed on this holiday. My mother, being of the generation that many of the guests and hosts were, couldn't care less. As a younger person, I aim to be environmentally conscious. In Ladakh (Northern India), the amazing Valerie Parkinson supported and encouraged me and the other trekkers to access locally produced filtered non-bottled water, yet in Spain, a first world country, I was given water in a plastic bottle. Please support the hosts to improve their practices by providing tap water that has been filtered and boiled or UV sterilised.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Enjoying the wonderful Spanish countryside.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sue and David were very hard working, attending to all the details.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a variety of clothes, both cool and warm and wear layers. Take good walking boots and poles for waking and trainers for the day in Valencia. Take a Segway ride through the city in Valencia.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No.
  • Reviewed October 2018
    Karen Ruscoe

    Viva las vistas!

    What a wonderful week, expertly orchestrated by your hosts Dave and Sue! They go above and beyond to assure your stay not only meets your expectations but is also fun! Their quaint, renovated townhouse in the village of Parcent is the center of the action. There you will enjoy wonderful food and drink and the company of your fellow walkers. The walks were well paced and I found them sufficiently challenging to feel a genuine sense of accomplishment upon completion. Dave, Sue and John are experienced leaders and provided expert guidance during the walks. Would I do this again? In a heartbeat!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The breathtaking views when arriving at a peak or stopping point.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Extraordinary! Dave and Sue go above and beyond to assure that you enjoy a wonderful week of walking, dining and fellowship in this beautiful region of Spain.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Valencia is a beautiful city and you will be on your own to enjoy it as you please. If you plan to shop or pick up souvenirs, this is the day to do it. Parcent has only the necessities, e.g., Pharmacy, small market.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you need time alone to unwind, you will generally have 2 - 3+ hours after the hikes and before dinner.

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]

Call us on 020 8772 3936