A Different Side of the Spanish Costa Blanca

Sam, one of our Adventure Travel Consultants, has recently returned from our bestselling Secret Sierras of the Costa Blanca adventure and he's here to... Read more
A Different Side of the Spanish Costa Blanca

Sam, one of our Adventure Travel Consultants, has recently returned from our bestselling Secret Sierras of the Costa Blanca adventure and he's here to share all the details about trekking in Spain! Far removed from the skyscrapers and crowds of Benidorm, Sam and his group ventured high into the mountains for a week of spectacular walking amongst the dramatic limestone peaks of the Sierra de Aitana, Serella, Aixorta and Bernia. Keep reading to hear all about Sam's Spanish adventure.


When you think of the Costa Blanca, the first thing that springs to mind is probably beaches, sun-bathing, lazy afternoons and (unfortunately) Benidorm. You can imagine my surprise then when I was given the opportunity to travel on KE’s Secret Sierras of the Costa Blanca trip! At grade 6 and with a total of almost 75km of walking during the week this is no beach holiday and a quick look online showed why. Spain is the second most mountainous country in Europe with an average height of 660 metres above sea level across the whole country. I’d need my walking boots!


Flying into Alicante, I immediately felt out of place amongst the army of beach-bound tourists but fortunately I was met by Jose our amazing guide. We were immediately whisked into the mountains to a sleepy village called Benimantell, where traditional food and local wine awaited. On the way we passed several of the mountains that we would be climbing, including the target for our final day; Puig Campana.


The next morning we headed out on our first walk to a mountain called Aitana (1,559m), the highest point in the region! It was rather naïve to think we’d be eased into it and as we headed up I quickly realised the scale of the mountain range that we were in the heart of. Stretching from the sea to the horizon, the Costa Blanca really is so much more than the beaches.


It doesn’t take much to imagine the whole area as a kind of land lost in time. The dusty trails and crumbling castles lend a tint of nostalgia to every viewpoint while tourist information boards talk about Moorish raiders and the kings of yore. On the second day we climbed to one of my highlights of the trip, a castle high on a peak above the town of Castell de Castell. The ruin was a lookout, built by the Moors sometime between 718 and 1248 AD to control the arable land below. As we peered through the clouds, vultures soared above us and time stood still.


After descending into the town of Castell itself, we arrived at our second accommodation which was a beautiful family run guesthouse with more fantastic cooking waiting. We also tried a local dessert wine called Moscatel, grown literally just down the road. What made our stay so enjoyable for me was being told that some of the trails that we were walking on had been restored by the owner of the hotel. After spotting a disused trail on a satellite photo she had campaigned for the local authority to resurrect it, and when they’d dragged their feet she’d just gone ahead and done it herself. It’s this commitment to local businesses and communities that made this holiday so special.

Time for my second highlight of the trip and probably the photo op that we’d all been waiting for most. High up on the side of Bernia is a cave that gives you the most spectacular view imaginable. Altea spreads out underneath and the Puig Campana looms on one side. Turning away was hard but worth it as slightly further down the hill were some Neolithic cave paintings and a 16th century castle. Once again the history we were surrounded by was inescapable.


A well-earned rest day next and a chance for some more traditional food as Jose cooked up a spectacular paella for us to share! With the wine flowing and the sun out the wisdom of Orwell rang true: ‘I would sooner be a foreigner in Spain than in most countries. How easy it is to make friends in Spain!’


Finally it was the day. Having stared us in the face for much of the last week, we were going to conquer Puig Campana. An early start and a short drive took us to the bottom of the iconic peak. The walk was steep and the weather warm but we shot up and were rewarded with a panorama to rival any other. The perfect way to cap off a brilliant week of walking in the Secret Sierra’s before heading back to reality and the hubbub of the modern world.


If you too would like to experience this spectacular side of Spain, check out Sam's trip here: Secret Sierras of the Costa Blanca


If you would like to know more about Sam's adventure or any other KE holiday, speak to our friendly sales team on +44 (0) 17687 73966 or USA/Canada toll-free 1888 630 4415 or email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Ask to speak to Sam for any questions you have about this trip! 

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