Secret Sierras of the Costa Blanca

A week of outstanding walking in the Sierras of the Costa Blanca




From $1,140 Land only

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Holiday Overview


  • Walk in a region of Spain that enjoys more than 300 days of sun!
  • Well-maintained trails through dramatic limestone mountains
  • Walk and relax from our 3 hotel bases with minimum transfer time
  • The Mediterranean ambience of the Spanish Alicante countryside

Just a short journey inland from the package holiday crowds of Benidorm, there is a very different side to the Costa Blanca amongst the rugged limestone peaks and traditional, white-painted villages of the Marina Baixa and Marina Alta regions. This excellent new, one week Spanish walking holiday, explores these ‘Secret Sierras' which form the famous backdrop to the Costa Blanca. From three different hotel bases in Benimantell, Castell de Castell and Altea, we will set out to walk the best routes in the region, including airy ridges and summits such as Aitana (1558m) and Puig Campana (1408m). Each of our carefully selected bases provides a comfortable place to stay in stunning locations including 3 nights in our seafront hotel in Altea, an attractive traditional coastal town with an historic centre and the perfect Mediterranean ambience. With a variety of moderate walks, options for more challenging days, virtually guaranteed sunshine and easy access through Alicante, this is a great holiday and great value too!

Is this holiday for you?

This holiday in the Marina Baixa and Marina Alta regions of the Costa Blanca is intended to provide a week of walking in the Spanish Mediterranean sunshine, suitable for regular hill or back country walkers. Mostly the walking is on good trails and mule tracks but we will encounter some rocky paths and very short sections of easy scrambling. We will be walking between 7and 9 hours on most days with ascents up to and above 1300 metres. We also have the option to climb Aitana (1558m) but this should not present any particular difficulty to regular hill walkers.

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group accommodation in Benimantell. Timed transfers from Alicante Airport are provided.
  • Walking in the Sierra Aitana. Optional ascent of Aitana (1558m). Return to Benimantell.
  • Pico Serella (1319m) and Mallada del Llop (1361m). Transfer to Castell de Castell.
  • Walking in the Sierra Serella. Optional ascent of Aixorta (1221m). Return to Castell de Castell.
  • Walking in the Sierra Bernia. Descend to the coastal village of Altea la Vella.
  • A free day to explore Altea.
  • From Polop to Finestrat, via the summits of Ponoch (1183m) and Puig Campana (1408m). Return to Altea.
  • Departure day. Timed transfers to Alicante Airport will be provided.
Sat 05 Dec - Sat 12 Dec Code CBS /06/15/ Adult$1,140 Status Limited Availability Book now
Sat 13 Feb - Sat 20 Feb Code CBS /01/16/ Adult$1,140 Status Guaranteed Book now
Sat 12 Mar - Sat 19 Mar Code CBS /02/16/ Adult$1,140 Status Available Book now
Sat 21 May - Sat 28 May Code CBS /03/16/ Adult$1,140 Status Available Book now
Sat 08 Oct - Sat 15 Oct Code CBS /04/16/ Adult$1,140 Status 2 more to guarantee Book now
Sat 05 Nov - Sat 12 Nov Code CBS /05/16/ Adult$1,140 Status Available Book now
Sat 10 Dec - Sat 17 Dec Code CBS /06/16/ Adult$1,140 Status 2 more to guarantee Book now
Sat 18 Feb - Sat 25 Feb Code CBS /01/17/ Adult$1,140 Status Available Book now
Sat 01 Apr - Sat 08 Apr Code CBS /02/17/ Adult$1,140 Status Available Book now
Sat 27 May - Sat 03 Jun Code CBS /03/17/ Adult$1,140 Status Available Book now
We sell this holiday on a Land Only basis and recommend that you book your flights to Alicante which is approximately an hour and 20 minutes drive from the group hotel. A single, timed airport transfer to the group hotel is provided. Please refer to the 'Joining arrangements and transfers' section of the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

If flying from the UK there are a number of low cost airlines to Alicante available including British Aiways, Easyjet, Ryanair and Monarch. Click on the 'Flight information' link below for further information on booking low cost airlines. Alternatively if you would prefer to book a 'flight inclusive package' using scheduled airlines from the UK please contact our flights department for a quote. Whilst flight prices are likely to be more expensive you will benefit from full financial protection.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee*

* Against Land Only services.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • airport
  • point
  • peaks
  • transfer
  • trek

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group accommodation in Benimantell. Timed transfers from Alicante Airport are provided.

    Meet at the group hotel in Benimantell. One or two group transfers will be provided (midday and evening). The drive from Alicante Airport takes 1 hour and 15 minutes. We travel through the Guadalest Valley of the Marina Baixa to our first base in the village of Benimantell at the foot of the Sierra Aitana. KE Land Only package services begin with dinner and overnight at the group’s hostal accommodation.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals d

  • Walking in the Sierra Aitana. Optional ascent of Aitana (1558m). Return to Benimantell.

    Our first walk explores the heart of the Sierra Aitana with the option to climb Aitana (1558m). Along the way we enjoy far-ranging views and have some easy scrambling on the 'Pas de la Rabosa' and simply superb ridge walking on the east side of the range. An interesting feature that we will see today are the ‘snow wells’, excavated hollows in which ice was preserved as part of a trade that was important during the period from the 16th to the 19th century. We also see a couple of springs renowned for their water quality at Font de la Forata and Font de Partagas. This first day of walking is also great for characteristic Mediterranean flora. A great way to start our week. We return to spend a second night at our accommodation in Benimantell.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 1100m

    • Distance 19km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1000m

    • Time 8 hours

  • Pico Serella (1319m) and Mallada del Llop (1361m). Transfer to Castell de Castell.

    After a short transfer to Abdet we begin a steep climb leading to one of the most impressive views in the Marina Baixa. Then, we can expect a ‘top of the world’ feeling as we hike the superb ridge between Pico Serrella (1319m) and Mallada del Llop (1361m). After this section, we descend into the scenic Barranco de la Canal, where we meet a track that will take us to the day’s second highlight, the ‘Castellet', which is one of the oldest Moorish remains in the region and was formerly a strategic outpost controlling all of the surrounding valleys. After our walk, we transfer to Castell de Castell, a village with a wild location and great views, where we check in at our next hotel base.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 1000m

    • Distance 18km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1100m

    • Time 8 hours

  • Walking in the Sierra Serella. Optional ascent of Aixorta (1221m). Return to Castell de Castell.

    Our walk today is in the Sierra Serrella, a circular route with the option to climb its highest peak, Aixorta (1221m). Our walk is mostly on good tracks, as we traverse the range from west to east. After the optional ascent to the mountain’s summit, we turn west again and return by the famous ‘postman trail’, an old route linking Tarbena and Castell. This excellent trail takes us by way of the impressive limestone arch of Els Ars. Back in Castell we will have time to visit the local museum or to treat ourselves in the hotel spa.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 1100m

    • Distance 22km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1000m

    • Time 8 hours

  • Walking in the Sierra Bernia. Descend to the coastal village of Altea la Vella.

    We have a short transfer to the start of today's walk in the Sierra Bernia. Our walk takes us across this spectacular serrated range of mountains by the incredible 'El Forat', a tunnel carved through the rock. During this wonderful walk, we have views over the Guadalest and Xalo valleys, as well as having the constant backdrop of the sea to the east. We finally descend to Altea la Vella and the coast, where we check in at our hotel on the Altea seafront.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 550m

    • Distance 15km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bl

    • Descent 1100m

    • Time 7 hours

  • A free day to explore Altea.

    This is a free day to explore the old village, one of the best preserved of the whole Mediterranean coast. With its old cobbled streets, beautiful blue domed church, local tapas bars, art and craft shops and a host of great view points, Altea has managed to hang onto something of its traditional past and today for lunch we will enjoy a traditionally prepared paella! A real treat! If you are still keen to do some walking today, there is also the option to have a half a day walk in the Sierra Gelada, a small mountain range which runs parallel to the sea and connects El Albir with Benidorm. Another interesting option is to hike to the top of the Penon de Ifach in nearby Calpe, a striking limestone peak that commands fantastic coastal views. We spend a second night at our accommodation in Altea.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bl

  • From Polop to Finestrat, via the summits of Ponoch (1183m) and Puig Campana (1408m). Return to Altea.

    Our final walk starts from the village of Polop and takes us by way of 2 of the most characteristic peaks of the region, Ponoch (1183m) also known as the Sleeping Lion, and Puig Campana (1408m). Dominating this stretch of coastline, each of these rocky peaks face the sea and have the most impressive views from their summits. After this fitting finale to our week of walking in the Marina Baixa, we will return to spend a third night at our hotel in Altea where we can celebrate over a drink.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 1400m

    • Distance 18km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bl

    • Descent 1400m

    • Time 8 hours

  • Departure day. Timed transfers to Alicante Airport will be provided.

    KE Land Only package services end with breakfast. One or two group transfers to Alicante Airport will be provided according to the group's flights (early morning and afternoon).

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • Professional English-speaking local leader
  • One or two Alicante Airport group transfers on Day 1 and on Day 8
  • All accommodation as described in the trip dossier
  • Meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
  • All transfers required during the trip
  • Baggage transfer

  • Travel insurance
  • Airport transfers (other than the one or two group transfers described)
  • Some meals as detailed in the Meal Plan
  • Tips for support staff and guide
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

As part of the Land Only package services we aim to provide 2 Alicante Airport transfers. The first of these will be at around midday and will meet flights such as the easyJet flights from London Gatwick, Edinburgh and Manchester. The second will be at around 7.30pm and will meet the British Airways flights from London Gatwick and London Heathrow airports. The transfer from Alicante Airport to Confrides takes around 1 hour 20 minutes. Please check the timing of the transfers we propose to offer prior to departure. At the end of the holiday we will have an early morning transfer from Altea to Alicante Airport to meet the easyJet flights and an afternoon transfer to meet the check-in for British Airways flights.

On those days that we are moving to a new hotel base, we will pack our equipment and load our trek bags onto the support vehicle. During the day’s walk, each group member will carry a daysack which is large enough to pack water bottles, packed lunch and other extras such as cameras and waterproofs. We usually make a fairly early start (breakfast at around 8 am) and make the best of the cool morning air. We will walk for between 5 and 7 hours each day, stopping off en-route for a picnic lunch. On arrival at our hotel, there will always be plenty of time to rest and shower before regrouping for dinner.

This holiday does not involve any significant ascent to altitude and we would not expect any altitude issues with this trip.

There are three separate bases for this walking holiday. Our first base is a charming family-run hostal with a pool located at the foot of the Sierra Aitana. We have 2 nights here before transfering to Castell de Castell where we stay for 2 nights at a family-run rural hotel with small spa. Our final base for the remaining 3 nights is a hotel on the seafront in the peaceful coastal village of Altea which is located in the centre of a wide bay surrounded by an amphitheatre of unspoiled mountains. All accommodation is based on twin share. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired with another single traveller of the same sex. Depending on availability, single accommodation is available at supplementary cost.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

Breakfasts are typically continental - a combination of orange juice, tea, coffee, yoghurt, fresh fruit, freshly baked local bread and jam. Lunches will usually be picnic-style, made up from bread, cheese, cold meats, tomatoes, salads and fruit. Dinners are taken either in the hotel or in local restaurants which serve a range of dishes including traditional southern Spanish options, including paella and a locally famous 'farmer's stew'. Vegetarians can be catered for.

All breakfasts, 5 packed lunches and 5 dinners are included in the holiday price. Clients will pay directly for dinner on the first evening in Altea and for their lunch and dinner on the free day. We recommend you allow 10 - 20 Euros per meal for these 3 meals.

We estimate that €150 should be sufficient to cover all personal expenses, including the 1 lunch and 2 evening meals in Altea that you will purchase directly (allow €15-€20 per meal), as well as tips for your guide. Cash can be withdrawn from ATM's in Alicante Airport and in Altea. Credit and debit cards can be used to pay for most goods and services.

The holiday will be led by a professional English-speaking KE leader.

We ask you to restrict your luggage to one main item of baggage and a small daypack. There is no weight restriction, other than that imposed by your international carrier but you will find travelling easier with lighter luggage. We recognise that for some of our holidays and for some of our travellers, the KE Trek Bag (see below) may not provide the best solution when packing for your trip. A bag with fitted wheels or a holdall with more than one compartment and more than one access zip can, in some circumstances, be more appropriate. Although it can be useful for our tour leaders when all members of the group have similar, identifying baggage, we have no problem if you choose to use an alternative bag.

KE Trek Bag / Free Gift

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

A passport with 3 months remaining validity is required. Passport holders from the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, or any EU countries do not require a visa. Other nationalities should check with the respective consulate in their own country.

Whilst we keep our information up to date, you should be advised that visa requirements can change. It is recommended that you contact the relevant commission in case of recent amendments.

The following checklist should help you with your packing. As a general rule, you should always try to keep the weight of your equipment to a minimum.

You must bring the following items:

  • Hiking/walking boots
  • Trainers / sandals / evening footwear
  • Socks
  • Trekking trousers / pants
  • Lightweight waterproof overtrousers / rainpants
  • Underwear
  • Baselayer shirts
  • T-shirts and/or casual shirts
  • Fleece jacket or warm jumper
  • Lightweight windproof/waterproof jacket
  • Lightweight thermal gloves
  • Sunhat
  • Warm hat
  • Eyewear - sunglasses
  • Daypack c. 30 litres
  • Sun protection (including for lips)
  • Water bottles 1 Litre (x2)
  • Washbag and toiletries
  • Antibacterial handwash
  • Small padlock (to lock your KE bag)
  • Basic First Aid Kit including: Antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters and blister treatment. Glucose tablets and multi-vitamin tablets are also a good idea.

The following items are optional:

  • Gaiters
  • Shorts
  • Towel (for swimming)
  • Swimwear
  • Trekking poles
  • Headtorch with spare bulb and batteries
  • Spare laces
  • Insect repellant – (DEET)
  • Camera, media, batteries


  • When selecting your main baggage a trek bag, large holdall or even a wheeled suitcase would be appropriate for this style of holiday.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

Know before you go

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

Whilst this is only a moderate walking holiday, it does have an average of around 6 hours walking per day for 6 consecutive days. For this reason, it makes sense to get some additional exercise before your holiday. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable you will find the experience. While regular hiking is the best preparation, any regular exercise (jogging, swimming etc.) is good for developing cardio-vascular fitness. Before setting off we recommend that you fit in several longish walks in hilly country.

The Costa Blanca has a Mediterranean climate, characterised by lots of sunshine (3000 hours each year - that's about 325 days of sunshine). Sea breezes and the general elevation of the walks we undertake (around 1000 metres) help to moderate the temperatures that we will encounter. At the season that we travel to this region (outside of the hottest Summer months) we can expect daytime highs of between 15 and 25 degrees centigrade depending on the elevation. At night, the temperatures will fall to 15 degrees centigrade. Humidity is generally very low, making for very comfortable walking conditions.

Costa Blanca Walks (Vols 1 and 2). Cicerone Guide. Mountain Walks on the Costa Blanca. Bob Stansfield. Valencia and the Costa Blanca (Lonely Planet Regional Guides) Costa Blanca Berlitz Pocket Guide (Berlitz Pocket Guides) Costa Blanca and Alacante (AA Essential Guides Series)

Costa Blanca Mountains Tour & Trail Super-durable Map. 1:40,000 Scale.

This new Costa Blanca Mountains Tour & Trail Super-Durable Map is the essential purchase for everyone looking to explore the exciting mountainous hinterland on the Costa Blanca. Whether you are exploring on foot, bike or horse this is your first choice map for accurate navigation on roads and as soon as you leave the tarmac. Scale 1:40,000 2.5 cms = 1km. Map size; double-sided 780 mm by 600 mm folded to 21 cm by 12 cm. Roads; Motorway, major roads, secondary roads, minor roads & tarmacked lanes including latest road numbering system. Tracks & Trails; Unsurfaced (dirt) roads and walking trails. Heights; 100 & 20 metre contours, height & trig points in metres, height background colours in 200 metre colour bands.

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