Hampshire Hikes & Historical Sites
Bring intriguing coastal trails and history alive in South Hampshire.
Exploring the hidden mountains and valleys of Spain's Costa Blanca
Culture & Natural History
What does this mean?
Tour codes: 12480
Full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain.
Most of these holidays have an element of sightseeing as well.
Half day walks will probably involve about 3 hours of walking, with full day walks having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to 600m.
This holiday can be combined with our Orange Blossom Coast holiday to create a two-week trip. Take a look at our Valencia Coast & Mountains page for full details.
Behind Spain's Alicante coastline, you’ll discover the incredibly rich and diverse hidden mountains and valleys of the Costa Blanca. Paths and trails take us into the protected Natura 2000 network where we find spectacular wildlife and flora, and where we can learn about the culture and history of the region. Led by an experienced local guide, we ascend the slopes of Bernia, the watchtower for pirates in years gone by, with breathtaking views of the Mediterranean; explore the spectacular Serra de Aitana, the highest mountain on the Costa Blanca at 1,558m and discover the fertile Pop Valley, seeing fields of almond and carob trees.
The inland region of the Costa Blanca is home to an array of wildlife including Barbary goats, Peregrine Hawks, Hoopoe and Bee Eaters. Combine this with endemic rock plants, orchids, fruit orchards and vineyards our walks offer great variety and are always accompanied by great scenery either of the coast or the Alicante mountain ranges.
Staying on the coast at Albir, you have the contrast of great walking scenery with the beaches and Mediterranean sea
Everyone of our clients on this holiday, through the cooperation of our local agent Oxytours Costa Blanca and the Serra Gelada Nature Reserve in El Albir, will contribute towards their carbon footprint emitted during the walks transfers each day. Oxytours Costa Blanca will arrange the donation of trees, shrubs and the tools needed in order to plant and maintain the trees during their first two years.
Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.
NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen
Itinerary & Travel
Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.
Arriving into Valencia airport, we transfer by coach to the sea-side own of Albir, to our accommodation, the Hotel Sun Palace Albir. Depending on our flight arrival time, there maybe the opportunity to discover Albir before dinner at the hotel.
Transfer Time = 1.5 hours
During our time staying on the Alicante coastline, our walks will take us into the hills and mountains and through valleys following mule tracks and pathways that take us to spectacular viewpoints. We'll discover small Moorish villages, ancient castle remains, spectacular flora and fauna as we go. There will also be a day at leisure for you to explore on your own, relax at the hotel or take a possible extra excursion. An example of some of the walks we may include in our programme (dependent on weather conditions and the ability of the group) are listed below:
Vall de Pop: A gentle walk through the Pop Valley, at the foot of the Cavall Verd mountain range and next to the Gorgos river, which allows us to discover fields of almond and carob trees and the most important crop in the valley: vineyards, with great importance due to its rare local varieties. The Pop valley path shows us how its inhabitants lived, how they discovered the medicinal properties of the plants on its slopes and also how they survived the transformation this region has undergone during the last 50 years. The original stone walls of terraces are still in evidence today. After crossing the small town of Llíber, our route ends at Casa Agrícola, a unique winery on the Costa Blanca, with a short visit and wine tasting there.
Protected area included in EU's Natura 2000 network.
Terraces with 1,000-year-old stone walls, declared as a World Heritage Site
Vineyards of very localised Mediterranean grape varieties
Brief visit and wine tasting at a local winery.
Puig Campana: Thanks to this track, which starts at Arc fontaine in Sella, initially we'll walk close to the spectacular Els Castellets ridge, ascending through a pine forest area and cultivated fields with olive and almond trees. Once we have reached the Coll del Pouet, we will continue downhill continuously through a path, at the foot of the imposing Puig Campana mount. Visible from almost anywhere along the Costa Blanca coastline, Puig Campana emerges as an imposing colossus at a height of 1.410 metres and only 8 kilometre s from the Mediterranean sea. Here rare botanical species find shelter, where we can easily observe Barbary goats and Peregrine hawks, which will amaze you with their spectacular flight.
Geological site of Els Castellets ridge
Extraordinary itinerary among mountains over 1.400 meters / 4.600 feet high
Remains of snow wells (16th century) for ice production
Wildlife: Barbary goat, Bonelli's eagle, Peregrine hawk, Red-billed chough, Hoopoe, Bee-eater
Flora: Orchids (spring), Endemic rock plants, species with medicinal uses.
Bernia: Emerging from the sea, the gigantic Bernia mountain stretches as far as the Taberna valley, and reaches 1.129 metres in height. We invite you to ascend its slope observing the countryside giving unsurpassed views of Marina Alta, Marina Baja as well as Alicante’s interior. On a clear day we can even see the island of Ibiza. Its proximity to the sea, combined with its altitude, makes Bernia one of the greatest diverse habitats, with species of flora and fauna found only in this area. The incredible stone vantage point made up of the mountain, itself and the 16th century fort some 800 metres high, aimed to protect the coastline from the constant pirate attacks which plagued this land as since ancient times. NB: While the descent of 700m may be considered above grade, there are provisions for refreshment stops and rest, the path is comfortable and the views of the Mediterranean a superb end to the day. Transport meets us at the end of the descent with just a 25 minute transfer back to our hotel.
Breathtaking views to the Mediterranean and Altea's bay from 800 metres / 2.625 feet
Remains of Bernia fortress (16th century). Amazing history about pirate attacks on the coast
Wildlife: Barbary goat, Alpine accentor (winter), Golden eagle, Bee-eater (spring), Grey shrike
Flora: Orchids (spring), Endemic rock plants
Aitana: Known for being the highest mountain on the Costa Blanca at 1.558 metres, Aitana is one of the best places in the region to go hiking, enjoying the spectacular views of the Mediterranean and the Guadalest Valley. The tranquillity of our walk is broken only by the sound of water or the numerous species of birds. With our guide you will come to know Aitana as the place with the greatest biodiversity thanks to its height and proximity to the sea. Geology and Botany come together to offer unique formations for your enjoyment. A countryside that produces crops which are made into a multitude of dishes giving the interior Costa Blanca its gastronomic fame. Cuisine exclusive to the mountain region plus handmade aromatic liqueur are yours to sample in our specially chosen restaurant, where the traditions have been maintained will delight you. Lunch included today.
Protected area included in EU's Natura 2000 network
Maximum height level during the routes: 1.250 meters / 4.101 feet
Breathtaking views to Guadalest valley and Alicante's mountains ranges
Remains of Alforfa castle (13th century). Area of skirmishes between Christians and Arabs
Wildlife: Barbary goat, Bonelli's eagle, Golden eagle, Red-billed chough, Sardinian wabler
Flora: Orchids (spring), Endemic rock plants, Yews, a huge variety of aromatic plants
Vall de Gallinera: Each step taken in this mountain transports you back to ancient times, when the area’s inhabitants excavated hiking routes which joined their settlements. This marvellous land which is well preserved, conjures up images of battles fought for castles throughout the valley. Its fountains and water reserves still feed life in Al-Azraq, the last Moor vizier in Valencia, against the Christian King Jaume I in the 13 century. As you walk you will discover the fertile valley with its unique endemic botanical species. What’s more, it offers Neolithic cave paintings declared a UNESCO site in 1988. century. In the present day cherry farming is the base of the area’s economy and in spring the breathtakingly beautiful blossom covers the Valley in a white blanket. However, it’s possible to enjoy this Valley all year round through its paths admiring the remains of the Gallinera castle, which still stands the test of time 800 years on.
Astonishing cherry blossom in spring
Views of the Mediterranean and paddy fields of Pego
Mule track between valleys open by Arabs 1000 years ago
Remains of Gallinera castle (10th century). Area of skirmishes between Christians and Arabs
Wildlife: Peregrine hawk, Golden eagle, Eagle owl, Black wheatear. Glossy ibis, Squacco heron, Purple gallinule, Marsh harrier
Flora: One of the areas with the highest botanical biodiversity in Europe. Orchids (spring), Endemic species of rock plants.
We leave our hotel after breakfast, transferring to Valencia airport for the flight to the UK
Departure dates for your selected tour
7th Oct 2021 - 14th Oct 2021 (7 Nights)
4th Nov 2021 - 11th Nov 2021 (7 Nights)
21st Dec 2021 - 28th Dec 2021 (7 Nights)
10th Mar 2022 - 17th Mar 2022 (7 Nights)
28th Apr 2022 - 5th May 2022 (7 Nights)
6th Oct 2022 - 13th Oct 2022 (7 Nights)
3rd Nov 2022 - 10th Nov 2022 (7 Nights)
21st Dec 2022 - 28th Dec 2022 (7 Nights)
Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.
The four-star Hotel Sun Palace Albir & Spa is 650 yards from Alfaz's Albir Beach and offers views of the Mediterranean Sea and mountains. The rooms at the hotel are spacious and come with a furnished balcony. Facilities include satellite TV, air conditioning and a private bathroom with a hairdryer. Free WiFi is offered throughout. The hotel also offers a spa area with a hot tub, sauna and Turkish bath. There is an indoor pool and fitness centre. There is a free hourly shuttle to and from the beach. You will also find a restaurant on site, which offers buffet dinners and enjoy a pre-dinner drink in Rick’s Café.
This Grade 4 moderate holiday includes full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain and is likely to include an element of sightseeing as well. Half day walking will probably include about 3 hours of walking, with full days having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to about 600m. See the 'Proposed Itinerary' section for more information.
Local Transport Costs
All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.
A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.
When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.
Currency in Spain
The currency in Spain is the euro.
You will find banks and ATM facilities in Albir.
Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high. In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.
Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.
Leader's Evening Briefing
Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.
In addition to our group leader, this holiday is accompanied by a local guide who will be able to add to the enjoyment of the walks and is knowledgeable on local history, culture and especially the flora & fauna of the region
We fly from the UK to Spain's Valencia airport. The transfer from the airport to our hotel in Albir takes approximately one and a half hours
Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements?
If you wish to organise your own flights from a non-UK or provincial airport or travel by rail or car to your holiday destination, 'land only' reductions are often available. Please contact us for details.
Before finalising any independent travel arrangements, please check with us first - especially if doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended date of travel. If you do intend to join your holiday locally please do tell us at least 14 weeks in advance.
If you are joining and leaving your holiday overseas we assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at your hotel.
Although airport transfers are not included for those making their own independent travel arrangements, if you wish to join the group at the overseas airport, depending on your flight arrival time, you may be able to be included on the group's transfer. Please contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details.
Please note that your flight must arrive within 30 minutes of the group flight to be able to join the group transfer. We also need your flight number, arrival time and departure point so that the group leader is able to meet up with you.
Luggage Allowance & Travel Documents
For all those booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure.
Personal Details Check
To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.
General Passport Advice
It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport. Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country.
Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements.
Brexit Passport Advice
You should have at least 6 months validity left on your passport from your date of arrival.
If you renewed a 10 year passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your passport’s expiry date. These extra months will not count, so you should ensure that your passport is not older than 9 years and 6 months from the date of issue at the time of travel.
You may wish to renew your passport sooner rather than later, in order to make sure you have it in time for your holiday or travel plans.
Please ensure to regularly check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for updates on passport requirements leading up to and after Brexit or contact us for more assistance.
UK Government Brexit Information for Passports can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/passport-rules-for-travel-to-europe-after-Brexit.
The UK Government has published a website tool to check the validity of your passport under these rules which can be found at www.passport.service.gov.uk/check-a-passport.
In the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK citizens will be able to visit the EU for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa. The UK Government also has information for travellers available at gov.uk/EUexit
Non British Passport holders should consult the host country’s embassy for applicable passport and visa entry requirements.
The Valencia region is known as the Pantry of Spain as the area produces a lot of the country's olives, fruit and vegetables. The range of fresh produce available is reflected in the dishes served and, along with Spanish wines, is a wonderful complement to the walking offered in the region. We plan to eat at our hotel and in local restaurants during the week. One day we include a superb lunch as part of our programme.
Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks.
General Kit List
Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.
If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:
This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.
Country Specific Kit
This holiday is perfect for those interested in flora and fauna and our walks give us a great opportunity to see more as we go, with knowledgeable local guides. You will find binoculars useful during the walks and may want to bring yours with you.
Travel Documents Checklist
Documents and Information to take with you:
Electricity in Spain
Electricity is supplied at 220 Volts. If you wish to use electrical equipment you will need a European two pin adaptor with round pins. More information can be found at https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/
Water To Go
An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.
We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.
The Map Shop
Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.
Health Advice for Spain
No compulsory immunisations are required for visits to Spain. You should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended in the UK. Tetanus immunisation is recommended.
Further Travel Advice
For further advice please visit:
You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.
It is a condition of booking with Ramblers Walking Holidays that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the trip, including all optional activities.
Your travel insurance policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation. Please ensure your policy covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are walking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. Medical and repatriation insurance cover are not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Whoever you insure with, please ensure that you take full details, and ideally the policy itself, with you on holiday and provide our tour leader with your insurer's name, the policy number and emergency assistance contact numbers.
Please note that it is very difficult to obtain travel insurance once your holiday arrangements have started.
Looking for travel insurance cover?
If you have not already arranged cover, please visit SunWorld who offer travel insurance.
SunWorld policies include cover for COVID-19, subject to applicable terms and conditions.
From January 1st, 2021 UK travellers can continue to use their European Heath Insurance Card (EHIC) – which can last up to five years, until its expiry date, to gain access to medical assistance during your holiday. However, you will no longer be covered in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. Travellers without a valid EHIC can apply for a new UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC), which will replaces the EHIC once it has been phased out. Please note however that the EHIC/GHIC should not be considered a substitute for medical or travel insurance.
For more information, please visit www.nhs.uk/ehic
The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.
Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.
We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.
The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust
Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.
Heart and Sole
We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.
Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements.
Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.
As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.
Visas and Passports
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