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Orange Blossom Coast

Spain’s Castellon region, in north Valencia, is relatively unknown outside of Spain. This area offers walkers spectacular trails in the hills and along the coast, Moorish history and wonderful cuisine.

From£1,175

  • Spain

  • 7 nights
  • Culture & Natural History

  • Mar

    May

    Oct

    Nov

    Dec

Moderate

What does this mean?

Tour codes: 12460

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Our holiday walking grades

Moderate

Grade 4

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.

Overview

Holiday Highlights

  • An abundance of flora, fauna and birdlife.
  • Explore the stunning Mediterranean coastal landscapes.
  • Discover protected coves in the Serra d’Irta National Park.
  • Experience the Mediterranean jungle of Serra d'Espada Natural Park.
  • Visit Vilafames, one of the prettiest villages in Spain.

Guided Walking Holidays - Orange Blossom Coast

Spain’s Castellon region, in north Valencia, is relatively unknown outside of Spain. The miles upon miles of soft sandy beaches, traditional villages, numerous natural parks and protected areas are a well kept secret. This area offers walkers spectacular trails in the hills and along the coast, Moorish history and wonderful cuisine.

From Benicassim, a coastal town with a delightful beach front and impressive Belle Époque architecture, walks with our local guides take us into the hills of the Serra d’Espada and Serra d’Irta as well as into the Desert of Palms.

This region is known as the Pantry of Spain due to its abundance of vegetable produce and plentiful fruit trees, especially oranges, and in spring the hills and plains are bursting with cherry, almond and fruit blossoms and the air spectacularly fragrant. Autumn brings the fruits with an abundance of figs, almonds and avocados.

  • Return flights from Heathrow to Valencia (British Airways).
  • Airport transfers
  • En suite accommodation with breakfasts taken at the hotels
  • Dinners taken in the hotel and local restaurants
  • A superb local lunch
  • Local walks guides each day
  • All local transport costs.
  • Entrance fees (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Travel Insurance (you can add this when you book)

Holiday Information

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

View Holiday Information Sheet

Itinerary & Travel

Itinerary Details

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.

Your Itinerary

Day 1

Benicassim

Meals

Dinner

Accommodation

We arrive into Valencia airport, meet our coach, and transfer by road (approx. 1 hour) to our hotel in the lovely sea-side resort of Benicassim. Depending on our arrival time, there may be the opportunity of an orientation walk before we have dinner in the hotel's restaurant. There will also be chance to meet our local guide and talk about the week ahead.

Transfer Time = 1h

Day 2

Sierra de Irta & Peniscola

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    5 hours

  • Distance

    7.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    90m

Today we'll spend the day exploring the Serra d'Irta, the last and longest unspoilt stretch of the coastline. As we walk in the direction of the town of Peniscola we'll discover the Mediterranean shrub eco-system, view old defensive towers and see impressive limestone cliffs. The undulating path passes small secluded coves, set against the backdrop of the hillside. 7.5 miles/13kms; 5 hours; A/D 90m The medieval city and castle of Peniscola can be seen in the distance as we walk and we'll have time to explore the town and enjoy a tasting of locally produced artisan beer before returning to Benicassim.

Day 3

Ain & Sierra de Espada

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    4 hours

  • Distance

    6 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    450m

A slightly longer drive today takes us to the Serra d'Espada Natural Park, described as a Mediterranean jungle. Our route takes us through a vast array of vegetation and wildlife. We'll see oak forests, water mills, ravines and learn about the old cork industry. We also have time for a visit to the medieval Muslim village of Ain. Today's walk is top of grade, perhaps venturing into a grade 5, but it will be taken at a gentle pace. 7.5 miles/13kms, 6 hours, A/D 600m. Dinner is at a local restaurant this evening.

Day 4

Sierra Engalceran & Vilafames

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    6 hours

  • Distance

    7.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    600m

The Serra d'Engalceran offers a typical Castellon rural landscape with great examples of dry and wet vegetation, remains of countryside architecture and an insight to the inner part of this province and its old crafts. It is a different landscape than we have visited so far. Vilafames is considered one of the prettiest villages of the region, possibly Spain, built almost entirely in red sandstone. 9.5kms; 4 hours; A/D 450m

Day 5

Free Day

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

Today is a free day for you to explore on your own. You may wish to relax by the hotel pool, go to the beach or follow part of the Via Verde along the coast from Benicassim to Orpesa. The cities of Castellon and Valencia can be reached by train if you prefer a day of culture and tapas. You may prefer a walk along the extensive Benicassim promenade alongside the blue-flag beach and seeing the Belle Epoque architecture of the impressive sea front villas and historical buildings. There is plenty to choose from!

Day 6

Millennial Olive Tree Trail

Meals

Breakfast & Lunch

Accommodation

  • Time

    4 hours

  • Distance

    4.5 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    110m

Today we travel furthest from Benicassim to explore the Millennial Olive Tree route in the north of the province. This part of the region, as well as producing a wide variety of olives and oils, is also an area that produces grapes and cereals. Our route meanders through the olive groves, with some of the trees hundreds of years old, to a Royal Sanctuary, where we have time for a visit and a wonderful lunch of locally sourced ingredients. This is an area of history, nature and legends as we will discover with our guide, on our mainly cultural walking day. 4.5 miles/7kms; 4 hours A/D 110 As we include lunch today, dinner will be on your own giving you the opportunity to wander into the old town for tapas.

Day 7

Desert de les Palmes

Meals

Breakfast & Dinner

Accommodation

  • Time

    4 hours

  • Distance

    5.9 miles

  • Ascent/Descent

    450m

Located inland, behind Benicassim, lies the Desert de les Palmes Natural Park, which is our destination for today. Our walk takes us into the evergreen NP where we see the remains of a Carmelite monastery, old hermitage and wonderful views over the Castellon coastline, including the thousands of orange trees, from where this part of the Spanish coast gets its name. 6 miles/10kms; 4 hours; A/D 450m. We enjoy dinner at a local restaurant this evening.

Day 8

Final day

Meals

Breakfast

After breakfast, we say our farewells to Castellon, and travel by coach to Valencia airport.

From (GBP)£1,175

Departure dates for your selected tour

22nd Dec 2019 - 29th Dec 2019 (7 Nights)

19th Mar 2020 - 26th Mar 2020 (7 Nights)

7th May 2020 - 14th May 2020 (7 Nights)

8th Oct 2020 - 15th Oct 2020 (7 Nights)

12th Nov 2020 - 19th Nov 2020 (7 Nights)

20th Dec 2020 - 27th Dec 2020 (7 Nights)

Travel Details

  • Return flights from Heathrow to Valencia (British Airways)
  • Airport transfers by road c.1hr
  • Upgrades are available on most flights. For scheduled flights this may be Premium Economy, Business or First Class. Most low-cost carriers also have extra legroom seats.
  • If direct regional flights are not available, we can often offer add-on flights to a London airport at a competitive rate. Please ask us for details and a competitive quote.

Accommodation

Accommodation information

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each nights' accommodation for each departure date.

Hotel Bonaire

The four-star Hotel Bonaire is located 100 yards from the Playa de Heliópolis beach and a 25 minute stroll into the centre of Benicassim, where you will find a good selection of cafes, restaurants and shops. The hotel offers a large outdoor swimming pool, located in its lush, well maintained gardens, an small indoor pool and a wellness centre. You will also find a bar and restaurant within the hotel. The hotel's decor is in a contemporary style, painted in relaxing colours and with plenty of areas to relax.

The hotel bedrooms are all ensuite and can offer 1 or 2 beds. You will find a TV in the room along with air conditioning/heating, an in-room safe, hairdryer, and minibar. There is free wi-fi in the hotel.

Trip Information

All the details you need

Holiday Grade

This Grade 4 walking holiday includes walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain and includes an element of sightseeing as we walk, seeing monasteries, small villages, and museums. Walks range between 6-10 miles a day, generally taking 5-6 hours including stops. You can expect ascents and descents between 100m-450m, although a couple of the walks will be very top of grade with ascents/descents of 500m-600m and over uneven and rocky terrain in parts. The maximum altitude reached on this holiday's walking programme is approx. 900m. Please refer to the Daily itinerary for further information on each day’s walk.

Walks & Excursions

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.

Optional Excursions

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.

Spending Money

Holiday Budgeting

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, ATMs and currency exchange points in Benicassim. Our hotel accepts credit cards.

Tipping

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.

Tour Leaders & Local Guides

Tour Leaders

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.

Local Guides

To enhance your experience, as well as your tour leader, each holiday will be accompanied by a well qualified and knowledgeable English-speaking local guide.

Your Travel Details

We fly from the UK to Spain's Valencia airport. The transfer from the airport to our hotel in Benicassim takes approximately one hour.

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.

Passports and Visas

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.

General travel and destination advice for UK nationals is available from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office at www.fco.gov.uk/travel and at www.gov.uk/travelaware.

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.

Meals

The Castellon 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 local restaurants during the week. One day we include an extensive lunch, so will leave dinner free that evening for you to explore on your own - if you are still hungry! Benicassim offers a good variety of tapas bars, sea-side restaurants and cafes to choose from.

Footwear & Kit List

Footwear

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. 

Footwear As Hand Luggage

We recommend that you either wear your walking boots or shoes or pack them and some waterproofs in your hand luggage as in the unlikely event that your hold luggage is delayed, you will still be able to participate in the holiday programme.

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:

  • Waterproof jacket (Goretex or similar) and trousers
  • Lightweight quick-drying trousers
  • Walking T-shirt/shirts
  • Walking socks
  • Fleece or jumper
  • Sun hat, sunglasses, lip salve and sun block
  • Warm hat and gloves (if appropriate)
  • Swimwear (if appropriate)
  • Day sack (this should be able to carry all you would need for the day's activity)
  • Day sack liner
  • Water bottle - at least 1 litre capacity (more than 1 bottle may be required)
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Lunchbox
  • Walking poles (should you find them useful)
  • Sit mat

This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.

Travel Documents Checklist

Documents and Information to take with you:

  • Passport (make sure it's yours and valid)
  • Your travel tickets or e-ticket itinerary
  • Any visa or electronic travel authorisation (if required)
  • Holiday money
  • Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
  • Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
  • Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
  • Your holiday Booking Confirmation document
  • Your travel insurance details
  • Alternative form of identification (such as a driving licence)
  • Photocopy of the personal details pages of your passport
  • A valid European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) if relevant
  • Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about

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.

Maps, Guidebooks & Other Information

Maps, Guidebooks & More

You can find an array of guidebooks for Spain such as The Rough Guide, Lonely Planet and Eyewitness Travel. Websites are also a good source of information and you may find the following websites useful:

Castellon Tourism - www.castellonturismo.com/en/

Spanish Tourist Office - www.spain.info/en_GB/

The Map Shop

Maps and guidebooks relating to your the areas you will be walking in may be brought before your holiday from The Map Shop at www.themapshop.co.uk

Weather

Visit the following websites for an idea of the climate in your destination:

Staying Healthy On Holiday

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.

Travel Insurance

You must be adequately insured to join our holidays. We do not insist that you insure with us but we require that you are adequately insured for the nature of your holiday. You will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance.

Please ensure that as a minimum your travel insurance policy covers you for travel to your holiday destinations (country and geographical region) and for medical expenses, mountain rescue (including helicopter rescue) and emergency repatriation to your home country in the event of illness or injury. Your policy should also provide adequate cover for the activities, included and optional, you are likely to participate in during your holiday.

See our brochure or website for further advice regarding holiday insurance.

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.

EHIC Cards

Please take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you; it will help you in the event of you needing medical assistance during your holiday. Please note that the EHIC has an expiry date, so please check that your card is valid for the duration of your holiday. Please note however the EHIC should not be considered a substitute for medical or travel insurance. 

For more information please visit ehic.org.uk.

Personal Safety

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.

Cultural Awareness

Responsible Travel

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.

Staying In Touch

Mobile Phones

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.

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Useful Information

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Spain

  • Capital

    Madrid

  • Currency

    Euro

  • Language

    Spanish

  • Time Difference

    UTC +02:00, UTC +01:00

  • Flight duration

    2.5hrs from UK

Visas and Passports

No Visa Required

Average weather

  • January

    9°C

    Avg. Rain: 59mm

  • February

    10°C

    Avg. Rain: 51mm

  • March

    12°C

    Avg. Rain: 47mm

  • April

    14°C

    Avg. Rain: 49mm

  • May

    16°C

    Avg. Rain: 42mm

  • June

    20°C

    Avg. Rain: 27mm

  • July

    23°C

    Avg. Rain: 14mm

  • August

    23°C

    Avg. Rain: 18mm

  • September

    21°C

    Avg. Rain: 37mm

  • October

    17°C

    Avg. Rain: 61mm

  • November

    13°C

    Avg. Rain: 69mm

  • December

    10°C

    Avg. Rain: 69mm

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