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Spanish Costas and Sierras

from £2045
Southern Valencia's coastline boasts miles of beautiful beaches, while the sierras serve as a dramatic backdrop to the Mediterranean Sea. Northern Valencia offers walkers spectacular trails in the hills and along the coast, Moorish history and wonderful cuisine.
  • Product Code 12470
  • Holiday Type Lifestyle, Culture & Natural History, Multi Centre Holidays, Special Selection Hotels
  • Grade Grade 4
  • Holiday Duration 14 Nights

Guided Walking Holidays - Spanish Costas and Sierras

Travel to Spain’s Southern Valencia region with Ramblers Walking Holidays, offering a wealth of walking trails, history and natural beauty. It’s an area in which the Romans and Moors left their architectural mark. The coastline boasts miles of beautiful beaches, while the sierras serve as a dramatic backdrop to the Mediterranean Sea.

Coastal wetlands and marshes offer a richness of flora and fauna and are home to a variety of birdlife year round. Flamingos are often seen, as are grebes and water fowl. The sand dunes of Guardamar with their Aleppo pine trees, and the natural park of La Mata, comprising of pink tinged salt lagoons, offer a wonderful contrast of terrain for our walks.

The mountains and pastures of the Sierra de Escalona and the lunar landscape of the Sierra Aitana are home to a diverse habitat of Mediterranean pine forests and grasslands, endemic plant species, and bird life. The picturesque views enhance our walking trails. The salty desert of Albatera is dramatic with its limestone and sandstone cliffs, enhanced by salt deposits.

Guardamar del Segura, a relaxed coastal town at the mouth of the Ria Segura, has a lovely beach, long promenade and plenty of cafés and restaurants. Wednesday is market day, and transport operates frequently into Alicante and Elche, making exploring the old towns easy on a free day.

Christmas is a much quieter time to visit the area and is ideal for those who want to escape the hectic holiday. Our hotel offers a lovely Christmas Eve and Christmas Day meals and our free day will be Christmas Day where we enjoy a morning walk through the town's parks and beach area towards the marina.

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.


This holiday combines our one week Spanish Sierra to the Sea and Orange Blossom Coast

Holiday Highlights

  • Enjoy the contrast of walking terrains from the coastal wetlands and marshes to the lunar landscape of the Sierra Aitana.
  • Knowledgeable local guide for insight on the flora and fauna, and local history.
  • Enjoy a traditional lunch in a mountain village on one of our walks.
  • View the dramatic scenery of the Albatera salt desert.
  • Relax in a wonderful hotel in a lovely sea front location with swimming pool.
  • Admire the abundance of flora, fauna and birdlife.
  • Discover protected coves in the Serra d’Irta National Park.
  • Hear about Moorish history and culture of the region.
  • Desert de les Palmes, on the doorstep of Benicassim.
The holiday inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What's included in this holiday Items that are covered in the cost of holiday price.

      Return flights from Gatwick to Alicante and returning Valencia (British Airways or Easyjet)
      Airport transfers
      En suite accommodation
      Breakfasts taken in the hotels
      Dinners taken in the hotel and local restaurants
      Knowledgeable local guides
      All local transport costs.
Whats not included in this holiday Items that are not covered in the cost of holiday price.

  • Entrance fees to some museums and historic buildings (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Insurance
Please select Departure Date to view:

Please see Holiday Information Sheet for this holidays individual departures itinerary (located under View Departures & Book tab)

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised program, 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.

This departure: Grade 4

  1. Day 1

    On arrival at Alicante airport, we transfer by private vehicle southwards to Guardamar del Segura (approx. 40 minutes drive). We'll check into our hotel, perhaps have a short orientation walk of the town if time permits, followed by dinner at the hotel's El Jardin restaurant. Guardamar del Segura is a quiet, laidback town with a good selection of cafes, restaurants and local shops. It does not have a busy night-life scene and doesn't offer some of the attractions that you may find in other resorts on the Costa Blanca coastline.

  2. Day 2 to 7

    Our time in Spain's southern Valencian region will be a wonderful contrast of coastal, mountain and lagoon walks with great scenery towards the Mediterranean Sea and surrounding hills. We'll discover a salt desert, following a route of old aqueducts, take a lagoon walk, explore the biodiversity of the Aitana and Escalona mountains, and enjoy a variety of birdlife, springtime flowers, olive groves and almond blossom.

    Depending on local conditions and group ability, we plan to include some of the following walks in our programme:

    la Mata - Torrevieja lagoon Nature Reserve – An easy, level walk that starts from the hotel along the wide, sandy beach and then follows the path within the reserve, around the lagoon. This is an ideal spot for seeing a great variety of birdlife and springtime flowers. You will also discover a vineyard within the reserve, that thrives on the salt water.
    Ascent / descent: negligible; up to 9 miles (15km); 4.5 hours walking time.

    Sierra Aitana – Spectacular views of the Mediterranean and the Guadalest Valley await us today. This is an area of great biodiversity, and geology and botany come together in perfect harmony. Learn how the early inhabitants of the
    area lived, enjoy the springtime almond & cherry blossom and the autumn olive groves. Lunch is included today at a traditional restaurant showcasing the freshness of local produce. Ascent / descent: 580-600m; 7 miles (11km); 3.5-4 hours walking time.

    Albatera Salt Ravine – A spectacular desert landscape following paths over old aqueducts. Plant life has adapted to the salty environment, olive groves sit on the terraced landscape, rocks offer different hues of reds, gold and yellow. Ascent / descent: 345m; 6 miles (10km); 4 hours walking time.
     

    In addition to your Ramblers group leader, a local guide who is knowledgeable on the walking trails, local history, flora and fauna will accompany us on all our walks. This is a region that was under Moorish rule and the evidence of this can be seen in the architecture, village names and cuisine.

    We are in the "Pantry of Spain", and you'll see peppers, almonds, honey, avocados and fruit growing everywhere. We include a traditional lunch in one of the villages on one of our walks, showcasing the freshness of the local ingredients.

    There will be a free day to explore on your own, perhaps with a visit to Elche or Alicante Old Town.

  3. Day 8

    We make a transfer after breakfast to Benicassin in the north of the region. We will meet up with the incoming group members and, depending on our arrival time, there may be the opportunity of an orientation walk before we have dinner in the hotel's restaurant.

  4. Day 9

    Located inland, behind Benicassim, is 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. 8kms; 4 hours; A/D 445m

    Later this afternoon we'll enjoy 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.

  5. Day 10

    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. 14.5kms, 6 hours, A/D 750m

  6. Day 11

    Today we'll explore 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. 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.

  7. Day 12

    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.

  8. Day 13

    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 takes 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. 9kms; 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.

  9. Day 14

    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, built almost entirely in red sandstone, and we will have time to stop here to see the village and the Paleolithic rock paintings. 9.5kms; 4 hours; A/D 350m

  10. Day 15

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

Travel Details

  • Return flights from Gatwick to Alicante and returning Valencia (British Airways)
  • Arrival transfer by road c.45mins
  • 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.

Trip Map

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Hotel Bonaire

The four-star Hotel Bonaire is located 100 yards from the Playa de Heliópolis beach and a 15 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.

 


Hotel Meridional

The recently refurbished, four-star Hotel Meridional is situated on Guardamar del Segura’s sea front. The hotel boasts a locally renowned restaurant, El Jardin, spa, small outdoor swimming pool and roof top bar. The contemporary style rooms are all en suite and have TV, hairdryer, WiFi, air conditioning and a furnished balcony.
 


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