Alicante’s Rugged Mountains

Limestone peaks & verdant valleys
 

Holiday Highlights

The solitude | A quiet refuge away from the coastal bustle.
The hospitality | A remarkably and genuine welcome at each hotel.
Spring colour | Drifts of almond blossom give way to a burst of wildflowers.  
Extraordinary walking | Amid valleys, peaks, dramatic ravines and panoramic ridges.
Alicante’s Rugged Mountains. 7 nights
Alicante’s Rugged Mountains. 7 nights
 

Holiday information

 

A walking holiday in Alicante’s mountains

Experience dramatic ravines and fertile valleys as you walk self-guided from one very welcoming mountain hotel to the next while your luggage is transported. This is a region steeped in history, and you pass ruined Moorish castles and delightful villages as you walk.
Just twenty-five kilometres from the Costa Blanca, as the crow flies, rise the secret mountains of Alicante. This is another world completely, where terraced slopes, dotted with delightful small villages, climb towards craggy limestone peaks that soar over a thousand metres into the sky. As you walk, you discover sweeping views and also reminders of the region's multi-layered history to which not only the Moors, but also the Iberians, Romans and even Mallorcans, have contributed.

Fertile valleys coated in almond groves, craggy limestone peaks, dramatic ravines, panoramic ridges and colourful spring displays of lime-loving flowers make the secret mountains of Alicante perfect for a week of rewarding walking in rugged limestone landscapes. Here you will enjoy some of the best walking you can experience anywhere in Spain. In this sunny corner of Valencia, the contrast with the popular coastal resorts could not be sharper – these are unknown mountains, beautiful and completely unspoiled. Life here moves at a slower pace, and you receive a warm and genuine welcome at the authentic mountain hotels along the route.
 
Gallery

 

Itinerary

The key to Inntravel holidays is flexibility. You can start on the day of your choice, and are free to add extra nights. It's up to you whether you follow our suggested routes for non-itinerant days or simply relax at your hotel.
  • The average maximum daytime temperatures and monthly rainfall relate to the nearest weather station and are intended as a guide only.

    In the mountains, temperatures will be cooler than those shown above. The almond groves are in blossom in February. Early spring also brings colourful displays, which last until June.

     
    Average temperatures and rainfall
      Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
    °C 16 16 18 20 23 26 29 30 28 23 19 16
    mm 32 32 35 37 31 21 9 20 44 81 53 47
  • Arrival in Tárbena
    Night 1: at Hotel de Tárbena (the first of two nights here).
    As your first night's accommodation is on the day of travel, Day 1 is your first day of walking.
  • Choice of walks from Tárbena: 9km, 3.5hrs or 12km, 5hrs

    To the north of Tárbena: 12km, 5hrs, ascent/descent 555m
    This circular walk from Tárbena is an excellent introduction to the region's limestone landscapes, revealing very varied scenery and passing several breathtaking viewpoints from which you can admire the panorama of hills, gorges and fertile valleys. Watered by numerous springs, the area has been cultivated for centuries, and you pass many almond, avocado and carob groves. You can extend the walk by 2.5km by taking an optional detour to the site of a prehistoric settlement.

    To the south of Tárbena: 9km, 3.5hrs, ascent/descent 305m
    This easier option also serves as a good introduction to the area and offers some superb views of the mountain scenery – a taster of what is to come. A path above cultivated terraces leads out of the village and continues past a watchtower to follow a loop along forestry tracks and down into a lush gorge fed by natural springs.
    North of Tárbena (with detour): 14.5km
    Almond groves in early spring
    Tárbena
    South of Tárbena: 9km
  • Tárbena to Castell: 16.5km, 6.5hrs or 19km, 7.5hrs

    Shorter option: 16.5km, 6.5hrs, ascent 560m/descent 580m
    Today’s walk, a real highlight, is a very varied journey through a changing landscape. After passing through a cultivated valley, you follow an old muleteers’ trail to reach another broad valley of orchards before rising into the hills to the south to reach the incredible double-arched rock formation of Els Arcs. From here, you approach Castell via a lovely descent along a narrow valley. Your destination is the very welcoming Casa Pilar. 

    Longer option: 19km, 7.5hrs, ascent 640m/descent 660m
    This slightly extended route from Els Arcs offers a good view back to the rock formation and then contours around the side of a valley to approach Castell from the south.
    Tárbena to Castell: 16.5km
    Els Arcs
  • Choice of walks from Castells: 7km, 3hrs to 16km, 6.5hrs

    Neolithic art: 16km, 6.5hrs, ascent 530m/descent 680m; shorter option: 7km, 3hrs, ascent 325m/descent 240m
    After a short transfer (pay locally), you walk along the floor of an atmospheric gorge where you may spot eagles, to the site of some fascinating 8,000-year-old Neolithic cave paintings. Take time to admire them before returning to Castell on paths and tracks that follow the course of a dry riverbed. Alternatively, you can also visit the cave paintings as part of an abridged version of the walk.

    Moorish watchtower: 12.5km, 5.5hrs, ascent/descent 600m
    This lovely route rises through the hills south of the town to reach a ruined Moorish watchtower, perched on precipitous crags and affording sweeping views for miles around. You continue along an equally panoramic ridge before descending gently and returning to Castell via the Barranc de Famorca.
    Neolithic art: 16km
    Moorish watchtower: 12.5km
  • Castell to Benimaurell: 16km, 6.5hrs or 7km, 3hrs

    Longer option: 16km, 6.5hrs, ascent 800m/descent 750m
    When the time comes to leave Castell de Castells, you ascend past olive, almond and carob groves before following an undulating forestry track to reach the peaceful Xaló valley. From here, another ascent brings you up and across the westerly edge of the Serra del Penyó; pause to admire the far-reaching views before descending to the sleepy village of Benimaurell and the Hotel Alahuar, where you spend your final two nights.

    Shorter option: 7km, 3hrs, ascent 550m/descent 350m
    It is possible to shorten the route with a transfer (pay locally) and start walking from the Xaló valley.
    Castell to Benimaurell: 16km
    The route to Benimaurell
  • Choice of walks from Benimaurell: 7km, 3hrs to 13km, 6.5hrs
    You could easily while away your final day relaxing by the hotel’s outdoor pool and gazing out at the surrounding mountains, but we suggest three circular walking routes, each of which enables you to discover some of the spectacular landscapes nearby.

    Barranc de Racons: 12.5km, 5.5hrs, ascent/descent 760m
    A great way to round off your week’s walking, this route takes in fine views towards the coast – and even Ibiza on a clear day – before you descend into one of the area’s deep and atmospheric gorges, Barranc de Racons, on an ancient route characterised by stone steps and zigzagging paths. A final stiff climb brings you back up to Benimaurell.

    The ‘Cathedral of Hiking’: 13km, 6.5hrs, ascent/descent 980m
    End your week with a challenge by opting for this slightly longer route via all three of the gorges in this Catedral del Senderismo (‘Cathedral of Hiking’), including the famous Barranco del Infierno (‘Hell’s Ravine’). It’s one of the region’s most spectacular trails, with a series of steep ascents and descents, and promises a rewarding end to your discovery of Alicante’s mountains.

    La Vall de Laguar: 7km, 3hrs, ascent/descent 280m
    For a gentler end to your week, this half-day circular walk across hillsides and via the neighbouring village of Fleix still offers extensive views but leaves time for lunch in Benimaurell and a relaxing final afternoon.
    Barranc de Racons: 12.5km
    ‘Cathedral of Hiking’: 13km
    Benimaurell
    Vall de Laguar: 7km
 

Accommodation

The hospitality on this holiday is outstanding, and the food exquisite. 
 

Options to extend or shorten your stay

 
Prices & travel options
All prices are in £ sterling (GBP). If you'd like to see what they equate to in your currency, use the converter. For general information on pricing, see the 'your holiday price explained' page.
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  • 7 nights: 02 January 2024 - 31 May 2024, 01 September 2024 - 21 December 2024, 02 January 2025 - 31 May 2025 & 01 September 2025 - 20 December 2025

    Start any day | End by latest date(s) shown above

    Starting Price Single room
    2 Jan - 29 Feb 2024 £885 £150
    1 Mar - 30 Apr 2024 £925 £150
    1 - 24 May 2024 £990 £145
    1 - 21 Sep 2024 £1035 £160
    22 Sep - 1 Oct 2024 £1010 £150
    2 - 12 Oct 2024 £1050 £155
    13 Oct - 30 Nov 2024 £940 £155
    1 - 14 Dec 2024 £955 £155
    2 Jan - 28 Feb 2025 £925 £160
    1 Mar - 30 Apr 2025 £965 £160
    1 - 24 May 2025 £1030 £155
    1 - 21 Sep 2025 £1080 £170
    22 Sep - 1 Oct 2025 £1055 £160
    2 - 12 Oct 2025 £1095 £165
    13 Oct - 30 Nov 2025 £980 £165
    1 - 13 Dec 2025 £995 £165
    3rd & 4th person discount -£40 to -£42
    Single traveller supplement £40 to £42

    Includes accommodation, meals and services integral to the holiday as described, plus walking notes and maps, but no travel from the UK, nor any connecting travel from the airport unless stated below.

    Book your flights through us and we'll find the best route and times to suit you. Please contact us to find out more about our flight booking service. We can also book connecting travel - see below.

  • Room upgrades (£ per person per night)

    Hotel de Tárbena, Tárbena
    Junior suite: 02 Jan - 07 May 2024 £36
    Junior suite: 08 May - 31 May 2024 £43
    Junior suite: 01 Sep - 21 Dec 2024 £48
    Junior suite: 02 Jan - 07 May 2025 £37
    Junior suite: 08 May - 31 May 2025 £45
    Junior suite: 01 Sep - 20 Dec 2025 £50
    Hotel Alahuar, Benimaurell
    Junior suite: 02 Jan - 31 May 2024 £25
    Junior suite: 01 Sep - 21 Dec 2024 £25
    Junior suite: 02 Jan - 31 May 2025 £26
    Junior suite: 01 Sep - 20 Dec 2025 £26
    Junior suite with jacuzzi: 02 Jan - 31 May 2024 £36
    Junior suite with jacuzzi: 01 Sep - 21 Dec 2024 £36
    Junior suite with jacuzzi: 02 Jan - 31 May 2025 £37
    Junior suite with jacuzzi: 01 Sep - 20 Dec 2025 £37

    Extra nights (£ per person per night) in a double or single room

    Hotel Alahuar, Benimaurell (with dinner) Double room Single room
    02 Jan - 31 May 2024 £93 £114
    01 Sep - 06 Sep 2024 £107 £128
    07 Sep - 21 Sep 2024 £121 £169
    22 Sep - 12 Oct 2024 £107 £150
    13 Oct - 05 Dec 2024 £96 £117
    06 Dec - 07 Dec 2024 £130 £151
    08 Dec - 21 Dec 2024 £96 £117
    02 Jan - 31 May 2025 £97 £119
    01 Sep - 06 Sep 2025 £111 £133
    07 Sep - 21 Sep 2025 £130 £180
    22 Sep - 12 Oct 2025 £111 £156
    13 Oct - 05 Dec 2025 £100 £122
    06 Dec - 07 Dec 2025 £140 £162
    08 Dec - 20 Dec 2025 £100 £122
  • RECOMMENDED AIRPORT(S):
    Alicante
    As an alternative to flying, we can arrange rail travel from London

    Travelling from the UK

    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Madrid. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    Outward route Airline
    Aberdeen - Alicante Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Belfast Intl - Alicante jet2 
    Belfast Intl. - Alicante Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Birmingham - Alicante jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI,  Vueling 
    Outward route Airline
    Bournemouth - Alicante Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Bristol - Alicante easyJet,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Cardiff - Alicante TUI,  Vueling 
    Outward route Airline
    Nottingham East Midlands - Alicante jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Edinburgh - Alicante easyJet,  jet2,  Ryanair,  Vueling 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow - Alicante easyJet,  jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Glasgow Prestwick - Alicante Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Leeds Bradford - Alicante Ryanair 
    Leeds Bradford - Alicante jet2 
    Outward route Airline
    Liverpool - Alicante Blue Air,  easyJet,  Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Gatwick - Alicante British Airways,  easyJet,  Ryanair,  TUI,  Vueling 
    Outward route Airline
    Heathrow - Alicante (via Madrid) Iberia 
    Outward route Airline
    Luton - Alicante easyJet,  Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    London Southend - Alicante easyJet 
    Outward route Airline
    Stansted - Alicante jet2,  Ryanair 
    Outward route Airline
    Manchester - Alicante easyJet,  jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Newcastle - Alicante easyJet,  jet2,  Ryanair,  TUI 
    Outward route Airline
    Newquay - Alicante Ryanair 
    Travelling from outside the UK

    If you are flying from outside Europe,  we recommend flying via Madrid. To discuss onward connecting travel to the start of your holiday, please contact us.

    This list of flight options should be used as a guide only, and you should check each airline’s website for current routes, frequency and schedules. Not all flights operate daily, and may not run for the entire season. You should also heed the latest flight arrival time and earliest flight departure time stated in the connecting travel section, as it may not be possible to arrange connecting travel outside these times. Please do not book your flights until we have confirmed your accommodation to you. Alternatively, our expert reservations team will be happy to offer advice and to make flight bookings for you for any of the options listed above. We charge £35 per person for our flight booking service. Your flights are then covered by our package-booking conditions, which give you greater protection in the event of delay or cancellation, as well as providing ATOL cover.

  • Prices below are based on 2 people travelling together. If you are travelling solo or as a party of 3 or more and our arrangements include a taxi, please contact us for prices; additional passengers often pay less.

    Where a price range is given, the price you pay depends on your date of travel.

    Connecting travel options - flying via Alicante

    Outward route Price per person Latest flight
    arrival time
    direct taxi Alicante airport to hotel (1h) £82-£85 flexible
    coach Alicante airport to Benidorm (0h50 - 1h30), taxi Benidorm to hotel (0h40) £43-£45 1800
    Homeward route Price per person Earliest flight
    departure time
    taxi hotel to Benidorm (1h15), coach Benidorm to Alicante airport (0h50-1h30) £66-£69 flexible
    direct taxi hotel to Alicante airport (2h) £107-£111 flexible
What is included
  • 7 nights
  • 7 dinners
    2 picnics
    7 breakfasts
  • luggage transported
  • route notes and maps
  • GPS navigation
 
Reviews

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We are keen for as many customers as possible to review their holiday. To make it easier to do so, we include a specific review section on our post-holiday questionnaire, and this is what we publish here, unedited. Read our full review policy >

 

FAQs

If you have any questions relating to this or any other Inntravel holiday, our friendly travel experts will be happy to help. You might also find our General FAQs section helpful.
  • We’ll send you route notes and maps 2-3 weeks before your holiday. The route notes not only contain directions to get from A to B, but also include practical information about places of interest and eateries along each route, plus cultural information about the area. If/when you are moving between hotels, you leave your luggage in reception as you leave, and it will be transferred ahead to your next accommodation, meaning that all you need to take with you are a camera, sun cream, drinks, food and waterproofs.

    For more detailed information, see our walking holidays in Europe page.
  • Yes, prior to going on holiday you will be able to download GPX tracks so that you can follow your route on your smartphone or dedicated GPS device if you wish. It’s entirely up to you whether or not you use them – our detailed, step-by-step route notes remain the principal means of guiding you from A to B – but we provide them as a secondary means of navigation for additional reassurance when walking.
  • We can book a wide range of routes from the UK with a variety of airlines. As well as being more convenient for you to book all elements of your holiday together, it also means that we’ll accept liability for your travel arrangements, so if things go wrong, such as the airline going bust, we’ll make suitable alternative arrangements for you. The fee for this service is £35 per person (£15 for children aged 2-11). More information on flights >
  • We can’t book flights that originate outside the UK, but if you wanted to book your own flights to London (or elsewhere in the UK), we can make all onward travel arrangements (including flights) from there. Alternatively, if you are booking your own flights to an airport in continental Europe that’s appropriate for your holiday, we can book onward rail travel and/or taxis. More information about how we can tailor holidays for customers outside the UK >
  • Since our holidays are self-guided, we recommend calling us for a chat about your plans before making a booking, especially if it’s the first time you’ve booked with us.
    The price panel shows the supplement for a single room and also the single traveller charge (this covers (luggage) transfers and other costs which are usually shared between two people).
  • Once you’ve decided on your exact itinerary (our travel experts will be happy to offer advice), you need to provide us with your party’s details, either by phone or via our booking form. At this point we also ask you to pay a deposit so that we can secure a room for you immediately on confirming availability with the hotel(s). If it turns out that we can’t secure the accommodation for the holiday you’ve requested, or offer an acceptable alternative, we’ll refund your deposit promptly and in full. After booking your accommodation and other key elements, we'll then book your travel (or you can do so if you’re making your own arrangements) and send you a Booking Confirmation and Invoice.

    More information about the booking process >
    Information about accommodation, general practicalities and more >
    Booking conditions >
  • Yes, it’s something we insist on, even for holidays in the UK. The vast majority of holidays go smoothly, but when things go wrong, it can be expensive to put them right. Buying a new pair of walking boots after your suitcase is stolen mightn’t seem so bad, but the bill for being airlifted down from a mountain with a broken leg or flown home while still recovering from an illness or accident can incur a five or six-figure bill.

    Many insurers offer travel insurance (you can find details on our insurance page of a policy that you may like to consider if you are a UK resident), but you do need to make sure that you’re covered for medical emergencies – including falling ill with Covid-19 while on holiday – and repatriation. We also recommend that you are covered for other eventualities, such as cancellation and loss of luggage and passports.

    When you purchase a policy, be sure to check that it covers the activities you'll be doing on holiday and that it is adequate for your own individual needs.
  • It is your responsibility to ensure you are in possession of the correct travel documents, with the correct validity. If you’re a UK citizen, you need a full British passport to travel to Spain, but not a visa (please note, however, that a new travel authorisation system is being introduced). If you are a citizen of another country, you’ll need to check requirements with the national embassy or your own consulate.

    Current information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice for UK citizens can be found through the Travel Health Pro website. You must make sure you have adequate insurance cover for illness, accidents and repatriation (see the insurance question). You should also apply for a Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) if your EHIC has expired (if you have a still-valid EHIC, you can use this until it expires).
  • (Castilian) Spanish is one of several official languages; Catalan, Basque and Gallego have equal status in Catalonia, the Basque Country and Galicia, respectively. The currency is the Euro. Spanish time is GMT/UTC + 1. It uses Daylight Saving Time, so in summer is on BST + 1.
  • For information on the practicalities of travel now that the UK is no longer part of the European Union, visit www.gov.uk/visit-eu-switzerland-norway-iceland-liechtenstein.
  • The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides up-to-date, country-by-country travel advice, as well as information on security, local laws, passports and visas for UK citizens.

    If you live outside the UK, see our essential travel information page for a list of relevant websites.
  • You are the best judge of your child’s/children’s capabilities. We are happy to take bookings for families of older children/teenagers if they walk regularly, love the outdoors and are comfortable with the distances and ascent/descent involved. Please note that the bedrooms at most of the accommodation we use will normally only sleep a maximum of 3 people, and sometimes only 2.
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