This walking tour takes you through four beautiful valleys of the Marina Alta, the Vall de Gallinera, Vall de Alcalà, Vall d’Ebo and the Vall de Laguar and finishes in the delightful and historic port town of Dénia.
The Marina Alta trek features outstanding accommodation, excellent local cuisine, dramatic scenery, a variety of landscapes and the area’s intriguing history.
The type of accommodation, small rural hotels and village inns, matches the character of the trek and always offers something special, like traditional architecture, panoramic views or a pool for a relaxing dip after your day’s trekking.
Every evening the chefs will prepare you a dish typical of the local cuisine, and if you really want to try the Mediterranean diet at its best then why not stay for an extra day or two in Dénia and sample the mouth-watering local seafood gastronomy.
Extend your trek with an additional night or two along the way and do an extra circular walk or just relax for the day.
The Marina Alta scenery is truly impressive and you will enjoy it walking on ancient mule trails and footpaths that have connected the villages and valleys for centuries.
We will provide you with maps, route notes and a Garmin GPS for navigating so you can be sure of getting to your destination without any problems at all.
|How to get here.
The nearest airport is at Alicante Airport, we will meet you in the Arrivals Hall and transfer you to your first hotel.
Alternatively, you can fly to Valencia Airport, transfer to Valencia Nord railway station and catch a train to Xeraco from where we transfer you to your first hotel.
We can also arrange for transfers direct to Valencia city or to Valencia Airport.
|When to visit.
You can start on any day of the week, subject to availability. We do not recommend late June, July, August or early September unless you are have experience of walking in high temperatures. Otherwise any time from mid-September through to mid-June.
Calendar highlights for the Marina Alta include the olive harvest in October - November, the almond blossom in mid February, the cherry blossom in late March - April, the cherry harvest in May, and the orange blossom and harvest from February to May. For botanists there is always something in flower but visit from late February to the end of May for orchids and wildflowers.
|Day 1. Arrive Alicante Airport for transfer to Adsubia and spend the rest of the day by walking down to the village and explore the streets of this typical Mediterranean village or just relaxing by the pool.|
|Day 2. Adsubia to Benissiva. The route starts on an ancient mule trail built by the Moors and maintained by subsequent generations. You ascend up to Gallinera Castle and panoramic views of the coastal plains and, as you walk along the valley ridge, the Vall de Gallinera Valley finally descending to Benissiva along another old mule trail that gently works its way down the precipitous southern escarpment into the valley. Time: 5 hours, distance 13 km, ascents 740m, descents 620m.|
|Optional extra day in the Vall de Gallinera. Circular route that includes visits to the cave paintings at Beniali and Benirrama and hike up onto the Serra del Almirall for panoramic views of the Vall de Gallinera to the south and the Serra de Safor to the north.|
|Day 3. Benissiva to Alcalá de la Jovada.The route first skirts the northern side of the valley includes visits to the charming villages of La Carroja, Alpatró, Llombai and Benisili before ascending to the Nazi fugitives hideaway and Al-Azrak's castle and the site of his rendition. The route ascends further to include a visit to the site of a Bronze Age Iberian settlement with panoramic views of the three adjacent valleys before descending to Alacalá de la Jovada. Time: 6 hours, distance 16.1 km, ascents 945m, descents 611m|
|Optional extra day exploring the Vall de Alcalá. Circular route that visits a large prehistoric cave site at la Roca where numerous stone age tools have been found and another abandoned Moorish hamlet characteristic of the area before visiting the small farming villages of Margalida and Beniaia before returning through pinewoods to Alcalá de La Jovada.|
|Day 4. Walk from Alcalá de La Jovada to Vall d'Ebo. Today starts with a visit to an icehouse on the outskirts of the village with a unique view of the interior before passing the abandoned Moorish hamlet of Atzuvia to cross the valley to a rock arch with a history of occupation that dates back to the Stone Age. Next is a visit to see a surprising Moorish cave dwelling. From here the route ascends to cross the quiet, dry limestone moorland characteristic of the Vall de Ebo uplands before descending to the village of Vall d'Ebo. Time: 5 hours, distance 14.3 km, ascents 745m, descents 670m.|
|Optional extra day visiting the Cova del Rull. Discovered by chance the cave has some of the best formations of stalactites and stalagmites in Alicante Province.|
|Today your trek takes you up through almond and olive groves on the terraces around the village to join an ancient trail that gently ascends up to the summit ridge of the mountain, the Serra de la Carrasca, which separates the Vall d'Ebo from the Vall de Laguar. From here you have panoramic views of the surrounding mountains as you work your way around the western end of the Barranco del Infierno to descend into the Vall de Laguar. The descent to Fleix is along an ancient footpath where you can be sure of a wonderful display of three or four species of orchids from March to April. Time: 5 hours, distance 14.3 km, ascents 745m, descents 670m.|
|Optional extra days in Fleix. Today you have a choice of three optional routes, you can do the entire 3000 steps route, an abridged version of the 3000 steps route that also explores the accessible parts of the Barranco del Infierno and a third route that takes you up onto the ridge, the Cavall Verd, that delimits the southern boundary of the Vall de Laguar with panoramic views of the neighbouring Vall de Seta and a visit to Isbert's Dam. Built in the 1920's it has never worked as a dam because of the permeable geology of the Barranco del Infierno but features some remarkable engineering.|
|Walk from Fleix to Benimeli. Your route descends the steps to the bottom of the Barranco, passing through a short tunnel hacked out by hand, and then ascends the far side along the former Camino Real that linked the two valleys. From here the route gently ascends through the pinewoods and quiet countryside of the Serra de Migdia until you cross the pass at Pla de las Poets and the green and verdant coastal plain comes into view. Descending to the village of Tormos you walk through groves of mandarins on the last leg to Benimeli. Time: 6 hours, 17.7 km, ascents 720m descents, 900m.|
|Optional extra day in Benimeli. Explore the Serra de Segària with views to the north and south over the coastal plain, includes visits to the site of a Bronze Age Iberian settlement and two caves. The return half of this route repeats the first part of tomorrow's route but in reverse.|
|Walk from Benimeli to Dénia. The final day of your trek starts with a brief ascent to the Coll de Pas de Benimeli, where you bid farwell to the mountains. From here the route follows level the course of a disused irrigation channel before descending to the town of El Vergel. The route now crosses the coastal plain and its groves of oranges and mandarins set out in neat rows and pruned so as to be easily harvested by hand on the final leg to Dénia. Time: 5 hours, distance 15.7 km, ascents 255m, descents 355m.|
|Optional extra days. Circular walk to the Serra de Montgo to visit the caves with Roman graffiti carvings and stunning views of the coast to the north and south. Visit historic Dénia castle, ethnographic museum, the fish auction, explore the charming old town that lies at the foot of the castle, take a stroll along the seafront, spend the day at the port or relaxing on the beach or take a gastronomic tour of the local bistros and sample the excellent seafood dishes.|
|Alternative routes||There are optional shortcut routes available for days 3, 4, 5 and 6 in the event of unfavourable weather.|
|Grade||This trek is moderately difficult, the distances are medium but some of the longer ascents may be challenging. There are some short sections where the path is not clear that may require care.|
Adsubia. Located just outside the village this new villa accommodation is run by a Dutch family. The house is surrounded by orchards of oranges and mandarins, the scent is exquisite when they are in flower, and features a swimming pool with chill out area where early risers can watch the sunrise over the Mediterranean Sea in the distance
Benissiva. Located in the village this beautifully restored farmhouse is full of interesting features and details. The owners have created a variety comfortable of areas to relax in with views out over the Gallinera Valley plus a large garden with swimming pool and a "wishing tree" where you can hang your wish in the tree. Extra night recommended to explore the neighboring villages in the valley.
Alcalá de la Jovada. An outstanding rural hotel and restaurant that overlooks the main square with spacious bedrooms that are more like mini-suites, with sofa, coffee table and wood burning stove. The owners have spared no expense in restoring this large house in one of the areas most historic villages. Extra night recommended to explore the valley.
Vall d'Ebo. Situated on the edge of the village this rural hotel is renowned for its excellent food and especially the local tapas they prepare. There is a large outside terrace with views of the valley and a bar for a cool beer after your days trekking. Extra night recommended to visit the Cova del Rull cave.
Fleix. This delightful casa rural is located between the villages of Fleix and Campell. The owners have converted old farm buildings into a series of holiday cottages and individual accommodations. Includes a swimming pool, gardens and a terrace with panoramic views out over the the coastal plain. Extra night recommended to explore the Barranc del Infern.
Benimeli. This casa rural has a small self contained apartment for couples and a larger house for four or more persons. Features in the main house include a small swimming pool, a jacuzzi and lovely closed yard. Meals may served in the house or nearby bar-restaurant. Extra night recommended to explore the adjacent Sierra de Segária.
Dénia. Located in the centre of town this three star boutique hotel is close to the port, the castle and the historic town centre. The perfect place to relax at the end of your trek, the modern rooms are spacious and well-appointed and include hydro-massage bathtub. Extra days are recommended to explore the town and surroundings, visit restaurants and the castle.
|Marina Alta Trek||778.00€||per person [Min two persons]|
|Single person supp. hotel||120.00€||per person [third person]|
|Extra nights||85.00€||per person per night [Min two persons]|
|Single traveller supp. transfers||165.00€||per person|
|On the Marina Alta trekking holiday you will be discovering some of the most interesting walking in the Costa Blanca Mountains, and in particular the Barranc del Infern, an astonishing gorge carved into the surrounding mountains, and walk the 3000 cobbled steps that descend and ascend the gorge - the locals refer to this as the "Walker's Cathedral" and it is easy to see why.|
|In late March and early April you will catch the cherry trees in blossom, the speciality of the Vall de Gallinera and Vall de Laguar, when the white flowers give the impression of a light sprinkling of snow. The fruit is harvested from May onwards.|
|Finally you descend from the mountains to cross the coastal plain to Dénia passing through groves of oranges and mandarins, from February onwards you can enjoy the fruit and the exquisite scent of orange blossom. March April and May are the months when you can expect to see orchids in the Vall de Laguar, which could be called the Valley of the Orchids for its exuberant displays of orchids adjacent to the footpaths, your route notes include places where you can expect to see the best displays.|
|One of the pleasures of this walking tour is the variety of the landscapes you will be exploring, perhaps the most important attribute of any walking holiday and it means that no two days are ever the same. The views, the plants, the architecture and the character of each valley and each village stimulates the senses and presents a continuous parade of features to enjoy and admire.|
|The intriguing history of the area adds another dimension to your holiday and brings to life aspects of the countryside that otherwise would have remained unnoticed - you will visit Al-Azrak's castle, the last Arab commanders to rule the in this part of Spain and where he signed the Peace Treaty in 1245 with King James l of Aragon - the mountain-top refuge of a former Nazi fugitive plus a catalogue of features, from cave paintings to lime kilns, where mankind has left his mark on the landscape over the millennia.|
|The trek route includes stays in Adsubia, Benissiva, Alcalá de la Jovada, Vall d'Ebo, Fleix, Benimeli and the port town of Dénia and passes through La Carroja, Alpatró, Llombay, Benisili, Sagra and El Verger.|
|There are no car transfers other than the transfers to and from the airport. Extra days include visits to the villages of Beniali, Benirrama, Margalida, Beniaia, Benimaurell and Campell.|
|We provide you with maps, route notes and a Garmin GPS for navigating so you can be sure of getting to your destination with no worries at all.
Extend your Marina Alta trekking holiday and linger for a day or two more in Benissiva, Alcalá de la Jovada, Fleix or Dénia - we have an itinerary of extra walks and activities for you to get the most out of your time here. Enquire for full details about the extra itineraries for each village.