Spain Guide

Hiking Eastern Spain

For the majority of foreign visitors, the concept of hiking in eastern Spain involves nothing more strenuous than a stroll along the beachfront promenade in search of a likely looking lunch spot.

The millions of sun seekers who flock to this stretch of coastline each year may cast a glance towards the awesome mountains looming majestically behind the bustling resorts of Benidorm, Calpe and Javea. But few take the time to discover the delights of the hinterland of Spain's east coast an untouched territory of endless mountain ranges, wooded canyons and Moorish villages seemingly frozen in time. You can walk for days on end through this vast and lonely wilderness without ever crossing the path of a fellow hiker.

Along and near the coastline there are popular hiking trails and mountain walks well trodden by tourists armed with guide books and bumf from the local tourist office. But venture just a short distance inland and you'll find a wealth of trackless forests and virgin mountainsides, peaks and crags. Unless you hire a tour guide, your only company may well be the wild boar, ibex and eagles which inhabit this largely undiscovered region.

Specialist tour operators offer a huge array of guided walks throughout this region ranging from day excursions to two week package holidays. Many deals include delightful rural accommodation in off the beaten track locations where you can immerse yourself in the "real Spain", enjoying the local culture, traditions and cuisine. The region is easily accessible to foreign tourists with low cost flights connecting the international airports at Valencia, Alicante and Murcia with many UK airports and other European destinations.


Some of the most beautiful and varied walking territory in eastern Spain lies inland from the city of Valencia and, further south, behind the big, brash party town of Benidorm. Walking trails in the Valencia area range from gentle excursions through coastal pine forests and sand dunes to more arduous day long hikes in the beautiful Sierra de los Bosques mountain range. The mountainous area around the city is a treasure trove of unspoilt villages, hidden waterfalls and ice cold rivers and lakes. Some tour operators offer packages combining guided mountain walks with excursions to some of the many fascinating places to visit within the city itself.

Inland from the coastal resorts of Calpe and Altea, the magnificent Sierra Bernia mountain range dominates the skyline and provides some of the most awesome hiking country in the entire region. Rambling clubs and hardened rock climbers are equally attracted to these mountains which never fail to fascinate, challenge and inspire all those who succumb to the lure of the Bernia.

A short hop further south lies the Sierra Helada, which offers relatively easy walks for day trippers from Benidorm and the more challenging Sierra Aitana the highest peak in the area at 1,559 metres.