Tuesday 20 February 2018

Buzz: Ever Wanted To Trek the Sierra De Altana

Lying very close to the renowned Costa Blanca, the Sierra de Aitana is a hidden gem of trekking locations, with its stunning rocky peaks and deep valleys carving themselves into the landscape and sweeping down to the Mediterranean coast.

This scenic region benefits from 300 days of sunshine per year, making it an ideal setting for trekking/walking holidays.

That said, due to its mountainous nature, the region is no stranger to adverse conditions, depending on the altitude and on the time of year.

The lowest recorded temperature in the mountain during winter is -20C, while snow has been reported to gather to a height of 50cm quite easily at times, while snowfall is generally seen in the late autumn, particularly at higher altitude points of the mountains.

The Aitana Peak is the summit of the mountain and stands at an imposing 1,558m above sea level, dominating the skyline for miles in all directions. Unfortunately, the summit is not accessible to tourists or trekkers as it is located within the boundaries of a Spanish army facility.

Not to worry, as its second summit is but 8m lower, which can be easily reached without any major technical or climbing difficulties. This summit is well signposted and boasts beautiful views of the surrounding area, with the Mediterranean shore at Benidorm in view in clear weather.

Tradit-ional footpaths and mule tracks are engrained into

the mountain, which trekkers tend to follow. These paths generally encompass ridge lines, offering spectacular panoramic views.

There are several companies offering guided treks, with the majority offering an eight-day itinerary. These generally take in the highlights of the entire area, including: the village of Benimantell; the summit of Aixorta, which offers beautiful views of Bernia Ridge; snow wells of the Serekka Mountain; the Simas de Partagat crevasses; the amazing peaks and points of Penya Roc; and climbing the Puig Campana.

How to get there/Where to stay?

Return flights from Dublin to Alicante in March are around the €260 mark. Although there are no designated camping locations in the mountains, there is an array of alternative accommodation options available in the area. There are a number of choices along the shore, from camping areas to top- of-the-range hotels; there is something to match everyone's price range

Highs Trekking along quiet routes in beautiful surroundings, with plenty of amenities and facilities close by.

LOWS Not having access to trek to the Aitana Peak.

Irish Independent

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