Avoid the clutches of Benidorm, and Costa Blanca is an outdoor lovers paradise. It has just about every outdoor activity you could possibly want and the hiking varies from easy walks to challenging scrambles.
Here are some favourite hikes if you’re looking for a bit of adventure…
The Bernia Ridge dominates the landscape throughout the Costa Blanca. It may not be as high as the mighty Puig Campana, but it’s spiky pinacles are easily spotted from a distance, resembling the spine of some prehistoric creature.
There are three different routes you can take to explore the Serra Bernia. The full circuit traversing around the ridge, the Bernia East Summit or the Bernia West Summit. (It’s possible to link the East and West Summits, completing the full Bernia ridge but this does need some rock climb skills).
The full circuit is a long day but not technically challenging apart from crawling through a metre high short tunnel. You can tackle the route in either direction and start from the easily accessed Casa de Bernia, or climb the twisty road to Casa de Runar.
If you’re looking for some adventure, take on one of the summits. Both summits can be accessed by competent scramblers. All that’s required is a good head for heights! The West Summit is the most challenging. the hardest sections are protected by chains and knotted ropes but the exposure is intimidating. You have been warned!
There are different ways of climbing the big beast of the Costa Blanca. Some involve multi-pitch climbing, all are challenging. Leaving the climbing ropes at home, the most infamous route on the Puig Campana is the Vertical Kilometer.
This was the scene of a Sky Race in 2012 and continues to attract trail runners wanting to test themselves against the steep ascent.
The start from Finestrat is easy enough but you’ll soon be gasping for breathe clambering up the steep scree slope to the top of the Puig. In my view, the descent back the same way was the hardest part.
The Monte Ponoig, aka the Sleeping Lion, is a favourite hike above Polop. It’s a fine isolated summit with the option of an airy scramble along the ridge.
Sign the book at the top and marvel at the international representation. This mountain manages to attract visitors from all over the World.
Castell De Confrides
Guadalest Castle, just down the road, may be more famous, but for me, Castell De Confrides is the real deal. It’s a short stroll for a rest day or a beautiful evening, but in just a few kilometers packs in everything that’s wonderful about walking in the Costa Blanca.
Almond groves, scrambling, wonderful views and a ruined castle perched on a steep pinnacle. It’s a walk to savour, and return to again and again.
Neglected and adventurous, the Serra Ferrer North Ridge excels if you love scrambling on exposed ridges.
Accessed from El Masserof, accessing the ridge is a little overgrown in places but it’s well worth a bit of bush-wacking. The scrambling along the crest, with airy drops on either side, is amongst the best in Costa Blanca.
Costa Blanca is a bit of a heart stealer for mountain lovers. These walking suggestions are just a starting point for ideas. The above guides are strongly recommended, particularly the Cicerone Guide for more adventurous ideas. Love to hear about your favourite Costa Blanca hikes…