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Best 5 Hiking Trails near Benidorm, Costa Blanca

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About Benidorm

Benidorm is the leader of sunny-beach-style tourism in Spain. The city has such a big branding for it, that the entire TV show was created about British holidaymakers, spending their money by the Mediterranean coast. Actually, Benidorm was featured in more than 300 movies or series and it was the host of many festivals including its own like “Song Festival”.

History

The city might seem a bit too pompous, or too one-dimensional, but becoming a tourism megapolis was the only way to prosperity for the city. Regardless of what it might look like, the roots of Benidorm might be ancient, outdating both Muslims and Romans. What is known for a fact is that Benidorm was first mentioned in 1325, and it came to a brink of extinction between 1502 and 1666, when the back-then-settlement became a part of Polop Parish.

Holidays in 80s style. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

The city marks the beginning of the tourism era in the city in 1893, but Benidorm got its current shape only in the early 1950s. Just after ten years, Benidorm became the first city in Spain to allow bikinis, which at first were demonstrated only by the French girls. Soon after – the tourists followed.

At first, Benidorm was covered by horizontal hotels and villas, but during the 70s the demand grew and so did the size of hotels. They became so enormous that they started to resemble skyscrapers. It was the beginning of the modern tourism era of Benidorm.

If Benidorm was built 2,000 years ago, it would be in UNSECO today. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

For the longest time the only resource of Benidorm – the sunny beaches – was more than enough to fulfill the needs of its holidaymakers, but today the demand is changing. The town got surrounded by various theme parks, sports, golf, and other activity venues. These places are so dense that sometimes it is easy to forget, where Benidorm is located at.

Benidorm Details

Benidorm and most of the natural beauty around it are located in Marina Baixa region. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Hiking Around Benidorm

Benidorm might not be the first destination to come into mind for hiking, but it is actually located in a very beautiful part of Spain – Costa Blanca. The terrain around the city is exceptionally beautiful, thus the option to stretch the legs for a change is always there.

What applies in Alicante region applies to Benidorm as well. This region is very mountainous, thus there are plenty of hiking opportunities. Given the long stretches of the Mediterranean Sea, most of the hikes have awe-inspiring views, which undoubtedly going to leave a mark in your memory. Despite the depth of the wonderful natural wonders to visit in Alicante region, in this article I’m going to focus only on the hikes within close reach of Benidorm. Though, one could argue that this is in a matter of fact the most beautiful part not only of the region of Alicante, but the whole Valenciana Community.

Hiking in Serra Gelada Natural Park

The most obvious place to hike near Benidorm is the giant rock cliff right next to the city – Serra Gelada Natural Park (Parque Natural de la Serra Gelada). Due to its close proximity, the park might look like a boring place to go, but it couldn’t be further from the truth. Benidorm arose in Costa Blanca not without a reason. This area is stunningly beautiful. The mountains seem to be hand-in-hand with the Mediterranean Sea and Serra Gelada Natural Park is one of those places.

The view of Mediterranean Sea from Alt del Governador. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

1. Alt del Governador – Climbing the Roof of Serra Gelada

If you want to rise above the skyscrapers of Benidorm, there is no better place to do so than climbing Alt del Governador. Rising 438 m / 1,437 ft above the sea level, which is right next to the peak, Alt del Governador is the highest point of Serra Gelada Natural Park. Though the peak is situated closer to L’Albir on the other side of the mountain range, the yellow route through Serra Gelada connects both towns. Therefore, technically, it is possible to climb Alt del Governador from either side, though walking straight from Benidorm will add about 2-3h of walking in one direction.

There are good rock climbing routes for beginners in Serra gelada. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Hike Details

The detour route to the peak has the same yellow marking as the rest of the hiking trail, thus be aware of signs showing directions. Alt del Governador rises clearly above all the terrain of Serra Gelada therefore it shouldn’t be possible to miss it. In case you want to be sure, Alt del Governador is the peak with all the antennas on it, The very same one, which gives the precise weather forecast for the beaches of Benidorm.

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Serra Gelada is a very popular hiking destination, but the yellow-marked hiking route is much less crowded than its red counterpart. Both hikes from L’Albir side starts from the tourist information center of Serra Gelada and has dedicated parking lot right next to the entrance. There is no possibility to refill your water tanks along the route except the tourist information center, thus being enough. Though parts of the hike are covered by a forest, during the hot parts of the season, the weather will be scorching even in the shadows.

Climbing Alt del Governador will reward with the amazing views at all directions. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

2. Camino del Faro – The Hike to Albir Lighthouse

The other official hiking route in Serra Gelada Natural Park connects the tourist information center to L’Albir lighthouse via the red-marked track. Way more people come to the park to do this hike than the yellow route and for a good reason. Camino del Faro follows the northeast edge of the Serra Gelada cliff ridge. Needless to say, the views of Penon de Ifach, Altea, L’Albir beach & Puig Campana are just jaw-dropping.

Having in mind the wonderful scenery of the hike, and the accessibility, Camino del Faro is somewhat a paradise for all kinds of nature lovers. Photo by A.L. [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Hike details

Having said that, the vistas are just top-notch across Serra Gelada. The real reason for the popularity of the hike is the quality of the road itself. Though similar in length, the red route is not as steep as the yellow one. Also, Camino del Faro has a paved wheelchair friendly road, which attracts many cyclists, scooters, and even Segway enthusiasts. In short – anybody can do this hike and it even has WiFi. Given the awe-inspiring vistas along the route, Camino del Faro is a perfect hiking route for easily accessed spots for beautiful Instagram pictures to everybody. You can read more about hiking to Albir lighthouse in this guide.

Alt del Governador (438m) in Serra Gelada, Spain. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

3. Cova Tallada – Perfect Combination of Walking & Sea

Located on the edge of Costa Blanca, Cova Tallada is a cave system by the sea next to the giant cliffs of Mount Montgó Natural Park. The cave is a very popular destination not only among hikers but kayakers as well. People come here to spend their day on the rocky beaches near Cova Tallada to enjoy the views, snorkeling, and even cliff diving. Because of the crowds, the hike tends to get worse press than it should. Sure the route is dangerous but if you act carefully and follow all the common hiking rules – you’ll be fine. Just be sure to take a pair of good hiking shoes because the rocks are slippery due to the overuse of the route.

There are 6 official hiking routes in Mount Montgó Natural Park but I’ve picked Cova Tallada due to its uniqueness in the list. If you are considering looking for another hike in the park, have in mind that all of them are linear and require taking water supplies with you.

The hallway is connected to the main room which covers most of the total area. Acoustics are perfect here as the ceiling is astonishingly high. The dining room is combined with the room but due to ever-changing trends of design it is hard to notice where exactly the kitchen is. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Hike details

Cova Tallada hike is a very short walk from Denia by the beautiful cliffs of Mount Montgó, facing the ever-blue Mediterranean Sea. The route starts at the eastern edge of Denia facing Mount Montgó Natural Park. There is no dedicated parking lot for the amounts of visitors Cova Tallada receives, therefore you’ll have to drop your car somewhere in the outer streets of the city. The hike itself will take just above half an hour to complete. That includes some stairs and narrow ferrata roads by the cliffs, thus some mountain hiking experience is recommended.

You can read the details of hiking to Cova Tallada in this guide, but if the hiking route looks too difficult for you – don’t worry – you can always rent a kayak in Denia and row it to Cova Tallada.

Montgó mountain is 753 m / 2470 ft high. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

4. Penon de Ifach – Climbing the Gibraltar of Costa Blanca

The real crown jewel of the Costa Blanca for challenging hiking and exceptional views is Penon de Ifach. Situated behind Calpe city, on a tip of the region, this rock was used for navigation from ancient times. The great sea culture – Phoenicians – used to call Penon de Ifach the North Rock, with the south one being famous Gibraltar itself.

The views speak for themselves. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Hike Details

Rising 332m / 1089 ft above the sea level, Penon de Ifach might not be as tall as Alt del Governador of Serra Gellada but the vistas are superb probably to everything I’ve seen so far in the Iberian Peninsula. Because of that, the popularity of the hike is much higher than it is supposed to be. Many people try to hit above their category by attempting this difficult climb but I can hardly blame them. If anywhere, the risks are worth taking. Though I highly suggest this hike only to the people, who have some rock climbing experience and good sturdy hiking boots.

The hike to the top of Penon de Ifach could be easily divided into two parts: The first one is a good quality road, which traverses up like a snake to a tunnel and could be done by anybody; The second part starts just after the tunnel through rocks to the very peak of the Calpe rock. It might sound easier than I insist the route is, but have in mind the high crowds, which make the rocks more slippery every day. Without a guide to climbing Penon de Ifach should be carefully considered, but it is probably the hike to do in the whole of Costa Blanca. Even though the Calpe rock provides superb views, the other hikes could be much easier but still very mesmerizing.

Penon de Ifach is 332 m / 1,089 ft height rock, rising above the Mediterranean. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

5. Puig Campana – In Search of Benidorm Island Origins

Puig Campana hike is the hiking route to beat not only around Benidorm but in the whole of Costa Blanca. At 1,406m / 4,613ft is the highest point in the region and one of the tallest mountains in the Valencian Community, therefore getting on the very top of it is the ultimate challenge. Climbing Puig Campana will test not only your skills but endurance and physical preparation as well. Despite all the odds, it will reward with incomparable awe, only possible such peaks as Puig Campana is – the highest mountain in proximity.

Roland’s Cut in Puig Campana. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Hike Details

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Due to the Puig Campana’s dramatic appearance, the climb to the top of it seems to start from the arrival to Costa Blanca. With the right weather conditions, Puig Campana dominates the landscape in the region. The most extinguishing feature of the mountain is Roland’s cut, which as the legend of Puig Campana tells was cut out by the famous Knight himself to prolong the life of his loved one by a few moments. The remnants of that mountain slice are supposed to be the giant rock at the coast by Benidorm. Whatever there is any truth in this, the legend animates the romance in the already lovely region.

The hiking route to the very top of Costa Blanca begins at Font Moliin Finestrat town. There are two options to climb Puig Campana: The first one is shorted but very unpleasant and a hard one – the so-called “vertical kilometer”, which is actually 1,100m / 3,609ft of steep upright climbing; The second one is easier but longer and requires just as much endurance. The route via Col de Pouet might require a whole day to complete, but it is just as I said before – climbing Puig Campana is the hike to beat in Costa Blanca.

Puig Campana is visible from anywhere near Benidorm, insluding Serra Gelada. Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

Personal Experience

Hiking in the area around Benidorm of Costa Blanca at first might look like a cheap shot but in reality, it is a blessing in disguise. It took me four visits to the area to start truly appreciate the uniqueness of this landscape. The region is filled with artificial towns for tourists and ex-pats but beyond them lies the reason why they were built in this area in the first place. Costa Blanca combines the best of nature into one region and exploring it will be an unforgettable adventure. I hope that my personal experience of hiking in Costa Blanca will help you to learn to appreciate the region, just as they taught me to do so.

All content and photos by Alis Monte. If you want to collaborate, contact me on info@ctdots.eu Photo by Alis Monte [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Connecting the Dots

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