Beyond the typical vision of a “sun and beach” destination, the truth is that the province of Alicante is one of the most mountainous in Spain. If we dare to explore the interior of the Costa Blanca, endless mountains await us, with more than 50 peaks that are over a thousand meters high. Mountains that give rise to countless ravines, the scene of adventure sports such as canyoning. Mountains that are also the origin of natural wonders like the ones we are going to discover today.
Our recommendation is to stay in one of the charming rural hotels in the interior of Alicante, and in this way be able to combine hiking trails with cultural visits in a relaxed way, taste the rich local cuisine or even, why not, visit one of the the beautiful beaches and coves of the Alicante coast.
Will you join us on this fascinating journey? Let’s start!
1. The Ifach Rock
The Peñón de Ifach is a large mass of limestone rock over 300 meters high that is located off the coast of Calpe (Calp), in the north of the province of Alicante. The Penyal d’Ifac (in Valencian) is one of the natural parks of the Valencian Community, protected since 1987 due to the singularity of the flora that develops in it, with species in danger of extinction. The most surprising thing about the Peñón de Ifach is that we can ascend to its summit following a hiking route of medium difficulty. From the top, the views are truly spectacular…
2. Fonts d’Algar
Very close to the tourist and well-known Benidorm, in the town of Callosa d’En Sarrià, we find a natural space of great beauty and exuberant vegetation: Les Fonts d’Algar (Las Fuentes del Algar). A place where water is the protagonist, giving rise to a series of waterfalls, tolls (pools) and backwaters. The entrance is regulated in order to preserve the place, so you will have to buy a ticket to visit them (€5 for adults).
3. The Relleu Reservoir Footbridge
Relleu is a small and quiet town in the interior of Alicante, located at the foot of the Sierra de Aitana, the highest on the Costa Blanca. This beautiful town hides a valuable cultural heritage: a dam built in the 17th century that is among the oldest in Europe. But that’s not all: beyond the dam, a narrow and spectacular gorge has excavated the mountain for centuries, giving rise to the ravine known as l’Estret del Pantà. The recent installation of a dizzying walkway, baptized as “El Caminito de Relleu”, allows you to enter this amazing setting.
4. The Arcs of Castell de Castells
In the interior of the province of Alicante, and more specifically in the town of Castell de Castells, we find these two large (huge) natural rock arches, in the surroundings of the Sierra de la Xortà. A landscape that, for those people accustomed to visiting only the beaches of Alicante, it will seem unbelievable that they are still on the Costa Blanca.
5. The Mascarat Canyon
The Barranc Salat or Cañón del Mascarat is a deep pit between high vertical walls. It is a ravine that cuts through the great limestone barrier of the Sierra de Bèrnia, causing its prolongation towards the sea, the Sierra de Toix or Morro de Toix, to be separated from the main spur. This point of the Alicante orography, especially abrupt and steep, is located between the towns of Altea and Calpe. Its existence blocked road communications for decades until finally, at the end of the 19th century, a complex system of tunnels and bridges was built that made it possible to cross it easily. There is a simple route that allows us to enter the Mascarat Canyon, experiencing sensations similar to those we experience through canyoning, but without the need for equipment or special knowledge. In fact, it is such a simple route that we can do it with children. The exclamations of admiration are guaranteed…
6. The Cova dels Arcs (Cave of Arches)
La Cova dels Arcs (“cave of the arches” would be the translation from Valencian), is a unique cave located at the end of Cala Moraig, on the coast of El Poble Nou de Benitatxell, north of the province of Alicante. This unique cave at sea level has three large “windows” through which you can see, in the background, the silhouette of Isla del Descubridor and Cabo de la Nao. The cave is part of a complex network of underground galleries formed by an underground river (El Riu Blanc), which is among the longest in Spain. Inside the cave, a siphon gives divers access to this complex network of underwater caves.