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Higher Calling: Adventure in Valencia, Spain

Spain's little-known Valencia region beckons the mountain-minded adventurer with dramatic topography, sun-drenched hiking and biking, and sumptuous end-of-day feasts.

Trip Planner

Getting there
Numerous airlines fly to Valencia via Madrid, and Delta plans to begin direct flights from New York in June 2009. From Valencia, it’s less than two hours’ drive to Castell de Castells.

The trek
The author walked from Castell de Castells to Guadalest to Sella along a 60-mile route marked with white and yellow signs. Bring trekking poles for the steep trails and scree, and light pants or zip-offs for the thorny vegetation. See "Guidebook and Maps" below for details on this route and additional trekking options.

Multisport
The Bernia Ridge traverse is marked with red blazes and arrows; give it a full day. A 40-meter rope is required for the rappels (from bolt anchors) and about 50 feet of bolted 5.7 climbing. Learn more about Bernia Ridge, Ponoch via ferrata, and area canyoning at geocities.com/costablancaclimbing/otheractivities.html and ryanglass-mountaineering.co.uk/html/topos.html.

Season
You can hike here year-round (the region gets 300 sunny days annually), but fall and spring are best; avoid the heat of July and August. Hiker traffic is always low.

Lodging and Food
A room in a village hotel or B&B (like Cases Noves B&B in Guadalest, destinoguadalest.com) starts at $120/night for a double (depending on the exchange rate). Local restaurants include the Hotel Serrella in Castell de Castells; Restaurante la Montaña in Benimantell; and Bar Paco and Isa & Toni’s in Sella. Learn more about area lodging choices at muntanyadalacant.com. Backcountry camping is permitted, but the rocky terrain and thorny vegetation can make sites difficult to find.

Outfitter
Terra Ferma (José’s outfit), terraferma.net

Cost
DIY: $$$ // Guided: $$$$

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