On a gloomy Friday night in London, we boarded a flight to Alicante for some winter sun. Although the city is best know for its vibrant nightlife and relaxing coastline, we were heading there to make the most of the surrounding countryside.
Alicante itself is not the most charming city. The multitude of high rises and its overbuilt coast hide – sometimes a bit too efficiently – its old town and quaint restaurants. Instead of staying there, we rented a car and drove off to Finestrat, a climber’s paradise, only an hour’s away from the airport. The town itself is small, with a few shops and restaurants. In recent years, it has been invaded by climbers due to its location at the foothills of Puig Camapana, an impressive mountain that offers many hiking and climbing opportunities.
At the edge of Finestrat lies the Orange House, a climber’s youth hostel with a pool, a slack line and a guitar – everything you need to have a good time, really.
We stayed there for three nights, and had the chance to meet the managers and a few climber guests that were, just like us, looking for a few days of sunshine. Whilst I spent my days hiking and swimming, the others enjoyed the incredible climbing the surroundings had on offer.
On the first day, they went climbing near Calp, in an area called Morro de Toix whilst I went running in the surrounding hills.
We then finished the day swimming in Calp, and having dinner in Benidorm, another built up city by the coast.
On the second day, Leo found a perfect hike around Serra de Bernia, a mountain overlooking the coast.
The views were spectacular, and the walk was pleasant and full of surprises: in order to complete the loop, we had to crawl though a small cave in the mountain !
We then went swimming in Altea, and had dinner in the small village perched over the coastline nearby.
Our last day was spent in Sella, climbing and hiking in the sun.
By the time we had to leave, the clouds had gathered around the coast, and we headed back to Alicante for one last glass of Cava before heading back to winter.