Hiking in Altea
Some people think about visiting Paris. I, on the other hand, think about things like eating at Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago, drinking a glass of Chateau Yquem, or hiking along the Spanish coastal mountains. I opted for pizza, vino tinto and breathtaking scenery earlier last week on the Costa Blanca.
Altea is a coastal town in the province of Valencia three hours from Barcelona. One side snuggles up to the Mediterranean, while the other is in striking distance of the Sierra de Bernia mountain range. There are numerous hikes in and around the area including one to the Bernia Fort, a 16th century fort used to control the Moors in earlier times. We discovered all that remains of the ruins are a few standing walls but it was well worth the hike.
Spain has a number of hiking trails known as senders de gran recorregut (GR) and Senders de Petit Recorregut (PR). Other trails cross or run parallel to both. Trail markers are red and white or yellow and white stripes which make it fairly easy to find your way.
Our first breather was after an hour of hiking. After that, it got steeper with lots of switchbacks.
This went on for a good hour, then the trail wound through an olive and almond orchard that had long been forgotten. It proceeded along a creek bed in a rocky area with pine trees and opened up to this view a few hours later.
Our stellar day of hiking ended with this view and beverage: Cava on the balcony overlooking the Mediterranean.