Eight incredible mountains near Alicante (Spain)
With altitudes that exceed 1500 meters, Alicante is, proportionally, one of the most mountainous regions of Spain.
Due to its altitude and popularity, perhaps the Aitana mountain —the roof of Alicante— may seem the most difficult to ascend, although other peaks such as Serrella or Puig Campana require a greater effort, since in these we must overcome a greater slope. In any case, the many mountain ranges of Alicante marvel every person who knows them. There is always some new one to explore. Below are some of the best-known and most impressive summits in the region.
1. Bèrnia (1126 masl).
It is located on the dividing line between the regions of Marinas Alta and Baixa, a short distance from the coast. Its curious mountain shape, steep and rocky, evokes a gigantic petrified crest of a dinosaur, or dragon. Both from the summit and from the famous Forat —a tunnel that you have to cross on all fours—, you get one of the best views of the bays of Altea and Benidorm.
2. Aitana (1557).
The brittle mountain of Aitana, which presides over the valley of Guadalest, is one of the most impressive mountains of Alicante, since in this one the rapid and evident transformation of the land is observed, in the surprising chasms of Partagat. The climb is not the most difficult, since from the source of Partagat there is a path that, in a short time, crowns the Peña Forata (1549 masl), which is the highest point accessible to hikers.
3. Montcabrer (1390).
It is the top of the Natural Park of Mariola, where a colony of vultures was introduced in 2000. The Montcabrer is located a short distance from the urban center of Cocentaina, from where an interesting route begins, with several fountains, that ascends to the top from the Hermitage of Sant Cristòfol. It is also possible to climb from Alcoy, through the Cint ravine, from Agres or from the Pinatell urbanization (Bocairent).
4. Menetjador (1354).
Located between Ibi (to the south) and Alcoy (to the north), the summit of Menetjador constitutes the highest point of the Natural Park of Carrascar de la Font Roja, which houses an important and long-lived Mediterranean forest of holm oaks. The easiest ascent is from the recreational area of Font Roja. The ascent from Ibi is longer, but it is worth it as it passes through different snow pits and allows to know, more thoroughly, the natural park and the difference in forest mass between the sunny part of the mountain and the shady part.
5. Penya Migjorn (1226).
It is located next to the town of Xixona and, for some years, its summit is visited by numerous vultures, perhaps coming from the nearby colony of Mariola mountain. The easiest ascent is from the urban center of Xixona, next to the remains of the Islamic castle. One of the most surprising parts of the Penya Migjorn is located a short distance from the summit, where we find the lonely Paret del Cantil in front of numerous rounded rock formations.
6. Puig Campana (1406).
It constitutes the second highest peak in Alicante and, as the name suggests (campana means bell), this mountain has a clear conical shape —at least from some perspectives— that resembles a bell. The easiest access to the top is from Finestrat, from where we must overcome a hard drop of about 1000 meters. Some people dare with the direct ascent, through a steep torrent, although there is a more relaxed route (and longer) that surrounds the mountain and crown it from Pouet hill.
7. Pla de la Casa (1379).
The “Pyrenean” par excellence of the interior of Alicante is none other than the rugged Serrella mountain, which also has three peaks that exceed 1300 meters of altitude: Pla de la Casa (1379), Serrella (1359) and Mallada del Llop (1361). We can climb to the highest point from the small town of Fageca, nestled in the bucolic and little-traveled Seta Valley. In addition, at the top of the Pla de la Casa there are, it is believed, the remains of the Castle of Xeroles, which in its origin would have been the Islamic tower located at higher altitude of these mountains.
8. Maigmó (1296).
Along with Penya Migjorn, it constitutes one of the mountains that flank, from the south, the access to the basin of Castalla (Hoya de Castalla). You can reach the summit, in a short time, from the recreational area of Balcón de Alicante. Although, for very experienced hikers and with ease for orientation, it is highly recommended to make the ascent from the recreational area of Rabosa (Petrer). It is a long route, without signposting and to spend the whole day, which allows to know in depth interesting places like Clot de les Manyes, Coll de l’Eixau or the lush forest of Maigmonet, among other places.