But Spain, and Costa Blanca of course has tons more to offer than wonderful beaches (and all night bars for those who like that sort of thing!), it's a huge adventure playground and an incredibly mountainous place. Only a mile or two inland you will find villages where time seems to have stood still. Traditional markets selling hand made produce, tapas bars serving delicious fresh food, narrow streets with white-washed houses. This is a country rich in history and culture, it awaits your exploration.
Beyond the edges of these villages rise dramatic mountain ranges, narrow rocky ridges, beautifully carved rock faces, whilst deep below are gouged the impressive canyons. All can provide exciting, invigorating, and fun days out for those willing to try.
For the winter months (mid-October - mid-March) we are based in pretty Jalon valley, Costa Blanca and can arrange half day, full day, and multi-day activities that will bring an extra dimension to your stay in this beautiful area. Our first course of the season begins this coming Saturday which is exciting. We have good availability throughout the winter and spring too. Please give us a call / email and let us put together the beginnings of a fantastic adventure.
And for those wanting to get away from the coastal resorts, we can offer accommodation in a traditional mountain village house, in the mountains yet only 20 minutes from the sea.
Whilst many adventure visitors come to the area for its pristine rock faces, or beautiful mountain walks, few venture into the canyons. These are quite unique places, with dramatic scenery, inspiring rock formations, and exciting descents. Unlike most other parts of Europe, the canyons of Costa Blanca are mostly dry. This means no wettest, no cold water swimming, and the possibility of covering far more ground in a day.
The Barranco del Infierno (photo above) should be on everyones list, but this is just the start and there's so much more to discover.
'Personally, i'd rather be doing something more vertical than going for a walk' -- this is what I would often say to Kate when a walk was suggested. I've since come to realise the value in mountain walking in the Costa Blanca. As with anywhere else, walking is how we explore and get to know an area, piece everything together, and discover more. Now it's often I who will be saying - 'let's go for a walk today'!
From gentle strolls along the coast or through Orange groves, to big mountain days with multiple summits, there's something for everyone. The Jalon valley has a long association with Spanish walking groups and once experienced the reasons become obvious, it's beautiful and so accessible. Added to this is the convenience of there usually being a friendly tapas bar at the end of a walk and sometimes even mid-way, so refreshments are often plentiful.
These mountains are close to the coast and will often attract stable weather, meaning even in the depths of winter we may be walking in a T-shirt and enjoying 20C warmth. The photo above was taken on the summit of Olta (Calpe) with the Bernia ridge in the far left and the Penon de Ifach to the right. All make fine walking itineraries.
Costa Blanca is a rock climbing mecca and for very good reason, the climbing here is incredibly good. Many Brits visit the area for a week of Sport climbing in the warm sun. This is well catered for, with a huge array of well developed crags to choose from, single pitch, multi-pitch, and all through the grade range from 3 - 9a. This means that whatever level your climbing is at, the Costa Blanca has plenty to offer you.
It's also really nice to mix the climbing up a little, having a few days of easy going single pitch sport climbing, then a big multi-pitch day either up in the mountains or on the nearby sea cliffs.
For those looking for more adventure. the Costa Blanca has an almost unlimited amount of 'trad' climbing including huge potential for 'new-routing'. Some of the mountain routes that are featured in guidebooks as being 'trad' will often benefit from bolted / equipped belay stances, this speeds up the ascent and helps with route finding.
Stunning sea cliff climbing on the Candelabra del Sol, near Calpe. These crags have been developed by Brit team Rowland & Mark Edwards who have put up some very impressive route on these magnificent cliffs. Magical Mystery Tour (photo above) is an amenable climb traversing through impressive terrain before climbing steeply up to the top of the crag. The original bolts on the route (which became very rusty) have since been replaced, thankfully though this is not a typical sport climb with a bolt every couple of metres, prepare for longer gaps between bolts and the greater sense of engagement that brings.
This is more involved than single pitch climbing and as a result the rewards can often be far greater. It's important to brush up on essential skills in preparation for this type of climbing. The normal way off the multi-pitch crags in the area is by abseil. Whilst this is a straightforward procedure, it's paramount to get everything 100% right and check it all each time. Sometimes it may be necessary to use half ropes to ensure there is enough rope length for the descent and this requires a new set of skills too. This is all best learnt in a safe and controlled way on shorter multi-pitch routes, prior to venturing on to bigger objectives. The Costa Blanca offers a wide range of short and long multi-pitch climbs so equally suitable for those new to multi-pitch or seasoned mountaineers.
If you feel this is an area you'd like to know more about, give us a call and we'll come up with a plan to best suit your needs and goals.
Looking for more than sport climbing and mountain walks? The mighty Puig Campana can offer tremendous mountaineering adventurous, with many worthy of an Alpine climbing grade due to their length. There are some really difficult climbs on this mountain, and plenty of easier offerings too. For example, a route starting towards the right end of the rock faces offers a few hundred metres of 'V.diff / Severe' rock climbing - 10 pitches of it, this can then be extended by slightly easier climbing all the way to the summit, a few hundred metres more. Or check out the pinnacled arete to the left of the photo, that's a 350m 'Very Severe' with a wonderfully exposed finish over the pinnacles.
Then there's the classic 'Hard Severe' Espolon Central, this is around 450m long, with the exposure really being felt higher up, it's amazing.
All the routes on Puig Campana should be treated with care, this is a very big mountain, exposed to the vagaries of mountain weather and there's no running water up there! Take plenty water, sun hat, and warm clothing. Let someone know your plans too.
If you want any help with routes on here, just to chat things through or to hire a guide for the day, please get in touch, we're happy to help.
We look forward to seeing you out there :-)
Mark & Kate