SIERRA DE AITANA TREK
What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?
Actually doing 6 days of good walking and achieving some really good summits combined with full and long days of walking. Also, having a large group that was of a mixed age and gender, that gelled from Day 1 with a passionate, do anything leader who made fantastic sandwiches too!
What did you think of your group leader?
Our leader was Jose Fraile and we very quickly warmed to him. He is local to the area, passionate about the historic footpaths, tracks and abandoned terrace farms. Jose is very patient, eager to please, has a lovely persona, humorous and makes lovely sandwiches with a different filling each day! He even keeps the footpaths cut back and stops them getting overgrown. Even on our free day, Jose made sure that everyone was taken care of and was happy to transport us to our different destinations. Couldn't have wished for a better leader.
Do you have any advice for potential travellers?
We did this trip as a mature couple and thoroughly enjoyed it so, don't even think about it - just do it. This is a superb winter destination to top up your walking and is as good as a week in the Lakes. On the first day it rained and was cold. On the second day it snowed on the high ground. This did not stop us achieving our walks on either day, so be prepared for indifferent weather and take some warm clothing as we wore everything we took from the UK, even though we thought we had gone over the top with our warm and wet gear. The remainder of the week was sunny, hot and blue skies - just what we had expected. Check the weather forecast before you go and search on Sella and not Benidorm. Every day was not a walk in the park and you need to be prepared for some tough ascents and long descents, especially at the end of a full day. There are no coffee or refreshment shops on any of the trekking days (thankfully), but you do get the chance of a beer at the end of some of the walks and in lovely village bars.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
This is a really fantastic, underrated trip and we wonder why Exodus do not offer more in this area as we would certainly return again to sample different walks of the same calibre. Our trip ran in reverse, starting at Sella and ending at Benimantell, which in our opinion is the better way of doing the trek but you get the best accommodation first - you can't win them all! The accommodation at Sella is superb and relaxing, although the shared bathroom is a bit overrated. The hosts, Steve and Liz can't do enough for you and the food is superb, the honesty bar very welcomed and the free tea and coffee making facilities a bonus. Nice social areas for relaxing in on all floors. Unfortunately, Benimantell is not a patch on Sella but in an area with limited accommodation, it did the job!