SIERRA DE AITANA TREK

What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

The panoramic views across the sierra, the amazing pena (rocky outcrops), the spectacular sunrises and the the riot of almond blossom.

What did you think of your group leader?

Jose worked hard to ensure the week went smoothly for us. Excellent sandwich maker--the best! Yummy lunches, the purple carrots, cakes and chocolate were a great treat. All transportation worked like clockwork. Unparalleled last night entertainment--singing, flamenco, the tattiest tat competition, the sangria drinking...unforgettable.

Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

Be prepared for all weathers--we had snow the first couple of days (or was it almond blossom disguised as snow???) so thermals and woolly hats and gloves were needed, but by the end of the week were walking in shorts. Be prepared for long days and be reasonably fit. Some descents are tricky and poles are helpful. This is a step up from a "B" grade, so expect that. Don't expect to lose weight on this holiday because of all the walking, there is a lot of eating too. The food at the accomodation in Sella (Casa Roc) is outstanding. Also, lots of chocolate involved. Jose's sandwiches as previously mentioned are "legendary". The accomodation at Sella had shared bathrooms, worked OK as people were considerate. The communal kitchen and terraces were ideal for relaxing in. We needed oil heaters in the rooms as it was quite cold at night. The hosts, Steve and Liz, both British, were extremely welcoming and the dining room was wonderfully warm and atmospheric. In Benimantell the rooms were en-suite and warmer, though the atmosphere of the place was far less cosy. Not much to do on the free day--that suited us as we did some bird-watching and read our books and had a luxurious and delicious 3 course lunch with wine and liquers at Cafe Rafal in Benimantell for euros 15 each (HIGHLY RECOMMENDED). Others in the group had massages (arranged by Jose), or went to the coast, even bravely venturing to an out-of-season Benidorm!! We had a group that got along well, which made the trip enjoyable.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

If you love walking and need a winter getaway, this is it. Just GREAT WALKING, GREAT VIEWS, GREAT FOOD.