Arrive in Alicante at any time. As your fellow travellers are arriving throughout the day, there are no planned activities, so check-in to the hotel (check-in time is approx. 3pm) and enjoy the city. In the evening meet your fellow group members at 7pm to go over the details of your trip. Check the notice boards or ask at reception for the exact location of this group meeting. After the meeting, you can head out for a meal at a local restaurant with the group (optional). Please make every effort to arrive on time for this important group meeting. If you are delayed, please contact the hotel or the emergency contact numbers in your trip dossier. Your Tour Leader will then leave you a message at the front desk. If you arrive early, why not spend the afternoon exploring one of Spain's fastest growing cities. Although this is a quickly modernising place, Alicante has a lengthy history which has left behind a fascinating legacy. The castle of Santa Barbara stands high above the harbour, and the Moorish history of the castle is well worth exploring. Stroll along the waterfront on the Esplanada de Espana or enjoy the afternoon in one of the cities parks. Just as with every Spanish city, Alicante is open very late, so why not head out and experience the nightlife of the city, or just grab a copa and watch the world go by.
This morning we transfer across to our base in Vall de Gallinera, in the mountains of the Costa Blanca. This remote village is the perfect location for our stay in Spain, a delightful location that is a great place to relax after each days activities. The house where we are based this week offers a peaceful location to relax each day, and is ideally positioned to give access to the hearty cuisine available in the village each evening. Alternatively we could head into the village and try some of the local fare available there. After we arrive in Vall de Gallinera, we head straight up into the mountains for some trekking. The route through the peaks is dry and hard underfoot, as there is not a great deal of rainfall in this area. Limestone peaks dominate the landscape between forests and farmland on our walk through the trees.
These mountains are an ideal location for a day of canyoning. The style of canyoning that we undertake will vary depending on the time of year. During different times of year, you may be canyoning in through rivers or through a dry canyon. After a full safety briefing, follow the river downstream over rocks and waterfalls. There is only one way to go, which is down, so we have to jump, abseil, scramble and climb down through the canyon to get to the end of our trail. The canyon may be filled with water during our descent (depending on the season), so there are several passages where we will need to swim or float along the river. Be sure to take some time to stop and enjoy the scenery, as the mountain ridges and rugged peaks are all around us. After the day canyoning we return to Vall de Gallinera in time for an evening of relaxation.
We have left today free for you to enjoy the area around Vall de Gallinera at your leisure. This is the ideal time to wander around the village, maybe stopping to get to know some of the locals or just stop into a cafe and enjoy the mountain scenery. Alternatively, there is a variety of activities available on the Costa Blanca for you to enjoy today. One option, for this evening, would be to try via ferrata at night. This activity, which translates as 'iron road' from Italian, follows metal rails attached to the hillside that we attach ourselves to. Using this technique we climb up the Costa Blanca on an easy course that requires no previous experience, but be prepared for interesting and spectacular views at night time.
After a few days of activities outside the mountains of the Costa Blanca, for a change today we head inside them. Spelunking, or caving, has become a hugely popular sport across the world. Drop down inside a network of caves where you are taken on a guided route through horizontal and vertical tunnels towards the center of the earth. This route will introduce you to a variety of stalactites and stalagmites, as the cave system leads you through narrow passages and into wide open spaces surrounded by eerie rock formations. No previous experience is needed, although you will need to be prepared to get a little dirty and maybe wet.
The Costa Blanca is known as a desert, but up in the mountains above Alicante the land is much more rich and fertile. The passes between the mountains are the perfect location for a day biking above the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean. We provide the bikes and a briefing before you set off through the mountains. We follow defined walking routes, with stunning scenery on all sides. Our expert guide will make sure that the cycling routes are designed perfectly for the skills of the group, so that you get the maximum possible experience from your day cycling in the hills.
Today is free in the village of Vall de Gallinera to do as you please. You might want to just wander around the white-washed houses and admire the scenery in the area, or you might want to try one of the many optional activities available to you here.
Transfer to Alicante, depart at any time.