National Parks

 

A great reason to visit the Costa Blanca and surrounding area are the national parks.  Get away from the beaches for a few days and take in some great mountain air or some unspoilt coastline.

Parc Natural del Mentgó

108km from Alicante Airport (and around 1 hours 20 mins drive), but thebreathtaking views out over several beaches (including Denia and Xàbia) are worth the journey.  An ideal park for some reasonably challenging walks, especially the walk to the summit (depending on how fit you are it could take anything from 2-3 hours).  There are also some ancient caves as well as windmills and a lighthouse to see.

 

Penyal d’Ifac (Peñón de Ifach)

80km from Alicante Airport (and around 1 hour’s drive).  This rock outcrop is over 300 metres high and used to be a pirate hideout.  There is a trail to the summit, but bear in mind that while the lower section is suitable for hiking, the upper part is better suited to experienced climbers.  For dedicated climbers there are several routes on both faces of the rock which can take between 5 and 11 hours.  There are over 300 species of flowers and plants to see including some that are within two small reserves along with 80 species of bird (including different types of falcon).  The sea around the rock is ideal for diving and snorkelling.

 

Parc Natural de la Font Roja

72km from Alicante Airport (and around 1 hour’s drive).  Some distance inland this park contains a rare example of indigenous oak forest.  Excellent walking trails with good views over the surrounding mountains.  Look out for snow wells (which people used before fridges to collect ice)!

 

Calbanque

120km from Alicante Airport and an hour and half’s drive.  If you like to get off the beaten track then this could be ideal. There are 13km’s of quiet, sandy beaches – the most popular of which (while still not being crowded) are Playa Larga, Playa de las Cañas and Playa Calblanque.  The area is known for its fossilised dunes which you can walk across on wooden walkways.  The coast is also dotted with coves which are great for snorkelling in or just ‘getting away from it all’.   There is also a large pine forest and hills with various walking and mountain biking trails.  There are also salt lagoons which attract a variety of bird species, you may even see endangered sea turtles.

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