The Sierras of the Orange Blossom Coast

8 Days from £719 | September, October, May 719

Spain is blessed with a rich variety of great walking country – from the mountains of Andalucia to the sand-dune cliffs of the Donana, from the rocky peaks of the Costa Blanca to hilly vineyards of Catalonia. Much less well-known, though of at least equal merit, are the Sierras of the Orange Blossom Coast just to the north of Valencia. The coastal area, known as ‘La Huerta’, the ‘orchard’, is ancient, irrigated farmland which has provided nearby cities with fruit, vegetables and rice for centuries. Not far inland are the dramatic landscapes of the Desert of the Palms, the Sierra de Espadan, and the Sierra de Irta. The resort of Benicassim is the ideal base from which to explore these lands of white villages, watchtowers and Carmelite monastic ruins.
8 days September & October

The Sierras of the Orange Blossom Coast

Past Customer Satisfaction Score for this holiday* - 92%
* as measured from holiday questionnaires - see FAQ for details

  • 7 nights hb in Benicassim
  • Walk in the Sierra de Irta, near Peniscola
  • Walk in the ‘Desert of the Palms’
  • Walk in the mountainous Sierra de Espadan

DAY ONE: Flight to Valencia or Castellon. Transfer to your hotel in Benicassim (an hour from Valencia, 30 minutes from Castellon), for seven nights’ half-board accommodation.

Benicassim has a pleasant town centre a mile inland from the beach, but its pride and joy are the splendid Modernista villas towards the northern end of the seaside avenue. It also has a 3 ½ -mile Via Verde Greenway linking the resort with Oropesa del Mar – this is a disused coastal railway line suitable for walking or cycling and featuring spectacular sea views. Take a torch for the tunnel! You will learn about the influence of the Carmelite order in the area during your walk in the Desert of the Palms. In town, you might fall under their influence yourself at the Carmelitano distillery where aromatic liqueurs and sweet Moscatel are produced from old recipes! There are train and bus services from Benicassim to surrounding areas, and neighbouring Castellon has both a main line station and frequent suburban services to Valencia.

DAYS TWO TO SEVEN: In resort with three included walking excursions.

Walk 1: The Desert of the Palms and its Hermitages. You drive the short distance inland and up into the Palms Desert Natural Park, just behind Benicassim. Rising up to over 2000ft, the park begins just three miles from the coast as the crow flies –  a bit further by the rather twisty road! It is a land of rich Mediterranean vegetation and wildlife, scattered with castles and hermitages, and offering fantastic views both of the coast and the precipitous mountains inland. The circular walk starts at the monastery where there is a short visit (entrance fee included). 5 miles, 350m of ascent/descent.

Walk 2: The Sierra de Espadan, Ain – the water route. Just under an hour’s drive inland is the impressive Sierra where you walk today, near the white-painted village of Ain, set scenically on its hillside. The village’s name means a spring in Arabic, so it is appropriate that your route has water as a theme. You walk from the village up to the castle and then continue along a path on the hillside above. Along the way, there are pines, cork oaks, and – of course – several springs, used for irrigation. 7.5  miles, 465m of ascent/descent.

Walk 3: The Coastal Sierra de Irtá. Coach transfer (45 minutes) to Santa Magdalena de Pulpis, from where you walk through the Sierra to the coast. Starting through a wooded area, you reach a Templar castle, which was built on an older Moorish fortification. Shortly afterwards you reach the high point of the walk; it’s all downhill to the coast from here! There are carob and ancient olive  trees as you descend towards the medieval Badum watchtower on the coast, near the resort of Peniscola. 6 miles, 330m ascent, 450m descent.

You have a little time to explore Peniscola. The town’s name is a corruption of ‘Peninsula’ and the castle is, indeed, almost an island. It was built by the Knights Templar in the late 13th century, but in the 15th became the home of Papa Luna, Pope Benedict XIII, the last of the Avignon Popes of the Great Schism, who took refuge here after being deposed.

DAY EIGHT: Depart to the airport for your flight home.

The Sierras of the Orange Blossom Coast

Past Customer Satisfaction Score for this holiday* - 92%
* as measured from holiday questionnaires - see FAQ for details

HOTEL INTUR BONAIRE ****, Benicassim (seven nights)
The hotel is located just 200 yards from the beach and 1 ½ miles from the town centre of  Benicassim. Set in pleasant gardens, the hotel has a large outdoor swimming pool and a small indoor one. There is a bar and restaurant serving buffet meals. The comfortable bedrooms have bath/shower, wc, tv, air-conditioning, safe, hairdryer, and small fridge, as well as free wifi. Rooms with pool-view and terrace come at a supplement. Wellness facilities (charges apply) are available in a neighbouring sister hotel. (www.intur.com/hotel-bonaire-benicasim).
Past Customer Satisfaction Score for this hotel* - 82%
*as measured from holiday questionnaires - see FAQ for details
Walking Holiday - The Sierras of the Orange Blossom Coast
Holiday code: 7WOB
Supplements per person:
Single Room: £140
Garden/pool View: £35
Travel Insurance: £59.95
Supplements on some holidays vary by departure date - the applicable price will be shown when booking.

Fly FromDateDaysAirlineDep.Rtn.AvailabilityPriceFly ToSingle

Belfast IntlTue 29/09/20208Easyjet06301305Places Available729Valencia140 (on request)24BFS17WOBA4

Belfast IntlTue 06/10/20208Easyjet06301305Places Available719Valencia14046BFS17WOBA5

Belfast IntlTue 18/05/20218Easyjet06301305Places Available789Valencia14050BFS17WOB91

BristolMon 28/09/20208Ryanair20051940Places Available729Valencia140 (on request)24BRS17WOBA4

BristolMon 05/10/20208Ryanair20051940Places Available719Valencia14046BRS17WOBA5

BristolMon 17/05/20218Ryanair20051940Places Available789Valencia14050BRS17WOB91

East MidlandsTue 29/09/20208Ryanair15002035Places Available729Valencia140 (on request)24EMA17WOBA4

East MidlandsTue 06/10/20208Ryanair15002035Places Available719Valencia14046EMA17WOBA5

East MidlandsTue 18/05/20218Ryanair15002035Places Available789Valencia14050EMA17WOB91

EdinburghTue 29/09/20208Ryanair08251455Places Available729Valencia140 (on request)24EDI17WOBA4

EdinburghTue 06/10/20208Ryanair08251455Places Available719Valencia14046EDI17WOBA5

EdinburghTue 18/05/20218Ryanair08251455Places Available789Valencia14050EDI17WOB91

HeathrowMon 28/09/20208BA07451335Places Available769Valencia140 (on request)24LHR17WOBA4

HeathrowMon 05/10/20208BA07451335Places Available759Valencia14046LHR17WOBA5

HeathrowMon 17/05/20218BA07451335Places Available829Valencia14050LHR17WOB91

London GatwickMon 28/09/20208Easyjet06201435Places Available729Valencia140 (on request)24LGW17WOBA4

London GatwickMon 05/10/20208Easyjet06201435Places Available719Valencia14046LGW17WOBA5

London GatwickMon 17/05/20218Easyjet06201435Places Available789Valencia14050LGW17WOB91

LutonTue 29/09/20208Easyjet07001235Places Available729Valencia140 (on request)24LTN17WOBA4

LutonTue 06/10/20208Easyjet07001235Places Available719Valencia14046LTN17WOBA5

LutonTue 18/05/20218Easyjet07001235Places Available789Valencia14050LTN17WOB91

ManchesterMon 28/09/20208Ryanair16401615Places Available729Valencia140 (on request)24MAN17WOBA4

ManchesterMon 05/10/20208Ryanair16401615Places Available719Valencia14046MAN17WOBA5

ManchesterMon 17/05/20218Ryanair16401615Places Available789Valencia14050MAN17WOB91

StanstedTue 29/09/20208Ryanair14151945Places Available729Castellon140 (on request)24STN17WOBA4

StanstedTue 06/10/20208Ryanair14151945Places Available719Castellon14046STN17WOBA5

StanstedTue 18/05/20218Ryanair14151945Places Available789Castellon14050STN17WOB91

Prices shown include carriage of one piece of hold luggage per person (maximum size and weights vary). Prices include return transfers between airport and hotel and are based on the shared occupancy of twin/double standard rooms. Please refer to 'Accommodation' for details of any room supplements (including single rooms) and extended stay costs that apply to this holiday. All flight details are provisional and subject to confirmation when known. All holidays are subject to minimum numbers and are subject to availability. Further details in our FAQ.

Data as at 07/06/2020 at 3:47:06

This is a new holiday. Comments arise from other walking holidays on the mediterreanean coast.

PTS

This was one of our best holidays with Preferred Travel. Loved the position of the hotel so close to the beach. All walks were excellent. All in all, it was a super holiday and the fact that many of our group members were asking 'Where are we going next year?' Proves that Preferred Travel is a really good Company and I will no doubt be looking in the brochure on my return!! Thanks to all.

Mrs B, Midlands

Enjoyed the holiday and walks very much. Thank you.

Mr M, Peak District

Yet another glorious holiday with Preferred Travel Services. Thanks to Tony, Stella, Adam etc. for their friendly helpfulness.

Mr H, East Yorkshire

First time with PTS. Excellent – Thank you for a fabulous holiday. Tour guides and reps are brilliant. Great choice of hotel for location, room, staff and food. Overall holiday wonderful, hope to return again sometime and will definitely recommend.

Ms R, Swindon

One of the best holidays ever - far surpassed all expectations. Tour guides and excursions really excellent. Thanks to all concerned.

Mrs L, North Yorkshire

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The Sierras of the Orange Blossom Coast