How do you stay fit while travelling? By trying to keep physically active and spend time outdoors no matter where we are, I have found some great hiking in Alicante.
Most people associate travelling with vacation, leisure and recreation, looking for a break from their daily working routine. Transforming this daily life routine into constant travelling can require adapting your life style to the circumstances of frequently changing destinations. The enjoyment of traditional celebrations and local foods take up a huge part of daily travel experiences.
However, as much as we love to just go with the flow of the places we visit, Greg and I have been trying to maintain a relatively healthy lifestyle, stay active and spend time outdoors as often as possible. In this sense, I like doing some research on hiking routes in our immediate vicinity, whenever time and weather allow outdoors activity. Hiking creates the fantastic opportunity of exploring the environment in your own pace, discover some picturesque views and look out points while staying physically active and fit.
When Greg and I moved to Alicante with the intention to stay for at least one year, I was excited about the chance of doing some hiking in the nearby hills and to get to know our new backyard. With Greg’s parents visiting from Canada, I was looking for a hiking trail that was challenging but not excessively long and would include some decent views and potential for good photographs.
Finding Hiking Trails Near You
Against my expectations this turned out to require a bit more effort than I thought, as most recommended trails for hiking in Alicante are a minimum of 8 km long and last several hours. Luckily, I had heard of a nearby mountain called Sierra del Cid, “sierra” meaning mountain ridge. As there was very little information about the length of the walk or where to start it, we decided to follow google maps to get as close as possible.
From downtown Alicante, the highway A-31 takes you into the surrounding hills and connects some of the provincial communities such as Elche, Novelda and Sax with the coast. Just before getting into the ancient village of Petrer, we took the exit Avinguda la Molineta, followed a number of small side roads and eventually reached what looked like an official parking lot for the Sierra del Cid. By asking one of the passing locals, we found out that the hike up to the peak would be well marked and only take us about 2 hours return, with stunning views as reward for the steep climb.
Indeed, the path seemed to be made for us: a narrow, but decently secured gravel path that winds up the 1100m high mountain in serpentines, framed by beautiful rosemary and thyme bushes. Taking our time taking pictures and filming, we reached a little plateau after about 45 minutes of steady, but not too steep climbing.
The last part of the route finally was a bit more strenuous and tricks the hiker with a number corners that look promising but turn out to be false summits. When we finally reached the top of the Sierra del Cid, breathtaking views immediately rewarded the challenging exercise. On a clear day, the peak provides a clear vision all the way to the Mediterranean Sea and great pictures of the surrounding hills, vineyards and little towns.
The way down is easy on your breath, but mind the loose gravel under your feet. All in all, we were all more than happy with the outcome of our little adventure and would totally recommend this hike. It is suitable for a half day trip and very doable in the summer time, as a great part of the path lies in the shade of mountain and small trees.
For those of you who are struggling with the temptation of indulging too much and exercising too little while traveling, hiking can certainly be considered the ideal solution. Especially for everyone who cannot bring up enough motivation to hit the gym or go for a daily run, exploring natural hidden paths while watching scenic landscape can almost make any physical challenge enjoyable.
Thanks for reading,
In case I have still not convinced you of the benefits of hiking experiences, check out Greg’s vlog for our video about the Sierra del Cid and a tonne of other great content!