Costa Blanca Rock Scrambling
The Costa Blanca's mountainous interior and craggy coastline provide the perfect setting for a number of hiking and climbing activities, and adventurous visitors to Benidorm looking to scale lofty heights should try some of the Costa Blanca rock scrambling routes. The sport of rock scrambling, as in many climbing based activities, has grades of difficulty from 1 – 3 and anything above grade 3 is classed as free climbing (rock climbing without the aid of ropes).
It is a very physical sport, using many of the body's muscle groups and is a natural step up from mountain hiking. Using both hands and feet, scramblers need to be agile, have a reasonable level of fitness and definitely not suffer from vertigo. What sets rock climbing and rock scrambling apart is the use of ropes, and other than for basic safety uses or to abseil as a means of decent, the sustained use of ropes and belays is classed as rock climbing.
With its fantastic weather and minimal rainfall, Costa Blanca rock scrambling is very popular and can be enjoyed throughout the region. There are dedicated groups such as Costa Blanca Mountain Friends who, besides having fun, are highly professional and organise a number of hikes, scrambles, climbs and via ferratas. Any type of mountain activity, even gentle walks can be dangerous and for beginners wishing to rock scramble, never attempt to do it alone.
Rock Scrambling Routes
Cavall Verd – Inland from Dénia and about an hour's drive from Benidorm is the Serra del Penyó where this grade 1 scramble starts. Scrambling over rocks and through rough forest you reach a ridge track which takes about an hour to hike before reaching Cavall Verd. From here it's a scramble up Penya Roja and along a number of ridges before descending to Murla. The moderate scramble takes about 4.5 hours, covering 9 kilometres and ascending to 680 metres.
Barranco del Paret – Located inland from Calpe and about a 50 minute drive from Benidorm is the Serra del Bérnia where this grade 2 scramble starts from its south face. With many impenetrable and dead end barrancos (ravines) this route should not be attempted without a guide. Moving through woodland and crags you reach the Barranco del Paret where the route requires a good amount of scrambles avoiding numerous potholes followed by a decent via Senda de les Revoltes. This is a tough scramble that takes about 5 hours, covering 8 kilometres and ascending to 490 metres.
Serra del Montgó – The beautiful Natural Park of Montgó is the setting for this challenging route. The 40 minute drive from Benidorm takes you to Jesús Pobre Park at the base of the mountain where you set off to climb the crag at the Barranc de l'Hiedra. This is followed by a decent to the Cova de l'Aigua where you hike the Cami de la Colonia to the Barranc del Brúfol. From here it's a mix of scrambles and hikes to the summit before continuing along the main summit hiking trail back to Jesús Pobre Park. A challenging yet very rewarding grade 2 route that takes between 7 – 8 hours, covering 15 kilometres and ascending to 1100 metres.
These are just a few of the Costa Blanca rock scrambling routes to give you an idea of the different difficulties, distances and heights you can expect on grade 1 and 2 scrambles. Grade 3 scrambles are a lot more strenuous and can require some abseiling.