Guided Walking at Biar, Spain
HEAD OFF THE BEATEN TRACK FOR A TASTE OF UNSPOILT SPAIN
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Food & drink
Hills & moorland
Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.
Follow aromatic botanical trails, uncover the region's Moorish history and explore fascinating medieval towns, with their castles and historic buildings. Our base in Biar is on the slopes of the Sierra Mariola hills, allowing you to enjoy beautiful walks in the local area and the surrounding higher hills. Explore the charming medieval town of Bocairent and the traditional town of lbi, with its natural ice caves.
- Walk off the beaten track in this beautiful unspoilt province of Spain
- Enjoy our excellent 4-star hotel and highly regarded restaurant serving delicious regional food
- Visit medieval Bocairent and its famous 'Caves of the Moors' and the ice caves of Ibi
- Stay in the heart of medieval Biar, with its ancient hill top castle and peaceful old quarter
- A full programme of guided walks with 2 options every walking day
- All transport to and from the walks
- The services of experienced HF Holidays' leaders
- "With flight" holidays include return flights from the UK and hotel transfers
- 7 nights' accommodation in en-suite rooms
- Half board - continental breakfast and evening meal
This area is all about festivals and especially in Biar. The Moors & Christians Festival is held between 10-15th May 2018 and the town is decked out like the Middle Ages with magnificent processions and mock battles. This festival has been celebrated for over 4 centuries and recreates the historic clash between the two cultures between Almohads and the troops of King James 1 The Conqueror in 1245.
Other dates are 22nd April in Banyeres, 28th April in Onil and at the end of our season on 5th September another festival not to be missed in Villena.
The 4-star Hotel Villa de Biar is situated in the heart of picturesque Biar and has been renovated to a high standard. The hotel's restaurant enjoys an excellent reputation for both its regional and international food.
This accommodation is 'Best Value' as the hotel is considered value for money without compromising on comfort.
|Hotel Villa de Biar has 40 large en-suite bedrooms which are decorated in a modern and comfortable style.
Each bedroom is equipped with air conditioning, tea and coffee making facilities, a hairdryer, minibar, safe deposit box, telephone and flat screen television.
|Facilities at the Hotel Villa de Biar include a small lounge area, perfect for relaxing with fellow guests after a days walking. There is also a bright airy dining room which looks out onto the garden terrace and bar area.
Free WiFi is also available.
Our holidays at Hotel Villa de Biar are on a Half Board basis and include breakfast and evening meal.
The hotel offers an extensive selection of hot and cold options from a self-select buffet style.
A popular dining venue with the locals of Biar, Restaurant Visconde de Valdesto serves a 3-course evening meal, with a combination of local specialities and international cuisine. Vegetarian and special diets are catered for; we ask you to take a few moments to talk with the management on arrival. One evening our guests are entertained by a local musician.
The hotel has a well-stocked bar serving beer, wine and spirits.
Lunch (payable locally)
The hotel offers picnic lunches at an additional cost. Alternatively ingredients for a picnic lunch can be bought from the local shops and on certain days it may be possible to eat in local cafés; your leader will advise you of these options.
The friendly atmosphere of our Guided Walking holidays continues into the evening.
Enjoy a glass of wine or local beer before hearing about the next day's walks.
You may like to join your leader for a walk into the main square, or have a drink in one of the café bars and watch the world go by – Spanish towns tend to be quite lively in the evening. Visit the local Pasteleria (baker) who makes the famous Spanish Touron, eaten at Christmas all over Spain. One evening you can listen to live Spanish guitar music.
Your leader will also be checking for any local events going on nearby. Or you may like to stay closer to home and relax on the terrace or in the bar with a drink and chat with your fellow guests.
Our experienced guides offer the choice of two different walks each day. Choose the option which best suits your interests and fitness.
We provide flexible holidays. Choose easier walking one day and harder the next or just explore independently or relax around the resort. Our guides are friendly and welcoming making your holiday fun and sociable.
Easier Walk: 4 to 8 miles (6.5-13km) with up to 1,200ft (360m) of ascent in a day.
Harder Walk: 5 to 10 miles (8-16km) with up to 2,300ft (690m) of ascent in a day.
Day 1: Arrival day
Depending on your arrival you may have the opportunity to see a little of Biar before your evening meal. On the first evening our leaders will explain more about our walks and there will be plenty of time to meet with your fellow guests.
Day 2: Sierra De Fraile
Both parties start the day with a short coach journey to a point below Sierra de Fraile south of Biar. The harder group will leave the hotel slightly earlier than the easier group.
Easier Walk: After leaving the coach we follow a rough track & botanical trail which leads us to the summit of Sierra de Fraile. With extensive views our route traverses the hillside to reach another good view point. Continuing along a broad limestone ridge a descent on a steep path leads back to the start point and onto Biar. 5 miles (8km) with 1,200ft (360m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: From the coach drop-off point a rough track leads to the high point of the day on the summit of Sierra de Fraile. Leaving the summit we will continue on a path along a broad ridge. A mix of tracks and paths takes us in a circuit past some scenic locations finally leading to the view point visited by the easier walkers earlier. From here the same route back to Biar is followed by both groups. 8 miles (13km) with 1,800ft (540m) of ascent.
Day 3: Ibi
Today’s walks will begin near the beautiful town of Ibi to the east of Biar. Both groups will have the opportunity to look at ice caves for which the area is famous.
Easier Walk: We will make a steady ascent on tracks leading us into fairly remote countryside, eventually arriving at a renovated ice cave high in the hills above Ibi. Having spent some time at the cave we continue along the “Cami Del Geladores”, the route used in ancient times to transport the ice from the caves to nearby Ibi. 7 miles (11km) with 1,300ft (390m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: Having travelled a little further on the coach we ascend quite steeply following the Cami del Galodores. Eventually arriving at the first ice cave of the day. The route continues descending into the valley before ascending again to reach the highest point of the week, the summit of Menejador. At 1,356m the summit has a vantage point offering great panoramic views. A number of ice caves are passed en route before joining a path leading back down to the outskirts of Ibi. 8 miles (13km) with 1,700ft (510m) of ascent.
Day 4: Bocairent
Today we will visit the medieval town of Bocairent, a hidden gem with its fascinating architectural history. The start point for both walks is on the outskirts of the town. Both groups should have time to explore and enjoy refreshments in the town.
Easier Walk: The walk follows “The path of steps” an old mule track using steps cut into the solid rock. In ancient times the path was used to transport textiles manufactured in the now derelict mills passed on route. After passing a couple of the mills we ascend out of the valley to higher ground offering good views. Our descent is on a track leading us to Bocairent. 5 miles (8km) with 1,000ft (300m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: Starting along the same route that the easier group, we will follow this walk which continues to the end of the valley. Further derelict mills and interesting rock formations can be observed in passing. From the end of the valley a fairly steep ascent leads to today’s high point on the summit of Alt de Castellar offering great views of the surrounding area. Leaving the summit behind we soon join the route of the easier party which can be seen ahead. Arriving in the town there should be time to join the easier group for refreshments. 7 miles (11km) with 1,500ft (450m) of ascent.
Day 5: Free day
Each week there is a free day when no guided walks are offered. This is an ideal opportunity to relax around the hotel, walk independently or visit local places of interest. On your free day you may wish to return to Bocairent for a full day's sightseeing in this fascinating medieval town, or enjoy a day in the old town of Biar, including the famous tapas trail!
Day 6: Onil and Reconco
Having used the coach to get to the start point of the walks, today both groups return to Biar on foot. From different start points both walks pass the Sanctuary of Sancturio de Gracia (Our Lady of Grace Sanctuary)
and follow the Stations of the Cross on the route back to Biar.
Easier Walk: Prior to starting the walk there may be the opportunity to accompany the harder group for a short but worthwhile visit to Onil. We then return to the coach for a short journey to a point near the summit of Reconco. Leaving the coach we will ascend to the summit, crowned by a radio mast which can be seen from Biar. Having visited the summit, our route follows a series of paths and tracks winding their way towards the Sancturio de Gracia. Leaving the sanctuary we will pick up the Stations of the Cross route back to Biar. 5 miles (8km) with 700ft (210m) of ascent and 1,900ft (570m) of descent.
Harder Walk: The harder walk will begin at Onil which lies on the far side of the Sierra Onil, the range of hills separating the two towns. The walk ascends through the town initially before further ascent on a path through some spectacular rock scenery. A track leads us to a botanical trail along a broad ridge with fine views either side. After a visit to the summit of Reconco we will follow the winding route towards the Sancturio de Graci and the Stations of the Cross route to Biar. 7 miles (11km) with 1,800ft (540m) of ascent.
Day 7: Alcoy
Today the coach will take us to a high point and a recreational area high above Alcoy where our final day’s walks begin. Thanks to a conservation project for griffon vultures it is not unusual to see these huge birds at
fairly close proximity.
Easier Walk: Having dropped off the harder group, we continue on the coach for a short distance to the end of the spectacular gorge Barranc de Cint. Our walk leads us through the most interesting section of the gorge to a point where we may be able to observe griffin vultures perched on the cliffs and flying above. Returning out of the gorge by the same route a path takes us over the tunnel used by the coach earlier. Cantina/bar Preventori provides a useful lunch spot. After lunch the walk continues to the high point of the day. San Christofol a chapel and cross high up on the mountain. It is not unusual to observe the vultures here flying below and in quite close proximity. The descent returns us to bar Preventory where there should be time for refreshments
before returning to Biar on the coach. 5 miles (8km) with 1,100 ft (330m) of ascent.
Harder Walk: Starting from Preventori our route takes us on a path passing over the narrow road tunnel which is unsuitable for pedestrians. Soon views of the spectacular Barranc de Cint start to appear. Having walked through all of the best section of the gorge we join a rough track leading us to a quiet road on the far side of the crags. After a short section of road walking another track is joined ascending past project Canyet (a feeding station for vultures). Now on a pleasant path, our ascent continues to the summit ridge of Alt de Pedreres.
Traversing the broad ridge the cross of San Christofol, perched precariously above Alcoy, is our next objective. There may be opportunities to observe the vultures flying below. After visiting San Christofel we
descend to Bar Proventori where we can join the easier party for a drink celebrating our week’s walking. 7 miles (11km) with 1,400ft (420m) of ascent.
Day 8: Departure day
Please note that the itinerary outlined is provisional and could be subject to change. A finalised itinerary will be available at the resort and your leader will brief you every evening about the following day’s walks.
Only an hour away from Alicante and its busy coast can be found the small medieval town of Biar and an area of tranquil beauty amidst the hills of Sierra Mariole. The town itself, largely undiscovered by tourists, is rich in history and tradition, with narrow streets and steps rising up to the crowning glory of a 12th century castle. Fountains, shrines and chapels are abundant with cafés in the many squares. Traffic bypasses the old town allowing you to enjoy the atmosphere and admire the architecture.
The surrounding landscape has pine forests sprinkled with occasional oaks, maples and ash trees. Open areas of hillside are rich in herbs and aromatic plants which have been used for perfumery, alcoholic beverages and medicinal purposes for centuries. We will visit two botanical trails high in the hills surrounding Biar.
The castle tower, the museum, the parish church in the Constitution Square, the centre for ceramics and pottery for which Biar is famous, and the Sanctuary of our Lady of Grace are all well worth seeing. There is a small market in Biar on Wednesdays making it a great free day option. A stroll along the quiet roads and tracks to the Cova Negra is also a possibility.
Located just 8km away Villena is another thriving medieval town. Slightly larger than Biar the town has a fine castle and museum as well as a locally renown bull ring. a great option is to combine the day with a visit to the nearby Bodega where a tour and wine tasting can be arranged.
This is worth a visit and offers much more than shops and beaches. The castle of Santa Barbara is spectacular, and the archaeological museum is one of the best in Spain and voted museum of the year in 2004. There are many interesting buildings and of course there are beaches and many cafes to enjoy a spot of lunch.
Shop & facilities
There are a number of grocery stores close by to the hotel and a larger supermarket on the main road. There are two boulangeries and a bank a short walk from the hotel.
We recognise that everyone’s travel arrangements are unique, so all our holidays to Europe can be booked ‘with flight’ or ‘without flight’, giving you more flexibility and choice.
‘With flight’ holidays – the hassle-free option
Book your holiday ‘with flight’ and choose between Gatwick and Manchester flights to Alicante airport. For flight times and prices please see the Dates & Prices tab.
If you choose this option we automatically include return transfers between the airport and the hotel. The coach transfer takes approx 45 minutes to the Villa de Biar.
‘Without flight’ holidays – the flexible travel option
Alternatively, tailor your journey to suit you by booking your holiday ‘without flight’ allowing you the freedom to book your own flights from your local airport.
If you choose this option, transfers are not included in the price. However, below are some suggestions to help you reach your destination:
Transfers must be pre-booked. Please call 020 8732 1220 for more details
* Please note that HF Holidays is not responsible for your onward travel if you fail to meet the transfer coach
Dates & Prices
We're sorry, there are no dates available for this holiday at the moment. Please check out our other tours and breaks or call our team on 0345 470 8558 to be notified of new dates as soon as they become available.
Prices are per person
- Double room for sole occupancy: £21 per night
- All transport to walks is included in the price of the holiday
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person