The province of Alicante and its coastline are one of the most favorable MTB regions. The countless tracks and trails to enjoy MTB range from routes for all levels to routes with demanding challenges and climbs of almost impossible slopes.
In another post we have already mentioned the network of Vías Verdes (Greenways) in the area, great for cycling, so here are 10 more routes to enjoy on the Costa Blanca.
Distance: 19.73 | Slope: 727 m | Difficulty: Medium
Can a route of less than 20 km be considered heavy? A priori, what is expected in most cases is not... unless you face monsters like Sierra de Bernia.
And take for granted that this climb is gaining prominence year after year, being the protagonist of events such as the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana or the Costa Blanca Bike Race. This means that it is a route that can be climbed by both MTB and road bike, all thanks to the resurfacing in 2019.
Just a small note, this part of the route alone includes a 5 kilometer ascent at an average of almost 12% and a 614 meter drop. It is recommended to climb with a development of 35-33 or 34-30, and a lot of patience, as there are double digits almost all the way.
The reward is the amazing view of the Costa Blanca, overlooking our starting point, Altea, from the height.
Distance: 34.74 | Slope: 517 m| Difficulty: Medium
If we want a route that is less rugged than the previous one starting from Altea, we can approach the Fonts de s'Algar on a route of great beauty that follows the course of the Algar and Guadalest rivers. To reach the fountains, we will have to turn to Callosa d'Ensarrià, finding a natural area of great ecological wealth, whose baths were considered a source of health.
It is recommended to be cautious on the road, mainly if there has been heavy rainfall previously, since traffic on any of the trails may cause some risk.
Distance: 21.99 | Slope: 614 m| Difficulty: Medium
If the Bernia have scared you a little, near Altea we also find another wall that vie to be the toughest. It is, in fact, the ascent dubbed as the toughest climbing km in Europe, a milestone that not everyone can name.
So, we had no choice but to include this route of just over 20 km in which our legs should be well prepared before getting on our MTB. If you look for a video of this ascent, you'll notice that they climb at a snail's pace... or slower.
Of the 21 km of this route, just over two kilometers are uphill, but of course, when you face a route with slopes of 12, ramps that reach 30% and a tarmac that insists on clinging to your wheel, the challenge is considerable.
Distance: 14.35 | Slope: 225 m | Difficulty: Easy
We leave Altea to approach another of the most popular cycling enclaves: Calpe, which year after year brings together cyclists from many countries. And we do so with a simple but essential route that allows us to get closer to the Peñón de Ifach.
This symbol of the Costa Blanca looms like an imposing limestone rock of 50,000 m2 and 332 m high, literally glued to the coast. The fascination is so great that it is not only cycled around, but also approached by climbers, divers and hikers eager to go in symbiosis with the Peñon de Ifach.
Distance: 22.2 Km | Slope: 661 m | Difficulty: Medium
A route to enjoy our MTB through Alicante, starting from Calpe, to reach the Ermita Vella d'Oltà. Although this Hermitage is not known for its historical character (founded in 2002), it has a leisure area where we can rest and enjoy the surrounding views.
Although generally not an excessively hard or extensive route, it is true that there are two some demanding climbs, but they are a mere formality compared to Serra Gelada or Bernia.
Distance: 20.66 Km | Slope: 550 m | Difficulty: Easy
Another must for MTB enthusiasts on the Costa Blanca is the one that leads us along the paths and roads of the Sierra de Oltà. Leaving Calpe, you are just a stone's throw from this place where we can get lost for as long as we want. This small mountainous elevation may not be as iconic as the Peñón de Ifach, but it acts as a luxurious vantage point of the surroundings, below which we can view the aforementioned Serra Gelada or Sierra de Bernia in the distance, as well as a glimpse absorbing the whole coastline of the Marina.
Distance: 45 Km | Slope: 814 m | Difficulty: Medium
We move to a different location but without leaving the coast to approach three MTB routes that start from the same place: El Campello. This first route could be done on both MTB and Gravel bikes, especially considering that there are several sections on conventional roads.
It is a medium-level route, 45 km and 814 m positive slope, with the particularity that practically from the start we are immersed in a progressive ascent of just over 10 kilometers. Once we have faced this first section, we will have a fairly calm third of the route before facing a new ascent, although this one is shorter than the previous one, which will help us to tone the way back once we have gazed enough at the Amadorio Reservoir.
This reservoir has the peculiarity of being, together with Urbieta, the closest reservoir to the sea in Spain, a fact that may one day help you to answer one of those bad-faith Trivial questions.
Distance: 50.55 Km | Slope: 908 m | Difficulty: Medium
Another dam route that starts in El Campello is the one that takes us to the Embalse de Tibi (Reservoir), a route with stretches that are generally not very demanding, but that will be tough when we reach the 50 kilometers, with a slope of 908 m.
This Alicante MTB route runs along sections close to the Monnegre riverbed, and at approx km 23 we will view the reservoir into which the Río Verde River flows.
This reservoir has several centuries of history, being the most important dam of its time in the 16th century, whose height of 40 meters kept it as the most imposing dam until several decades later. This historical character has earned it to be declared Bien de Interés Cultural (An Asset of Cultural Interest) by the Valencian Community.
Distance: 31 Km | Slope: 482 m | Difficulty: Medium
An MTB route, which we cannot ignore, is the one that takes us to the Torres de la Huerta in Alicante. These enclaves hide a history of refuge and protection from the constant sieges by pirates that approached the coast of Alicante's Huerta between the 15th and 17th centuries. These pirates aimed to kidnap people to later sell them as slaves, a dark past that fortunately belongs to the past. The fact is that these towers served to spot the pirates to warn the population and lend themselves to their defense.
Regarding this route, it has a 31 km route and a 482 m slope, with two somewhat demanding ascents, especially the second, which will take us back to centuries ago when it was an area prepared for the fight against pirates, now converted into a peaceful space where you can enjoy two wheels.
Distance: 37.8 | Slope: 1164 m | Difficulty: Medium
We conclude these top 10 MTB routes in Alicante with a trip over the Puig de Campana from Benidorm, a well-known city that does not need to be on the map of the Valencian Community.
This pre-Betic mountain range in the province of Alicante has an altitude of more than 1410 m and is the highest peak near the coast of the Iberian Peninsula. On this route we will not climb to such a height, although we will reach a certain altitude difference, namely a positive slope of 1,164 m. Here we will enjoy a limestone landscape that is home to numerous endemic plant species and where we will be surrounded by pine and holm oak forests.