Route to the highest summit of Alicante, at 1557 m. altitude.
The usual route to the summit of the Sierra de Aitana is from the Font de Partegat de Benifato, ascending to the Font de Forata and from there to the delicate Passet de la Rabosa, next to the huge chasms of Partegat.
In this article you will find everything you need to know to climb to the “roof” of the province of Alicante, a fascinating mountain range for its many contrasts and its high environmental and cultural values. Read on for all the details!
In this article:
The Sierra de Aitana: SCI and SPA
With a height of 1,557 metres, the Sierra de Aitana is the highest elevation in Alicante’s geography. The “Sierra Madre” of the province, as some people call it, is home to different ecosystems of great environmental value, protected by flora micro-reserves, as well as the European SCI (Site of Community Interest) and SPA (Special Protection Area for Birds), within the Natura 2000 Network.
From the point of view of cultural heritage, the old snow wells of Aitana are one of its most outstanding elements, witness of the cold trade in past centuries, which was the origin of many bridle paths that we use today in our hiking routes.
Climb to Aitana: Route Summary
Starting at the recreational area of the Font de Partegat, we ascend first by forest track, between terraced almond trees, until we reach a chaos of blocks where the road becomes a path. A steady but bearable climb, with a final stretch on a track, leaves us on the landing where the Font de Forata sits, the highest in the province of Alicante, at about 1400 meters above sea level.
From the spring, we approach the base of the Passet de la Rabosa, a somewhat technical pass that requires overcoming a climb and crossing a crevasse between large boulders. Thus we arrive at the impressive Simas de Partegat, large gashes in the mountain that shows its slow collapse into the valley.
From the landing next to the chasms, ideal to regain strength, we take the path that ascends the ridge, overcoming a final steep slope to crown the accessible “roof” of the province of Alicante.
To return, we descend next to the chasms and from there we follow the crest of the sierra in an easterly direction, walking through uncomfortable terrain due to the sharp karst formations. We leave the ridge by a steep descent that leaves us in the Port de Tagarina. We only have to follow the forest track, downhill, which will lead us back to the Font de Partegat.
The Passet de la Rabosa
The Passet de la Rabosa (Little Pass of the fox) is a technical pass that requires overcoming an area of rock chaos, a small climb and a narrow passage through a fissure between boulders. It is located between the Font de Forata and the Simas de Partegat, being one of the access routes to the summit of the Sierra de Aitana from the north face (Font de Partegat).
Although the passage is not excessively difficult, I recommend doing it uphill (easier). Larger people may find it more difficult to pass through here.
If it has snowed in previous days, it is very common for ice to form on the Passet de la Rabosa, which requires the use of crampons and ice axe to overcome it safely. Therefore I recommend avoiding this step in case of snowfall and if you do not have the necessary material or experience (you can follow the track that I share with you in reverse, up and down the forest track and mountain range).
In the vicinity of the Passet de la Rabosa there is a micro-reserve of flora of the same name. It is a protected area at European level with the purpose of cataloging, studying and preserving endemic, threatened or endangered plant species that grow in this unique habitat. Some rupicolous species (growing on rocks), such as the king’s crown, are testimony to past times when the climate was much colder, allowing the proliferation of these species.
The Summit of Aitana
Highest elevation and geodetic vertex of the Sierra de Aitana (1557 m.) is located within the fenced enclosure of the military installations that crown the mountain, so that on this route we have to make do with an “alternative” summit -barely 10 meters lower-, near the geodesic vertex and with fantastic views of the Valley of Aitana (1557 m.). Guadalest and the surrounding mountain ranges, such as Serrella or Bèrnia.
On clear days you can easily see the mountains of Murcia to the south and the Penyagolosa de Castellón to the north. To the east, Ibiza overlooks the Puig de la Llorença and in the direction of the Montgó de Dénia even the highest peaks of Mallorca can be seen (only on days with optimal conditions).
Where to eat in Benifato
Benifato and the rest of the towns in the Guadalest Valley -Confrides, l’Abdet, Benimantell, Beniardà, Guadalest- boast a delicious mountain gastronomy, with authentic dishes such as Olleta de Blat (wheat olleta).
My personal recommendation is the restaurant La Venta de Benifato, located next to the CV-70 road, very close to the turnoff to enter the village from that road. It is a restaurant with more than 100 years of history where you can taste the typical dishes of the area, as well as buy local products: extra virgin olive oil, honey, sausages, almonds, jams, herbero, wine… The restaurant has ample parking. Don’t forget to book!
Route track for GPS
When does it snow in the Sierra de Aitana?
There is only snow in the Sierra de Aitana -with luck-, for a few days a year.
It is usual that the Sierra de Aitana is covered in white every winter, although it is normal that the snow only remains in the highest parts for a few days after the snowfall. Thicknesses can exceed half a meter with relative ease.
In this article you can see the chronicle and photographs of the route I did to the summit of Aitana with snow in March 2011.
How to get to the Font de Partegat
The starting point of this excursion is in Benifato, one of the small villages of the Guadalest Valley, in the interior of the Marina Baixa region.
From Benifato, you have to take the rural road that leads to the
de. Currently (December 2022), this road is in very bad condition at some points, with large potholes and potholes.
I recommend driving as few cars as possible up to the fountain, in order to avoid collapsing the place and to save fuel. It is better if it is an off-road vehicle or similar.
In winter there may be ice slabs on the highest part of the trail, near the fountain, especially in the early morning. So use extreme caution (several times they have had to rescue trapped vehicles).
If you are in good shape, I recommend walking up from Benifato (you will have to add an extra 400 meters of elevation gain to the route).
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