Puig Campana, Finestrat (Benidorm), Spain - climbing Puig Campana

Climbing Puig Campana, Finestrat (Benidorm), Spain

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Climbing Puig Campana, Finestrat (Benidorm), Spain

Puig Campana is an impressive lump of rock that stands majestically behind the towering skyscrapers of Benidorm in Alicante Province, Spain. It is the second largest mountain in the Costa Blanca region standing at 1,406 metres (4,613 ft), and with its distinctive notch, it’s easily recognisable to anyone familiar with Benidorm.

Puig Campana, Finestrat (Benidorm), Spain - climbing Puig Campana
Puig Campana, Finestrat (Benidorm), Spain – climbing Puig Campana

Note: to get an idea of the size of Puig Campana – Ben Nevis (the highest mountain in the UK) stands at 1,345 metres (4,411 ft); Puig Campana is slightly higher at 1,406 metres (4,613 ft).

There are two unique, natural features around Benidorm – one is Puig Campana (with its distinctive notch in the western peak), the other is Benidorm island – a wedge-shaped rock that sits about 2 miles out at sea and seems to be always directly in front of you wherever you are in Benidorm. There are a few different legends that tie the two landmarks together – one of which is a story featuring ‘Roldan’ (a giant) who cut the notch in the mountain and threw it into the sea – Benidorm Island – after he had been told by a wanderer that his wife would die when the sun set behind Puig Campana – by cutting the notch in the mountain Roldan, completely distraught, could have a few moments longer with his wife before she died.

Benidorm Island, Benidorm, Spain - climbing Puig Campana
Benidorm Island, Benidorm, Spain – climbing Puig Campana

The truth is that the two landmarks are totally unrelated. In geological terms, Puig Campana was formed in the Jurassic period and Benidorm Island in the Cretaceous. Nonetheless, the legends surrounding Puig Campana and Benidorm Island only add to the allure of the impressive mountain for those who fancy climbing it.

I climbed the mountain in May 2017. I’d been in Salou and Barcelona earlier on in the year at an international football tournament that my son’s team were playing in, and I had got talking to one of the coaches about Benidorm. All I’d ever heard about Benidorm was that it was the ‘Blackpool’ of Spain. ‘Not true,’ said the coach – Benidorm was a lovely place with a bit of everything for everyone. When I got back to Scotland I did a bit of detective work on  ‘Google’ and ‘Youtube’ and that’s when I noticed Puig Campana looming large in the background. Always one for a bit of hiking, three weeks later I was on a £60 return ‘Easyjet’ flight from Glasgow to Alicante Airport to meet my cousin Stephen who was flying in from Bournemouth. Skyscanner for cheap flights

After a 9€ bus ride to Benidorm and a good nights kip in the Casa Don Juan – a small, clean €50 per night hotel in Benidorm’s old town, we were all set on the Friday morning to climb the mountain.

There are a few different routes up the mountain – the route that we chose starts just outside Finestrat village and goes around the back of Puig Campana and then up the north face to the summit. Finestrat can be reached from Levante Beach in a taxi in about 10 minutes and costs less than €20. Trail maps are available from Finestrat Tourist Office but it was closed on the day of our climb. The trail, however, is marked with painted yellow and white lines on rocks (sometimes trees). In May 2017 the markers looked quite fresh (as if they had been painted recently), although some higher up were faded.

Puig Campana trail markers - climbing Puig Campana
Puig Campana trail markers – climbing Puig Campana

The ascent was reasonably tough – easy enough on the rising circular approach around the mountain to the north face, but harder as the route got steeper. At one point we lost the path – just after the survival hut – and found ourselves on a very steep slope of scree, which we climbed until we hit the trail again. Temperatures were cool in the shade and hot in the sun. Further up we lost the trail again and had to backtrack after it became dangerously obvious that we had indeed drifted off the track.

Climbing scree after drifting off the trail - climbing puig campana
Climbing scree after drifting off the trail

Puig Campana has two peaks – the east peak, which is the higher of the two peaks, and then the more rugged west peak with the notch. The trail up the north face leads you up onto a plateau between the two peaks with magnificent views over Benidorm and the cool, blue Mediterranean sea before branching left and leading you up a rocky track through bushes towards the eastern peak summit. The ascent was roughly 4.5 hours with the descent around 3 hours.

Eastern peak summit of Puig Campana - climbing puig campana
Eastern Peak summit of Puig Campana

Puig Campana is a moderate/difficult hike and a reasonable level of fitness and head for heights is required for the ascent.

A few tips for the climb are as follows:

  1. Take plenty of water with you – 3 to 4 litres
  2. Allow 8 hours for total hike – ascent, and descent if climbing the mountain from the north face.
  3. Use a high factor sunscreen – temperatures reached 25°C in May
  4. Take a light-weight, long-sleeved t-shirt and lightweight trousers to protect you from the sun – and the cold in the event you get stuck on the mountain overnight.
  5. Leave a note of your route with your hotel receptionist and tell them when they should expect you back in case of emergency.
  6. Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged before setting off – consider buying a power pack to re-charge the phone if necessary.
  7. Make sure you wear more than a pair of Adidas Samba for the climb

    Addidas Samba - climbing Puig Campana
    Addidas Samba – climbing Puig Campana
  8. Make sure to chillout on the beach the next day to rest your weary muscles – you’re in Benidorm after all!
Chillaxing - climbing Puig Campana
Chillaxing – climbing Puig Campana

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A guide to Climbing Puig Campana, Finestrat (Benidorm), Spain
A guide to Climbing Puig Campana, Finestrat (Benidorm), Spain

‘In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take.’

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37 thoughts on “Climbing Puig Campana, Finestrat (Benidorm), Spain”

  1. This looks a tough climb but worth it. We have been to Benidorm a couple of times and really like it. It is a fun place and the beach is perfect for chilling out after your hike. Interesting read, thank you.

  2. Great post – while Benidorm has never appealed to me (I just picture loads of sunburnt Brits on the beach – no thanks) the fact that there is a mountain to climb is definitely a game-changer! Thanks for sharing

    1. I was of that opinion too – until I went there, and there is that element – boozed up Brits abroad, but I didn’t frequent the parts where all the madness happens, and was pleasantly surprised with the highrise town – from La Cruz (The Cross) up on the hill – the view across Benidorm reminds me of Rio De Janeiro. And Puig Campana is a great mountain to climb if you like hiking. Thanks for commenting Travel Lexx – good luck and safe travels!

  3. What a great hike on Benidorm! I have numerous times drifted off a trail before and that makes the experience more fun but a little dangerous at times. Wonderful view of Benidorm with the city right up to the beach. Great way to relax after a fun hike on the beach chilling! #feetdotravel

  4. wow, i love the legend behind the mountain and it’s peak in the sea. It must have been tough in those Adidas street sneakers. That mountain hike looked sooo steep.

  5. I was about to write this looks like a not too bad of a climb, but then I read your tips! I consider myself fairly active, but Puig Campana may be something I try in the future. Those tips are very useful, especially about leaving a note with the receptionist.

  6. This looks similar to the terrain where I live. I’m surprised to see this in Spain. Looks like a great hike!!

    1. Benidorm was never on my bucket list but I’m so glad I went – it’s a lovely town with lots to do and see. You can get flights to this region of Spain from the UK for peanuts and if you like hiking? Then Puig Campana is a great mountain to climb. Thanks for commenting, Lien – good luck on your travels.

      Ps I’m 47 years old and I’ve just realised that I may be one of the old people you refer to…

  7. Ohhh I love hikes. This one seems ok but I definitely won’t hike it in shoes like that haha! I am always scared I go off trail while hiking but you guys seemed to be fine!

  8. You have just totally given me a new perspective on Benidorm. It’s not somewhere I would ever even think of visiting. Mostly because when I think of it I think of over weight, over indulgent brits or drunk teenagers. I don’t think the TV program helped much haha. I’m a big hiking fan so I’m going to look into this more. Thank you for enlightening me and changing my perception of Benidorm!

  9. Great stuff – I have never visited Benidorm but I love hiking. I recently climbed Ben Nevis, so would imagine it’s probably a similar difficulty to do. If I get the chance I would love to give Puig Campana a go.

  10. I love hiking and I’ve been living in Italy for a while now, so perhaps I will try Benindorm myself 🙂 It looks quite hard, so I think I will have to prepare myself for a while before going.
    Great tips you gave on this post – specially the one about chilling on the beach the day after 😉 Thanks for sharing it!

    1. No problem, Fernanda – Puig Campana is a great mountain to climb if you ever get the chance. And remember to chill on the beach the day after – very important. Thanks for commenting!

  11. I’ve never been to Benidorm either for the same reason you hadn’t, it’s reputation of being the Blackpool of Spain. The Puig Campana is quite a decent sized mountain at 1400 metres. I’d definitely climb it on a visit to Benidorm which is more likely now after reading this. Is it possible to swim out to the Island as well?

    1. The island lies a couple of miles out, James – a bit too far for to swim I think, although I’m sure there are people that have probably done it. My flight was only £60 return and for that money I’d go check out anywhere regardless of it’s reputation. The foot of Puig Campana is really close to Benidorm – 10 minutes in a taxi, and I’d definitely visit the town again to climb it. Thanks for commenting and safe travels!

  12. I have done similar hikes in Spain when I lived near Alicante. I never had the chance to do that one in Benidorm though-was too busy with all the theme parks. It seems like a tough one indeed and what an adventure! The photos look amazing and make me want to go back just for that! Thanks for sharing!

  13. I learned the value of hiking shoes when I went on a hike during my birthday weekend in Texas. The climb was nowhere near as rigorous as yours though! I think I would have opted to simply stay at the beach. lol

  14. Haha, note to self, invest in decent footwear before venturing on this hike. It looks like it was worth the pain though. Great views and interesting info.

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