Why I love Spain's Costa Blanca

If you take any of the small roads that wind up and away from the tourist spots along the coast, you find a very different version of the Costa Blanca. Small traditional towns of white, sun-bleached buildings topped with earth-toned tiles are nestled in between the folds of the spectacularly mountainous Marina Baixa and Marina Alta. In each little village you're guaranteed the basic necessities: a bar where you can eat fresh and cheap tapas or pescaditos and have a clara (Spain's version of a radler), a baker for your bread, a weekly market of fresh fruits and vegetables, and a bodega for your wine tasting. Radiating out from the individual towns are intricate terraces originally designed by the Moors in the 17-18th centuries and valleys of almonds and olives. Bright groves of lemons and oranges stand our in contrast against the grey and orange sheen of the limestone massifs. If you zoom out further, you're suddenly in a much wilder landscape. Walking paths through traditional towns and old castles lead to dirt roads, which lead to trails, and suddenly spectacular ridgelines and scree on your way to the summits. Middle-European origin vegetation in the rivers and cooler mountain areas turns to Mediterranean flora as you climb higher past Aleppo and stone pine. Rosemary, thyme, Spanish heather are interspersed between carob, oleander, and terpentine tree. Run/powerhike higher into the trails and you'll see all the way to the Mediterranean. On our week-long running retreat, you'll enjoy guided trail tours as we circumnavigate the impressive range of the Sierra de Bernia, run through a secret Buddhist Colony in the mountains, and even a coastal landmark described by Gabriel Miró as "a symbol of grandeur, of unapproachable majesty." (We'll still go ahead and summit it.)

So join us for a trail run, wine tasting, and some of the best tapas in Spain. Just make sure to fill up before the mandated siesta every afternoon. And make sure not to make too many plans on a festival day, because there's lots of those there. And don't get too stressed over the Christmas holidays, which run all the way from La Immaculada on December 8th to the Tres Reyes on January 6th. In other words, enjoy yourself, you're on vacation. If you're not relaxed now, you will be after life in Spain's Costa Blanca. 

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