Things to do in Serra D’Irta – a stunning Natural Park

With some of the clearest water on the coast, incredible scenery and surrounded by picturesque towns, Serra D’Irta is the perfect Natural Park for a little getaway. And to wreck your car.

Where is Serra D’Irta?

It’s hard to believe, that on Spain’s touristy east coast, there’s an area of, quite frankly, stunning protected terrain that’s hardly known. It’s as if tourists from Barcelona and Valencia zoom straight past it on their way to the other. Located nearly exactly in between these two cities, Serra D’Irta (in Valencian) or Sierra de Irta (Castellano) is an area of rocky, Mediterranean hills covered in palms and plants with some of the most beautiful, secluded beaches on the coast. It’s a unique ecosystem, meaning it’s protected, unspoilt and basically uninhabited!

Getting there

Serra D’Irta lies between the holiday towns of Peñiscola to the north and Alcossebre to the south. You can actually see beautiful Peñiscola jutting out into the ocean from all the beaches. Getting anywhere within the area is a pretty exciting adventure and a sturdy car is 100% necessary. The rugged paths – perhaps gaps between boulders and palms is more accurate – are not that easy to manoeuvre. Once you arrive at the carparks, you’ll notice your car (and all the others) blend perfectly into the surrounding sand and dust. You’ll also notice that the drive, and your car, was well worth it for the views and beaches. Really.


View of the Mediterranean and olive trees
Beautiful view from the top of the hill in Serra d’Irta


The best beaches in Serra D’Irta.

Platja del Russo

Because of the stunning rocky terrain, the beaches are a mix of little and slightly bigger coves. Some are rocky, some pebbled and some sand. I’m not as brave as my Spanish family and don’t love to hurl myself off jagged rocks into the waves. I’m more of a slow meanderer into calm water, so we tended to stick to the sandy ones. My favourite is Platja del Russo. It’s small enough that it feels intimate and a bit secret, but big enough that if you go in peak season, you’ll still find enough stones to keep up your parasol without having to nick any from your neighbours. The water is beautifully clean and the sand golden. I can definitely recommend bringing a snorkel as both sides of the beach are rocky and full of little (and occasionally quite big) fish.

Platja del Pebret

Just before Platja des Russo is Platja del Pebret. It’s arguably a bit more unique and definitely smaller, which makes it feel like a small paradise in amongst the trees and rocks of Serra D’Irta. But, because of its size, it usually gets a bit more crowded – expect to fight for your parasol stones. When you’re driving along the coast of the Natural Park, it’s easy enough to see how crowded the beaches are. If there are no parking places left, drive another 5mins to the next one. That’s how we found Platja del Russo.

Cala Argilaga

A pebbled beach, with a few sandy spots and rocks to each side, Cala Argilaga was a happy medium for hurlers and meanderers. Exploring around this beach is breathtaking – I know that’s a bit of a weird word, but it really was. Because I have weak English feet, I would recommend bringing swimming shoes and, just as with the rest of the beaches, a snorkel. It’s a little closer to to Alcossebre, so can get a little more crowded with those who give up on the paths. If it is, persevere and you’ll find something else.


Things to do in Serra d'Irta - rocky beach Platja del Russo
Rocky beach of Platja del Russo with Peniscola in the background

Hiking in Serra D’Irta

I’m not a big hiker. But I do make a few exceptions. The biggest being if I get something at the end (just like a child), whether that be a beer (not like a child), an ice cream or a good view. Well, luckily Serra D’Irta has some of the most beautiful views I’ve ever seen whilst hiking. It’s so unusual nowadays to be able to get away from civilisation and hike up to where there’s only the odd lizard, some palm and olive trees and the occasional other dusty hiker. Breathing in the salty air with glimpses of deep blue Mediterranean between branches is enough to get even the laziest non-hiker up. There are loads of trails to take, all varying in difficulty to the landmarks in the local area – from towers and mini castles to viewing points. You can find more info here.

One of the best things about hiking around this area is that you can go in the winter months. There are a lot less people (or cars in the carparks) and it’s a lot less sweaty.

Serra D'Irta - start point of hike
Starting our hike with this view!



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