Where to find
The Serra d’Irta lies in the province of Valencia/Spain, on the Mediterranean coastline in the middle of Tarragona and Valencia.
The northern entrance is located south of the coastal village Peniscola. The easiest way to reach the Natural Park of the Serra d’Irta is to follow the coastal road southwards. The signage is very good from the main roads and the highway.
The southern entrance is located at the northern edge of the coastal town of Alcossebre. Just follow the signs to the Ribamar Camping & Bungalow, pass the campsite and go straight on into the Serra d’Irta. The signs are also good here.
Parc natural de la Serra d’Irta – Natural Park of the Serra d’Irta
The Serra d’Irta is a nature reserve, a micro-reserve for plants and animals, as well as a marine reserve with special focus on various fish species such as starfish, sole, squid, Mediterranean barracuda, octopus and gilthead. The dunes are responsible for the preservation of our natural habitats and create a unique environment for the plants and animals that live in them.
Various hiking trails lead into the surrounding mountains of the Serra, as well as along the coast. There are countless small beaches where you can calmly hold your feet in the water, swim and go for snorkeling.
Offroad on dusty tracks
The unpaved coastal road is a lot of fun, breathtaking sights invite to many stops. A must for every nature lover with an offroad vehicle. You can also leave the plain seaside road and go up into the mountains. I always have a permanent grin on my face when going up tracks like that. 🙂 I have also recorded a video for you which you will find here.
The coastal track is easy. For the LR Defender drivers: use the diff lock and stay in H (high range) for the dusty seaside road. If you go up the mountains you might change to L (low range). Don’t forget to go back to the unlocked position in H when you are returning on the paved road.
There are many possibilities for a free place, either directly on the rocks of the coast, at the pebble beach or under the pine trees. I have hided myself in the pine forest. Mainly because of the weather forecast warning of upcoming winds in the night which could get uncomfortable in the roof tent. However the night was windless. As you might know me in person, I love the lonesomeness and the silence in these kind of spots which is another reason for me to overnight under the pines in the second row. 🙂
The wild camping area on my map is marked in yellow. It’s not an official one and it is not allowed by loaw in spain. But if you behave yourself you do not need to fear any problems.
No open fire is allowed. For cooking please use a gas stove and always have an eye on it. There are no toilets, so either you have one in your camper or you need to go in nature. As I have been there during winter season, there were almost no camper around. But this could change during the summer time therefore please treat each other with respect as well as our nature and the environment. Take all waste back with you. Thank you very much! You want to know more about wild camping? Learn more….
Snorkeling on the Platja d’Irta
Neptune grass or Mediterranean tapeweed, a marine plant endemic to the Mediterranean and adapted to life under the sea and forms stems, leaves, roots, flowers and large meadows. It will be found in the underwater region close to the Platja d’Irta. This grass is an excellent bio-indicator of the environmental quality of sediments and seaweed and contributes to its oxygenation. Neptune grass has a very complex and diverse biological structure and is an important area of natural breeding for many types of small animals. In this habitat you can find 1000 species of marine flora and fauna. This would be the right place for snorkeling to see the underwater world of the Serra d’Irta. Also here, please respect our environment, no touch and don’t take anything with you – no souvenirs from the ocean.
Hiking, mountain biking & Yoga
There are some nice hiking trails, especially in the mountainous area. I can especially recommend the path to the picnic area “La Caseta”. It runs mainly through the pine forest and is therefore protected from sun and heat. The view of the coastline and the Mediterranean Sea is also breathtaking. The picnic area offers tables and benches, as well as garbage cans and a safe place to make open fire. Enjoy the peace and quietness here, which I only find up in the mountains. Just listen to the birds and the sound of the trees in the wind. Also a good place for a yoga session and a meditation. Namaste! 🙂
Climate and wind
The coastline is protected from onshore (inland) wind through the mountains of the Serra d’Irta. Therefore even in winter the temperatures can be very pleasant during the day and at night. As I stayed there in january suddenly a mild summer breeze appeared which felt as a fantastic tingly touch on the skin. Amazing!
- Swimming shoes, as the beaches are usually covered with gravel or rocks.
- Sufficient drinking water
- Snorkel to admire the underwater world
- Good footwear for hiking
- SLR camera
- Sun protection, naturally for the sake of the environment
- Camper vans are too big to drive through. Up to the size of a VW Bus or Fiat Ducato will be ok I think. However, note that the paths are rocky and stony. For this reason, attention should be paid to the ground clearance of the vehicle. Everyone is responsible for herself and her vehicle!
- Quads are not allowed!
- No open fire! High risk of forest fire due to wind and drought. Pines are also quickly flammable. Respect our environment. Thank you very much!
If you have any questions or suggestions, I would be happy if you leave a comment below.