By Michael Lanza

By day, you hike across a chronically sunny range of mountains of endless limestone cliffs, past ruins of castles built by Moors centuries ago, looking down on bleached terracotta villages dotting the valley bottom. Every evening, in one of those villages, you feast in good Old World style on Spanish delicacies like stuffed aubergines, paella, and olleta de blat, washing it down with excellent Spanish vino. That, in a nutshell, describes the 60-mile, village-to-village trek I took across the most stunning European mountains you’ve never heard of (they don’t even have an official name), in the Valencia region on Spain’s Mediterranean coast.

The photo gallery below will communicate the beauty of this area more than words can. After viewing it, read my story about that trek, which includes many more pictures and tips on how to plan it yourself, including other, one-day adventures like climbing a via ferrata and scrambling a ridge traverse that’s compared to some of the most spectacular peaks in the Scottish Highlands. Spring and fall are the best times to hike in this Mediterranean climate.