After an hour by car you can reach the town of Villajoyosa, 32km north of Alicante, via the AP-7 or the N332. The historic town has a rather striking feature: if you look at the promenade from the sea, it seems as if you have landed in the Dutch Antilles, as the houses in Villajoyosa show themselves in a rarely seen blaze of colour. We use one day to visit the colourful city that already had its origins in the Bronze Age. Here we show our impressions and pictures from the historical centre, the golden sandy beaches and the colourful houses.
If you drive into town by car, you don’t need to be afraid, the traffic guidance is well planned. The city centre has parking lots and multi-storey car parks that are easy to reach. This multi-storey car park is relatively centrally located in order to reach as many sights of Villajoyosa as possible on foot. Please don’t forget to bring your parking ticket with you – this will later be your entrance ticket to the multi-storey car park! I had left the parking card in the car and only noticed on my return that one cannot open the entrance doors to the parking garage without a ticket.
Already excited about the old town our way led us first ‘down’ the street in the direction of the beach promenade. After only a few hundred metres, it is already worthwhile to visit the local market hall that looks surprisingly modern. Here, of course, there are a lot of seats with two tapas bars, a cafe and the wine and cheese merchant. If you like, you can get in the mood for a visit to the city after a drive with a coffee or a chilled Cerveza and take a little break. This is a beautiful place where many people gather at lunchtime.
Further downhill we soon cross the old N-332a, which leads through the middle of Villajoyosa. If you like to take pictures, I recommend to keep to the right. A special view point is here on the Puente Rio Amadorio, the bridge over the river Amadorio, where one has an impressive view of the park and the typical colourful houses. We then decide for the way through the alleys of the old town, passing the old fortified wall Muralla Medieval that was erected in the sixteenth century. Originally, the walls surrounded the city with four cube towers and a single city gate. In 1538, the town of Villajoyosa suffered such a heavy Berber attack that it had to take steps to protect the population in order to play an important role in defending the coast of Alicante.
Villajoyosa means “happy city” by the way – the name was chosen to attract new inhabitants.
We walked through the old alleys and enjoyed the wonderful views that the city offers here in the old fishermen’s and workers’ quarter. Some alleys are planted, others are decorated with flags, it is worth keeping your eyes open off the beaten track. Those who finally arrive at the beach deserve the view to the beach section that is appropriately called ‘Paradise Beach’.
On the way back the final destination is the guided tour through the chocolate factory of Valor, which not only gives an insight into the Spanish chocolate production, but ends in an extremely tasty shop sale. On the way to the chocolate museum, which led us again across the city, there was still so much to discover in the city. In the Bar La Cazuelita we took a last break for dinner – the tasty daily menu and the friendly host make this small Spanish corner restaurant the perfect resting place. Here you rather meet locals than tourists. For us this is always one more reason not to go to a restaurant at the promenade.
In the chocolate factory it is forbidden to take pictures, because the production lines can be visited as well – therefore I have only a few pictures. But the good thing about it is that you will still be surprised and I still keep the chocolate secret.
Recommended places of interest
An excursion that pays off if one is ready to walk a few more meters, as just then one discovers the pearls in the offside of the main streets. Nevertheless, it can’t hurt to look around in the map before going to a ‘foreign’ city. A little more inspiration and many more beautiful pictures can also be found on Instagram, if you look for the Hashtag #villajoyosa. On Youtube I found this interesting video, where the viewer walks through the old town for about five minutes – something completely different ;-)