Find the Best in Guadalest – Spain

If you haven’t been to Benidorm before, then chances are your cousin or your neighbour has. And if they haven’t told you about the tiny town of Guadalest then I will. It’s easy to write off as a tourist trap, especially when you arrive at the large car park in the centre of the modern part. But if you only have the time and/or the money to make one excursion out of Benidorm, this has to be the one. The real secret is in timing your trip. If you are not visiting in an off peak holiday period, then do try and pry yourself out of bed early one morning. It’s well worth the effort.

Guadalest Photo: A Roger Davies of Flickr

The hilltop village of Guadalest in Spain

I last went there during the Christmas break, on a spur-of-the-moment trip we’d found to Benidorm with Jet2holidays. We left not so early in the morning, and managed to escape the crowds that took the edge off my previous visit one July. Hire a car for a day or two and Guadalest also makes a great first stop on a trip into the mountains.

Guadalest Photo: delightso.me of Flickr

View of Guadalest in Spain

It’s less than 20 miles along the main road to Alcoy, and one of the joys of driving there was being able to pull off into a well-placed lay-by for a few minutes. The view through the pine trees took in the tiny hilltop town in one direction, and in the other huge feathery banks of cloud floating back through the mountains towards the sea.

Guadalest Photo: delightso.me of Flickr

View of the reservoir below Guadalest in Spain

With all the souvenir shops and bars and restaurants near the car park, on arriving you might start to think you’re in for a mini version of Benidorm itself. But keep following the signs to the Castle and the pedestrian-only alley leads you out on to the side of the hill, past rows of lanky palm trees and flowering shrubs to the main gate to the old town. And what a gate it is – one worthy of Alice wandering into Wonderland – as you step over the threshold of a solid wooden door embedded right in the middle of a huge rock into a tiny world of its own.

Guadalest Photo: Jez Page of Flickr

Gateway to Guadalest

As the cobbled street winds round to your left you are immediately confronted by the 18th century Baroque church and beyond that a small plaza. Walk across to the open right hand side and you can look way down to the bright blue waters of the town’s small reservoir, with the outline of the high peaks behind clearly reflected in it.

Baroque church Photo: rojabro of Flickr

Baroque church

To get up to the highest point of Guadalest you can pay to go through the old family house that stands on the site of the original castle, taking in its mostly modern art collection as you climb up the stairs. Or if you prefer you can head for the cemetery gate at the end of the square, and walk up through a miniscule graveyard where the ‘residents’ really couldn’t get much closer to their ‘Maker’. There are views everywhere around the old town, over the terraced hillsides with their almond trees that source the honey and hard turron nougat that the region is famous for and way up the slopes of the surrounding mountains. But the classic one from the top is looking back at the squat whitewashed bell tower sat firmly on the top of another pedestal rock, high above the gate where you walked in.

Guadalest Photo: Stephen & Claire Farnsworth of Flickr

View of Guadalest in Spain

Of the various small museums dotted around the town, my favourite is the ethnological museum virtually opposite the church where you can see many of the tools used by local farmers and tradesmen over the centuries. Others house historical motorbikes and a miniature collection, including minute paintings on rice seeds – plenty to keep you busy if you want to make a day of a trip to the town.


Katie is the sugar and travel addicted blogger behind delightso.me. You can follow her exploits on Twitter at @delightsomeblog.

This article is brought to you by Jet2Holidays who offer a wide and exciting range of great value package holidays to over 40 beach and city destinations.

Photo credits: Guadalest by A Roger Davies, Guadalest by delightso.me, Guadalest by Jez Page, Baroque church by rojabro, and Guadalest by Stephen & Claire Farnsworth.

More Spanish sojourns:

See where the road will take you in Spain
The Moorish charms of the Alhambra in Granada
See another side of Spain in La Rioja

This article  is originally published at Heatheronhertravels.com – Read the original article here

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  • Reply
    Lauren Meshkin
    September 4, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    That gateway looks pretty damn cool! I’d love to visit Guadalest one day. Spain is one of my favorite countries. Great post!

    Happy travels 🙂
    Lauren Meshkin´s last blog post ..Wanderlust Wednesday: Exploring Palos Verdes

    • Reply
      Heather Cowper
      September 5, 2013 at 2:41 pm

      @Lauren Mine too, there are so many sides to Spain, only wish my Spanish was better – it’s next on my list to improve

  • Reply
    November 14, 2015 at 10:47 am

    Spain is my favorite countries too, I’m dreaming to go there and play tennis :), Put you opened my eyes to more things I can do there beside tennis too. The most amazing thing about Guadalest that they build it on big rocks, the view from up there is amazing, I liked it.
    Ahmed´s last blog post ..The Benefits of Choosing Double Glazed Windows for Your Home

  • Reply
    January 15, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    Not so far from where I live, but somewhere I had never considered visiting , will try to correct that this summer
    Alan´s last blog post ..Benidorm has so much to offer visitors

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