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Guadalest

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Guadalest

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View of the Alcozaiba Fortress from the castle

Guadalest (full name: El Castell de Guadalest) is a little mountainous town located in the province of Alicante, Spain, 24 Km west from Benidorm.

Despite its small size (236 inhabitants in 2013) Guadalest is a picturesque town that attracts around two millions of visitors every year, making it an ideal day-trip for people staying at the Costa Blanca, and a good starting point for those interested in the countryside.

Understand[edit]

Guadalest used to be a Moorish town until the 17th Century, when all Moorish in Spain were forced to leave. The Moorish Fortress was destroyed just a few decades afterwards as a result of several earthquakes, but some parts still remain today.

Guadalest is surrounded by mountains, making it something different for the visitors staying on the beach. Being relatively close to popular destinations on the coast like Benidorm, Denia or Altea Guadalest makes an easy short break. Surprisingly for its size the town offers lot of cultural attractions and museums.

Get in[edit]

By bus[edit]

Llorente Bus [1] offers direct connections from Benidorm to Guadalest (line 16) once a day, departing everyday at 7:55 from Benidorm center and from Guadalest back at 13:30. The trip takes around 1 hour and 45 minutes and costs 5.50 € roundtrip (prices raising quickly). You can return with a detour at 10:30 or directly at 16:55, thus forcing you to stay the entire day in a small mountain village with nothing to do. Or return with the same busdriver only 45 minutes after arrival, which is too short to go up the mountain.

Several options exist to combine the ticket to Guadalest with other offers in trips and/or buses. Additionally several local agencies offer the trip to Guadalest from Benidorm, Alicante, Denia and other towns in the surroundings.

By car[edit]

Being in a remote and scarcely populated area the car is the only option to visit the town with enought autonomy. It can be reached on road CV-70 throught La Nucia and Polop de la Marina, as well as CV-755 from Altea la Vella, passing throught Callosa d'En Sarriá.

Beware that parking rose relatively expensive in the last years, from 1.7 € to 4 €, but after complains from both locals and visitors alike the price is now 2 € (2014). The two parkings are at the entrance of the town, one at each side.


Get around[edit]

The only way to do it is by foot. The main street going up is pedestrian, as all the historical center. To reach the upper part, where the castle and the cementery are, its needed to go through the Museum Casa Orduña (entry fee of 4 €), located next to the church (first building after the ascent).

See[edit][add listing]

The tourist information is located behind the parking. They open Sunday to Friday from 10:00 to 14:00 and 15:00 to 17:00, and Saturdays from 11:00 to 13:30 and 15:00 to 17:00. They have free maps and flyiers of several museums in the town.

  • Alcozaiba Fortress: Technically part of Casa Orduña, its emblematic restored tower is properly appreciated from the ruins of the castle (hence you need to go to the castle throught Casa Orduña).
  • Castle of San José: Located on top of a rock, in the higher part of the town, next to the cementery. It was eventually destroyed in 1708 during the Succesion War and subsequent earthquakes. The entrance is throught Museum Casa Orduña.

From the top there is a beautiful panoramic of the fortress surrounded by mountains and pond.

Panoramic view from the old town


Museums[edit]

Despite its small size Guadalest hosts an incredible high number of museums, being specially popular the two miniatures museums.

  • Casa Orduña: Its located up in the old town, next to the church. A house belonging to a noble family, build in the 17th Century, which keeps the furnishings that the family used back in the time. It is also the entrance to the higher part of the town, where the castle lies. Entrance: 4 €, disccounts for seniors and students applicable. Timetable: Summer daily from 10:00 to 20:00, winter from 10:00 to 18:00
  • Museum of Historical Vehicles: Its not in the town itself, but 7 Km far, in the Carretera Callosa - Guadalest, near the restaurant El Riu. It has a collection with hundred of motorbikes and small cars from the 1920's to the 70's. Adults: 3 €. Timetable: Sunday to Friday (closed on Saturdays), from 10:30 to 20:00 in summer, 10:30 to 18:30 in winter.
  • Museum of Miniatures: Its located up in the old town. The museum allows you to take a look to all kind of miniatures (such like the Statue of Liberty inside a needle) with magnifying glasses. Adults: 4 €. Open in summer from 10:00 to 20:00, winter from 10:00 to 18:00.
  • Museum of Micro-Gigantic: Located down, in Calle del Sol 2. As the name states here there is a miniatures collection (per example a bible written on a hair or an ant playing a violin) and giant sculptures. Adults: 4 €. Timetable: Summer from 10:00 to 20:00, winter from 10:00 to 18:00.
  • Museum of Torture Instruments and Middle Age: Located down, at Calle Honda 2. Adults: 4 €. Timetable: Summer daily from 10:30 to 20:00, winter from 10:30 to 18:00.

Do[edit][add listing]

Guadalest offers hiking options, routes PR.V-18 and PR.V-19. Those are short routes (13 and 11 Km respectively) with no difficulty.


Buy[edit][add listing]

There are plenty of souvenir shops in the town. In spite of depending highly on tourism, prices are cheap compared with the coast.

Typical products include those made with louquat (honey, licour, sweets), dried fruits and nuts and wine.


Eat[edit][add listing]

Conejo al "all i oli" (rabbit with garlic and oil dressing), pimientos rellenos (peppers stuffed) or l'olleta de blat (broth with wheat, kidney beans and meat) are traditional dishes from the valley, and much more unknown in Alicante than rices.

The usuals from the coast like paella, cuttlefish and fishes are also available, and prices are cheaper than in most restaurants at the beach.

Where more restaurants concentrate is around the Town Hall, in the main square in the old town.


Drink[edit][add listing]

The same bars offering food in the old town also offer all kind of cold drinks, from beer to horchata, from lemon slush to mojito.

For nightlife Benidorm is the right place.


Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Alojamientos Rurales Aitana Sanchez [2] (Avenida Alicante 4, Guadalest: Appartments located next to the parkings. Price: 70 to 90 € (4 adults).
  • Cases Noves [3] (Calle Achova 2, Guadalest): Rural accomodation in Guadalest with high standars. Single room: 50 € in high season.


Get out[edit]

Algar Waterfalls (Valencian: Les Fonts d'Algar, Spanish: Las Fuentes del Algar), located in Callosa d'en Sarrià, are just 15 Km far from Guadalest, making it easy to combine both in one day.

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