Backed by mountains and a welcoming sight from sea with its colourful beachfront houses, the town of Villajoyosa, also known as La Vila Joiosa is a peaceful haven just 20 minutes drive from the hustle and bustle of big city Benidorm. Dating back to the 6th century, its important trade links with South America, notably cocoa beans, led to this little town becoming famous for its chocolate making industry and to this day Valor chocolates still hold pride of place in the country's shops and supermarkets.

Villajoyosa endearingly translates to joyful town and rumour has it the beachfront houses have been painted in bright colours for many years in order for the town to be easily seen by returning sailors. Its favourable position on the Costa Blanca puts it within easy reach of Alicante International Airport and the vast beaches and bright lights of Benidorm.

Activities & Attractions

Bordered by the River Amadorio and facing the sea, the walled old quarter is great for exploring and visitors will find quaint traditional tapas bars and family run restaurants where the super fresh fish and seafood bought every day from the fish auction features highly on the menus. There are 3 beaches to choose from in Villajoyosa, the closest to the town centre being La Platja Centre, as well as De Torres and the lovely long stretch of Paradise Beach. Here you will find ample sun loungers and parasols, and nearby bars for a refreshing drink.

Around town there are a number of shops and cafes, a produce market where you can stock up on local delicacies for a beach picnic, and one of the town's most popular attractions, the Catholic Church of Assumption. The townsfolk love their festivals and a highlight each year is the Festival of Moors and Christians held at the end of July and featuring lively street processions, colourful costumes and exciting reenactments of battles of old.

Did I mention chocolate? Whether staying for a holiday or just on a day visit, a tour of the Valor chocolate factory is free of charge and a must for those with a sweet tooth where you will see the molten goodness being processed, poured and packaged before sampling the delight that is Valor Chocolate.

Santa Pola

Santa Pola is a bustling fishing town of diverse attractions centrally located on the Costa Blanca.