So the next stop on our new adventure brought us to Villajoyosa or La Villa Joiosa as it´s known in Catalan, The Village of Joy. Quite a fitting name, don´t you agree? Seeing as we are not only on a mission to seek out the hidden treasures in our area but also put a smile on our faces! Anyway, on to the point, the town itself!
Villajoyosa is an enchanting little fishing town located some thirty minutes from Alicante. It´s a historical town famed for its brightly coloured houses, its beach, its fish auctions and its chocolate factories, yes you read it correctly – chocolate factories, the town is home to not one but three chocolate factories, no wonder it´s called The Village of Joy, with three chocolate factories how could one ever be sad?
Like most traditional Spanish towns, Villajoyosa has two completely contrasting sides to offer: an authentic old quarter bursting with personality and a more modern beach resort area just to keep the tourists happy! I have to say that when P mentioned that he wanted to see Villajoyosa I wasn´t all that excited at the prospect. In my mind, being so close to Benidorm, Villajoyosa was an over developed seaside resort with nothing much to offer. Well I´m here to tell you this is far from the truth.
Villajoyosa, a town which has always had a strong relationship with the sea, has managed, despite the growing number of tourists each year, to preserve some of it´s quirky historical and cultural features. As I mentioned at the start, the Village of Joy is famed for its brightly coloured houses. The story behind these vibrantly coloured houses is quite endearing really and very small town if I do say so myself. The idea behind painting the houses in such eye-catching colours was to ensure that sailors from the village could see their houses from afar, therefore making the difficult task of finding their way home that little bit easier! Whatever the reason behind it, I love it. It gives the place such character.
As you walk along the narrow winding streets you feel a huge sense of pride and nostalgia seeping through the walls of these colourful facades. The bright colours of these tall but narrow buildings contrasted against the bright blue sky is just incredible. The way the light dances through the streets, illuminating the trees and cobbles, casting shadows along the walls of the houses as it goes, makes you feel relaxed and contented. The only downside: it´s not exactly a wheelchair friendly area!
While the sea front itself is located on a flat area there is a steep rise to get from there to the old quarter, slight problem if you are like us: on a mission with a wheelchair! While the trip downhill was okay, a little tricky but nothing too difficult, the trip back up was another story. Let´s just say two-man horsepower was needed instead of the normal one but hey that´s all part of the fun, isn´t it? And if nothing else, it´s one way of ensuring we´re getting enough daily exercise!
Not only does Villajoyosa have bucket loads of history, character and quirkiness to offer any tourist who wishes to step foot on this authentic bit of Spanish heaven, it also has a beach and port area. This Beach, lined with the traditional coloured houses, is a far cry from the typical beaches you will find along the mediterranean sea. While it is a relatively small beach, with golden sand, clear blue water and clusters of palms to keep you protected from the rays of the sun, it is set in an idyllic location, surrounded by mountains, what more could you ask for?
Neatly tucked in at the end of the beach is the port, the towns most important area. A relatively small port, just like the beach, but most definitely an important one. It´s key to this towns history, culture and personality. Being the authentic fishing town that it is, every evening, once the fisher men have returned from their daily trips, an auction is held selling the freshest of fish and sea food from the area, you can´t get really get more authentic than that, no wonder this town has such character!
Nowadays, shockingly, the towns main source of income comes from chocolate. As I mentioned earlier, this town is home to three chocolate factories and also a Valor chocolate museum. Located in the most modern part of the town lies the Valor chocolate factory and museum. After our stroll/ uphill battle with the wheelchair we ventured up there to check it out. However, due to the length of the queues, we decided to give the tour of the factory a miss this time round!
So all in all I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised with what this little town had to offer. The perfect balance of sun, sea and culture. Villajoyosa is most definitely an example of a seaside resort that has remained true to its traditions and remained completely unspoilt by tourism. Such a refreshing change. I would definitely recommend a visit to this town if you want to experience a taste of what real Spanish life is all about. Just remember, if you go with a wheelchair, you need to be prepared for an uphill battle!
I´m going to leave you now with a slideshow of the town, be sure to check it out! P, J and I throughly enjoyed our time there, despite the steep hills!
Hope you enjoyed reading about our day in Villajoyosa, I hope you are having a good day wherever you are!
As always, thank you for reading!
Until the next time, take it one day at a time…