Guadalest is a little town, a jewel of the Costa Blanca, Alicante (Spain) . It has been declared a Historic Artistic site and its official name in Valencian is “El Castell de Guadalest”. In Spanish it would be “Castillo”. It is a beautiful town in the interior of the province of Alicante and what many ignore is that in 2015 the municipality became part of the “association of the most beautiful towns in Spain” and in 2016 in the “Federation of Towns Most Beautiful in the World “. It is one of the most visited tourist attractions in the Valencian Community and that is saying a lot.
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The town and the river that reaches the reservoir are called the Guadalest Valley, which includes 6 small towns near the Sierra de Aitana. These towns of a few hundred inhabitants are Benimantell (500 inhabitants), Confrides (250 inhabitants), Beniardà (230 inhabitants), El Castell de Guadalest (200 inhabitants), Benifato (124 inhabitants) and Abdet (98 hab.). A note, “Beni” means “son of” and comes from the Muslim, which gives us an idea of the history behind this area.
To start we will give you one of the most valuable tips. You will have to park in Guadalest, full of tourists, and for this you will find several municipal car parks at the entrance. You pay 2 euros for the whole day (this price may vary) and you park near the Tourist office.
Arrival to the Town
We will start by saying that it is the perfect place for travelers looking for a getaway. Far from the image of the typical tourist sites, candidate for Rural Wonder 2019 and certified as one of the 59 most beautiful towns in Spain and one of the 400 most beautiful in the world. And you have it here, in Alicante, very close.
Now we will explain the highlights by looking at the map of the town, since with photos and maps everything is easier.
We go up the Costera de Gabriel Miró and we come across El Trinquet. We suppose that in its day there was a venue to play Pilota Valenciana and hence its name.
If you want to visit the oldest in the Valencian Community you have the Trinquet de l’Abdet, in the Vall de Guadalest and dates from 1772.
After the short walk up, we arrive at the Portal de Sant Josep, dug into the rock itself and which is the door to the access tunnel to the historical-artistic complex.
As you go through the tunnel, you will feel that you are entering the 16th or 17th century. Just when you leave you will find the Casa de los Orduña.
Visit to the Municipal Museum Casa Orduña
- The entrance hall with religious paintings.
- The room of the arches.
- An Ecce-Homo.
- The room of the Virgin of the Assumption.
- The collection of ceramics.
- The library, with more than 1200 books.
- A traveling exhibition hall.
The 2 key dates of the municipality related to this house:
In 1543 the Marquesado de Guadalest was born for the Cardona family. During this marquisate, the Orduña family, perpetual wardens of the Castell since 1669, became relevant. This family became the nobility in 1756 and later became president of the Alicante Provincial Council. His influence was very noticeable.
In 1708, during the War of Succession, the Castillo de San José was partially destroyed and the Casa Orduña was burned.
The telephone number is 965.885.393, the email email@example.com and the Opening Hours of Casa Orduña are: High Season 10 am-8pm, Medium 10 am-8pm, Winter 10 am-6pm.
The last remnant of the Muslim fortress in the 11th century. Currently only one tower remains and it was restored. It is one of the most iconic images of the province of Alicante, with the reservoir and the Vall de Guadalest. All close to the Sierra de Aitana.
The Bell Tower
The iconic image of the medieval village. On the rock, on the cliff, rises the bell tower of the Church of the Assumption.
Castle of San José or Castell de Guadalest
Welcome to the Castell de Guadalest or Castillo de San José. At the top of the town we find the remains, from the time of Pedro IV, which were not destroyed by earthquakes. It is a Gothic castle from the 11th century and the Parish Church, the Orduña House and the prison stand out in the enclosure.
We will continue with a little Medieval History, but very quick and brief. The town of Guadalest stands out for its castle from the Muslim period. After the reconquest, it retained a large Muslim population and later King Jaume II handed over the population to Bernat d’Ensarrià in 1293, Bernardo for friends. This lord of the time controlled the entire region, including Callosa (d’Ensarrià), home of the Fuentes del Algar.
We leave you the link for the Virtual Tour of Guadalest.
This path leads to the old cemetery.
The Tribute Tower
The Tribute Tower, in any castle, was the most difficult part to conquer. With reinforced walls and taller than the rest of the towers, it was the last stronghold of defense. If it was round, it was more resistant to projectiles, but the square ones had more useful space and dependencies.
The Prison and Medieval Dungeon
It is ironic that the Town Hall was the old 12th century prison building and that there is a cistern on its ground floor.
Parish Church of our Lady of the Assumption
Baroque style church from the 18th century, near the Orduña house.
The Town’s Square and its Streets
Photographs of the old town of Guadalest, of travelers strolling through some streets and local businesses. You can have a drink in a bar, buy souvenirs and souvenirs or just go for a walk. Not everything is museums and guided tours.
Museums of Guadalest
We leave you a list of the best museums in the town:
- The Salt and Pepper Shakers museum is one of the most picturesque in the entire town. You will find more than 20 thousand salt and pepper shakers from around the world, from the 19th century to today.
- The amazing Micro-Giant Museum. In this museum you can see, among other surprising objects, a bullring, built on the head of a pin, the book of the Bible made in a hair, a dressed flea riding a bicycle, a self-portrait carved in a grain of sand and a extensive collection of miniatures protagonists of the impossible. The artist Manuel Ussá works without breathing, intervening only in the space between the heartbeat to control the pulse. We recommend that you look at Groupon.es, as there are usually offers of tickets to the Microgigante Museum.
- Museum of Torture Instruments.
Museum of Microminiatures of “MANUEL USSÁ”. Goya’s The Shootings of May 2, painted on a grain of rice, La Maja Desnuda painted on the wing of a fly and an extensive collection created by the prodigious hands of Manuel Ussá, one of the best microminiaturists in the world.
- Ethnological museum or typical house from the 18th century. Museum to Explain the way of life of the villagers in the past. Nativity Scene and Dollhouses in the
- Antonio Marco Museum. In this museum there are dollhouses, an ecological nativity scene and old toys. The adult ticket costs 4 euros and the child 2 euros. It is open all year round, except Christmas and New Years. Here is the Official Website of the Antonio Marco Museum.
- Historical Vehicle Collection Museum. Collection made up of about 140 motorcycles and various microcars, in perfect condition and totally original, from the 20s to the 70s. Adult tickets are worth 4 euros, children 3 euros and children under 6 euros Free. Open every day except Saturdays. Here is the Official Website of the Museum Collection of Historical Vehicles.
The reservoir or reservoir of Guadalest is another of the iconic images from the upper part of the town of Guadalest. It was built in the 1960s and completed in 1971. The water comes from the Guadalest river, which is a tributary of the Algar river. Yes, you have heard about the famous Algar fountains.
For hiking we recommend the Route Around the Reservoir. We also find the dam at the end of the reservoir, for the supply and irrigation of the entire area of the Marina Baixa region. If you want to visit the interior of the province of Alicante you cannot miss these views. Believe us when we tell you that it is one of the best places in the interior of Alicante for hiking, with spectacular views. If you have restless feet, you know.
If you go fishing you should go along the south shore, only accessible by car.
Guadalest has no waterfalls. The nearest waterfalls are Algar Waterfalls. You can find the waterfalls in Callosa D’En Sarrià. Perfect place to swim but you have to pay a daily ticket.
Frequently asked questions about Guadalest
WHAT EVENTS ARE THERE?
- Guadalest Patron Saint Festivities: mid-August, on the 14th.
- Romantic Night: simultaneous event in the 59 most beautiful towns in Spain and 400 in Europe. With dinner and music in the square. About June 22.
- Festivities of San Gregorio (Festes de Sant Gregori): at the beginning of May.
WHAT TO EAT IN GUADALEST?
We always recommend the traditional cuisine of the area. If you’re going to eat in Guadalest, you have to eat rabbit al all i oli, stuffed peppers, baked vegetables and L’Olleta de Blat.
You can enter Tripadvisor and observe the opinions of the people who have eaten there. As always, opinions must be evaluated carefully and not taken at face value when choosing places to eat, hotels or even campsites.
Where to Sleep: Hotels in Guadalest? Rural houses?
Near the town you will only find a list of hotels in Guadalest and rural houses quite reduced. But before choosing a hotel, consider what you are going to do nearby. If your intention is to spend a few days in the valley away from civilization or if you want to be near the sea and with more hotel options. You can always take the car and in just over 20 minutes you will be at the Castle.
If you are looking for camping type accommodation nearby, you know, Armanello camping in Benidorm. From our campsite it will take less than 30 minutes (even if Googlemaps says 30) to get to the town. With us you can camp, you have pitches for caravan and motorhome, bungalows and other accommodation.
As expected, we encourage you not to sleep in Guadalest, but in a campsite with bungalows and enjoy the valley for a day, going up and down the mountain. Both our campsite and the town have excellent ratings on Tripadvisor and may be one of the best combinations of accommodation and activity in Alicante.
What are the Castell de Guadalest visiting hours?
The visiting hours of the Guadalest Castle are from Monday to Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., except New Years.
What are the best restaurants in Guadalest?
A list of the best restaurants according to customer reviews:
- Xorta. Restaurant with spectacular views of the valley and the sea. Home cooking, with a daily menu and open from Tuesday to Sunday from 12 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you go on Sunday, please call to reserve at 965 885 187.
- La Plaça Restaurant. Views of the swamp and the nearby mountains. L’Hort. Privileged views with typical food such as Olleta de Blat, putxero de pilotes, mintxos and lamb. They open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and it is usually not necessary to reserve.
- Nou Salat. Restaurant that collects the witness of the old Venta El Salat. Traditional and market cuisine. In winter they only open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and in summer they extend from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.
- El Riu. Restaurant specialized in grilled meat. Winner of the Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence in 2015 according to the opinions of travelers.
- Mora Restaurant. Different food in a very cozy place. It does not serve traditional food like the rest of the restaurants in the area. Dishes like the salty waffle. A different experience.
What is the distance from Benidorm to Guadalest?
Between Benidorm and Guadalest there are 16.49 km of distance in a straight line and 22 km by car. There are 3 ways to get from Benidorm to Guadalest: by bus, taxi or car.
- Line 016 Bus “LlorenteBus” • 31 min. Take bus line 016 from Av. Beniardá 16 to El Castell de Guadalest 016. € 1 – € 4.
- Taxi • 24 min Take a taxi from “BeniYork” to Guadalest 21.5 km. € 27 – € 32.
- Car • 24 min.
How do I get to Guadalest from Alicante?
There are 3 ways to get from Alicante to Guadalest:
- TRAM Alicante + Line 016 Bus “LlorenteBus” • 2,30h min. Take the TRAM Alicante to Benidorm and then take bus line 016 from Av. Beniardá 16 to El Castell de Guadalest 016. € 5 – € 9
- Taxi • 51 min Take a taxi from Alicante to Guadalest 60 km. € 100.
- We already know what you are going to say, but there are travelers who … Car • 50 min