In the heart of the province of Alicante we find the city of Alcoy. It is a city famous for many reasons, such as its Moors and Christians festivities or being the cradle of the industrial revolution in Spain. But it has many secrets that we will discover in this article. A perfect day trip if you stay at our campsite in Benidorm.
Plaza de España
The nerve center of the city and perfect as a starting point for our visit. From here we will be able to make the entire guided tour of the historic center.
Llotja de Sant Jordi
We will start under the Plaza de España. The architect Calatrava designed La Llotja de Sant Jordi as an exhibition hall in the shape of a whale’s ribs. It is located below the Plaza de España, in the basement.
Industrial Revolution and Modernism
Alcoy was a pioneer during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries in the industrial revolution in Spain and went hand in hand with modernism, which will remind us of Catalonia. Walking through its streets we will see many modernist buildings. The metallurgical industry is reflected in the slabs of the balconies.
They also stood out in the food, stationery and textile sectors.
4 points of the European Route of Modernism
If you wonder what a modernist building looks like, take a look at certain details. The buildings have wrought iron whips, sculpted vegetation, gates and gazebos of laminated iron, sinuous balconies, curvilinear finishing, etc.
The interior features mural paintings, woodwork (doors and furniture), plaster capitals, ceramics, hydraulic floor tiles, etc.
1. Industrial Circle
The reflection of that time is in the building of the Círculo Industrial de Alcoy. A place founded in 1868 for the meetings of businessmen of the time. The circle’s library is worth a visit.
2. The Turkey House
It is a residential house that receives its name from the wrought iron turkeys that crown its entrance doors. It is one of the most representative buildings of modernism in the Valencian Community.
3. The façade of the fire station
Building of the Unión Alcoyana company, which was in charge of extinguishing fires between 1888 and 1955. It is a symbol of Valencian modernism and art nouveau.
4. Joan Cantó Conservatory of Music and Dance
Known as Casa D’Escalo, in honor of the textile businessman Enrique García, who was called Escaló. Another example of art nouveau from 1906 by architect Vicente Pascual Pastor. VISITABLE on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.
In the cemetery. It may seem strange, but guided tours are organized through the cemetery of Alcoy, through modernist vestiges and also unique mausoleums and pantheons.
Due to its peculiar orography, Alcoy is full of bridges. The bridges of San Jorge, María Cristina, de las 7 Lunas and Fernando Reig stand out.
La Sagra: World Heritage Site
Rock art in its purest form. Visit this archaeological site and find the cave paintings of the Goats or the Deer. La Sagra is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
St. George’s Church
It is a temple dedicated to the patron saint of Alcoy: Saint George. It is not public and has a lot to do with the Moors and Christians festivities.
Civil War shelters
During the Civil War, Alcoyans were protected in 25 air-raid shelters. They suffered 7 bombing raids by Italian airplanes with more than 624 bombs that left dozens of people dead.
Today we can see the Cervantes shelter. It has 100 meters and serves as an exhibition hall to show the horrors of the Civil War in Alcoy. Its name is associated with Cervantes Park, which is next door.
Hours: Tuesday to Friday from 12 to 14 h. Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4 to 6 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 12.30 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Tickets: General 1 €. Students, senior citizens and groups 0,5 €. Children under 5 years old free of charge
Moors and Christians of Alcoy
The Moors and Christians festivities in Alcoy are an annual event not to be missed. Legend has it that at the gates of the city, in 1276, the “battle of Alcoy” was fought between Muslims and Christians was decided when the figure of St. George on the back of his horse appeared on the wall.
These festivities of International Tourist Interest are celebrated around April 23, in honor of the patron saint San Jorge.
In order to better understand these unique festivities, the filaes, the flags, captains and other singularities, we recommend you to visit the Museo Alcoyano de la Fiesta, the MAF. It is located in the Casal de Sant Jordi, in Sant Miquel street number 60 to 62.
The Moors and Christians festival is also one of the things to see in Villajoyosa at the end of July.
Ciutat del Nadal
Alcoi Ciutat del Nadal (Quality Tours Mariola)
Saturdays: December 7, 14, 21, 28 and January 4.
Sundays: December 8, 15, 22, 29 and January 5. Hours: from 11.30 a.m. to 13.30 h.
Tourist Info Alcoy. Information and reservations at: www.qtmariola.com Price: 5€ (children under 6 years free).
Older Three Kings Cavalcade
Along with the Cabalgata de Reyes of Granada, it fights for being the oldest Epiphany parade in Spain. Since 1886, when a character called Tío Píam walked the streets with children singing Christmas carols waiting for the arrival of the Kings of the Orient.
You will find that the Betlém del Tirisiti has been performed for more than 100 years. Discover Alcoy with Tirisiti (Guiarte con arte):
- Friday: December 6 at 12 noon.
- Saturday: December 7, 14, 21, 28 at 11 am. and January 4 at 12 noon.
- Sundays: December 8, 15, 22, 29 at 11 a.m. and January 5 at noon.
Tourist Info Alcoi. Information and reservations: www.guiarteconarte.es. Price: 5€.
If you are fond of these historical buildings, we recommend you to visit the fortifications of Barchell castle, Na Valora and Naixa towers and the portals of Riquer and Sant Roc.
Natural environment and hiking
Natural park of the carrascal de la Font Roja
The Font Roja natural park is a spectacular forest of holm oaks, pines and yews. According to a plaque in the Sanctuary, Gabriel Miró said when passing through the ravine of hell: “Fury of brambles and old oaks, monstrous, tight, down to the deep as a condemnation of souls of Dante’s dream”.
The Visitor Center and the management office of the Parc Natural del Carrascal de la Font Roja are located next to the Sanctuary and the Font Roja itself, about 8.5 km from Alcoy following the CV-797 road.
We will be able to climb to the viewpoint of the Carrasqueta, more than 1200 meters high.
Note: get information about the Preventori in the Sierra de Mariola, the alt de les Pedreres or the Ermita de San Cristobal.