Nestled high in the mountains of the Marina Baixa region, the picturesque village of Guadalest and its historic castle offer a captivating glimpse into Spain’s rich past. This charming destination, located just a short drive from the popular coastal towns of the Costa Blanca, boasts breathtaking views, fascinating museums, and a unique atmosphere that transports visitors back in time. In this article, we will explore the enchanting world of Guadalest Valley and Castle and share insights on how to make the most of your visit to this remarkable destination.
Also read: 16 Things to do in Javea
The Rich History of Guadalest
The origins of Guadalest date back over a thousand years to the time of Muslim rule in Spain. The village’s strategic location and natural defenses made it an important stronghold during the Arab occupation and later, during the Christian Reconquista. Guadalest Castle, or the Castle of San José, was built during the 11th century and has been carefully preserved throughout the centuries, serving as a testament to the region’s diverse history.
Exploring Guadalest Castle
Visitors to Guadalest can explore the castle’s fascinating ruins and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding valley and reservoir. Access to the castle is gained through a natural tunnel carved into the rock, which adds an air of mystery to the experience. Within the castle grounds, visitors can discover remnants of its storied past, including the remains of the Alcozaiba fortress and a restored dungeon that now houses a small museum.
The Charm of Guadalest Village
In addition to its historic castle, the village of Guadalest itself is a treasure trove of winding cobblestone streets, whitewashed houses, and lovely plazas. Visitors can stroll through the village, browse its quaint shops selling local crafts and products, and enjoy a meal at one of its charming restaurants or cafes. The village is also home to several fascinating museums, including the Miniatures Museum, the Ethnological Museum, and the Antonio Marco Doll House Museum, each offering a unique perspective on the region’s history and culture.
Tips for Visiting Guadalest Valley and Castle
- Wear comfortable clothing and shoes: The village’s steep, narrow streets and the castle’s rocky terrain require sturdy footwear for comfortable exploration. Dress in layers, as temperatures can vary throughout the day, especially in the mountains.
- Parking: Guadalest has several public parking areas near the village entrance, as car access to the village center is restricted. Be prepared to walk a short distance from the parking area to the village and castle.
- Plan your visit: Guadalest can be busy during peak tourist season, so consider visiting during weekdays or outside of peak hours to avoid large crowds.
How to get to Guadalest Castle from Javea
To get to Guadalest Castle from Javea, you have two primary options: by car or a combination of bus and taxi. The distance between Javea and Guadalest is approximately 55 kilometers (34 miles), and the journey by car takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- Start by heading northwest on Avinguda de la Llibertat toward Calle de la Grava.
- Continue straight onto Avinguda del Pla/CV-734 for about 1.6 km (1 mile).
- Turn right onto Carretera de la Nao/CV-740 and follow it for 3.2 km (2 miles).
- Take the ramp onto the AP-7 highway, heading toward Alicante, and drive for approximately 20 km (12.4 miles).
- Take exit 64A to merge onto the CV-770 toward Altea/Callosa d’En Sarrià/Bolulla.
- Continue on the CV-770 for about 9 km (5.6 miles), passing through Altea la Vella.
- At the roundabout, take the second exit onto the CV-755, following signs for Callosa d’En Sarrià/Guadalest.
- Drive along the CV-755 for approximately 16 km (9.9 miles) until you reach Guadalest.
- Once in Guadalest, follow the signs to the parking area, from which you can walk up to the castle.
By bus and taxi:
- From Javea, take the ALSA bus to Benidorm. The bus journey typically takes around 1 hour and 15 minutes, depending on the route and traffic.
- Once in Benidorm, go to the taxi stand or call a local taxi service.
- Take a taxi from Benidorm to Guadalest, which is approximately a 30-minute ride.
Please note that schedules and routes may change, so it’s always best to double-check with local transportation providers before starting your journey. Additionally, consider that the taxi option may be more expensive than driving your own car or renting one.
The Guadalest Valley and Castle offer a truly enchanting experience for visitors to Spain’s Costa Blanca. With its awe-inspiring scenery, rich history, and charming village atmosphere, a visit to Guadalest provides a captivating journey into the region’s past. Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a lover of natural beauty, or simply seeking a unique destination off the beaten path, Guadalest Valley and Castle are sure to leave a lasting impression.