7 of the best things to do in Villajoyosa on Costa Blanca
Bright-coloured houses split from the turquoise Mediterranean Sea by a palm tree-lined promenade and a sandy beach. What more do you need for your seaside holiday at Costa Blanca in Spain? Ohh, and did I forget to mention the occasional whiff of chocolate in the air from the famous local producer, Valor?
Villajoyosa – or Vila Joiosa in Valencian – is a beauty that lives a relatively peaceful life between the tourist megapolis of Benidorm and the provincial capital of Alicante. And you can easily experience the town on a day trip from one of these – you can even travel there on a scenic tram ride from either of those neighbours. But after having spent a week there, I would highly recommend you to do the same.
Here are my reasons why you should visit Villajoyosa for more than just a day.
Start the day with coffee and tostadas at FerCafé
If you’re like me, needing a coffee to kick-start your day, then I’ve got just the place for you. Because FerCafé (Carrer Canalejas 2) became our regular breakfast café while staying in Villajoyosa.
Inside this modern and spacious café, you can choose your favourite spot or opt for a table on the small terrace across the street. The staff is very friendly and welcoming, the coffee is good and they serve some of the best tostadas (with tomato or marmalade) that I’ve had anywhere in Spain. Note that they’re closed in the afternoon to re-open at 6pm.
Let yourself be tempted at Mercado Central
Just a two-minute walk up the street from FerCafé (Carrer Canalejas), you will find Villajoyosa’s central and indoor food market where locals come to buy everything from fresh fish to vegetables and vermouth. I included the latter because that’s what I bought here as a drinkable souvenir to bring back to Madrid.
Take a look around the market and take a seat outside in front of the wood-clad exterior. The perfect place to enjoy some tapas and a drink and to do some people watching. Just note that the market is closed on Sundays.
Spend the day at the beach
It would be a crime to spend time in Villajoyosa without enjoying its beautiful beach backed by the towns colourful old town. With enclaves of pretty palm trees, golden sand and clean water it’s almost incredible this beach isn’t crowded. You will, in fact, have plenty of space and peace to enjoy yourself here.
Forget about noisy beach bars and imposing beach salesmen, this is a place to disconnect and go for a swim in the warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
Go photo-hunting among the colours of the old town
When you need a break from the sunny rays on the beach, grab your camera and let yourself get lost among the colourful facades in the streets of the old town. There are plenty of details to discover and photogenic backgrounds to play with.
These streets offer a distinctly local feel just a stone’s throw from the attractive beach. Don’t miss the peaceful Plaza Castelar or a stroll down Carrer Major.
Smell and taste the chocolate of Valor
While exploring the streets you might be tempted by the enticing scent of chocolate from the local producer, Valor. This is the most famous chocolate brand in Spain and it was brought to life right here in the fishing town of Villajoyosa. The good news is, the factory is still located here today.
Best of all, they offer a free guided tour through their museum that includes a peek into the buzzing production line. Not surprisingly, the tour ends in Valor’s big chocolate shop where you can stock up on your favourite flavours.
Alternatively, you can visit Valor’s local chocolatería (Av. del País Valenciá 14) to dip a plate of crispy churros in thick melted chocolate. A beloved treat for many Spanish families.
Enjoy a meal and a cocktail on the promenade
As the sun sets on the Mediterranean Sea, the restaurants and bars come to life along the palm-flanked promenade in Villajoyosa. Take a stroll and make your selection – or do so in good time and book a table, especially at the weekends.
You will find a nice selection of seafood restaurants between the old town and the marina as well as Italian, Mexican and other international cuisines. We tried T-Class that serves Asian-inspired and Spanish food in a modern restaurant with nice sea views.
Feeling like a drink to end the night? Then I can highly recommend Natalia’s Bar for their affordable high-quality cocktails and very friendly service.
SEE ALSO: 7 unforgettable daytrips from Madrid
Plan a day trip to a city nearby
Whether you go by car or tram, you have plenty of options for day trips when staying in Villajoyosa. You can go south to the provincial capital of Alicante for a dose of a bigger city – or you can go north to skyscraper-dense Benidorm for a much younger nightlife and a total contrast to Villajoyosa’s colourful peace.
We chose to take the car to the charming white hilltop town of Altea beyond Benidorm – just half an hour’s drive from Villajoyosa. Here, you can park along the waterfront and walk up through the winding and pebbled streets.
In this maze of white-washed facades, you will come across spectacular viewpoints, galleries and speciality shops, decorative street lamps and atmospheric little squares. Also, there is a nice selection of bars and restaurants, from which I can highly recommend the truly unique Italian joint In Bocca Al Lupo, which is an experience in itself.
Conclusion and how to get to Villajoyosa
All in all, Villajoyosa is the perfect choice if you want a relatively quiet beach-holiday in Spain while still having a selection of nice restaurants, cafés and bars right outside your door.
If you travel by car it’s a 1,5-2 hour drive down from Valencia (depending on the route) and a 4-5 hour drive from Madrid. You can also reach Villajoyosa by tram from nearby Benidorm and Alicante.
Are you considering visiting Villajoyosa after reading this? Or did you already have the pleasure? Please share your comments below…