All About – La Cala/La Cala Finestrat
Where is Finestrat? – Finestrat is a small village up in the mountains just half an hour from Benidorm. Finestrat is Spain’s only village that has a mountain location plus a beach miles below on the coast. Finestrat was given the beach by the Spanish government for its generations of work helping save that area of Spain from pirates. So nowadays, although the beach is a 20 minute drive from the village of Finestrat, with kilometers of land owned by other towns in between the two locations, it’s still part of the town of Finestrat and a wonderful place to visit.
Finestrat, The Village – The picturesque village, which hugs the mountain side of Puig Campana, has beautiful views from the mountains down to the sea; the architecture has a distinct Moorish influence and many of the houses are colourfully painted. Friday is market day.
It is worth a 10 minute walk on a gentle incline to see the 18th century church of Saint Bertomeu, you may go inside and take photos and admire the beautiful architecture.
Walk higher up the village to the famous lookout point of the 13th century “El Castell” from here you can see for miles down the mountainside, across the valley, over the city of Benidorm and right dont to the Mediterraean. Take a stroll round the park where there are also various sculptures.
Sit in one of the local Cafes order a cafe con leche or a cake and sit and watch the village life all around you.
The village of Finestrat has hosted many cultures throughout history. Its proximity to the coast and to the coastal roads, it has been assumed to be a magnet for settlement of the various civilizations of the Mediterranean as well as others from the central and northern Europe.
All ancient civilizations have left their footprint in this growing town overlooking the sea. Thus, at every step, every corner, every street and every house you can see the legacy of their ancestors. A municipality with 20,000 years of history.
The first signs of human settlement in what is now known as Finestrat were hunter-gatherers of the Paleolithic Superior who inhabited the caves and shelters of Sierra Cortina, near the place known as Raco de les Bastides. although it has been shown, it is thought it may also have settlements of its kind in the caves and shelters of the Puig Campana. Although no paintings have been found to confirm the presence of humans during the Neolithic, one should not forget that Finestrat is by its location, a passageway to the mountains of Alicante, where the first farmers had to enter that came to this land.
Finestrat was the ideal place for the location of villages, since the hills were making an high visibility of the surroundings. Iberians and Romans, two cultures that left their mark in Finestrat. The Iberians formed one of the most advanced cultures of ancient Mediterranean. They knew the writing was established in organized territories and political structure minted coins as payment. This culture lasted from the sixth century until I a. C., at the time the process of Romanization.
In finestrat the remains of this culture can be found in the grounds of the Castle, in the Tossal of them Bastides and Tossal of the creek. The oldest deposits, around the fourth century BC found inland, while that of the Cala Tossal dating from the II and I a. C. you can see remnants of houses in the village dug decades ago.
A factory was built dedicated to salted fish. Apart from this town today there are three known Roman villas near the town of Finestrat, whose inhabitants were engaged in the production of wine, oil and cereals. Between remains of these villages have been found mosaics showing continual cultural arts and the arrival of the Romans.
Medieval Times. Like the rest of the province, Finestrat spent the splendor of Arabic culture to conquer Christian. Roman decadence coincided with the splendor of Islamic culture. Names such as the Alhambra, or Alamssil Alfarelles give proof of the Arab influence in the area.
La Cala de Finestrat, the Beach
Just a short 15 minute ride or so to the wonderful sandy beach area of Finestrat which is ideal for families, grab a coffee in one of the many beach side cafes (a wonderful place to just sit and watch the world go by).
La Cala Markets – Tuesday, By the bay, near the SuperCor supermarket and Friday, On the main road into the town, opposite MABS charity shop.
If you prefer a little quieter setting, walk away from the cafe area to the right side of the beach and, from here, there’s a small path around the headland where you can enjoy some fresh sea air and take lovely photos of Benidorm and the surrounding Mediterranean area.
In 1986 the World Health Organisation recommended the climate of the area as one of the most equitable in the world – neither too hot in the summer nor too cold in the winter.
Also worth a visit is the Gran Bali Hotel, (Europe’s tallest hotel 43 floors, 186 meters high) non residents can pay to go to the viewing platform and the views are well worth it.
Price – Residents 2.50€, Non Residents 6€
Popular Hotels in La Cala
Getting to Finestrat
The Number 2, 3 & no 8 buses will take you to Cala de Finestrat
No 15 bus to the village.