EL CISNE RASTRO
THURSDAY, SATURDAY & SUNDAY
One of the best Rastros in the Benidorm area is the El Cisne market. Only 15 minutes outside Benidorm and near the towns of Alfaz del Pi, Albir and Altea, the El Cisne market is a wonderful place to spend a few hours, not just for the cheap shopping but for the food and entertainment too.
What is El Cisne Weekend Market? – The El Cisne market has grown up around an old Spanish farmhouse, on the road from Benidorm to Altea, is now a popular market visited by both visitors to the area and the Spanish themselves. The main area of the market is actually located inside what used to be the old stone farmhouse. Each of the many rooms has been converted into separate market stalls that sell antiques and collectibles – everything from old European military paraphernalia, to paintings, pottery, jewelry, furniture and collectibles.
Outside, on the farmhouse land, is an outdoor market that’s sprouted up, selling artwork, arts and crafts, second-hand clothing, books, jewelry, and more. Many of the stalls are owned by Germans and Brits, who’ve lived in Spain for years and run market businesses, with their stalls moving from market to market in the region, depending on the day.
What to Buy at El Cisne – Start out browsing the indoor market antique stalls, as there’s a huge choice of antiques and collectibles at prices much cheaper than you’ll find in many other places in Spain. Look for antique furniture, paintings, old books and pottery.
Particularly interesting are the stalls selling old military paraphernalia, with one selling medals from the First and Second World Wars, old swords, military clothing items, and even a large collection of antique lead soldiers.
After the antique stalls, move outside into the sunshine and browse the many outdoor market stalls. Here, you’ll find everything from sunglasses to DVDs and CDs, old LPs, handmade jewelry, a large selection of English, Spanish and Norwegian books, hardware items, reading glasses, clothing, shawls, shoes, and lots of second-hand items.
Food at El Cisne – Wandering around El Cisne market, you’ll also come across several stalls selling huge selections of cheeses, sausages, meats, snacks and sandwiches. Buy a sandwich and a coffee at one of the small stalls as you walk into the market and sit and watch the crowds walk by, or pick up a skewer of roasting chicken at another stall further inside, and of course traditional Pallea is available.
The best place to sit and enjoy food or a drink is at one of the restaurants in the center of the market. There are two large cafes here with both indoor seating or outdoor seating in a courtyard. In the winter they’re enclosed with fires or space heaters going, so it’s not cold. In the summer they’re open-air and lovely and warm. Both places make excellent cafe con leche, serve spirits, large selections of Spanish wine, and have a great variety of bottled beer and beer on tap – both the local brew and imported brands.
Entertainment at El Cisne Weekend Market – One of the big reasons why the market is so popular is the free music that’s on offer on Saturdays and Sundays. The musicians come from all over the local area and you’ll hear all types of music. The musicians and singers play on a raised patio next to the farmhouse and overlooking both large cafes. Grab a beer, a coffee or a full meal, relax, enjoy the sun, and listen to the amazing music. The atmosphere is wonderful and the music fun. Also from around 3pm on Thursdays and sometimes Saturdays watch a typical Spanish Flamenco show.
If you’re going to be in the Benidorm, Albir or Altea area, don’t miss the El Cisne Market. Opening around 10am every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday the market itself goes on until about 2pm, but the entertainment is on until around 5pm.
The rastro is situated on the road out of Benidorm with the junction of N332. The No. 10 bus also stops right outside the market.