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Valor Chocolate Factory Tour

Villajoyosa The FREE Chocolate Factory Tour

Valor Chocolate Factory Tour - Villayoyosa, located just a few kilometres South of Benidorm is home to the Valour Chocolate Factory, the oldest and most prestigious in Spain.

Valor Chocolate have been master chocolatiers since 1881.  The factory is housed in a charming, typical 19th century finca (country estate) and for 5 generations has always been a family business

Valor Chocolate Factory Tour

They warmly invite visitors to their on-site museum and offer tours of the premises where you can learn all their is about the ancient art of chocolate making, and what's more its absolutely FREE. In the 19th century building, which in those days was the little family factory, visitors go through the 500 years of history about this food, starting off when cocoa beans were stone-ground up until the present day.

The information panels tell visitors about the origins, the existing varieties of cocoa, when it first came to Spain and the tools that have been used throughout the centuries. to make the most exquisite chocolates and chocolate bars which are made at the factory every day. Find out about how the best chocolate is made step by step.

The best way to get to VillaJoyosa is by Tram

Alsa Bus or Taxi which will cost in the region of 20 - 25€

Valor Chocolate Factory Tour

OPENING HOURS. - The museum is closed until further notice due to restrictive measures. The shop is open from 10.00am to 8.00pm Monday to Friday.

There is no need to book unless you are a party of 12 or more in which case call -  +34 965 89 09 50 or  e.mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

MONDAY TO FRIDAY: this is about a 45 min tour

SPANISH

Morning: 10:00 – 12:00 – 13:00

Evening: 17:00 – 18:00 – 19:00

ENGLISH

10:00 - 14:00

SATURDAYS and SUNDAYS AND HOLIDAYS:

CLOSED

Whilst you are here visit the town centre and seafront of Villa Joyosa

Carol Andrew - You don't need an organised tour to do this. There is a guided tour in English every day. You need to get there about 15 minutes beforehand and take a ticket from the machine.

It is free but you need to take a numbered ticket as they restrict numbers to 50 at a time.

The best way to get there is to take the tram to Creueta (the stop before Villajoyosa when coming from Benidorm).There is a sign to the factory and museum.

You start by watching a short film, then a visit to the small museum before doing a tour of the factory to see the chocolate being made. At the end of the tour there are free samples and a shop where you can buy the chocolate.

The whole thing takes about 1 to 1.5 hours. Afterwards you can walk across the bridge into Villajoyosa and get the tram back from there.

Note - the tour is not suitable for anyone with mobility problems as there are quite a lot of stairs. They say they are hoping to improve on this next year.

PLACES TO VISIT COSTA BLANCA NORTH

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The Orihuela Costa, Villamartin

The Orihuela Costa, Costa Blanca South

The Orihuela Costa is a coastal area located in the south of the Costa Blanca, this area includes Punta Prima, Playa Flamenca La Zenia, Cabo Roig, Vila Martin (Inland), Los Dolses, La Fuente, Dehese de Campoamor, Pinar de Campoverde (inland) and Mil Palmeres.

Find information about other places to visit on the Costa Blanca South HERE

The Orihuela Costa is the perfect place for beautiful sandy beaches, there are 11 beaches, which stretch for over 16 km, it is also well known for its fantastic golf courses such as Campoamor, Las Ramblas and Villa Martin.

The Orihuela Costa is a popular area for ex-pats of many nationalities the main urbanizations being Punta Prima, Playa Flamenca, La Zenia, Cabo Roig, Campoamor and Mil Palmera but there are more than 57 urbanizations in this region.

The Orihuela Costa, Costa Blanca South

The Orihuela Costa 

Punta Prima

Punta Prima is situated a ten minute drive just south of Torrevieja, until 1969 Punta Prima was nothing more than parched scrub-land bordered by a narrow strip of sand, the first residential developments started to appear in the late sixties and large urbanisations started to be built in the late 80s,  it is now a popular area fpr many English speaking and Northern European expatriates.

Punta Prima has a Commercial Centre with plenty of shops including a Eroski supermarket, plenty of restaurants and bars.  There are more restaurants to choose from on the N332.

Go-Karting - There are two tracks for different age groups and next to the tracks there is a wide selection of bouncy castles, trampolines, ball pools and other distractions for the younger ones.

Punta Prima beaches

Punta Prima has two beautiful beaches. Cala Piteras lies to the north of the community adjacent to Restaurante Nautilus and provides a small crescent of soft sand 123 metres long.

Playa de Punta Prima is a thin sheltered beach measuring 234 metres of pristine sands. The Paseo Maritimo promenade wraps behind the beach providing a pedestrian and cycle route to neighbouring beaches

Orihuela Cost, Punta Prima Beach

The beach is southeast-facing which guarantees sunshine for the majority of the day, unlike most of the surrounding east-facing beaches which offer plenty of sun first thing in the morning, waning as the day progresses.

The cliff that used to make the beach relatively inaccessible have been bypassed by the installation of a lift toward the west end of the beach making it easy for families and people with limited mobility to reach the golden sands below.

Playa de Punta Prima has a Chiringuito (beach bar), first-aid services, and a lifeguard during the summer season.

Just a few metres from this beach is a rocky stretch which is highly recommended for sports fishing.

Playa Flamenca

The main N-332 coastal road runs north to south through Playa Flamenca, separating the beachfront residential area from the many urbanisations further inland. The AP-7 motorway marks Playa Flamenca´s western-most boundary.  Playa Flamenca is home to residents from many different countries around the world, with a good mix of British, Irish, German, French, Danish, and Scandinavian expatriates in the community.

Playa Flamenca itself has plenty of shops, bars and restaurants, one of the big draws for this area is the very large street market held every Saturday. The market is open from around 09.30 – 13.30

Playa Flamenca Beaches, Cala Estaca

Orihuela Costa,  Cala Estaca

This beach is 150 metres long with fine white sand and is a blue flag beach, services include a promenade, walkways, showers, car parks, lifeguard stations and a kid's play area.

Cala Mosca (Flamenca beach)

Cala Mosca is 100 metres long . The beach is very clean and offers Golden sand and turquoise waters, it has a walkway, all necessary services, and a wide range of restaurants. 

Playa Flamenca´s third beach is unspoiled, secluded, and natural, and only accessible via a rocky un-adopted path and often used by Naturalists.

Los Dolses

Los Dolses is a  large urbanisation made up of  villas and apartment blocks situated between Villamartin and La Zenia on the Orihuela Cosat.  Nearby attractions include many popular golf courses and sandy beaches just fifteen minutes drive away. 

In Los Dolses you will find two commercial centres. The Rioja and Los Dolses.  In La Rioja you will find shops, bars and restaurants.

In the Los Dolses Plaza there are numerous bars with food which are very popular during the day, other facilities include a bank, large supermarket, opticians etc.

La Fuente

Yet another well know shopping centre which is built on 2 levels and popular with local residents. The centre has an excellent selection of restaurants offering something for everyone.

La Zenia

This is home to one of the best and largest shopping centers in the Alicante region, La Zenia Boulevard.  It is a shopping center designed for visitors to enjoy and have fun, with something for everyone, its beautifully designed with over 90 different species of vegetation and cooling water sprays during the hot summer months, there are plenty of rest areas, a giant LED screen where you can enjoy the best sporting events and the most interesting documentaries, as well as a stage  for  free concerts and performances. Find lots more information here.

The Orihuela Costa

Cala Bosque Beach (La Zenia)

This is one of the most visited sandy beaches in the area, it is 350 metres in length and is bordered by Cala Cerrada to the north and Cala Capitán in the south.

It has been awarded the sought-after Blue Flag due to the quality of its services.   Services include lifeguards, special access paths for people with disabilities, a car park, bus stops, a play area, etc.

Cala Capitán (between La Zenia and Cabo Roig)

Cala Capitán is quite small in size at only 157 metres long and 86 metres wide. It is separated from Cala Bosque to the north and Cabo Roig to the south by a strip of land.

It has fine sand and calm waters, and is once again a Blue Flag beach, here you will find a walkway, parking, wheelchair access, first-aid stations and boat slipways. There are also two small islands opposite the beach, which are great fun for adults and children.

Cabo Roig

Once again an area of large urbanisations, on the main N332 you will find lots of bars (some offering live entertainment) and restaurants, this area is known locally as "The Strip"

Cabo Roig Beach (Caleta) 

Cabo Roig beach has soft fine sand and is accessed by steps and ramps, It is 420 metres long and 18 metres wide and is located in a semi-urban area. It offers a wide variety of services for sun and water sport lovers, including sailing and windsurfing.

Cabo Roig Marina

The port of Cabo Roig has excellent facilities: 207 moorings for on sluffs up to 12 meters in the long and large draft, with water and electricity intake. · It has a ramp, boathouse and crane of 3 tons. · Weather information and radiotelephony service. · Social club with restaurant, bar and showers. · Activities: Windsurfing sailing courses.

Villamartin (inland)

Villamartin is without doubt one of the most popular areas on the Orihuela Costa.  Villamartin Plaza is located in the heart of this wonderful area and is the prefect place to visit both day and  night, relax under the warming sun during the day or enjoy a meal under the stars in one of the many bars or restaurants that surround the plaza.  Villamartin Plaza is the place to be. 

Residential homes overlook the beautiful palm lined central area, there are two levels to explore with typical Spanish architecture of rought iron balconies, terracotta and ceramic tiles and stunning Spanish style lamps which all add to the atmosphere.

Dehesa de Campoamor

Situated next to the Sierra de Escalona Natural Park.  It has 3 white sandy beaches and numerous green areas ideal for various leisure activities.

This urbanization perfectly blends simplicity and luxury, here you will find simple one bedroom studios overlooking the Mediterranean Sea to the most upmarket, expensive , massive villas.

Playas de Aguamarina, Dehesa de Campoamor

Aguamarina is a small beach, just 500 metres long, which has the Blue Flag. It has white and golden sand and contains a natural reserve of fossils.

Access to the beach is somewhat limited making it a quiet beach but it still has the necessary toilet facilities, first-aid station, beach bars, foot washing stations and ramps for wheelchair access.

La Glea beach, Dehesa de Campoamor

This beach is one of the largest in the area and has been Awarded the “Q” mark for Tourist Quality, it is 650 metres long and 20 metres wide, situated to the north is Aguamarina cove and to the south by Barranco Rubio beach.

Its fine sand and wide variety of games for children of all ages makes it perfect for enjoying family get-togethers or sports activities. To the north of the beach is the small port of Dehesa de Campoamor, where all kinds of water sports can be found.

This is the best equipped beach in the area and it has numerous services including foot washing stations and showers, a first-aid station, beach bars, car park and restaurants.

Campoamor Marina

348 moorings, especially suitable for motor embarkations by its draft, with water and electricity intake. It has a ramp, boathouse and crane of 10 tons. Weather information service, radioteledefony and fuel supply. Social club with restaurant, bar and showers. Activities: Windsurfing sailing courses.

Barranco Rubio beach, Dehesa de Campoamor

Located at the mouth of Barranco Rubio ravine.

This beach, with golden sand and calm waters, measuring 655 metres in length and 47 metres in width, is located in an urban area. The beach has all necessary facilities, including restaurants, first-aid stations, car parks, shopping area, nightlife area, cafés and bars.

Pinar de Campoverde

Pinar is a small village located at the foot of the Sierra de Escalona mountain range, ten kilometres from the coast.  

The town has only developed since the mid-1980s when many British, German, French and Scandinavian expatriates settled here. Originally, the area had been a large pine forest, hence the name.  

Every street and avenue in the village takes its name from a plant, herb or horticultural zone. Examples include Calle Bosque (Forest Street), Calle Lavanda (Lavander Street), Calle Meloncotonero (Peach Tree Street), Calle Abedul (Birch Street) and Calle Cerezo (Cherry Tree Street) and the footpaths in the village are block paved in Verde (green).

Mil Palmeras

The village and resort of Mil Palmeras is located on the banks of the River Seco and  is the most southern resort on the Costa Blanca it is easily accessed by the N-332 dual carriageway.  This is a quiet peaceful place with no skyscrapers, no partying until the early hours and no shopping centers.

During the Roman days Mil Palmeras was strategical placed on the old trade route. In fact, this route is called the ” Via Augusta “. On the coast you can find watchtowers which were built in the 16th century.

Mil Palmeras beach (thousand Palms Beach)

Situated to the very south of Orihuela Costa, this beach is joined to the municipality, of Pilar de la Horadada,.  Its conservation and services have earned it the “Q” mark for Tourist Quality as well as the prestigious Blue Flag.

It offers 346 metres of golden sand, nearby is a children’s park and a water sports facility.  It also has a lifeguard service, special wheelchair access, showers, foot washing stations, public telephones, car park, bus stops and taxi rank.

A popular area nearby to visit is Lo Monte Natural Park

Covering an area of 10.3 hectares, Lo Monte Natural Park is a protected wetland with two large lakes. Around the lakes are picturesque nature trails and 5 observation points where visitors can view about 36 different bird species. Visitors can explore at their leisure or arrange a guided tour.  Signs throughout the park have interesting information on the various flora & fauna of the area.

The Rio Seco Natural trail walk.

The Rio Seco is the start of a long walk along the usually dry riverbed, this walks heads inland to Pinar de Campoverde, a little town 10 kilometers inland.  On this walk you will see gorges  carved from yellow sandstone, which have beautiful formations caused by years of erosion. 

GOLF COURSES ON THE ORIHUELA COSTA

More information on other local Golf Courses can be found here.

Las Colinas Golf & Country Club

This 18 hole golf course is surrounded by hills and winds through a valley. It makes excellent use of the natural landscape. The wide fairways,  large greens and the holes' numerous tees provide greater flexibility and allow it to be suitable for professional competitions, while offering an enjoyable round, which is fun and affordable, other facilities include Driving Range, Putting Green and Chipping Green

Club de Golf Las Ramblas

The greens of Las Ramblas are spacious, generous, fast and with soft slopes. the 18 hole par 72 course is beautiful landscape with Mediterranean pines.   Liam Neeson shoot part of his film, the third part of "Taken on this course.

Real Club de Golf Campoamor

With 18 holes this course is 6,277 meters and par 72.  The golf course was inaugurated in 1998 under the name Real Club de Golf Campoamor by S.A.R.D. Juan de Borbón (Count of Barcelona). During the month of August, a championship is held every year in his honour. There are also two football pitches which are frequented by teams such as the Spanish national team (under 21) and Real Murcia CF

Golf Club Villamartin

Villamartin Golf Course was designed by Paul Putman and is situated within a mile from the coast  The par for the course is 72 and it measures 6005 metres.

It is built on hilly ground with the front nine holes being at the highest point of the course offering some spectacular sea views. The second nine are situated more in valleys with ravines coming into play on several holes, so its an interesting course.

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Novelda, Santuario Santa Magdalena

All About Novelda, Costa Blanca South

Novelda is a municipality located in the province of Alicante, in the region of Medio Vinalopó. referred to as ‘The Grapes Valley’.  This area is famous for its grapes and wine production.

Novelda is also known as “The City of Saffron.” Throughout history, this spice has been a major export for the city

Marble also plays an important part in this area, manufacturing and processing of marble is the main industrial activity in the city, some of most important marble and lime mines are located here, clay, gypsum and silica mines are also found in this area. That is why it is also known as the Marble World Centre all over the globe. 

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All about Novelda

THINGS TO SEE IN NOVELDA 

The top attractions to visit in Novelda are: Santuario Santa Magdalena, Casa Museo Modernista, Castillo de la Mola, Iglesia Arciprestal de San Pedro Apostol.

Santuario Santa Magdalena

Situated 3 km from Novelda, on the hill of La Mola, next to the Almohade fortress

This is a magical religious building which was designed by José Sala Sala, and was obviously heavily influenced by Antonio Gaudí as this building does bear a resemblance to the Roman Catholic minor basilica of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.   Construction started in 1918 and required three phases to finish the work in 1946.

Novelda, Santuario Santa Magdalena

On the main facade stand two side towers of 25m high culminated by a stone cross, which is also located in the dome and on the upper arches of the facade, pebbles from the Vinalopó River, polychrome tiles, bricks, reddish masonry, ceramics, etc, have all be used on the exterior of the building, giving it a unique look.

The interior consists of a rectangular central nave with two side spaces tied, that is, an original base shaped like an ointment vessel, (a vessel with which according to the Christian tradition Mary Magdalene anointed the feet of Jesus Christ). In the background, in the apse, is the chamber of Saint Mary Magdalene, behind the altar there is a beautiful painting attributed to Gastón Castelló.

Opening hours *please note these hours may be different during Covid19 restrictions

From 1 October to 30 April: EVERY DAY from 10 to 14 h and from 16 to 19 h.

From 1 May to 30 September: EVERY DAY from 10 to 14 h and from 17 to 20 h. August, Closed Monday, Tuesday and Sunday. Open Wed, Thurs, Fri and Sat 10:00 to 13:00 h. and from 18:00 to 20:00 h.

Castillo de la Mola

It is a symbol of the city and was declared a Property of Cultural Interest in 1931.

The castle of La Mola stands next to the Sanctuary of Santa María Magdalena it was built at the end of the 12 century and is of Islamic origin, the design. It is a polygonal enclosure with thick walls built with eight quadrangular cubes of which only four now remain. The ruins of the wall are preserved.

Novelda, Castillo de la Mola

A square tower is also still standing, windowless.  Inside there is a stone staircase. The most prominent element of the fortress is the triangular tower, located at the bottom of the courtyard of arms, constructed after castle dating from the first half of the fourteenth century.  This tower is one of the first examples of a Valencian-style civic-military building in the Valencian Community. It is known as Tower of the Three Peaks, and is the only one of its kind in Europe.

Opening hours - Monday closed. Tuesday to Saturday from 10 to 14h and from 17 to 19h. Sundays from 11 to 14h and from 17 to 19h.

Take a walk in the valley facing the castle there are several natural salt pools, these are only quite small but worth a visit whilst in the area.  The locals use them for the medicinal properties due to the high salt and iron content, especially in the slightly redder pools.

All about Novelda

Being in the "Grape Vally, a visit to a bodega should be on your list of things to do.

Bodega Casa Cesilia 

The Casa Cesilia farmhouse sits outside the town of Novelda it  is located in a “congost” or gorge, a short distance from the hill of “La Mola”, a mountain and home of the shrine of Saint Mary Magdalene and the castle of La Mola (La Muela). The winery where Casa Cesilia wines are currently produced dates back to 1707 and was built by the Marquis of Romana.

All about Novelda, bodega Casa Cesilia

You can visit and experience an unforgettable wine tasting -  Guided tour, tasting times -  Every day at 11:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. cost 6€pp you can also add a brunch to this and enjoy some tapas along with the wine tasting.  Tasting times: Every day at 11:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m 10€ Reservation is required Tel: + 34 965 603 763

All about Novelda

Casa Museo Modernista

This is considered to be an excellent example of eclectic-modernist architecture. this building was built in 1901, designed by the architect D. Pedro Cerdán Martínez.  It is located at Calle Mayor, number 24 and is one of the best preserved houses in which proper modernist decoration can be found.

All about Novelda, Casa Museo Modernista

The building was used as a family residence until 1936. During the Spanish Civil War it housed the barracks of the Italian command. In the post-war period it was used a school, in 1975 it was acquired by the Novelda Savings Fund and in 1977 turned into a museum which is now owned by the Caja Mediterráneo Foundation.

The building is also known as Casa Navarro or Casa de la Pichocha and  houses a museum of modernist furniture and objects. The house consists of three floors and the decor is spectacular, inside you will find lots of carved wood, crystals, stucos, paintings of ceilings and murals, marbles, period furniture, etc., standing out for its unique beauty the staircase and the patio surrounded by white marble columns a unique modernist staircase and an interior courtyard with columns.

Open - Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 2pm

Iglesia Arciprestal de San Pedro Apostol (St Peters Church)

Saint Peter the apostle is the patron saint of Novelda.

Located more or less in the centre of the town in Calle Mayor (Main Street), next to the Modernist Museum and just around the corner from the Town Hall and the Plaza de Espana.

Construction began in 1553, but it was not until the 18th century that it ended up in what it looks like today, the main characteristic is the huge central dome in the church. Inside you will find many fantastic decorative paintings and sculptures and a 17th century organ.

Plaza de España

know as Plaza del Ayuntamiento but known locally as the "plaza vieja"  town hall was built in 1696, to one side is the parish of St. Peter (built between the XVI and XVIII centuries).

In the square's center stands a statue of one of the city's favorite sons Jorge Juan and Santacilia, mariner, mathematician and one of Spain's most complete scientists (XVIII century).

Parque del Oeste (West Park)

At the edge of the town, is the Parque del Oeste (West Park) or Parc Dels Dolors. Even here the influence of Antoni Gaudi is recognizable by the wide usage of the mosaics called "trencadis".  Take a nice walk in the park among palms, stone sculptures and fountains. There is even an open air theatre that seats up to 2000.

How to get to Novelda from Benidorm

By Car - The easiest option is to drive, Novelda is about 72km from Benidorm the drive would take around 50 minutes.  Need to hire a car

Bus - There is not direct bus to Novelda from Benidorm, you would have to take the ALSA bus or tram to Alicante and then onto Novelda, journey time aprox 2.5 hours

Train - Tram from Benidorm to Alicante Luceros, catch the bus or taxi to  Plaza de los Luceros (8) to Pintor Lorenzo Casanova (22) to Novelda. journey time around 2 hours 45 minutes.

Taxi - between 85 and 110€ each way.

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Orihuela Castle

All About Orihuela, Costa Blanca South

All About Orihuela part of the Costa Blanca South  - Orihuela is a town and municipality in the province of Alicante, in the Valencian Community, it is at the southwestern tip of the province and borders the the Region of Murcia, it is the capital of the Vega Baja del Segura region. (Valencian, Oriola, the name of the city is a derivation of the Latin-Visigoth aurariola  meaning golden vase)  

Orihuela lies in the fertile Vega (flat lowland) del Segura, The city centre stands 23 metres above sea level on the banks of the Segura River.

The city is well worth a visit for its cultural and natural heritage, especially for its historic center which is declared a historical-artistic and monumental complex. 

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Local agriculture is helped by a remarkable irrigation system left by the Moors. Its effectiveness resulted in the proverb “Rain or no rain, corn in Orihuela.” In addition to corn (maize), the chief agricultural products are oranges, lemons, potatoes, pepper, hemp, cotton, oats, wheat, almonds, and dates. Orihuela is also famous for its carnations, and it has a traditional shoe and textile industry

All About Orihuela, Costa Blanca South

Orihuela city.

The city of Orihuela is full of museums and religions buildings, the town center is declared a historic and Artistic Monumental due to its rich heritage.  Even if you are not a “cultural” lover, Orihuela is worth a visit.  Take a walk beside the Rio Segura which runs trough the city where you will find many nice shops, restaurants and tapas bars.

The old part of the city is to the north of the Segura River, the new part on the south. Historic buildings include the 14th-century cathedral; the Church of Santiago (once a mosque; rebuilt in the 18th century); the 14th-century Church of Santas Justa y Rufina, with an 18th-century facade; and the College of Santo Domingo (1516–1701), the former university. 

Market days are Tuesday and Friday mornings.

Orihuela Cathedral

The Cathedral was built above a pre-existing Muslim mosque as a simple parish church and was later converted into main church by order of King Alfonso X of Castile in 1281. In 1413, pope Benedict XIII elevated it to the rank of collegiate, until it became a cathedral in 1510.

All About Orihuela, Costa Blanca South, Orihuela Cathedral

Construction was begun in the late 13th century in Valencian Gothic style, with a Latin cross plan including a nave and two aisles, an ambulatory and chapels within buttresses. The crossing, the late-Gothic great chapel, and the ambulatory are 15th century-early 16th century additions, including the removal of two pillars of the nave to obtain a taller vault at the crossing, after a design by Pere Compte.

The interior receives little light due to the small size of the windows. There are three entrances: the Puerta de las Cadenas (Portal of the Chains, 14th century) is in Islamic style, the Puerta de Loreto (mid-15th century) is Gothic, and Gate of the Annunciation (at the north, built in 1588 by Juan Inglés), in Renaissance-style triumphal arch-shape. Other Renaissance elements include the stalls and the grills of the choir, and the cloister (originally from 1377, but rebuilt until 1560). The oldest part is the bell tower, which dates from late 12th-mid 14th centuries. It has four floors covered by groin vaults.

Annexed to the church is a museum of Sacred Art, housing works by Diego Velázquez (Temptation of St. Thomas), Vicente López Portaña, José de Ribera, Juan de Juanes, Francisco Salzillo and other artists.

Visiting Hours: Monday through Friday, Saturday mornings. 10.30am-2pm and 6pm-6.30pm

All About Orihuela, Costa Blanca South

Santo Domingo Convent

Built in the sixteenth century and using marked Renaissance art, this spectacular monument was created as a home for the Dominicans. After the Papal bull of 1569 and the convent was transformed into Pontifical University, working as such until 1824.

All About Orihuela, Costa Blanca South, Santo Domingo Convent

With different facades defining its three doors, a central cloister surrounded by unique arches and a well-preserved church with a Baroque style organ very typical of the ancient Kingdom of Valencia, the Convent of Santo Domingo is today one of the most visited monuments in this city of the South of the Valencian community.

Miguel Hernández Museum

Situated close to the Santa Domingo Diocesan College is the Miguel Hernandez House Museum. This building was home to the poet Miguel Hernandez, and retains the furniture typical of the last century, the house displays photographs and paintings from important moments of his lifetime..

In this house museum there is a feature of a traditional well located in the middle of a garden, a barn and yard, a small orchard where there still remains the famous fig tree under which Miguel Hernandez used to sit and write.

This was actually a traditional type of farm house, very typical of the early twentieth century.

Entrance is Free, this is one of the most popular and visited historical sites in the town.

Opening hours - Tuesday to Saturday from 10.00 to 14.00 and from 16.00 to 19.00 Sundays and holidays from 10.00 to 14.00 From June 1st to September 30th the afternoon hours are from 17.00 to 20.00 

The Town Wall Museum

This is located on  campus of the Miguel Hernández University. 

Open Hours Tue-Sat 10.00 to 14.00, 17.00-20.00 (16.00-19.00 in winter), Sundays and Bank Holidays 10.00-14.00 - closed 25th and 31st Dec, 1st Jan

The museum enables visitors to wander around the city layout of Orihuela by the perimeter path and along glazed walkways, and to be able see its layout dating back 1300 years. which enable the visitor to appreciate how the city looked during previous times.   Alongside the ruins are display panels and models, The museum also contains a collection of pottery and artefacts found at the site. 

All About Orihuela, Costa Blanca South

Fernando Loaces Library

This building can be found in the central Plaza del Marqués de Rafal, Fernando Loaces Library is part of a huge new building, but built on the old condal palace Pinohermoso. It is a building where many original details have been preserved; certain elements of the facade have been rebuilt by the Ministry of Culture and Education.

It consists of newspaper archives and more than 500 documentary collections of magazines, newspapers and publications of official character.

Fernando Loeces Library in Orihuela also has an extensive consultation room where books are on loan, and internet access is free. The original multimedia room is composed of more than 11,000 audiovisual documents and 2,500 documents in multimedia format.

Open Monday to Friday 09.00 to 14.30

Episcopal Palace of Orihuela

The Episcopal Palace of Orihuela is a Spanish religious palace in the Baroque style of the eighteenth century. It is located in the city of Orihuela, capital of the eponymous diocese of Orihuela. This building was the residence of the Bishop of Orihuela.
It was declared a National Monument by Decree of October 31, 1975. 

The castle "San Miguel" 

Orihuela castle is located up on the sierra of orihuela, in an area known as Monte de San Miguel and is amongst the oldest architectural monument’s in Spain, built in around 713.

The castle is believed to have been built in the Carthaginian period to protect the city of Carthago Nova, it also conserves Roman and Muslim remains, although it is suspected that the Iberians were the first to settle on the Monte de San Miguel.

Crowning the city and watching over the whole of the Vega Baja, are the remains of this fort which is in a completely ruinous state, although it is frequently visited by hundreds of visitors, especially during the weekends. 

All About Orihuela, Costa Blanca South, Orihuela Castle

Getting to the castle - It is possible to drive part of the way up the mountain. Whether driving or walking, follow Calle Colón Zen up through the old town, the road then becomes Subida al Seminario which winds its way uphill to the San Miguel Diocese Seminary & Education Centre. There are signs for the start of the trail at the back of the seminary. These however seem to point you downwards on a longer route. It's best to just head upwards and as you climb you will find rocks with blue dots and yellow arrows marking the way. These are pretty faded so at times you will just be following your nose along what looks like an old track.  Its quite a climb to the top of the castle but the views are simply stunning and reach far across the Veja Baja del Segura, so its worth the effort.

History

Orihuela is a pre-Roman settlement, it became the Roman Orcelis. Captured by the Moors in 713, it was finally liberated by the Christians in 1264. It was sacked during the disturbances at the beginning of the reign of Charles I (Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire; 1520) and again in the War of the Spanish Succession (1706). Orihuela suffered several epidemics of plague, was partly destroyed by an earthquake in 1829, and has often been flooded by the Segura River.

The city was named the first city of the province of Alicante, 11 September 1437.

In 576 it was the capital of the Visigothic province of Aurariola, to which it gave its name. In 713 (5 April) the military man and Count Teodomiro, proclaimed himself King of Tudmir.

In 825 the Kingdom of Tudmir, became a dependent kingdom under Umayyad control, and the capital was moved to Murcia. In 910 the Kingdom of Tudmir passed to the Emirate of Cordova.

In 1053 the principality of Murcia, part of the Kingdom of Denia, is created. In 1086 the principality of Murcia becomes independent from Denia. In 1212 the area passed to the Kingdom of Murcia.

In 1304 Orihuela was considered to be on the border between the kingdoms of Castile and Aragón. In 1366 it passed to the kingdom of Valencia.

In 1437, it was declared a city and in 1507, Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor made Orihuela capital of the province of Orihuela. In 1737 Alicante, Elche, Monforte, Jijona, Villajoyosa, Agost, Busot, San Juan or Muchamiel became independent from the province of Orihuela, forming the one of Alicante.

1799 Orihuela was part of the province of Alicante. In 1810, Napoleon made Orihuela part of the Department of Segura with the capital at Murcia. In 1822, Orihuela passed to the province of Murcia. 1833 it became part of the province of Alicante. In 1920 nationalistic movements spoke of Orihuela as belonging to the "country of Murcia."

Getting to Orihuela

By Car- Car Hire

Trian RENFE - Orihuela city has a modern train station just 1 km from the city center, the city is connected by train to the nearby Alicante, Elche or Murcia. Trains from Benidorm to Alicante

Bus - ALSA, Benidorm to Alicante, Alicante to Orihuela, journey time around 3.5 hours

OTHER PLACES TO VISIT ON THE COSTA BLANCA SOUTH

PLACES TO VISIT ON THE COSTA BLANCA NORTH

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Alicante, Montaditos and fun

Alicante, Montaditos and Fun Sharing a memory by R Colclough

I have always wanted to visit Alicante, so my invitation from Marian, a nice Spanish lady was greatly received.
My journey began from Benidorm, the place I was currently visiting. I was told the best way to go would be on the tram. I purchased a return ticket from the station office. The cost of the ticket was very reasonable, and the staff were most pleasant and helpful. I did not have to wait long for my tram.

The journey was most enjoyable, stopping at small towns, with magnificent views of the Spanish coastline. The journey took just over one hour. Travelling alone, I felt comfortable and safe. I was somewhat nervous in my approach, as I have not dated for a long time. My barriers were raised from the hurtful pains of the past. Yet no grudges no hate, as we pass through this wonderful world, we walk the song of confrontation and love. I am just a bloke trying to get by like everyone else, though just maybe, I can have some fun along the way.

Alicante, Montaditos and fun by R Colclough

I arrived at the station in Alicante. I proceeded to the exit, reaching the outside of the station, I looked around the city, historical buildings, open spaces, spotlessly clean sidewalks, and tiled promenade's, also a varied range of retail outlets, bars and other services. I will refrain from the word cosmopolitan, it's more than that. A thriving combination of new and old, the diversity of Alicante holds a fascinating gift for those who walk the path of its city life.

I text Marian to inform her of my position, and she came as quickly as she could. She greeted me with her lovely smile. I looked upon her face, and she gave me her heart, the world transformed with the glow of the city, and the breath of the sea, this was to be a most joyful day.

Alicante, Montaditos and fun by R Colclough

Alicante, Montaditos and Fun

We then strolled down a beautifully tiled pathway towards the sea holding hands. She could speak a small amount of English, and I could speak a small amount of Spanish, although we got by, enjoying each others company. I find some things can be said without talking, a glance or a smile can say a lot. Her good manners and her heartfelt charm gave me a feeling of respect for her, and my treatment towards her was of etiquette and kind. It is important to be right and proper, the befitting way to treat a nice Spanish lady. Reaching the end of the pathway and crossing the road, the harbour, a painting of blue and white, the boats bobbing around to the soft music of the sea. If you listen carefully you can hear the calm whispers of the sea, empowering your senses and flavouring your thoughts. Marian then introduced me to the masters of the past, an architectural dream, the magnificent buildings designed by men of vision, monuments to stand through the immortality of time. This city of life, a time capsule of history, echoing the achievements of so many things. The people of Alicante can walk with pride retaining their values of tradition and family life.

Alicante, Montaditos and fun by R Colclough

 

After all that walking, it was time for a bite to eat, we rested at a very pleasant pavement cafe. Marian suggested that we have montaditos something I have never tried before.
They were small baguettes with a choice of delicious fillings at a reasonable cost. You don't need to go to a 5-star restaurant to find good food. I have sampled street food in many countries, if the food sellers are popular and busy, you know it is a good and a safe place to eat. We enjoyed our montaditos, and we washed it down with cold beer.
Marian then asked me if I'd like to go for a walk or dancing, as in Alicante the dancing starts on a Saturday afternoon, so it was dancing for me.

Alicante, Montaditos and fun

We spent the rest of the afternoon drinking beer and dancing to Spanish music, although I was the only English person in the bar, I felt very welcome. The dress code was casual but smart.
There was no bad behaviour in the bar, just respectful feelings towards each other.


We had great fun, but with the evening curtain drawing slowly over the Alicante sky, it was time for me to catch my tram. After a tearful goodbye at the station, my journey began to my good friends in Benidorm. When I returned to Benidorm, my mood changed, touching my very soul, I felt different somehow. My barrier lowered thanks to Marian, and my mistrust in love, reduced to just a small echo in time. I now look forward to my next travelling encounter, it's good going to Benidorm, having good times and drinking, but, there is so much more to do and see. The history and culture, the glowing happiness and contentment of the Spanish people, it's all there for you. So when you are in Benidorm, take a bus ride jump on a tram, you will not be disappointed.

Article and photography by Benidorm Seriously member R Colclough

More information about Alicante and things to do can also be found here 

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