Discover the 3 most charming towns in Alicante
In earlier posts we talked about some of the gems that you have probably yet to discover in Alicante, recommending you visit them if you were spending a few days in our city. In those articles, we spoke about the magic that the beautiful squares and streets of the old part of Altea exude, about the mythical and much-loved Peñón de Ifach in Calpe, and also about the special charm of the museums, the reservoir, the mirador or viewpoint and the narrow, cobbled streets of Guadalest.
However, it is a huge province and there are so many places we think you should see. In this blog we present yet more charming towns in Alicante which are bound to tempt you to linger on your way to Benidorm, or to take a break from your days of sun and sea, as they are all less than half an hour from our city.
This time, we have opted for three very different locations that form a vital part of the cultural heritage offered by the province of Alicante: Denia, Polop and Busot.
As capital of the county of Marina Alta, Denia is one of the best-known tourist resorts in Alicante.
It boasts beautiful beaches and spectacularly attractive bays (such as the stunning Playa de Las Marinas), as well as a history that is well worth getting to know.
One example of this interesting legacy is Denia Castle, which organises different types of dramatised tours for visitors. Although they take place on specific dates, visitors can enjoy them at various times during the year. They bring to life several of the most notable events in the history of the town and portray some of its most charismatic and representative historical personalities, including Cervantes, the Duke of Lerma and Muyahid.
But Denia Castle also hides a number of intriguing secrets. They are depicted by skilled actors who narrate some of the mysterious legends that are still remembered and recounted in the town to this day.
Another excellent way of getting to know Denia is to go to a fascinating rendering of its history by a storyteller.
The town’s museums are also, without doubt, among its jewels. We recommend the Toy Museum, especially if you’re visiting with children, but other interesting options include the Ethnological Museum, Denia Archaeological Museum and L’Estació Art Centre.
Only a few minutes from Benidorm is the lovely small town of Polop de la Marina. Many people from Benidorm have chosen it as somewhere more tranquil to live but there is much more to Polop: it is pure beauty, history and legend.
It is an attractive location for many reasons, among them the excellent quality of its waters. This is the reason why Polop’s popular Plaza de Los Chorros is famous: families from other towns visit with large empty containers to fill up with water. The square is right in the heart of the town, very close to the Town Hall. Just sitting there you can feel a relaxing wave come over you, listening to the sound of the 221 jets of water pouring from small spouts in this popular Alicante landmark.
The old part of Polop will captivate you with the architectural beauty of its pretty, traditional streets. The adornments and flowers on the facades of the houses accentuate the charm of the town.
Although Polop is small and easy to get around, the tourism office located right at the entry to the old part offers you all the printed information you may need.
Polop Castle and the historical Church of Saint Peter are the most visited tourist sites in the town. The castle is of Islamic origin and has played an important role in history, especially after the town’s conquest by James I, followed by many years of conflict between Christians and Muslims. The Church of Saint Peter dates from the 18th century, and enthrals visitors with the incredible light that streams in through its beautiful windows, flooding the interior. Another charming building is the Divina Aurora Hermitage, associated with the delightful history of folk who wandered the streets of Polop chanting to raise money.
Another jewel that you probably have yet to discover is the pretty small town of Aguas de Busot, notable for its caves, which can be visited all year round.
It is also a beautiful, typical Alicante town with a stunning castle dating back to the Bronze Age, although it was also occupied by Muslims. This fortress has immense historical symbolism, as it became a border point between the kingdoms of Aragon and Castile after the signing of the Treaty of Almizra in 1244.
The streets of Busot also ooze great charm thanks to the excellent state of conservation of the town in general. It has the most inviting parks and lovely squares to make you feel at home. The popular Parque del Lavadero was once where the residents of the town went to do their washing, and the Parque Infantil Lucas Koch is the perfect park for little ones to have fun, with equipment suitable for all ages. The Plaza de la Generalitat is the setting for many events and popular celebrations.
But the main attraction in the town is the famous Canalobre Caves.
The Busot caves are a geological gem and well worth a visit. They consist of a wonderful array of stalactites, stalagmites, columns and jellyfish-like shapes concentrated in a space of more than 80.000 m2.
It is said that the caves were discovered during the Arab era around the 10th century, although it wasn’t until the last century that they were opened to the public as a tourist attraction.
The cave ceilings are amongst the highest in Spain, their height reaching over 70m in some cases. Of particular interest is a rocky column that has been christened with the name of La Sagrada Familia, owing to its strong resemblance to Gaudí’s Basilica in Barcelona.
These caves are also very popular amongst caving enthusiasts. For this reason, several zones have been specially prepared to ensure the safety of cavers and visits by those wanting to enjoy this sport are increasingly frequent.
The amazing acoustics in these caves also make them the perfect setting for musical performances. Don’t miss out on them!
We hope that these charming towns, together with their landmarks and fascinating histories, have aroused your interest, especially if you plan to combine your stay in Benidorm with other leisure activities.
We look forward to seeing you in Benidorm. As well as gorgeous beaches and first-rate bays, it offers you a range of cultural, culinary and leisure options that will make your visit –as always– great fun.