Guadalest: a magic place where art and nature converge
Guadalest is not just another town, with its close proximity to Benidorm. Not only is it an alternative place to visit for those based in Benidorm town full of skyscrapers, but also a microworld to be discovered which is full of history, culture and with spectacular views.
Small, cosy, quaint and cosmopolitan are some of the adjectives that are frequently used to describe this beautiful Alicante town that receives a considerable amount of visitors of all nationalities.
Its Moorish culture, its steep narrow streets, charming shops, it’s interesting cultural and the friendliness and simplicity of its people, make Guadalest Castle an ideal place to relax and take a stroll, or just contemplate its spectacular views.
The emerald jewel
The landscape seen from the viewpoint at Castell de Guadalest is similar to a classical painting of a beautiful turquoise reservoir which sits between two of the Marina Baixas mountain ranges, spectacular views not to be missed.
The beautiful landscape and breathtaking views are well worth the climb to the top.
Guadalest is located high above a reservoir which supplies water to the Marina Baixa.
Known as the emerald jewel in the province of Alicante, the area surrounding Guadalests reservoir is considered to be one of the most traditional routes for hiking enthusiasts between the Sierra Bernia and Puig Campana. This particular route is of low difficulty and suitable for hikers of all ages.
Another traditional route is starting in Guadalest and ascends to the top of the Sierra de Aitana. This is of medium difficulty forming a circular path in which you will see fountains and springs,” las Simas de Partagat” lined with wild flowers, a delight nature lovers and for walkers.
Among many others, there is a very popular excursion heading to Castellet de Serrella, where you will visit the ruins of a Moorish castle perched high on top of a rocky ridge. Although this route is not one of the most difficult, the duration is around three hours, so take this one easy and drink plenty of water.
Another mythical place to visit when visiting Guadalest or its surroundings is the famous Font del Molí. It consists of a source of excellent quality waters that supply both tourists and the inhabitants of the village of Benimantell.
In Guadalest, museums are an essential part of its essence:
- The Museum of microminiatures: tributes to the Statue of Liberty inside the eye of a needle, the Guernica of Picasso painted on a seed or the shooting of Goya represented on a grain of rice, are some of the works that could be considered as the smallest in the world.
Always focusing on the minutest, the author surprises us every time with some authentic pieces that take creativity to the limit.
- Museum of torture instruments: is composed of more than 70 instruments which were frequently used by the Holy Inquisition, both for torturing, and for executioning.
La Silla, El Potro, El Garrote, The Cradle of Judas, The Pendulum, The Guillotine, La Rueda and El Hacha are some of the sadistic instruments used for torturing during this time.
This museum is a terrifying place, but a must visit for visitors, although it will not leave you indifferent, their instruments are shocking.
- Ethnological Museum: is a spectacular representation of what life was like in the eighteenth century Guadalest.
Built on a rock, the Ethnological Museum of Guadalest which is a Moorish fortress accessed through a tunnel. In fact, the original door still remains.
When visitors arrive at the museum they are handed leaflets in different languages, where their origin and raison d'etre is explained, which is primarily to convey how the people lived their day to day lives, much of which was devoted to the cultivation of grapevines.
The musuem has three floors where visitors will see utensils of all kinds, tools and clothes which were used during this period and give us a closer look into this typical Valencian society devoted to cultivation in Guadalest.
-The Microgiant Museum: Brings together two types of collections: miniatures and giant sculptures, fascinating pieces of work that combines nature with art from the heart of The tree of life.
A heart and a perfectly interconnected tree form the two giant pieces of art inside the museum. In this case, the heart is surrounded by white sculptures that make up the giant vision of what the visitor can see with their powerful magnifying glasses: lovers inside a flower or a flea dressed as a cyclist riding his bike are some of the surprising examples on show in this eccentric museum.
- The Municipal Museum Casa Orduña: Was built after the great earthquake of 1644 that devastated the area and ruined castle dependencies. It was built by the family Orduña, who had come to El Castell de Guadalest as confidents of Don Sancho de Cardona received in 1542, the title of Marquis of Guadalest. The Orduña were in the service of the Marquis as wardens of the fortress and governors of his estates.
You can see inside this perfectly preserved house, the decor and furniture of the nineteeth century, paintings of the XVIII and XIX century, and an interesting collection of ceramics, there are also over 1200 historical documents, and an impressive exhibition hall which gives life to one of the greatest wonders of the province of Alicante.
- The Museum of Historic Vehicles: is situated in the guadalest valley between Guadalest and Callosa d'en Sarria, this fabulous collection of more than 140 motorcylcles and vintage cars range from the 1920s to 1970s. On the other hand, the museum is decorated with objects and articles such as vintage radios, telephones, sewing machines, among others.
The Museum of Historic Vehicles has its own parking for those wishing to visit.
- Museum of Salt and Pepper Shakers: unique in Europe, featuring over 20,000 salt and pepper shakers dating from the XIX, XX and XXI century.
They come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, from birds or chickens to astronauts and washing machines.
- Marco Antonio Museum: is a compendium of model houses and churches all perfectly furnished and decorated using natural elements.
Created with stone, brick, concrete, wood and clay tiles, every detail elaborated piece by piece.
The museum also has a giant nativity scene which weighs in the region of 12 tons.
For those of you who are holidaying on the Costa Blanca, you have easy access to this natural and cultural wonder that is just over 20 kilometres from the coast.
Not to be missed …