Villajoyosa, La Vila Joiosa, or just La Vila for the locals, is a small Spanish town most famous for three things: colorful houses, beautiful beaches, and chocolate manufactured by Valor. Compared to other towns and villages on Costa Blanca, Villajoyosa is quite a unique place to visit in Spain – you probably won’t find another such a colorful town anywhere nearby. Vamos, let’s discover all the best things to do in Villajoyosa, Spain in one day.
Interesting fact: La Vila Joiosa means Joyful Village.
- One day in Villajoyosa, Spain. Complete travel guide
- How to get to Villajoyosa, Spain?
- One day in Villajoyosa, Spain – Summing up
- Restaurants, accommodations, and map
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One day in Villajoyosa, Spain. Complete travel guide
Villajoyosa is located in the Province of Alicante in Spain, on Costa Blanca. The town is located only about 35km from Alicante and 15km from Benidorm, which makes it a very popular spot for one-day trips. From Villajoyosa you can also admire the two highest peaks in the Province of Alicante: Aitana and Puig Campana.
Yes, definitely. Thanks to its colorful old town, Villajoyosa is totally different from many white towns in the area (like Altea, Calpe, or Finestrat), or buzzing big cities such as Benidorm or Alicante. Besides, there are many beautiful beaches to chill on. While in the area a visit to Villajoyosa should be a must, even only for experiencing a totally different vibe. Put it on your list – you won’t regret it.
Due to the Mediterranean climate, Villajoyosa can be a great destination all year-round. Summer months can be really hot, winters are mild without snow. In our opinion, the best time to visit Villajoyosa is during the off-season, when the temperatures are more comfortable, and there are fewer people.
A little bit of Villajoyosa history
The oldest archaeological remains, from an Iberian settlement, date back to the Bronze Age. In the Middle Ages area was inhabited until the 1300s. During that time, due to a strategic location, King Jaime II of Aragon decided to find a city and populate the area. In the 16th century, Villajoyosa played an important role in countering the attacks from pirates, and for this reason, King Philip II ordered the construction of the defensive walls and towers around the coast. Remains of these walls are still present in the old town. Villajoyosa officially became a city in 1911.
Enough introduction, let’s get down to business and discover what to do during one day in Villajoyosa, Spain.
Villajoyosa Old Town with colorful houses
As you already know Villajoyosa’s main attractions are its iconic colorful houses which give the town a unique vibe and make it one of the most picturesque and colorful towns along the coast. Colorful houses are located on Carrer Arsenal in Villajoyosa Old Town. Taking a walk through the maze of narrow, colorful streets and enjoying pretty squares is a must. In Villajoyosa’s old town you’ll also find remains of the defensive walls from the 16th century, Santa Maria de la Vila Joiosa church located on Plaça Església, and La Vila Museum.
Fun fact. Why are the houses in Villajoyosa Old Town so colorful? According to one legend, bright colors helped fishermen to find their way back home in the evenings. Another legend says that since every fisherman had painted his boats in a specific color they used the leftover paint for the facades of their homes. But unfortunately, nobody seems to know the correct version.
One of the best things to do in a coastal town is to hit the beach or two, right? In Villajoyosa you can enjoy your time on beautiful sandy beaches watching the azure Mediterranean Sea and colorful houses. The main Villajoyosa beach is Playa la Villajoyosa. You can also find other smaller but equally charming beaches nearby, like Playa del Bol Nou, Platja Torres, or Playa del Varadero.
Nudist beach Racó del Conill
Do you want to take off all your clothes and enjoy unrestrained freedom? Head to Raco del Conill, the official nudist beach in Villajoyosa that can be found near the city border with Benidorm. It’s quite small and well-hidden, and the road leading to it is narrow and bumpy so be careful while driving. Just before going down to Racó del Conill beach, you’ll find a viewpoint from which you can admire beautiful surroundings. If you would like to get to the beach on foot expect a bit of a hike alongside the coast from Benidorm or Villayojosa. But don’t worry, it could be done without many problems.
Villajoyosa promenade stretches for 1.2km, from the harbor all the way to the old town. On the one side, there’s a sea and colorful houses on the other. Along the promenade, you’ll find many bars and restaurants serving good Spanish food.
Amadorio riverbed park
Park was opened in 2010. As we researched, for most of the year the riverbed is dry and can be walked without any problems (when we were visiting there was a small amount of water flowing). While there, don’t forget to look up and admire colorful, hanging houses built on the defensive walls of the old town.
Valor Chocolate Museum
If you’re a chocolate lover then you can’t miss visiting the Valor Chocolate Museum in Villajoyosa. This unique and delicious museum will take you on a journey through the history of chocolate and the chocolate-making process from the cultivation of the cocoa bean to the creation of chocolate bars. You’ll also visit the tasting room where you’ll be able to taste a wide range of chocolates and of course a chocolate shop.
The visit to Valor Chocolate Museum is free of charge but there is 50 people limit on each visit so don’t forget to reserve your spot on the museum’s official website, especially in high season. There are 8 tours during the day, but only two of them are held in English – at 10AM and 4PM. For more information about the schedule and timing visit the Valor Museum website.
Aguiló Tower is located at the edge of the Villajoyosa, on the border with Benidorm. It was built in the 16th century to defend the coast from pirates. It’s a very peculiar watchtower, as it has quadrangular flooring (they are usually round). From the tower incredible views of Benidorm and Villajoyosa can be admired.
Tower of Hercule (Tower of Saint Joseph)
The Tower of Hercules is located near the playa de Torres. It was built between 150 and 170 AD but it’s not really a tower, it’s the largest Roman funerary tower preserved in Spain.
You can find two markets in Villajoyosa – a daily market (Monday-Saturday) in the Central Market Villajoyosa building, and a weekly street market on Avenida de Bernat Sarriá, which is held every Thursday.
Moors and Christians Fiesta
Moors and Christians Fiesta (es. Fiestas de Moros y Cristianos) takes place in July, from 24th to 31th, and is Villajoyosa’s most important festival. This event has been celebrated for over 250 years in honor of Santa Marta, and commemorates events that took place in 1538 when Barbary pirates tried to attack the town. Tradition has it that Santa Marta came to the aid of the local people, causing a flood that swept the enemy ships out to sea preventing the corsairs from reaching the coast. In thanks, the town took Santa Marta as its patron saint, and each year these celebrations are held in her honor, with the re-enactment of the attack by the Moors as the key event (source).
Here you can watch a video of celebrations in 2018:
How to get to Villajoyosa, Spain?
Villajoyosa is located about 35km from Alicante, 15km from Benidorm and 35km from Calpe. The most convenient way to get to Villajoyosa is by car or by bus.
Where to park in Villajoyosa, Spain?
There are some parking lots in Villajoyosa, both paid and free. We recommend leaving the car in this free parking lot, located just 5min away from Old Town.
Airports near Villajoyosa, Spain
The closest airports to Villajoyosa are in Alicante (50 km away), and Valencia (160km away). Both airports offer bus/tram connections, with max 2 changes. From Alicante, the trip by bus + tram will take about 1h40min (€3-8). From Valencia, the trip by bus + tram will take about 4h (€13-22).
To Villajoyosa by bus
You can get to Villajoyosa by bus. For example, the journey from Alicante will take about 45min (€4-7). From Benidorm the journey takes about 30min by bus (€3-5) or 15min by tram (€1-2).
To Villajoyosa by taxi
You can also get to Villajoyosa by taxi, but it will be the most expensive choice. For example, a trip from Benidorm will cost you about €19-24, from Alicante €55-75 and from Calpe €40-50.
One day in Villajoyosa, Spain – Summing up
Now you know what to do in one day in Villajoyosa during your visit to Spain. Would it be just to explore Villajoyosa’s old town or get a proper tan on a nudist or the regular beach, there is plenty to choose from. So, we wish you an amazing time in this colorful, charming town. 🙂
Restaurants, accommodations, and map
Check out various recommended places below.
Where to eat in Villajoyosa?
Here are your best, high-rated options in Villajoyosa:
Where to sleep in Villajoyosa?
Hotel Allon Mediterrania
Hotel Allon Mediterrania is a modern and luxurious beachfront hotel situated in Villajoyosa, Spain, offering spacious and elegant rooms with balconies overlooking the sea, multiple outdoor pools, a spa, and a restaurant serving a variety of gourmet dishes. With its prime location, high-end facilities, and excellent services, this hotel provides a perfect retreat for travelers seeking a luxurious and relaxing holiday on the Costa Blanca.
Apartamentos Costera del Mar
Apartamentos Costera del Mar is a charming apartment complex offering spacious and fully equipped apartments with balconies overlooking the sea, a shared outdoor pool, and a convenient location close to the town's historic center and beaches. With its comfortable accommodations and excellent location, this complex provides a practical option for travelers looking for a comfortable and affordable base to explore the Costa Blanca.
Suites At Sea II
Suites At Sea II is a stylish and contemporary apartment complex located offering spacious and elegantly decorated apartments with private terraces, a rooftop terrace with a swimming pool and a hot tub, and a fitness center. With its chic design, modern amenities, and excellent location near the beach and town center, this complex provides a perfect option for travelers seeking a comfortable and trendy base to explore the Costa Blanca.
Rosal by Vilamassalia (Only Adults)
Rosal by Vilamassalia Only Adults in Villajoyosa offers modern rooms with free WiFi and a convenient location in the old town, just 300m from the beach. Guests can enjoy nearby restaurants, bike and car rental, and touristic information, making it the perfect place for a relaxing and enjoyable stay.
Hostal Rosa is a cozy and traditional guesthouse offering comfortable and affordable rooms with private bathrooms, air conditioning, and free Wi-Fi, and a convenient location close to the beach and the town's historic center. With its friendly and welcoming atmosphere, this guesthouse provides a perfect option for travelers looking for a simple and authentic stay on the Costa Blanca.