At the top of a high rock, above the picturesque blue-green reservoir’s waters, sits Guadalest. This little quaint village, which actual full name is El Castell de Guadalest, has existed since the Muslim period. Nowadays, you won’t find many things to do there, but those that the village can offer will take you on a captivating journey back in time. Breathtaking views, a charming old town, and many museums are waiting for you. Ready? Let’s discover the best things to do in Guadalest village and valley.
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Guadalest, Spain FAQ
Guadalest is located in the Province of Alicante on Costa Blanca in close proximity to popular holiday destinations like Benidorm or Alicante, and other beautiful small towns like Calpe, Altea, Finestrat, or Villajoyosa. The village sits at an altitude of about 550m a.s.l.
The answer can’t be any other than: of course! Guadalest is totally worth visiting. Without a doubt, it’s one of the best spots on Costa Blanca. The village is full of history, streets and buildings hiding fascinating secrets, and spectacular views over the Guadalest Valley. All of that together creates an unforgettable atmosphere right from the village doorsteps.
Guadalest is best known for being a delightful tiny Spanish medieval village that sits on the top of the mountain, offering truly spectacular views of the surroundings. The village was declared a Historical/Artistic Complex in 1974 and later a Cultural Interest Asset. Guadalest is also one of the most beautiful villages in Spain (Los Pueblos Más Bonitos de España) and one of the most visited places on Costa Blanca!
Guadalest is a perfect destination for a one-day trip or a nice weekend. It’s very small, and it’s easy to check out everything in 2-3 hours. We also recommend combining a trip to Guadalest with a visit to Fonts De L’Algar waterfalls located just a few kilometers further.
Yes, you can swim in Guadalest Reservoir.
Things To Do In Guadalest Village And Valley
To enter Guadalest you have to go through the Portal de Sant Josep, a short tunnel excavated in the rock. We can’t deny it – it’s a very original entrance to the village! As you go through it and reach the old town, you’ll start to feel that you are going back in time.
El Castell de Guadalest streets
One of the best things to do in Guadalest village is to slowly stroll through its old town streets and soak in its unique atmosphere. White houses, cobbled streets, small craft shops with local products, museums, restaurants… All of that adorns every street here. Not far from the tunnel, you’ll find a small village square with a town hall and viewpoints over the Guadalest Valley.
San José Guadalest Castle
Guadalest Castle (es. Castell de Guadalest) is an 11th-century fortress, built by Muslims. It sits on the highest spot in the village, on a rock at 595m a.s.l. Thanks to its strategic location, it played a very important role throughout the Middle and Modern Ages. The castle was badly damaged by two earthquakes (in 1644 & 1748) and the blasting in the War of Succession, in 1708. So unfortunately Guadalest Castle doesn’t have a lot to offer today, but the views over the valley and bell tower are worth the trip.
While there, don’t forget to take a good look at the just-mentioned 11th-century bell tower. It’s one of the most iconic sights of the El Castell de Guadalest village, visible even from a distance.
Entrance to the castle costs €4 for an adult ticket and €2 for reduced (November 2023). Access is via Orduna House, which is also included in the price. For current prices and opening hours visit destinoguadalest.com website.
After the earthquake in 1644 that devastated the region, the Orduña family from Basque Country built The Orduna House (es. Museo Casa Orduña). Since then, it has been restored and converted into the Municipal Museum. Inside you’ll find, for example, 19th-century decor and furniture, paintings from the XVIII and XIX centuries, and an interesting collection of ceramics.
Entrance to Orduna House costs €4 for adult ticket and €2 for reduced (November 2023). Visiting Guadalest Castle is included in the price. For current prices and opening hours visit destinoguadalest.com website.
Our Lady of the Assumption Parish Church
Our Lady of the Assumption Parish Church (es. Parroquia Nuestra Señora de la Asunción) is a Baroque-style church, dating back to the 18th century. The church was burned and looted during the Civil War, and later in 1962 was remodeled. It’s located right next to the Orduna House. Entrance is free.
What’s the unquestionable number one thing to do in Guadalest village? Watching the views over Guadalest Valley! For best ones head to the castle and then to Plaza San Gregorio, Guadalest’s main square. From it, you can also head to Mirador des de la Muralla (our favorite!), which is located just a few steps further. Just follow the path along the wall. But to be honest, wherever you go stunning views of Guadalest Reservoir blue waters will be there.
Mirador Del Castillo de Guadalest
Only 2.5km from the Guadalest village center you’ll find a viewpoint, Mirador Del Castillo de Guadalest, from which you can admire breathtaking views over the village, castle, and valley.
If you like going to museums, El Castell de Guadalest has quite a lot of them for such a tiny place. Besides Orduna House you can also choose to visit:
- Ethnological Museum (es. Museo Etnológico)
- Microminiatures Museum (es. Museo Microminiaturas)
- Microgiant Museum (es. Museo Microgigante)
- Medieval Historical Museum (es. Museo Histórico Medieval)
- Salt and Pepper Shakers Museum (es. Museo Saleros y Pimenteros)
- Historical Vehicles Museum (es. Museo Colección Vehículos Históricos)
- Antonio Marco Dolls Houses Museum (es. Museo Belén y Casitas de Muñecas)
Some of them actually sound really fun, don’t they? If you want to learn more about each of them or check out opening hours please visit guadalest.es website.
Guadalest Reservoir is located in the Guadalest Valley. It’s surrounded by the mountains of Aitana (the highest point in the Province of Alicante), Serrella, and Xortá. Guadalest Reservoir is most famous for its spectacular blue-green waters that look especially impressive from the Guadalest village.
The place is perfect for relaxing, having a picnic, swimming, and even practicing water sports like canoeing or paddle boarding. You can also choose to go on a long, almost 10km, walk around the lake.
How to get to Guadalest, Spain?
Guadalest is located about 20km from Altea, 25km from Benidorm, 30km from Villajoyosa and 60 km from Alicante. The most convenient way to get to Guadalest is by car, but there are some buses traveling from Benidorm.
Where to park in Guadalest?
You can leave your car in this paid parking lot, right next to the Guadalest entrance (€2 in November 2023). If you don’t want to pay, you can choose this free parking lot located about 800m from the village entrance.
Where to park in Guadalest Reservoir?
To visit Guadalest Reservoir, it’s best to leave your car in this free parking lot, right next to the dam.
Airports near Guadalest, Spain
The closest airports to Guadalest are located in Alicante (75km away) and Valencia (165km away). To get to Guadalest from each of them you first need to take a bus to Benidorm, and then a second bus to the village. For more details visit rome2rio.com website.
To Guadalest by bus
You can reach Guadalest by bus from Benidorm using line 016. The trip lasts about 30min and costs €1-4. For more bus route details visit rome2rio.com website.
To Guadalest by taxi
The most expensive option, but also the fastest one if you care about time. Also, possible from every nearby town. For example, a trip from Benidorm will take about 25min (€24-29), 30min from Calpe (€30-40) and 50min from Alicante (€75-95). To learn more about taxi connections that interest you visit rome2rio.com website.
Campings in Guadalest
Things To Do In Guadalest Village And Valley – Summing up
Now you know what Guadalest village and valley are all about. It’s a truly stunning place on Costa Blanca and it definitely deserves a title of one of the most beautiful villages in Spain. No matter if you’ll stay only for a few hours or if you’re planning on staying for a weekend – we’re sure that you’ll fall in love with this charming village. Enjoy your time in El Castell de Guadalest and let us know how you liked it in the comments section below.
Our opinion about Guadalest
For us, a visit to Guadalest was a one-day trip from nearby Benidorm where we lived for a few weeks. We visited the town in late October and during that time there weren’t many tourists and the village was very quiet and peaceful. For us, it was perfect!
We visited both Guadalest village and valley, and we really enjoyed both. Strolling among old town streets and admiring Guadalest Reservoir was a pure pleasure. Until today it’s one of our favorite places on Costa Blanca. Also, we recommend combining the trip with a visit to Fonts de l’Algar Waterfalls which are just 15km away.
Restaurants, accommodations, and map
Check out various recommended places below.
Where to eat in Guadalest?
Here are your best, high-rated options in Guadalest:
Where to sleep in Guadalest?
El Tossal is a charming rural hotel situated in Guadalest, Spain, offering spectacular mountain views and comfortable accommodations. The hotel features a traditional Spanish restaurant, outdoor swimming pool, and a peaceful garden terrace.
El Salat is a charming rural apartment complex located in the picturesque town of Guadalest, Spain. With comfortable and spacious apartments, stunning mountain views, and a tranquil atmosphere, it's the perfect place for guests looking to disconnect and enjoy the beauty of nature.
Apartamentos Serrella is a charming complex located in the heart of the historic town of Guadalest. The apartments are fully equipped with modern amenities and offer stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Guests can enjoy the tranquil atmosphere and explore the nearby attractions such as the castle of Guadalest and the Algar waterfalls.
Accommodations photos source: booking.com