Villajoyosa is a city of the Valencian Community, in the province of Alicante; located on the Mediterranean coast, in the north of the Costa Blanca, 10 km from Benidorm and 30 km from the provincial capital, the city of Alicante. What to see in Villajoyosa? What are your main tourist attractions? Why should I choose it to live or spend the holidays?
In this article we will tell you all about Villajoyosa.
Villajoyosa is the capital of the Marina Baja region. According to the Spanish Statistical Office, in 2018 Villajoyosa had 33,969 inhabitants.
Villajoyosa borders municipalities such as Relieu, Aguas de Busot, Campello, Finestrat, Orcheta and Benidorm. The Amadorío River passes through the city centre of Villajoyosa.
The coast of the municipality of Villajoyosa extends for 15 kilometres of magnificent beaches, of which we will detail more later.
Villajoyosa has a Mediterranean climate, with hot summers and mild winters. It never snows in this area and it rarely rains. The bathing season in Villajoyosa lasts from June to September, although some years it may begin in April and end in November. In any case, you can sunbathe here most of the year, since in Villajoyosa it is sunny more than 300 days a year.
Former settlers lived in the place where Villajoyosa is today, still in the Bronze Age, and where the historic centre of the city is today, an Iberian settlement existed. In the era of Roman rule, in the area of the modern municipality of Villajoyosa, there was a city called Alonís or Alonis. At that time, this city experienced a great economic recovery. Today it is not known exactly where it was, but most likely its centre coincided with the centre of modern Villajoyosa (Plaza de la Generalitat, Calle Colón, historic centre).
In the Middle Ages, the area of modern Villajoyosa was depopulated, however, there were small settlements in the surroundings of the city, such as the Torres settlement, mentioned in the book “Llibre dels Feits de Jaime I”. The Christian city baptized as Villajoyosa, was founded in 1300 by Bernardo de Sarriá, admiral of Jaime II of Aragon, with a strategic purpose: to protect the coast from Muslim attacks. For centuries, the city was owned by several noble families.
During the 16th century, Villajoyosa played an important role in the protection of the coast of Alicante, from attacks of Berber pirates. Because of this, in the middle of the century, by order of Philip II, new walls were erected replacing the old ones. The remains of this wall have survived to this day. The city’s defence system also included watchtowers and garden towers, adjacent to the farms. In the same century, the construction of the fortress-church of Our Lady of the Assumption, in Gothic style, was completed. At the end of the 17th century, the threat of pirate attacks ceased to exist, and Villajoyosa began to grow outside the fortress wall.
In 1911, Villajoyosa received the city status.
Traditionally, Villajoyosa’s economy was mainly based on fishing, while today the main industries are: tourism and chocolate production.
Villajoyosa: things to do
What to see in Villajoyosa? In the city there are many interesting places, and we will tell you which are the most important:
La Olivera Grossa
An incredible olive tree, with an approximate age of 1,400 years. It is considered as the oldest tree in the province of Alicante, and one of the oldest in the Valencian Community.
What to see in Villajoyosa. Houses with colourful facades
One of the main attractions of Villajoyosa are the traditional houses, whose facades, which face the sea, are painted in different colours. According to legend, fishermen, who missed their homes, painted the walls of their houses in different colours to see them from afar. Be that as it may, today, the colourful facades give Villajoyosa a very unusual and picturesque appearance.
Colourful houses of Villajoyosa on the map:
What to see in Villajoyosa. The Roman funeral tower: Torre de Hércules or Torre de San José
The Tower of Hercules, formerly known as Tower of San José, is located 3 km southeast of Villajoyosa and is one of the most important monuments of Roman times in Spain. It is a part of the funeral complex of a Roman patrician family. In 1990, the tower was declared a Site of Cultural Interest.
What to see in Villajoyosa. La Malladeta: mason mansion and Iberian ruins
In the southern part of the municipality of Villajoyosa, near the beach of El Paraíso, at the top of a hill, is the Villa Giacomina, a ruined mansion that resembles a palace of «The thousand and one nights». In fact, we are talking about a mansion built in 1905, owned by a mason, friend of the Spanish writer Blasco Ibáñez. Nearby, there are the ruins of the Iberian sanctuary, dating from 375 to 350 a. C.
What to see in Villajoyosa. Fortified church of the Virgin of the Assumption
The fortified church of the Virgin of the Assumption is located in the Plaza de la Iglesia street, in the centre of Villajoyosa. The church was built in the 16th century, and in addition to being the main religious building in the city, the church served as a refuge, in which the city’s neighbours hid during pirate incursions.
What to see in Villajoyosa. Historical-artistic ensemble of the old town of Villajoyosa
The historical-artistic ensemble of the old town of Villajoyosa, which includes: The Renaissance Walls; the gothic church of the Virgin of the Assumption; In addition to, buildings with different architectural styles of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, located on Colon Street and Canalejas Street.
Other places of interest in Villajoyosa
- Aguiló Tower. A square tower, built in the 16th century. It was part of a system of defensive fortifications that served as a defence against pirates.
- Tower de Dalt. One of the orchard towers. These towers are structures adjacent to rural houses which transmitted within the house an alert received from the watchtowers on the coast.
- Tower del Charco. A round watchtower, built in the XVI. Today it is privately owned.
- La Torreta Tower. An orchard tower, mentioned in documents from the early fifteenth century.
- Simeon Tower. Orchard Tower. The building is barely perceived since it is assimilated by a house.
- Public baths of Allon. Roman thermal ruins found in 2006. They are dated at the end of the 1st century AD. C. and early 2nd century AD. The hot springs are perfectly preserved and have great historical value.
What to see in Villajoyosa. Museums
Vilamuseu – Archaeological Museum of Villajoyosa
We are talking about the recently renovated Villajoyosa Archaeological Museum. Unlike the old museum, which was small and simple, Vilamuseu is a very interesting modern museum, equipped with the latest technologies. Vilamuseu is one of the best museums of this type, in the Valencian Community. The museum has many artefacts, thanks to which, you can learn the history of Villajoyosa, from ancient times to the present day. Also, there is an area especially designed for children.
- The museum’s schedule can be found on its website.
- The ticket price is € 3. Reduced rate – € 1,5.
House Museum La Barbera dels Aragonés
This is a 17th-century mansion, owned by the Aragonés family, which has a long history and has represented Spain with many famous politicians, military and religious figures. In the museum, you can find the replica of the interior of a typical house, of a rich family of 19th-century society.
Villajoyosa Chocolate Museum
Villajoyosa Chocolate Museum, is one of the main draws of the city. The Valor factory museum, one of the leading chocolate producers in Spain, opened in 1998, and later in 2008, was recognized by the authorities of the autonomous community as the Valencian Chocolate Museum. The museum offers the opportunity to learn about the chocolate production process, from beginning to end. Here, one of the best collections of equipment used in the chocolate industry is exhibited. The Valor factory itself, located here, was founded in 1881, and you can know its history in the museum. In Valor’s cafeteria, you can enjoy delicious hot chocolate churros.
- Monday to Friday: from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
- Saturdays: from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Sundays: closed.
- Free admission.
The museum is located here:
Other chocolate and sweet factories and museums in Villajoyosa
Valor is the largest and most famous chocolate factory. However, there are other chocolate and sweet factories in Villajoyosa:
- Chocolates Clavileño. Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 9.00 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. and from 1.30 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. Free admission.
- Turrones Carremi. Shop: Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
- Chocolates “Pérez”. From Monday to Friday from 10.00 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. and from 5.00 p.m. to 7.30 p.m. Saturdays – from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Free admission.
- Chocolates Marcos Tonda. From Monday to Friday from 10.00 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. and from 5 p.m. to 8.00 p.m. Saturdays – from 10.00 to 13.30. Free admission.
Villajoyosa hosts many festivals throughout the year. We will tell you more about the most interesting:
Moors and Christians fiesta
It is one of the main festivities of Villajoyosa, which is distinguished by its far-reaching. During the fiestas, which last several days, the recreation of the attack on the city by the Berber pirates is carried out, and the subsequent reconquest of the city by the Christians. Thousands of people take part in the festival events. The main act of the festivity is the landing of the Berber pirates on the coast of Villajoyosa.
The traditional carnival, which takes place in February-March, in the cities and towns of Spain, is also celebrated happily and on a large scale in Villajoyosa.
During Holy Week, in Villajoyosa, traditional processions take place, of which the most important is Good Friday.
Lágrimas de Santa Marta (Tears of Saint Marta)
In early May, in Villajoyosa, a festival dedicated to the patron saint of the city, Saint Marta, is celebrated, who, according to legend, avoided a pirate attack on the city in 1538. There is also the legend that, in 1653, when Felipe IV ordered the construction of a reservoir for the irrigation of the lands of Villajoyosa, tears appeared in the eyes of Saint Marta. That’s where the name of the festival comes from.
Festival of Virgen del Carmen
In July, in Villajoyosa, as in many other coastal cities of Alicante, the memory of Saint Carmen, the patron saint of sailors and fishermen, is honoured.
In summer, Villajoyosa hosts a party dedicated entirely to chocolate. During the party, there are trips, tastings, contests, lotteries, etc., dedicated to chocolate.
In spring, a very interesting event takes place in Villajoyosa, a festival dedicated to ancient Rome. As part of the festival, a complete recreation of the daily life of the Roman Empire society is carried out. Costumes, weapons, decorations, household items: all of them are reproduced and recreated with great care, with the participation of archaeologists, historians and other specialists.
In Villajoyosa you will find many coves and wonderful beaches for all tastes.
- Length: 1380 m.
- Blue flag
It is the main beach of Villajoyosa, located near the city centre. This sandy beach, with a well-developed infrastructure, is perfect for a holiday with the whole family. Along the beach is the promenade, with many bars and restaurants. It is on this beach, where the main event of the festival of Moors and Christians is held in Villajoyosa, – The landing – recreation of the landing of Berber pirates on the coast.
Playa Centro on the map:
Bol Nou Beach
- Length: 220 m.
- Blue flag
Sandy and rocky beach, crystal-clear waters, ideal for snorkelling and diving. Perfect for family holidays.
Playa del Bol Nou on the map:
- Length: 560 m.
A rocky beach, perfect for water sports (kayaking, paddle surfing, windsurfing, diving, etc.).
Playa Torres on the map:
El Paradís beach
- Length: 1060 m.
- Blue flag
Wonderful sandy and pebbly beach, with a beautiful promenade.
El Paradís beach on the map:
Estudiantes Beach / Tio Roig / Varadero
- Length: 140 m.
- Blue flag
We are talking about three sandy and pebbly semi-urban beaches, of similar characteristics. Perfect for families with children.
Estudiantes Beach / Tio Roig / Varadero on the map:
- Length: 1890 m.
A quiet pebbly beach, located in the Carritxal gully.
Carritxal beach on the map:
Puntes del Moro Beach
- Length: 158 m.
Several sandy and pebbly beaches of similar characteristics, located near the mouth of the Amadorio River. The place is ideal for diving and relaxing.
Puntes del Moro beach on the map:
La Caleta cove
- Length: 139 m
- Blue flag
A cove of sand and stones, ideal for relaxing in the middle of nature.
La Caleta cove on the map:
- Length: 222 m.
A quiet cove with crystal clear waters, ideal for diving, snorkelling and fishing. Suitable for nudists.
Esparrelló cove on the map:
Racó del Conill cove
- Length: 160 m.
An isolated pebbly cove, suitable for nudist lovers.
Racó del Conill cove on the map:
- Length: 580 m.
A cove of sand and pebbles, suitable for fishing and diving. On the right end of the cove there is a dog-friendly beach.
Xarco cove on the map:
- Do you want to know more about the best beaches on the Costa Blanca?
Read our article.
Villajoyosa real estate market
Villajoyosa is a great place to spend holidays and buy a home. The city is very quiet, clean and pleasant. It has all the necessary infrastructure to lead a comfortable life. Its wonderful climate allows you to enjoy the heat and the sun almost all year round, which, combined with the clean pure air, makes this place ideal for the whole family.
The main advantage of Villajoyosa is the proximity of the sea and its beautiful beaches. Another great advantage is the good location of the city, since it is only 10 km from Benidorm and 30 km from Alicante. In addition, there is a wide range of homes, both second-hand and new build, which will allow everyone to find a house according to their preferences, desires and budget: studios, apartments, flats, villas, bungalows, terraced houses, single-family houses: You will find all this in Villajoyosa and its districts.
Housing in Villajoyosa is a good investment option, with the objective of the subsequent tourist rental.
According to data from the Idealista web portal, in August 2019, the average price per square meter of housing in Villajoyosa was € 1,576. Which is much lower than in Calpe, Benidorm and Finestrat, where the average price per square meter exceeds € 2,000.
You can find our catalogue of homes in Villajoyosa, here.