If you’re in Alicante, you must visit Guadalest, a charming small town renowned for its stunning beauty. It is one of Spain’s hidden gems. You’ll be greeted by a delightful blend of old-world charm and natural beauty as you arrive.

Visiting El Castell de Guadalest is like stepping back in time. You’ll be captivated by breathtaking views, fascinating historical sites, and the warmth of friendly locals. It’s a unique experience that you’ll always remember.

As you wander in Guadalest, you’ll encounter many traditional sights and picturesque views. It’s the perfect destination for lovers of history,  nature, or a tranquil retreat.

This guide is your key to unlocking all that Guadalest has to offer. Explore the best sights, its rich history, and its culinary delights. Prepare yourself for an unforgettable journey through Guadalest!

What Makes Guadalest Special?

Guadalest is a small town in the mountains of Alicante, Spain, and it’s exceptional for a few reasons. First off, it’s known as one of Spain’s most beautiful towns. It has fantastic views, a rich history, and a unique culture. Plus, the food here is great!

Even though only about 245 people live in Guadalest, it’s full of places to visit. The fifteen restaurants, fifty shops, and seven museums make it an excellent spot for tourists who want to explore and shop. 

The town is famous for its beauty, which includes an artificial lake. One of the main attractions in Guadalest is the Guadalest Castle. This castle is a big deal because it was named a Historical and Artistic Heritage site in 1974. 

Overall, what makes Guadalest so unique is the mix of beautiful nature, cultural spots, and historical importance. It’s a place worth visiting in Spain.

How To Get To Guadalest

Getting to Guadalest is easy, whether coming from Benidorm or Alicante.

If you’re starting in Benidorm, just take the CV-70 road. It’s a direct route of about 29 kilometers, a quick and easy ride.

Coming from Alicante? You have a few choices. You can take a tram to Benidorm first. Once you’re in Benidorm, you can either grab a taxi to Guadalest or, if you want more freedom to explore, you might want to rent a car.

What To See And Do In Guadalest

Discover the heart of Spain’s hidden gem with this guide on ‘What To See And Do In Guadalest,’ where every corner tells a story, and each experience is a treasure waiting to be uncovered.

1. The Castle of Guadalest 

The Castle of Guadalest is a must-see place for several good reasons. Although wars and earthquakes have damaged it over the years, its remains remain impressive. 

You can see the Bell Tower and the beautiful Guadalest Valley from the castle. It’s an excellent spot for photos and an essential part of history.

The village of Guadalest itself adds to the charm. It has lovely streets, fascinating museums, and incredible reservoir and valley views. This makes it a favorite spot for visitors who want to see something special and authentic in Spain.

Getting into the castle usually costs about 4 euros for adults and 2 euros for kids. The stunning views of the bell tower, the valley, and the dam are worth it. 

Plus, the whole village is known as a Historical, artistic, and Cultural Heritage Site, which makes it even more appealing to visitors.

2. The Castle of San José

The Castle of San José in Guadalest is a fantastic place with a long history. The Muslims built it in the 11th century and it is unique because it sits at the top of a mountain. 

How it’s built into the natural rock makes it look like it’s part of the mountain. It’s the highest point in the area, so the views are incredible.

When you’re at the top, you’re at the highest point in the village of Guadalest. It’s a place you should visit. From there, you can look out over the port in Arrecife. Step into the castle and be surprised by the art gallery and restaurant. Have a bite, enjoy the art, and take in the scenic views. 

3. The Alcozaiba Fortress

The Alcozaiba Fortress is located near the historic Casa Orduña estate. Today, what’s left of this fortress is mainly a tower that stands close to the Castle of San José. 

This tower was fixed in the 20th century and is now an important historical site for visitors to explore. One of the best things about the Alcozaiba Fortress is the view. From here, you can see the Mediterranean Sea and the harbor. 

It’s a beautiful spot for anyone who loves scenic views. The fortress is near some old Roman ruins, which adds even more to its historical charm.

Walking around the site, you’ll see walls covered in ivy and brick paths. These features help you feel the place’s history and imagine what it was like long ago. 

It’s an excellent spot for anyone interested in history or looking for a beautiful place to visit.

4. The Guadalest Reservoir

The Guadalest Reservoir attracts many visitors to the Guadalest Valley of Spain. People come here to see the fantastic panoramic views. The water is a beautiful turquoise color, and the nature around it is stunning. 

It’s known as the “emerald heart of the Marina Baja,” it’s easy to see why when you look at the scenery.

From the old town of Guadalest, you can get a perfect view of the whole reservoir. It’s an excellent spot for taking photos or just enjoying the view. 

The area around the reservoir is also great for outdoor activities. You can go hiking and fishing, and there are even places where you can swim.

The combination of beautiful views and outdoor activities makes the Guadalest Reservoir a popular destination for tourists and anyone who loves nature.

5. The Orduña House

The Basque family built the Orduña House after a big earthquake in 1644 that heavily damaged the surrounding area. For nearly 300 years, they were in charge of the fortress and the area known as the Marquisate.

This impressive house has been converted into a museum called the Municipal Museum. When you visit, you can see the grand rooms they used to live in and different exhibits that tell more about the house’s history and the area. 

The Orduña House, also known as Museo Casa Orduña, is in El Castell de Guadalest, Spain. This place is great for anyone interested in history or just looking to see some beautiful old rooms and learn about the past of this area.

6. Museo Microgigante & Museo de Microminiaturas 

In the beautiful setting of the Castillo de Guadalest, you’ll find two unique museums: the Museo Microgigante and the Museo de Microminiaturas. They’re worth a visit because of the fantastic things they have on display.

The Museo Microgigante is all about tiny sculptures that are so small you can’t see them with just your eyes. 

Imagine seeing a bullring on the head of a pin, the Bible written on a piece of hair, or an ant playing the violin. These are just some of the incredible tiny art pieces they have.

Then there’s the Museo de Microminiaturas. This museum has things like the Statue of Liberty inside the eye of a needle and other tiny but impressive pieces.

This unexpected stop on my day trip to Guadalest was the highlight, as I have never experienced any artistry at this scale (literally). If you have the time, check out both museums and take advantage of the combined ticket offer. 

7. Museum of Salt and Pepper Shakers

This cool museum in Castell de Guadalest, Spain, focuses on salt and pepper shakers. You should check it out for a couple of reasons. 

First, they have over 20,000 salt and pepper shakers from all over the world. You’ll be amazed by all the different shapes and how creative the artists who made them were.

The story behind the museum is also enjoyable. It all started with just one woman who collected many salt and pepper shakers. Her collection grew so big that it became a unique and inspiring museum.

Another great thing about this museum is it’s pet-friendly, so you can bring your furry friends along. If you find a set of salt and pepper shakers you like, you can buy them at home as a souvenir.

The museum’s unique collection and fun backstory make it a great place for visitors of all ages. It’s not just a museum; it’s a place that shows how everyday items can be turned into art.

What to Eat in Guadalest

When you’re in Guadalest, prepare for a treat because the food is fantastic! You’ll find a mix of local dishes and flavors worldwide.

Local foods you should try include ‘Granada Mollar de Elche,’ a sweet and juicy pomegranate, and Jijona, a soft nougat made from almonds. 

Don’t miss out on ‘Cerezas de la Montaña de Alicante’; cherries are grown in the surrounding mountains around Alicante. For drinks, try Café Licor, a unique coffee liqueur, and Uva de mesa embolsada Vinalopó, a special kind of grape.

Looking for a place to eat? Here are some recommendations:

1. Madrevita Altea

Madrevita in Altea is a favorite for Italian food lovers, primarily known for its excellent pizzas. Beyond pizza, they offer a variety of authentic Italian dishes, from pasta to classic desserts. The inviting atmosphere and authentic Italian flavors make it a top choice for those seeking a taste of Italy.

2. Can Sueño

For a blend of International and Mediterranean cuisine, Can Sueño is the go-to place. Its menu creatively combines Mediterranean traditions with international touches. The relaxed ambiance enhances the dining experience, making it ideal for casual and special occasions.

3. Venta de Benifato

Located in Benifato, Venta de Benifato is famous for its authentic local Spanish dishes. The menu celebrates traditional cooking, offering everything from stews to homemade desserts. Its rustic charm and commitment to regional recipes make it a must-visit for classic Spanish cuisine enthusiasts.

4. El Hort

In the heart of Guadalest, El Hort serves traditional Spanish cuisine. The menu features Spanish classics like paella and tapas, all prepared with local ingredients. The cozy and welcoming setting of El Hort makes it perfect for enjoying the flavors of Spain.

5. Nou Salat

Nou Salat in the Guadalest Valley is renowned for its local cuisine. The menu highlights traditional dishes alongside modern creations inspired by local produce. The restaurant’s balance of rustic and refined ambiance offers a delightful dining experience, showcasing the best of the valley’s flavors.

Things To Do Near Guadalest

Explore the various engaging activities and fascinating attractions within striking distance of Guadalest to make the most of your visit to this vibrant region.

1. Sierra de Aitana

If you’re visiting Guadalest, take the chance to explore the nearby Sierra de Aitana. This area is a haven for those who love the outdoors and offers various activities catering to different interests.

Sierra de Aitana is celebrated for its remarkable geological formations, with majestic hills and mountains perfect for hiking and trekking enthusiasts. The trails provide stunning landscape views rich in diverse flora and fauna. It’s a great place to see various birds and flowers, making it a paradise for nature lovers.

What makes Sierra de Aitana particularly special is its tranquil, unspoiled nature. It’s less frequented by tourists, offering a peaceful escape and an authentic experience of the local way of life. 

Visitors can immerse themselves in the culture, enjoy traditional food, and interact with friendly locals. The region’s beauty extends beyond its natural landscape, including charming towns and villages. These places offer a glimpse into the traditional Spanish way of life, unmarred by the hustle and bustle of tourist hotspots.

Sierra de Aitana is ideal for anyone looking for a quiet retreat, a chance to connect with nature, or a serene setting to experience local culture and cuisine. Whether you’re an avid hiker, a wildlife enthusiast, or just seeking a peaceful getaway, Sierra de Aitana is a must-visit near Guadalest.

2. Castell de Castells

Castell de Castells is a gem in the Marina Alta region, far from Guadalest. This quaint Spanish village is a perfect spot for those looking to experience the serene beauty of Spain’s countryside.

Surrounded by the stunning Sellella Mountain range and the flowing Rio Jalón, the village is a paradise for nature lovers. The scenic landscape is ideal for outdoor activities like hiking and mountain biking. 

One of the highlights is exploring the natural arches of Els Arcs, which offer breathtaking views and photo opportunities.

The village exudes a peaceful and friendly atmosphere, capturing the essence of traditional Spanish life. It’s an excellent place for those who seek a tranquil retreat. 

Visitors can immerse themselves in local culture, enjoying activities like nature walks, swimming in natural spots during summer, and participating in cultural events such as music concerts and traditional dancing.

Castell de Castells is also well-equipped with amenities. You’ll find grocery stores for your daily needs, gift shops for souvenirs, cozy coffee shops for relaxing breaks, and restaurants serving delicious local cuisine. 

These conveniences make the village ideal for day trips and more extended stays. 

Whether you’re an adventure enthusiast or looking to unwind amidst natural beauty, Castell de Castells offers a unique and fulfilling experience near Guadalest.

3. Font del Molí

Font del Molí, situated in Finestrat, is a destination that shouldn’t be missed. It features 15 spouts and stands out as the most important fountain in the area. It is also the starting point for various exciting excursions, including the ascent to Puig Campana.

The area around Font del Molí is a haven for hikers. It offers several scenic routes, such as a panoramic hike along the western flank of Puig Campana and a delightful forest trail. 

These trails provide an opportunity to immerse yourself in the region’s natural beauty and include visits to other notable fountains in the Guadalest Valley, such as Font de Moli and Font de Partagat.

What makes Font del Molí unique is its family-friendly appeal. The site features a recreational area that includes fun activities like a treasure hunt with riddles, perfect for families looking for an engaging outdoor experience.

Moreover, the viewpoint at Font del Molí presents a breathtaking panoramic view of the Cala del Finestrat and the Cala de Poniente of Benidorm. This makes it an ideal spot for those who love to soak in beautiful landscapes and participate in outdoor activities.

Font del Molí is more than just a fountain; it’s a gateway to adventure, natural beauty, and family fun, making it a highlight for any visit to the Guadalest area.

Ultimate Guide to Visit Guadalest in Alicante, Spain (2024) 

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