Places in Spain - El Castell de Guadalest (Alicante), Valencia
Guadalest is located on the Costa Blanca, on the eastern coast of Spain, within the region of Valencia. Guadalest is also known as El Castell de Guadalest. Covering and area of just 16 square km, it is a mountainous town with a population of only around 200 people. It is located approx. 25km from Benidorm.
Despite its small size, Guadalest has lots to offer the visitor, including 8 unique museums. The main industry in the town is tourism.
The River Guadalest flows through the valley and has been dammed just below the village. The reservoir looks spectacular from the village.
What to see and do in Guadalest
The Museum of Historical Vehicles
This unique museum is the result of more than 30 years' work and houses more than 140 motorbikes and microcars from 50 diffrerent countries. The exhibits date from the 1920's to the 1970's. There are also lots of related displays. The museum shop sells a wide range of local products including honey, handicrafts and local cheese. The restaurant offers a family menu at attractive prices. The museum is open 10.30am-7pm in the summer and 10.30am-6pm in winter. Closed on Saturdays and 9th-26th December. You can find this on the main road into Guadalest.
This unusual museum, located on C/La Virgen is open every day from 10am. The museum has displays of toys collected over 30 years including a collection of dolls houses.
The torture Museum
Located in Calle Honda, this eerie museum shows instruments of torture from Medieval times to the 20th century.
The Ethnological Museum of Valle de Guadalest
Open every day of the week except Saturdays and located within an 18th century house, this museum shows what life was like in Guadalest over the centuries.
The Ribera Girona Museum
A contemporary museum that opened in 1974 and displays contemporary art of the 20th century.
The Minatures Museum
The second museum in Calle Iglesia and houses a unique range of miniatures that can only be seen through a magnifying glass.
The Town Museum
Again, located in Calle Iglesia, this museum is within Orduña House which was first built in 1644. Much of the original house was destoyed by an earthquake but it has been re-built. The house is an interesting walk-through with some impressive rooms.
Open every day, this museum shows the smallest and the largest. The smallest exhibits, you inspect through a magnifying glass. Look for the bible written on a hair and the flea riding a bicycle on a seed.
The Jail (Gaol)
This 12th century prison (no longer in use) is located on the lower floor of the Town Hall and is carved out of solid rock. You can look inside the original prison. There are a couple of small rooms. Entry is free.
You can find the Town Hall at the top of the town, in the main square.
The church of Asuncion
This church is over 400 years old and is the most important church in the valley. Built between 1734 and 1753, this church stands on the site of a former temple. The current church was remodelled in 1962. Prior to this there was a dome. The church has a simple and plain interior with a plain altar. The church is open to visit every day.
Tower Cragg of Alcala
The Penon de la Alcala (rock) is a tall peak on which a round tower stands. Only the base of the tower remains today. It was built to defend the valley and is almost inaccessible. This tower has become one of the main symbols of Guadalest.
The Castle of L'Alcozaiba (San Jose)
Built in the 11th century by the Muslims. There is very little of the castle left now but what remains can be seen high on a cliff, towering over the old village. The earthquake of 1644 destroyed much of the castle.
The reservoir in Guadalest
The reservoir provides a host of activities including a boat trip on a solar powered boat. Trips cost around €5 per person. The trip that lasts 50 minutes sets off on the hour between 11am and 6pm.
Fiestas in Guadalest
San Gregorio is celebrated in the first week of June and unusually, the younger people of the town organise the events. There are street parties all over the town. Our Lady of the Assumption is celebrated 14th-17th August with lots of events being held.
Getting to and around Guadalest
The roads to Guadalest are winding, mountain roads that should be navigated with care. On arrival in the small town, there are two main car parks. The first, at the top of the town and next to the main road is small and you have to pay the attendant. This is on Avenida de Alicante. If you turn right and head down the steep hill (follow the P sign), you will find a new, large car park that is free. There's a steep walk up the new steps to the main square. The main square has an excellent sunny cafe and a few gift shops. A further flight of steps leads to the castle, church and views of the reservoir.
You will find lots of hand made items to buy in Guadalest. Ceramics and wrought iron works feature a great deal. Prices are reasonable although geared towards tourism so shop around.
Idealspains' visit and opinions
We visited Guadalest in March 2011. Our first call was at the tourist office where we received a frosty, unhelpful reception. The office had run out of town guides in English and the receptionist couldn't be bothered to offer alternatives until we asked.
We were disappointed with Guadalest. It wasn't as good as we expected. It was quaint but tourism was milked to the full. Everything had a price. It would cost a small fortune to see all the museums, castle etc and the tourist office got us off on the wrong foot.
Town hall, Guadalest
Plaza de San Gregorio, 1
Tel 965 885 095
Tourist Office, Guadalest
Avda de Alicante
Tel 965 885 298
Bar de Tapas 'La Burrita'. C/La Virgen, 17
Bar El Forn. C/de la Iglesia, 3
Bar Mora. C/del Sol,1
Cafe Bar Guadalest. Avda de Alicante, 1
Cafe Bar Les Penyes. C/del Sol, 8
Cafeteria Levante. Plza S.Gregorio, 6
Cafeteria El Castillo. Plza S.Gregorio, 7
Cerveceria El Salat. Avda de Alicante, 5
Museum of Historical Vehicles
Ctra. Callosa-Guadalest, km7
Tel 965 882 197 / 677 655 796
Museo Antonio Marco (Dolls Houses)
C/La Virgen, 2
Tel 965 885 323 / 637 730 909
Museum of Torture
Calle Honda, 2
Tel 610 051 001
Ethnological Museum of Valle de Guadalest
Calle Iglesia, 1
Tel 965 885 238
Calle del Sol, 2
Calle Iglesia, 5
Tel 965 885 062
Ribera Girona Museum
Calle Peña, 1
Tel 965 885 062
Calle Iglesia, 2
Tel 965 885 393
Hotels in Guadalest
The nearest main resort for choice of hotels is Benidorm, 25km away. In Benidorm you will find a wide selection of bargain hotels. Hire a car and have a day in Guadalest.