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Max Abroad : The Best of Spain

Quite simply writing about the best things Spain has to offer and anything that might crop up along the way. Spain is a lot more than just sun, sand and sea...

Castell de Guadalest - breathtaking views...
Wednesday, September 21, 2022 @ 9:50 PM


Nestled on a boulder of the Aitana Mountain range, at 586 metres above the level of the nearby Mediterranean Sea, El Castell de Guadalest has maintained its physiognomy practically intact, which is from Arabic times, with no reforms other than those required due to wars and earthquakes. And this fortress that gives its name to the town played an important role during the Middle Ages and also in the Modern Age, given that, thanks to its strategic position, it was able to repel attackers on many occasions - a spectacular vantage point. Although there was nothing it could do against the tremors of 1644 and 1748. In 1708, it was also blasted during the War of Succession. These historic episodes have left their mark on the castle, today a relic of an important past, which looks in a melancholy way over the houses of the old town, and which can be accessed through a tunnel bored through the rock.



The houses, the crosses in the cemetery and museums for all tastes are crammed together inside the compound. The Casa Orduña, the former home of the wardens of the fortress, shows how the affluent classes lived in the 7th, 18th and 19th centuries. In the micro-miniatures museum, you can see Goya's 'The Nude Maja' painted on the wing of a fly and other works by sculptor Manuel Ribera Girona. There is also a museum of salt and pepper shakers, another of dolls' houses and antique toys, and another of instruments of torture. The Castell de Guadalest has one of the widest ranges of things to do as regards entertainment and for this reason, together with its proximity to the main tourist destinations in the Valencia Regional Community, it is one of the top villages in Spain in terms of visitor numbers (more than two million) per inhabitant registered on the census (240).

The beach is not far from Guadalest Castle and you can get there on the CV-70, on which you will also pass through the charming village of Polop. Alternatively, you can go by the CV-755, passing through Callosa d'en Sarrià. This is the source of the River Algar, in a place of crystal clear water pools, copses and reed beds and on whose banks there are paella huts. They are all recommended for rice dishes that only those from the local area know how to prepare.

On arriving at the coast you will discover Altea. It has eight kilometres of beaches, coves and cliffs and an old town - declared an Asset of Cultural Interest - with stark white houses huddled together around the church of Nuestra Señora del Consuelo, which is crowned by a dome of blue glass tiles. It is a real pleasure to wander through its winding lanes, full of interesting corners and lookouts, which have attracted painters to this corner of the Mediterranean for decades.


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