Absolutely! Villajoyosa is a unique and colorful coastal town in Spain, located 30 minutes away from Alicante, in the province of Alicante. It’s known for its beautiful old town and colorful houses that line the streets, which can’t be found anywhere else nearby.
It is also known as La Vila Joiosa in Valencian and is very often referred to as La Vila by locals.
I’ve visited Villajoyosa many times when living near Alicante and I think it is absolutely worth visiting as a day trip from Alicante or Benidorm and can be combined with another charming village of Altea.
In this travel guide, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about visiting Villajoyosa.
You don’t want to miss a trip to this stunning seaside town.
Literally translates to “The Happy Place”, Villajoyosa is a hidden gem overshadowed by other famed Spanish beach destinations.
Travelers with a heart for a serene beach life and colorful buildings come here. When the weather is sublime, which is more than 300 days a year, there are more visitors than residents in this small town of 35,000.
People speak Spanish and Valencian in Villajoyosa. In most cases, you will get by with only English.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Villajoyosa?
Summer is the high season to visit Villajoyosa.
However, the 30-degree heat can be unbearable for some.
If you are not particularly fond of the heat, then September, October, April, and May are better months to visit.
The weather is cooler, but still warm enough for a swim. Besides, you get to avoid the crowd and potentially have almost the whole beach to yourself.
The off-season prices can be attractive for budget travelers and backpackers.
Things To Do In Villajoyosa
Whether you are taking a day trip from Alicante or Benidorm, or spending your vacation in Villajoyosa here’s what you absolutely need to do:
Villajoyosa has been a colorful town for as long as people can remember.
Legend has it that these colorful houses were purposefully designed to help fishermen find their way home from the sea.
Pro-tip: Short on time but want to squeeze in as much sightseeing as possible? Join this tour to explore the most charming villages in the area, and visit both Villajoyosa and Altea in one day. It’s an efficient way to make the most out of your trip!
Central Market (Mercat Central)
Right in the heart of Villajoyosa, the Central Market is the place to explore local crafts and food. Many stalls and booths are selling mostly food and handcrafted items. The interior is clean. It’s a well-kept market for souvenir shopping.
Every Thursday, fishermen, and businessmen bring their harvests and products to the busy streets of Villajoyosa.
Don’t be shy to bargain but also be reasonable. Learn from the locals to strike a good deal with your wits.
The fish market isn’t the only place to find freshly caught seafood in Villajoyosa.
You can also visit a live fish auction at the Villajoyosa port to see the locals buy and sell their catches from the sea. Once you’re done with the auction, you’ll get to taste some of the freshest seafood dishes prepared from freshly caught fish.
Chocolate Valor Museum
Started as a small family factory, the Chocolate Valor Museum tells the story of how cocoa is turned into the beloved national sweet.
You may have seen Valor chocolates in supermarkets as well as Valor cafes along the coast.
Best Day Trips From Villajoyosa
Benidorm is just a 20-minute drive away, but its Old Town & Levante Beach can get busy year-round. I’m not a huge fan of this place because it is extremely touristy.
Personally, I prefer Platja de Ponent – it’s less crowded. There is also a cute Finestrat beach nearby.
Altea is known for its beautiful Old Town with whitewashed houses and cobblestone streets. But be aware that you’ll have to climb the stairs up to the Old Town. It’s an easy walk up and the views from up there are worth it.
It’s a charming place to explore, especially its Church of Nuestra Senora del Consuelo perched atop a hill overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The views from the top are truly spectacular!
There are plenty of restaurants and cafes to choose from in Altea as well – so you can always find a place for lunch or dinner when you’re visiting this lovely Spanish city.
El Castell de Guadalest
Commonly known as Guadalest, it is a small valley with fewer than 200 inhabitants just half an hour away from Villajoyosa. A car is necessary for this day trip. Once you are there, the impressive Castell de Guadalest by the cliff is immediately noticeable.
A small village like Guadalest is blessed by nature. Outside of the town, there is a massive lake and several forest trails.
A visit to Alicante is not complete without exploring the Santa Bárbara Castle. This imposing structure sits proudly atop the city’s highest peak and its views of the Mediterranean Sea are really nice.
Make sure to visit on a clear day to see the surrounding mountains.
There’s an abundance of events celebrating various Spanish holidays at the castle, so it’s a good idea to check the dates beforehand. Often, during festivities, the entrance to the castle is free of charge.
The Santa Cruz District is another must-see place in Alicante.
You can take an elevator up the castle of Santa Barbara and walk down from the castle through Santa Cruz District. From there explore the center of Alicante, the marina and the beach.
Where to stay in Villajoyosa?
Budget – Hostal Rosa
Accommodations in resort towns like Villajoyosa are usually pricer. But that doesn’t mean economy options are not available. Hostel Rosa is the prime option for budget travelers. Rooms are clean with the common areas regularly maintained and serviced.
It’s always easier to make friends in a hostel. There are occasional events in the communal lounge. You will greet and meet other backpackers and digital nomads as this place is everyone’s favorite.
Best view – Hotel Allon Mediterrania
The sea view from the balcony is irresistible. Hotel Allon Mediterrania is a 4-star hotel with outstanding services. Meals can be included in the package. There is also a bar by the pool for a chill day. The incredible view will make you want to stay in your room.
Spa retreat – Hotel Castelar Palace & SPA
Getting a spa treatment is the icing on the cake. You will go home fully recharged. Hotel Castelar Palace & SPA has multiple spa treatments and massage therapies available. The options get updated and some may only be available seasonally.
Standard – Vilamassalia
If you don’t feel like staying in a hostel but can’t afford the resorts, then Vilamassalia is the right balance.
In this 2-star hotel, every room has a different theme. There are classic rooms with cave-like features and ultra-modern family rooms.
Is Villajoyosa worth visiting? 100%!
It makes a wonderful day trip from Alicante.
Better yet, stay for a few days to soak in the hospitable Spanish culture and fascinating history if you are not on a tight schedule.
There is no place like Villajoyosa where you can breathe in tranquility and breathe out positivity.
Everything about “The Happy Place” makes you smile.