A great way to discover more about the history of the province and the interesting landmarks in Alicante and it’s traditions, history, culture and cuisine is to take a trip around its rural villages. The splendid views of rocky mountains and terraced vineyards are your rewards when you tour through winding valleys over mountainous roads.
Go back in time in rural Alicante
Every little village always seems to have its own impressive church and traditional Spanish square where the elderly sit on their chairs and discuss the world. Many of these small towns still have traditional butchers and bakers. They have resisted the modern-day supermarkets and continue making their own local sausages and pastries baked in wood-burning ovens. These towns keep traditional hours as if they go to sleep at midday before opening again late afternoon.
When you take a stroll around the streets at this time of day, you are completely on your own. You can explore a lot of precious country sites at just 30 minutes to an hour by car from most coastal towns in the province of Alicante. From sleepy mountain villages to areas famous for producing wine, olive oil, cherries and even rice. Unfortunately, many young people decided to leave these villages to find jobs in bigger Spanish tourist towns. Fortunately, rural tourism is getting more and more popular. As a result, the remaining village residents rent their traditional stone homes to tourists. Many cyclists, hikers and those who want a quiet holiday choose these destinations nowadays. This sort of tourism is very opposite to the large and busy Costa Blanca coastal areas.
One of the icons of the Valencian Community is the famous paella. Almost every town has its own variations based on the local ingredients that are available. The most important ingredient, the special Bomba rice, is produced at the Pego-Oliva marshes on the edge of Pego town. Our blog about the Natural Park Pego-Oliva explains more about this destination.
Cherry-picking in Vall de Gallinera, Alicante
When you arrive at the Vall de Gallinera you feel as if you stepped back in time. The landscape of eight little towns surrounded by valleys and mountains enchants at first sight. This region is famous for the fine quality of cherries it produces. Therefore it is best to visit in Spring when the trees blossom. Or in June when the cherries are harvested and the cherry festival is celebrated.
Views across from Benidoleig caves
The village of Benidoleig lays on the slopes of the Girona Valley and offers a wide view over the orchards. It is best known for the Calaveras caves, also known as the cave of skulls. This cave is more than 100.000 years old and has lots of stalagmites and stalactites. The cave has many interesting shapes, one of them liked to Sophia Loren’s bust and another one looks like a map of Spain.
Paradise in Parcent
The famous author Gabriel Miro, who has many streets named after him, said that the rural village of Parcent was a paradise between the mountains. Almost nothing has changed since he lived in the village. The parish church with the very unusual bell tower stands proud in the center of the village. And you can visit the communal washing area the local women used in Miro’s time at the river.
Unusual architecture in Alcalali
Besides the bell tower of Parcent, Alcalali also has unusual architecture. A 16th-century tower is home to the local raisin museum and offers a viewpoint over the surrounding valley. You reach this tower after you pass the beautiful arch that leads into the town hall square.
You can find your way here by using this link.
Tasting wines in Jalon
If we talk about typical landmarks in rural Alicante in the heart of wine-making country Jalon comes to mind. It is situated in the middle of a flat valley and the surrounding views offer mountains and orange groves. The center of the village is filled with many bodegas.
They offer different sorts of tasteful wines at incredibly low prices. Another interesting thing to see is the flea market each Saturday on the carpark next to the river.
You can find more info on the local markets in our schedule.
Cycling around the Jalon Valley
The Jalon Valley is also appreciated by cyclists and hikers, as it offers great climbs to the surrounding mountains. The view of the valley down below, filled with fruit trees, vineyards and traditional small villages with picturesque churches show a slower way of life than the one most people are used to in the coastal towns.
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