L’Alfàs del Pi/Alfaz del Pi is a municipality of the Costa Blanca.
It is located in the province of Alicante in the centre of the Valencian Community. El Albir beach borders Altea to the north. Sierra Helada natural park stretches to Benidorm in the South.
THE PINE TREE IS THE LOCAL SYMBOL
In Arabic, the name L’Alfàs means fertile land and the town has historical links to the Barony of Polop. The town centre was originally set some distance inland to avoid attacks by Barbary coast pirates. The population grew significantly in the eighteenth century. As a result in 1786, the local people planted a large pine tree in the main square to symbolise a claim for independence from Polop. And the Valencian word for pine tree is “Pi”, which nowadays reflects the name.
Alfaz del Pi is famous on the Costa Blanca because it has more foreign than Spanish residents. As a result, there is a great mix of over 100 different nationalities living in Alfaz. This makes it a great tourist destination because of its variety.
More than half of the 21.000 inhabitants have 100 different nationalities and for this reason, the local culture is dynamic and diverse. As such L´Alfas is one of Spain´s most international towns. British, Scandinavians, Dutch and Belgians are the largest groups represented here. It started in the 1960s when L’Alfàs del Pi started to exert a magnetic effect on tourists. As a result, attracting visitors from far-flung places that decided to make this town their permanent homes.
The centre is 2 km inland and stretches to the coast where you can find the beach of El Albir. Here is the famous Paseo de las Estrellas (Promenade of the Stars). Studded with names of actors honoured at the Alfaz del Pi film festival that takes place every July.
In L’Alfàs you can find every element that makes for excellence in touristic terms: first of all an extraordinary climate, furthermore the service quality, as well as fine and varied gastronomy, and at last an excellent environmental relationship.
Here it is possible to choose between sea, country and mountain on a daily basis. To enjoy the absence of noise while walking to the lighthouse at Punta Bombarda, swimming or practising a variety of water-sports at the beach, or to enjoy a wealth of cultural events. All of this is part of the secret L’Alfàs is prepared to share.
A town is for everybody who lives in it. This has driven L’Alfàs to carry out an international campaign for the elimination of architectural impediments and to make “tourism without barriers” a reality.
Mountain-walking, bicycle rides or strolls along trails full of points of interest are also part of what L’Alfàs has to offer. Sierra Helada massif stretches for some 6.5 kilometres next to the sea and has a maximum height of 438 metres. As a result, it offers trekkers magnificent views and interesting flora and fauna. Because of that, a wealthy biodiversity is found on the Sierra that has been declared an Area of Special Protection. Especially for the birds which nest on its cliff-faces. Furthermore, views of the bay and the majestic cliffs, gulleys and caves can be observed. In addition, a lookout tower and the functioning Albir lighthouse are some of the attractions that the visitor will enjoy.
The mountain range is located between L’Alfás del Pi and Benidorm and offers an attractive landscape of great ecological value. It gives refuge to both plant and animal species. And the marine flora includes extensive fields of seagrass (Poseidonia) that provide one of the most productive ecosystems of the Mediterranean.
OPEN AIR MUSEUM. ROMAN VILLA OF L’ALBIR
First of all, a grave from the Roman era, that contained human remains, was found during construction works near Playa de l’Albir in 1979. Afterwards, in the 1980s and 1990s, the excavations unearthed a site of patrimonial and scientific relevance. A large necropolis, a mausoleum and a villa were discovered. The exact ensemble dates back to the 4th and 6th centuries AD.
In 2008, the Council of Alfàs del Pi cooperated with the University of Alicante resuming the archaeological excavations to recover one of the most important sites in the province. This commitment to the local archaeological heritage has left its fruits. The first Open Air Museum in the Region of Valencia was inaugurated in March 2011.
Inside the Museum, the Roman thermal baths can be visited thanks to an educational itinerary. The baths are a small part of a larger site that still needs to be excavated. Archaeologists can often be seen at work here.
The visit continues in the mausoleum, the funerary building containing graves of an important family, possibly the owners of the villa.
EVERY TYPE OF SPORT
The climate is the main reason why many top-class athletes come to visit L’Alfàs during the winter to maintain in form at the local Training Centre.
L’Alfàs has a golf driving-range as well as one of the few cricket grounds that exist in Spain. This is the only one where international tournaments are held.
Bicycle lovers find in Alfàs the ideal spot to practise their sport. As a result, many professional teams from different countries use the town as a training base during the winter.
Fundación Frax is situated on the beachfront of Playa Albir. This private, cultural foundation enhances both culture and tourism. It projects are promoted by the town hall and can be visited by residents and tourists. The building occupies two floors with multi-purpose rooms and commercial spaces. Furthermore, there is an auditorium with capacity for almost 200 people and one of the most impressive exhibition halls within the Valencian Community. Because of its 1500 square metre space, it can display multiple exhibits of art.
Exhibitions and courses besides cinema and the film festival (Festival de Cine) compliment both sporting events and the activities organised by the Casa de Cultura. Because this year L´Alfas del Pi has celebrated the 30th edition of the Film Festival we were able to interview Mister Javier Pascual, the festival´s deputy director. You can find this interview in our Blog.
ONE HUNDRED FUN THINGS TO DO
L’Alfàs del Pi is centrally located for visiting the most interesting and enjoyable local places. Just 15 kilometres away is Callosa d’En Sarria with its waterfalls. This is the perfect place to cool down on a hot day.
A little further away is the village of Guadalest. It is well worth a visit to stroll its narrow streets that wind upwards towards the ancient fortress. Meanwhile passing several interesting little museums along the way. The coastal town of Villajoyosa can be visited at 15 kilometres away, with its painted houses and its old centre.
The municipality of L’Alfàs itself borders the lovely town of Altea. Its charms and beautiful views are not lost on the tourist. And just five kilometres to the south the hustle and bustle of the ever-lively Benidorm, with a whole range of things to be amused.
The medieval show at the castle of the Count of L’Alfàs, Mundomar, Aqualandia, Benidorm Palace night-club and the Mediterráneo Casino are all venues to be recommended.