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Exploring Villajoyosa’s beaches

Villajoyosa is best known for its amazing main beach, Playa Centro – a sweep of gently shelving sand that stretches for a kilometre along the sea front.

Villajoyosa’s spectacular main beach, Playa Centro

But there are plenty more places to try if you fancy some serious beach time in La Vila Joiosa, as the town is known in Valenciano (La Vila for short)

There are no fewer than 13 beaches and coves, starting from El Racó de Conill in the north and finishing at Playa El Xarco in the south.

Most are pebbles or coarse sand, some have beach bars (chiriniguitos) in summer and all the usual Spanish beach facilities – toilets, foot showers, lifeguards etc. Others are tranquil oases.  All have their own charm.

Choose your beach!

So here’s a guide from north to south. Tap on the name of the beach to jump straight to more info and pictures. Map at the end of this post – jump straight to it here (tap the blue beach umbrellas to locate the beaches)

El Racó de Conill

A small rocky cove near Cala de Finestrat exclusively for nudism. Crystal clear waters. Plenty of parking behind the beach.

Racó de Conil nudist beach.

To drive there (recommended), turn off the main N332 coast road just north of La Vila, next to the old casino.  A winding single track road (Poligono Talades) takes you over the top of the hill and down to the beach. Alternatively, you can walk along the coast path from Playa Torres – about 30 mins – or from Cala Finestrat (a bit less).

Cala Fonda

Not really a beach this, but a small rocky cove with beautifully clear water. Great for snorkelling and jumping off the rocks. Don’t expect any beach facilities here – it’s back to nature. Take beach shoes!

Cala Fonda – no real beach here, just jump in off the rocks

Cala Fonda is about 15 mins walk along the coast path from Playa de Torres, but there’s a bit of a scramble on rough paths at the end to get to down to sea level. If you’re driving, use the same route off the N332 as for Racó de Conill, and park up off road as close as you can to Cala Fonda.

It’s a few minutes scramble down to Cala Fonda from the coast path

Check out this video of Cala Fonda and the rest of La Vila’s beaches here:

Playa de Torres

The first decent sized beach on our trail. Pebbles and rough sand, rarely crowded. There are portaloo toilets in summer and foot showers. Plenty of free parking just behind the beach.

Playa de Torres – a quiet pebble and sand beach
Winter storms have eroded some of the beach

Get a drink, ice cream or a tapa at the nearby caravan/camp site El Trebol.  There’s plenty of construction going on behind the beach – Torres was hit badly by the property crash of 2008 and development only got going again in 2020.

A winter sunset at Playa de Torres

If you fancy a spot of ancient history with your sunbathing, check out the Torre Sant Josep just behind the beach (also known as Torre de Hercules). It’s a Roman funeral tower, one of only three in the entire Iberian peninsula.

Not many beaches can boast Roman remains – the Torre de Sant Josep just a few metres behind Playa de Torres

Playas Tio Roig & Estudiantes

I’ve put these two together as they’re very small and right next to one another. Both are beaches of rough sand and rocks just off Barri la Alamadrava, the access road that serves the apartments overlooking the sea.

The tiny Playa Tio Roig
Playa Estudiantes (Students’ Beach) next door

Park up behind Playa Varadero and the beaches are a few minutes stroll along the coast road. Alternatively, you can walk over the cliffs from Playa de Torres in around 15 minutes. A stone staircase takes you down to sea level at the end of Barri la Almadrava.

Both beaches are quiet and don’t have any facilities. For those, head to the next-door Playa Varadero.

Playa Varadero

A bigger pebble and rough sand beach, good for snorkelling and swimming in crystal clear waters. Beach shoes recommended.

Playa Varadero

A more relaxed vibe than La Vila’s Playa Centro. Lifeguards in summer, portaloo toilets, foot showers. El Varadero bar/restaurant is at one side of the beach.

The beach was a boat building yard (Varadero means shipyard) until the early part of the 20th century. You can see some of the history explained on nearby plaques.

Shipyard on what is now Playa Varadero. La Vila was once one of the biggest shipbuilding towns in Spain. Source: Vilamuseu

Playa Centro

Villajoyosa’s pride and joy. A beautiful kilometre-long sweep of sand – but it wasn’t always that way. Until 1991, it was all pebbles. Then thousands of tons of sand were imported to give us the beach we have today.

Playa Centro from the breakwater at the old town end
The original shingle beach – source Vilamuseu

Great for kids and with all the facilities of a major beach – lifeguards in summer, parasol and sun lounger hire, toilets, foot showers. It’s all there.

Disabled access

The marina end of the beach has good disabled facilities in high season. A trackway across the sand, a shaded seating area, seats in the sea, changing facilities and portaloo toilets. Limited disabled parking on the seafront road if you have a blue badge. Otherwise there’s paid parking in the Club Nautic (yacht club) next door.

Good disabled facilities at the marina end of the beach

The sea at this end of the beach is calmer and the vibe is generally quieter.

The old town end of the beach

The old town end of the beach is livelier. There are plenty of bars and restaurants to get a bite to eat, plus a kids’ playground, beach volleyball nets, pedalos in summer etc. It’s more picturesque too, with Villajoyosa’s multi-coloured casas pintadas as a backdrop.

The old town end of the beach, with bars and restaurants lining the paseo maritimo behind. The mountain towering over the background is the Puig Campana.
La Vila’s casas pintadas; the colourful multi-coloured houses on the seafront

Parking is easy. There’s a big underground car park right on Avenida José Maria Esquerdo Zaragoza (paid-for). There used to be a free dirt car park at the end of the beach near the breakwater, but it’s now been converted into a little paseo by the sea. Drive over the little river bridge and leave your car in the parking area here. It’s free from Sept-June, but paid-for in high season.

If you’re not driving, catch the tram that runs along the coast from Alicante and walk down from La Vila Joiosa stop or La Creuta (about 10 mins).

Playa les Puntes del Moro

A few hundred metres from Playa Centro lies this little beach. There’s not much there to lay your towel on these days – the winter storms have taken several large bites out of it in recent years. However, it is getting some much-needed restoration in the winter of 2022/3.

Playa Puntes del Moro

But you can park easily on the street behind the beach in Poble Nou and there’s a good chiringuito (beach bar) next door in summer, with cool sunset views.

The chiringuito at Playa les Puntes del Moro at sunset

Playa Paraiso

This kilometre-long beach is a mixture of sand and pebbles, and there’s plenty of space even in high season.

For me, it lacks the charm (and the fine sand!) of Villajoyosa’s Playa Centro, but it’s not short on facilities. Off-road free parking, portaloo toilets, lifeguards in high season, sun lounger and parasol hire. There are a couple of chiringuitos too.

The long straight beach of Playa Paraiso

You don’t need a car to get there. Catch the tram and get off at Paradis stop and it’s a few minutes walk to the beach. Paradis tram stop is handy for our next beach too – Playa Bol Nou. Or catch bus 23 from the centre of La Vila.

Playa Bol Nou

If you fancy something on a smaller scale, head to the next-door cove of Bol Nou – it’s just the other side of the headland at the southern end of Playa Paraiso.

Playa Bol Nou as the sun goes down

Mostly coarse sand, beautiful clear waters, and a beach bar at one end. Parking nearby is paid-for via a kerbside machine. I’ve seen traffic wardens on patrol there, so it’s cheaper to park for free at Playa Paraiso and walk over to Bol Nou.

The cliffs at the back of the beach are fenced off to catch any rocks falling from above. Best to keep your distance!

Don’t get too close to the cliffs at the back of the beach!

Playa L’Esparrelló

The second playa nudistanudist beach – of La Vila. This one is tucked away discreetly down a cul-de-sac and sandwiched between the sea and the tram line.

The nudist beach of Playa L’Esparrelló
Head for the gap between the houses and the tram line

From Playa Bol Nou, head towards the Hotel Montiboli, but turn left before the bridge over the tram line and head along Carrer Suecia. Park up on the street and walk between the bollards at the end and keep left for the path to the beach.

Playa La Caleta

A very pleasant family beach rather overwhelmed by the apartment blocks of the Eurotennis complex. A mixture of coarse sand and pebbles.  There’s limited parking behind the apartment blocks – most of it is reserved for Eurotennis apartment owners though. If you don’t have a car, the number 23 bus will get you there from the centre of La Vila.

Playa La Caleta – the building on the headland is the 5-star Hotel Montiboli

Walk down the right hand side of the apartment complex to reach the sea. There’s a chiringuito and the usual beach facilities.

The chiringuito at Playa La Caleta

Playa El Xarco

The furthest south of all La Vila’s beaches, this one is a playa canina, where you can officially take your dog. They’re not allowed on La Vila’s other beaches, for fairly obvious reasons – and it’s a ban that nearly everyone sticks to.

Playa del Xarco – a dog-friendly beach.

Playa El Xarco is not an easy beach to get to. You can either drive down the bumpy dirt road that runs from the back of the Eurotennis resort at La Caleta, or head south along the main N332 coast road and turn left. Trouble is, there’s no road sign as you come from La Vila, so make sure you have Google maps handy.

The watchtower of el Xarco dominates one end of the beach

Once you find the turning, head towards the sea and the 16th century watchtower that dominates one end of the beach. The dirt road down to the (free) car park is bumpy and stony, but once you get there, it’s a nice pebble beach with a chiringuito and toilet at one end.

© Guy Pelham

How to find Villajoyosa’s beaches

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