Bocairent is everyone’s idea of a pretty hilltop village. In the shadow of the Sierra Mariola and about an hour's drive inland from Alicante, its houses are crammed together in a maze of narrow cobbled streets, topped off by an elegant 16th century belltower. But the thing that makes this place different from all the …
The most famous church in Spain has to be the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, right? OK, so Sevilla and Cordoba cathedrals might argue the point, but Gaudí's modernist masterpiece is top of everyone's must-see list. So what’s that got to do with Alicante? Half an hour’s drive inland, just outside the town of Novelda, you’ll …
Xativa has one of the most spectacular castles in eastern Spain. And it's also the home town of the Borgias - the family that caused all the trouble back in Renaissance Italy. Two Borgia Popes came from Xativa - they weren't Italian at all!
There's more to Spanish sport than football. Here in Villajoyosa, they do rugby too. They've got a great little stadium - take in a match!
The little community of Finestrat has a split personality. It's a pretty old town perched on a limestone cliff a few kilometres from Benidorm. But it's also a beach resort with some of the worst over-development you're likely to see anywhere on the Costa Blanca.
Almond blossom is one of the springtime sights on the Costa Blanca. But its future is threatened by a pest attacking the almond trees. And so far, there's no cure.
Every weekday afternoon Villajoyosa’s fishing fleet heads into port with the catch of the day. Watch the trawlers being unloaded and see how the fish is auctioned off - it's a surprisingly hi-tech operation,
Why go shopping in a soulless supermarket when you can buy from a Spanish mercado? They’re lively, great for people-watching and you never know when you’ll pick up a bargain. Villjoyosa has two, both well worth a visit. And there's also the elegant Mercado Central down the coast in Alicante.
The brilliantly colourful fishermen's houses in the old town are the iconic image of Villajoyosa. But there's much more to the "casco antiguo" than just the picture postcard seafront. Take a stroll through the narrow streets and pretty squares to sample the atmosphere of the old town and absorb a little of its history.
Villajoyosa (aka La Vila Joiosa) is a rare find on the Costa Blanca; a pretty seaside town that hasn’t been overwhelmed by tourism. It's my favourite place in Spain; just as well, because I live there a fair chunk of the year! Try these top things to do and see.