Guadalest is a lovely spot. A castled village perched high on the hillside, looking out over a turquoise reservoir far below.
The place must have made an excellent fortress, and is now equally good at wooing the tourist and extracting many many euros!
The amount of coaches parked up is a true testiment as to how many vistors this place can attract, and with near by Benidorm a short 15 or 20 minute ride down the valley, maybe we were nieve for expecting a few less people here.
Its first saving grace, a free bit of overnight parking in the lower carpark- normally there is a charge but thanks to an updating the barrier entry system currently the car park is Free ( my favourite word)
Our enjoyment was not enhanced by the lack of quietness. OMG how many people can you pack into a tiny village….
With all the souvenir shops and bars and restaurants near the car park, on arriving you might start to think you’re in for a mini version of Benidorm itself.
But we kept following the signs to the Castle and the pedestrian-only alley leads you out on to the side of the hill, past rows of palm trees and shrubs to the main gate to the old town. And what a gate it is ,one worthy of a place in a C.S.Lewis novel – as you step over the threshold of a solid wooden door embedded right in the middle of a huge rock into a tiny world of its own.
As we walk to the tunnel which granted us access to the town heights, we’re offered keyrings with our photos on. They’d snapped us all on a video camera on the way in.
That promising start, destoryed, back to tourist land it is:-
Tat shops everywhere, full of craftwork which was seriously over priced and in all likelihood made in a Chinese factory for peanuts and shipped into Algeciras by the container load.
After a quick coffee, we left and descended the hills, winding our way back to the main road, the drive is truely stunning, if nothing else this made the trip worthwhile!
It may only be a few minutes drive from Benidorm, but the views are a million miles away, so I may not ever go rushing back as my take away memory and probaly most favouirte picture of the whole day – Someone taking a picture of someone else’