What to do and see in Villajoyosa? A vibrant and colourful town chosen as the most beautiful place in Europe

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Looking for a picture postcard destination? Villajoyosa is the perfect setting where historic colourful fishermen’s houses and stunning sea views combine to make it a magical place that captivates and enchants tourists and residents from all over the world.

Located on the beautiful Costa Blanca, Villajoyosa has been recognised as the most beautiful secret destination in Europe by the European Best Destination organisation. This picturesque municipality has been positioned above other cities in countries such as Croatia, Hungary, Finland, Denmark, Germany, France and Portugal, standing out for its unique charm and its unique tourist offer.

Keep reading this Quadratia article to discover the 10 things you shouldn’t miss in Villajoyosa. From its vibrant houses and serene beaches to its historical and cultural heritage, we show you why this destination is a must for any traveller. Plus, if you’re thinking of moving to live somewhere with charm and peace and quiet, Villajoyosa could be your ideal new home.

Tower on the beach in Villajoyosa.

Villajoyosa: one of the most outstanding tourist destinations in the province of Alicante on the Costa Blanca

Villajoyosa, also known as La Vila Joiosa in Valencian, is a charming municipality located in the province of Alicante. This historic town, capital of the “Marina Baixa” region, is strategically located between the municipalities of Benidorm and El Campello, which allows it to offer a wide range of tourist attractions both its own and those of its surroundings.

Villajoyosa has beautiful beaches and natural coves, perfect for enjoying the sun and the Mediterranean Sea. Among the most outstanding are “Playa Centro”, an urban beach with excellent services; “Playa del Torres”, a quiet gravel beach ideal for families; and “Cala Racó del Conill”, a beautiful naturist cove known for its unspoilt surroundings and crystal clear waters.

Similarly, golf lovers will find several first-class golf courses nearby, with spectacular scenery and excellent playing conditions. Mediterranean gastronomy is another of the region’s strong points, with a culinary offer that stands out for its freshness and flavour, based on local products such as fish, seafood and rice dishes. Don’t leave without trying pebrereta! A typical vegetable stew made mainly with peppers, tomatoes, onion and garlic, often accompanied by tuna or dried cod.

Endless services and amenities, natural beauty and local food, what more could you ask for?

Aerial image of the town of Villajoyosa with the Centro beach in the distance.

How many inhabitants does Villajoyosa have?

According to data from the National Statistics Institute (INE), in 2023, Villajoyosa had a population of 36,093 inhabitants. The area of the municipality is approximately 59.25 km², so its population density is 609 inhabitants per km². 

If we compare this population density with other municipalities in the province of Alicante, La Vila has a medium population density, which means that it has a very good balance between urban activity and the charm of a quieter coastal environment.

Its geographical coordinates are latitude 38.5075400 and longitude W0°14’0.46’.

Women with pamela in the middle of the promenade of Villajoyosa where the famous coloured houses of the fishermen can be seen.

What is the weather like in Villajoyosa?

As with other municipalities on the Costa Blanca, Villajoyosa has a Mediterranean climate characterised by mild winters and hot summers. Temperatures during the summer months tend to range between 28 °C and 34 °C, while in winter, temperatures rarely drop below 5 °C. Relative humidity is moderate, and sunny days are the norm for most of the year.

In terms of rainfall, Villajoyosa experiences little rainfall, concentrated mainly in the autumn and winter months. Spring and summer are predominantly dry and sunny seasons, which favours outdoor activities and beach tourism.

Old quarter of Villajoyosa.

What to do in Villajoyosa in one day? What to do in Villajoyosa at the weekend?

If you are visiting and only have a day or a weekend to explore Villajoyosa, we recommend this must-see itinerary that will allow you to make the most of everything this charming town has to offer.

What to do and what to see in Villajoyosa in a day

  1. Stroll through the old town: start your day by walking through the old town of Villajoyosa, known for its vibrant coloured houses and historic charm. Stroll through its narrow streets and enjoy its examples of traditional architecture.
  2. Visit the Chocolate Valor museum: continue your tour with a visit to the Chocolate Valor museum, where you can learn about the history of chocolate in the region and enjoy a tasting.
  3. Enjoy the Playa Centro: relax on the Playa Centro, one of the most popular beaches in Villajoyosa. It is perfect for sunbathing, swimming and enjoying the Mediterranean Sea.
  4. Lunch in a local restaurant: try the local gastronomy in one of the many seafront restaurants. Don’t miss out on typical dishes such as “pebrereta” and rice dishes.
  5. Promenade and harbour: after lunch, take a stroll along the harbour and promenade, enjoying the views and the atmosphere.

What to do and what to see in Villajoyosa at the weekend

Day 1: Cultural exploration and beaches:

  • Morning: plan a guided tour of the old town and the Chocolate Valor museum.
  • Midday: lunch in a local restaurant.
  • In the afternoon-evening: relax on the “Playa Centro” beach and promenade.

Day 2: Nature and outdoor activities

  • In the morning: take a trip to Playa del Torres, ideal for a quiet morning surrounded by nature.
  • Noon: Enjoy a picnic on the beach or lunch at a nearby restaurant.
  • Afternoon-evening: Explore the nearby hiking trails or take part in water activities such as snorkelling or kayaking near the “Racó del Conill” cove.
Fishing nets and skylights.

Tourism in Villajoyosa: a charming mosaic of chocolate-making tradition, picturesque hanging houses and fishing heritage

Villajoyosa, known locally as La Vila, is undoubtedly one of the most charming destinations on the Costa Blanca. If you are planning to relocate or simply want to visit this beautiful place for a few days, we suggest you start your tour at the Villajoyosa Tourist Office. This office is strategically located near the “Playa Centro” beach, within walking distance of the famous hanging houses or coloured fishermen’s houses.

The trained and multilingual staff at the tourist office will provide you with all the information you need about Villajoyosa. They will offer you recommendations, interesting facts and tips on the main monuments and leisure activities you can enjoy in this vibrant seaside town.

At Quadratia, we know how important it is to have quick and accessible information on the Internet. That is why we have created a complete guide to the cultural and touristic richness of Villajoyosa. Discover the most emblematic places and the most authentic experiences that this destination has to offer.

Find out what to do and what to see in Villajoyosa with the help of Quadratia!

The coloured houses of Villajoyosa or fishermen’s houses

Coloured houses of Villajoyosa or fishermen's houses.

Firstly, on the beach promenade of Villajoyosa you will find the emblematic coloured houses of the old fishermen. These houses, which are located on the seafront, were painted in bright colours by their owners so that they could easily identify what their home was from their boats. This act of pragmatism has endured over time, becoming one of the most typical and charming postcards of Villajoyosa. Don’t you find it fascinating?

Indeed, the promenade, adorned by these colourful houses, is a place full of life. Here, locals and visitors alike gather and enjoy a relaxed atmosphere, with numerous beach bars where you can enjoy typical dishes and refreshing drinks while admiring the breathtaking views of the sea.

Suggested route for sightseeing in Villajoyosa

To make the most of your visit, we suggest a route that starts on the seafront promenade and ends in the old town. Specifically, in the Plaza de la Iglesia de la Asunción, one of the most popular tourist spots in Villajoyosa: 

  1. Start at Villajoyosa’s seafront promenade: begin your tour on the promenade (Carrer del Arsenal), where you can enjoy the views of the colourful houses and the seaside atmosphere. Take your time to stroll along and, if you wish, take the opportunity to stop off at one of the beach bars.
  2. Walk up “Carrer del Pal”: from the promenade, head up “Carrer del Pal”, a narrow and charming street that will take you into the heart of the old town.
  3. “Plaza de la Generalitat”: Continue your walk until you reach the “Plaza de la Generalitat”, a central point in the old town where you can see historic buildings and feel the pulse of local life.
  4. “Carrer Colón”: From the “Plaza de la Generalitat”, take “Carrer Colón”, a street full of history and charm, which will take you directly to the “Plaza de la Iglesia de la Asunción”.
  5. “Plaza de la Iglesia de la Asunción”: end your tour in the “Plaza de la Iglesia de la Asunción”, where you can admire the church that gives its name to the square, a magnificent example of Gothic architecture.
Colourful streets of the old town to see in Villajoyosa.

The old town of Villajoyosa

The old town of Villajoyosa is a charming labyrinth of narrow streets and colourful houses that will take you back in time. This historic-artistic ensemble of houses is one of the best preserved treasures of the Costa Blanca and offers an authentic and picturesque experience to its visitors.

In the historic quarter, we can highlight the following streets: 

  • “Carrer del Travesat”: is a narrow, winding street, typical of the old town. With its charming, brightly coloured façades, this street offers a quiet and picturesque atmosphere, ideal for strolling and enjoying the surroundings.
  • “Carrer Major”: this is one of the main arteries of the old town. Along this street, you’ll find a mix of local shops, traditional restaurants and historic buildings.
  • “Carrer Costereta”: with its steep slope, it offers unique views of the old town and the sea. The colourful houses along this street add a special touch to the landscape, making this a perfect spot for stunning photographs.
  • “Carrer Costera de la Mar”: known for its panoramic views of the Mediterranean. Strolling along this street will allow you to enjoy the sea breeze while admiring the colourful façades of the houses that line the road.
  • In addition to those already mentioned: “Carrer del Travesat” or “Carrer del Arsenal”, etc.
Floral tribute in front of the Church of the Assumption in the old town of Villajoyosa.

Iglesia de la Asunción (Asuncion Church)

Considered one of the main landmarks in the old part of the city, the “Iglesia de la Asunción” is an architectural jewel that combines Gothic and Renaissance elements. 

This temple, built of solid stone masonry, stands out for its imposing structure and its Doric-Tuscan style, characteristic of the period of its construction. The building is also the starting point of the ancient network of walls that surrounds the entire old part of Villajoyosa and which served as a defence for the town.

Panoramic views and other points of interest

  • Bridge over the Amadorio River: From this bridge you can enjoy a spectacular panoramic view over both the old town and the course of the river, offering a breathtaking view of the urban and natural landscape.
  • Mallaeta Tower: this ancient tower, part of the town’s defences, is another place not to be missed. From here, you can get a unique view of the coast and the rural surroundings of Villajoyosa.
  • Allon public baths: these Roman baths are a testimony to the Roman occupation of the area and are part of the city’s vast archaeological heritage.
Image of the hanging houses in Villajoyosa.
Source: google.com

The hanging houses, one of the most photographed postcards to see in Villajoyosa

It is said that if you visit Villajoyosa and do not see the hanging houses, you have not had a complete visit. These houses line the old city wall, built in the time of Phillip II, and stand majestically over the river Amadorio. 

Best places to immortalise hanging houses

We can say with certainty that the hanging houses of Villajoyosa are among the most photographed stops in the municipality. To get the best images, we recommend two places:

  • Trail along the Amadorio River: This path allows you to admire the hanging houses from below, providing a unique perspective and highlighting their elevated position on the old city wall.
  • Old bridge of Villajoyosa: From this point, you can enjoy a panoramic view that includes both the houses and the surrounding natural environment, creating a perfect image that will serve to remind you of your visit.

The Chocolates Valor Museum

Chocolates Valor Museum.
Source: Official Facebook page of the Museo del Chocolate Valor.

Founded in 1881 by Valeriano López Lloret, the Chocolates Valor company has taken the name of Villajoyosa to an international level thanks to its dedication, quality and tradition in chocolate production. 

It is therefore essential to visit the Chocolates Valor Museum, where visitors can learn about the chocolate-making process, observe the selection and treatment of the cocoa beans, and enjoy an exhibition of old utensils and machinery. 

The visit also includes a product tasting, allowing visitors to experience the quality and flavour that have made the brand famous, making this a unique and unforgettable experience.

Allow yourself to add a sweet touch to your day!

The port of Villajoyosa and the importance of fishing in the municipality

Fishing boat moored in the port of Villajoyosa.

Fishing has been a fundamental activity in Villajoyosa since ancient times and continues to be relevant even today. In the 20th century, fishing established itself as one of the main economic activities in the area, especially when commercial traffic in the port began to decline. Today, the Villajoyosa fish market is one of the largest in Spain in terms of trawling and has become a point of reference for both the auction and the selling of fresh fish.

For its part, the seaport of Villajoyosa is not only economically important, but also has a strong cultural and social component. The “Club Náutico La Vila” is the ideal place to embark and enjoy a day’s sailing along the cliff-top coastline of the town.

Feel the authentic Mediterranean breeze!

El “Bou Ferrer”, culture under the sea in Villajoyosa

Divers in the middle of the ‘El Bou Ferrer’ expedition.
Source: Información.es

Continuing with the sea, the Bou Ferrer wreck is one of the most important and fascinating underwater sites in the Mediterranean and is located just off the coast of Villajoyosa. This Roman ship, which dates back to the time of Emperor Nero, was wrecked around the 1st century AD while carrying a valuable cargo of amphorae full of garum, a fish sauce highly prized in ancient Rome.

Since its discovery, the Bou Ferrer has been the subject of multiple excavation and study campaigns and has also been the source of an incredible amount of information on navigation, trade and life in Roman times. Moreover, this wreck stands out for its exceptional state of preservation and for the wealth of finds recovered.

The Bou Ferrer project has also been notable for its efforts in the conservation and dissemination of underwater cultural heritage. Since 2013, controlled visits and guided diving have been organised, allowing visitors to experience first-hand the wonder of this archaeological site under the sea.

Vilamuseu and La Barberà dels Aragonés House Museum

Image of the interior of the Casa Museo La Barberá dels Aragonés.
Source: wikipedia.org

Vilamuseu is Villajoyosa’s main museum, an institution that houses a rich collection of artefacts and exhibitions that tell the story of the region’s history and cultural heritage. 

Among its main attractions is the ‘La Barbera dels Aragonés’ House Museum, an emblematic place dating from the 17th century that allows visitors to immerse themselves in the life and customs of earlier times.

This manor house, which belonged to the Aragonés family, has been restored and converted into a museum. The house is surrounded by gardens and preserves the original furniture and decoration of the local nobility. In addition, the property includes a space dedicated to temporary exhibitions and educational activities that complement the cultural offer of the museum.

If you have some time and value learning about vestiges of the past, this is a must-see in Villajoyosa.

Representatives of the Moorish side in the Moors and Christians of Villajoyosa.

The Moors and Christians festival: tourism in Villajoyosa

Do you like summer? Well, July is the perfect month for tourism in Villajoyosa, as it celebrates one of the most important festivities: the Moors and Christians. This celebration, which takes place from 24th to 31st July, transforms the municipality into a vibrant scene where the town is divided into two sides to recreate the attack of the Barbary pirates and the defence of the local inhabitants. According to tradition, Santa Marta intervened by provoking a flood that destroyed the pirate fleet, thus saving the community.

The Moors and Christians stand out for their uniqueness and spectacular nature, which has earned them recognition as a Festival of International Tourist Interest. Among the most impressive events is the great landing at dawn on 28 July. 

In this historical re-enactment, the Moorish side attempts to conquer Villajoyosa from the sea, meeting the Christian army on the beach, where a colourful and festive pitched battle breaks out. If you are looking for things to see in Villajoyosa during your visit, you cannot miss this unique experience that combines history, culture and spectacle.

The Racó de Conill cove (Villajoyosa), one of the best coves on the Costa Blanca.
Source: wikipedia.org

Beaches of Villajoyosa: from Raco de Conill to Playa del Torres

Finally, and although we have already mentioned some of them, Villajoyosa has extraordinary beaches and coves where you can enjoy the sun, the sea and the natural beauty of the Costa Blanca. Among some of the most spectacular, we highlight: 

  • Playa del Centro: is the main beach of Villajoyosa, located in the heart of the municipality. This long golden sandy beach offers a wide range of services including restaurants, bars and, of course, children’s play areas. All this makes it an ideal place for swimming, sunbathing, and strolling along its busy promenade.
  • Playa del Torres: a semi-urban beach surrounded by nature, located near the ruins of the old ‘Torre del Charco’. It combines the peace and quiet of a cove with all the advantages and comforts of an urban beach. Its clear waters are perfect for diving and snorkelling.
  • Playa Bol Nou: located to the south of Villajoyosa, is a sandy and gravel beach surrounded by cliffs. It offers crystal clear waters and a quiet atmosphere. Perfect for swimming and enjoying a more intimate and natural environment.
  • Cala Racó del Conill: A remote and quiet cove, known for being a nudist beach. It is a hidden place and perfect for disconnecting.
Interior image Allonbay Urban.
Preview of the interior of one of the Allonbay Urban homes.

Properties for sale in Villajoyosa (Alicante) and the Costa Blanca

We invite you to discover Allonbay Village and its wide range of new build properties on the Costa Blanca. This exclusive residential community offers various developments to suit different lifestyles and needs in Villajoyosa. Among the main developments are:

  • Allonbay Aster: designed for those seeking luxury and comfort, it offers spacious flats with stunning sea views.
  • Allonbay Aura: with modern architecture and high quality finishes, this project includes flats and penthouses with private terraces.
  • Allonbay Azure: ideal for those who wish to live close to the beach.
  • Allonbay Alba: a perfect choice for families, with spacious communal areas and proximity to essential services.
  • Allonbay Urban: located in the heart of Villajoyosa, it combines urban life with coastal charm.

However, if Villajoyosa is not what you are looking for, you can get more information about the best cities to live as a foreigner in Spain. There are other cities such as Malaga (Costa del Sol) or Murcia (Costa Calida) that are waiting for you with open arms.

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