Darlene Foster's Blog

Villajoyosa – Joy and Chocolate

Posted on: October 10, 2015

I love chocolate! Studies have proven that chocolate, in moderation, makes you happy and is actually good for you. So, when we took a bus trip to the colourful town of Villejoyosa, famous for its chocolate industry, I wasn´t surprised to learn that Villejoyosa means “joyful town”.

The day began with a stop at Finestrat, a small community where we enjoyed a stroll through the market and a cafe con leche (descafeinado for me) on the lovely beach.

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Relaxing at Finestrat beach

Next stop, the Chocolate Museum!

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Villejoyosa was the first city in Spain to export chocolate. In the nineteenth century, chocolate manufacturing was the main industry in town, boasting 39 factories. Of the three factories left, Valor is the largest. It was established in 1881 by Don Valeriano López Lloret who imported the cocoa beans from Ecuador and began producing chocolate.  The factory is still operated by the fifth generation of the same family. Many of the old pieces of equipment are housed in the museum.



original chocolate molds

original chocolate moulds


After watching a video explaining the process of making chocolate, we were led through a glassed in walkway overlooking the modern, clean and efficient factory. Valor chocolate is extremely popular in Spain and shipped all over the world. No photography is allowed in the factory.

There was no escaping the tempting aroma of chocolate as it was being mixed, placed in moulds and wrapped for shipping. Like an alcoholic visiting a brewery, I raced to the chocolate shop where we were treated to generous mouth watering samples. Before you ask, of course I purchased some to take home!

yummy samples

yummy samples



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Two bags full!

We returned to the main part of of this happy town for a nice lunch overlooking the beach. After all that chocolate and food, we took a walk past the brightly painted houses along the beach and overlooking the river. The story is that many years ago the houses were painted different colours in order for each fisherman to be able to identify their house as they approached by sea.

Lively coloured houses hanging over the river

Mother and child sculpture by the old city walls

Mother and child sculpture by the old city walls

Street to the beach front

Street to the beach front


Colourful houses facing the sea

Whether the town is called “joyful village” because of the brightly painted houses or the connection to chocolate, I´m not sure. I did, however, leave very happy I visited this cheerful place.

We journeyed on to a castle in Alicante which I will tell you about in the next post.

What is your favourite type of chocolate?

34 Responses to "Villajoyosa – Joy and Chocolate"

I just ate a fudge popsicle, Darlene, but I don’t try to resist chocolate in any form, especially cake. Villajoyosa reminds me of the fictional town in which the film “Chocolat” was staged. Thank you for bringing this town to life for us.

I loved that movie too! It has been years since I had a fudge popsicle. I so loved them as a child.

Ohhh what a fabulous trip & oh so yummy chocolate pictures 🙂

The chocolate tasted as good as it looks! Thanks for stopping by.

It took me a minute toget to writing this comment as had to wipe the drool off of the keyboard. Could I have some milk chocolate please? I’m not picky really. ANY chocolate will do.

Ha! Ha! Sorry I made you drool. All the chocolate at this place was good because it was so pure.

Chocolate is an essential part of my diet. Lifts the mood and I swear, my body is HAPPIER with a little chocolate streaming in the blood. That said, I prefer dark chocolate to milk, and have a few favorite shops in the US. See’s candy (mainly CA based) make a good chocolate. In my little NE village, there’s a shop called Priscilla’s that sells homemade chocolates that are very special. Have you been to the Ghirardelli factory/ice cream/chocolate shop in San Francisco? They show chocolate being made there, also. I do use Ghirardelli chocolate chips in my cookies. Oh dear, I could go on and on. What a wonderful opportunity, to tour this Spanish chocolate town. Wish I could find some of the Villejoyosa chocolates around here!

I agree with you, chocolate makes me happier! I alos prefer dark chocolate. I have been to the Ghirardelli shop in San Francisco and love their chocolate. I didn´t go through the factory though. I wish I could send everyone a same of Valor chocolate. Yes, we could talk chocolate for hours.

Villa Joyosa indeed! And lucky you! Well, that is a MUST when I finally retire over there. I fell I’ve put on weight just looking at the pictures. It does look like a lovely place, typically Mediterranean and all those different coloured houses remind me of may French sea towns too. Now, be a dear and send me some of that gorgeous chocolate you bought! Enjoy! 😉

It is a typically Mediterranean place. If I could, I would send you some chocolate!! I have had to careful not to eat too much or my clothes would no longer fit me. 😀

I simply must come over and help you with it!

You sure know a marvelous way to spend a day! I can smell the chocolate here. Aren’t those molds gorgeous. ^^’
It’s so clean in Villejoyosa and the buildings are appealing in their pastel shades. ❤ ❤
I visited a chocolate factory a couple weeks ago, but I don't eat chocolate.

It would probably be better if I didn´t eat chocolate either. I am more careful now and limit how much I eat. The moulds were amazing.

😀 😀 You look marvelous. No-one can tell you have a chocolate secret.
I’m glad I’m not hooked on chocolate because I do everything 150%. Soon my only mode of transportation would be rolling across the floor. o_O

Oh Darlene. I’m really enjoying reading about your adventures discovering your lovely new home. Thanks for sharing

I´m glad you enjoy the posts. We are having fun discovering all sorts of new and different places!

Wonderful post, Darlene! I love your pictures, especially the chocolate moulds. Joy and chocolate go together as a set!
My favorite has always been chocolate over toffee, sprinkled with pecan pieces.

Many people like that combination. The moulds were incredible. Happy chocolate dreams!

What a tempting place for a bit of retail therapy. I don’t know what I’d have chosen, probably some dark chocolate although I’d be very happy to try anything they had on offer. Have you eaten any of what you bought?

You would have just loved it! I haven´t broken into my stash yet. I bought dark chocolate with orange peel, dark chocolate with almonds and also a bar of baking chocolate. All 70% pure chocolate! My husband bought chocolate bars with wafers and has had some which he enjoyed.

I like the sound of all of your choices. Dark chocolate with orange peel is one of my favourite combinations. Yum!

That looks absolutely delicious! When it comes to chocolate I am not picky, I’ll have any type:)

It was delicious! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I wish you all the chocolate you can handle!!

The colorful houses are refreshing. Hubby and I like to learn how things were/are made, too. I’m not sure a chocolate factory should be one of them! LOL

I was like a kid in a candy store!!

LOL I can hear it now.

What fabulous pictures of the chocolate factory. You capture so much in your wonderful photos that I feel I’m there. The scenery is so gorgeous. You must fill your travel books. I’m embarrassed to share the few pictures I took from my trip to Hawaii.

I love taking pictures and consider them my souvenirs. I take great joy in reliving my trips by browsing my pictures. Hubby and I do this instead of watching TV sometimes. (maybe we are a bit weird). I am happy to share the pictures with my blogging friends.

That is such a sweet thing to do — making memories and then browsing through your photos.

[…] the best chocolate in Spain. You may recall my visit to the Valor Chocolate Factory last fall. Here is the post if you wish to know more. Our meal was delicious and included chocolate, of course! We […]

A shame I missed the chocolate factory when I visited.

Next time!! A good reason to return.

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