Darlene Foster's Blog

Guadalest in the Mountains

Posted on: November 18, 2020

A favourite place to visit near us is the historic village of Guadalest located on a pinnacle of rock with spectacular views all around. It requires driving a twisty, narrow road that winds up into the mountains. At one time Guadalest was only accessible by donkeys. I think it is the same path. But it is so worth it when you get there! I wrote about the Museum of Torture we discovered on one visit, but there is much more to see and do.

There are many shops selling souvenirs, crafts and local produce such as honey, wine, and handbags. There are also a number of unique small museums and great restaurants offering Spanish tapas and full meals. The cobblestone streets and whitewashed houses are straight out of a storybook.

A highlight is Guadalest Castle (Castell de Guadalest), built in the 11th Century by the Moors, which is accessed by walking through a 15-foot long tunnel carved out of the rock, known as the Portal de San Jose.

Portal de San Jose

Once through the tunnel, it’s like you have entered another time. The old village houses surround a square with a statue of a famous bishop in the centre. The restored house of the Orduna family, an important family of Guadalest, is a museum that gives an idea of what it used to be like living in the village many years ago. It also houses an art gallery. From this house, a path leads to the bell tower.

Bell tower of Penon de la Alcala

The most famous attraction is the picturesque white bell tower of Penon de la Alcala, precariously perched on the mountainside and found on most postcards. If you don’t mind a bit of a hike, a well-maintained path takes you up to the bell tower. The twelve stations of the cross dot the side of the path, and near the top is an old graveyard. The hike is worth it as at the very top, you are treated to fabulous views of the valley and reservoir.

A view of the castle from the path.
An easy path leading up to the bell tower with stations of the cross along the way
The stations of the cross are painted on ceramic tiles
A lovely sign as you near the cemetery in four languages
The gate to the cemetery, with a view
The bell tower and the castle in a gorgeous setting
A fabulous view of the valley and reservoir
I love Guadalest as you can tell. (Picture taken by Donna Cluff)

© Darlene Foster

72 Responses to "Guadalest in the Mountains"

What a lovely spot.

It really is. Thanks. xo

It looks a beautiful spot, and I often wonder why building a place like this was so important or necessary as well as marvelling at the effort that it must have taken. Any wine bars up there?

It was built for defence. There was no way any intruder was getting in there. I can’t imagine how they managed it either. No wine bars but many cafe bars where you can sip on a coffee or a glass of wine and enjoy the scenery.

Looks like a perfect place for wine with history etc 👍

It looks really delightful with great views – nice post!

The views are amazing! Thanks, Meg.

Everything looks absolutely beautiful.

A beautiful place to visit, Darlene, so unusual. It is interesting that the Stations of the Cross are permanent. I’ve only ever seen them put up at Easter.

I have seen a number of permanent displays of the stations of the cross here in Spain, which is a very devout Catholic country. I’ve also seen one in Canada at a Seniors Home run by the Carmelite nuns. I always find it moving.

I love this! We had a magical time in Spain – far too short, just 7 days…but have plans to return in 2022…2021 already taken!

Spain has a number of magical places to visit. I do hope you get to return soon.

Lovely to read your account and see some photos of Guadalest, Darlene. It looks beautiful and it sounds like the sort of place where Amanda might have some adventures! I’ve always wanted to go there, but never quite found the time. There’s a lovely walk I’d like to do that goes right round the reservoir.

Apparently, there are a number of walks you can take. It is so beautiful there and not too far for us to drive to. We often take overseas guests there for a day trip. Glad you enjoyed the post.

Spectacular photography, Darlene. With every step you walk in history. So many stories!!!

There are so many stories, this is true. Thanks so much.

The longer we feel “banned” from extensive travel, the more I yearn for it. Posts like these help fill in the gap until we can take flight safely once again. Thanks, Darlene!

I know what you mean. Writing these posts brings back fond memories of when we could travel freely. I am not comfortable travelling within our own province, although it is allowed.

That would be a lovely place to visit.

It is a fabulous place and only about an hour from us.

It’s wonderful to have interesting places to take visitors. We are about 15 minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway, where only dense fog can ruin a day.

You do live in a gorgeous part of the world!

Stunning views! I love the white plaster on the buildings 🙂

The mountain villages are often made up of whitewashed buildings. They are many times called white villages. The views are something else!

Magnificent. It’s the one word that kept echoing in my head while I read your post and viewed the images. What an interesting entrance to a castle. I might have to use that in the future story. And view – magnificent. Thank you for sharing.

You would just love it there. Many story ideas! xo

Oh, Darlene, it looks like a fabulous place to visit. Thanks so much for sharing it and your photos with us.

It is amazing. Glad you enjoyed the post. Sending hugs. xo

I showed the entrance to the castle to my husband, Darlene, and he hurriedly grabbed a pen and got out our “future travels” notebook. Lol. I think someday we’re going to Spain. 🙂

That is so cool. Spain has so many amazing places tucked away.

I’ll have to read Amanda in Spain to get some tips on where to go. 😀

I know a few people who have done just that!

What an incredible place! I love that you have to walk through a fifteen-foot tunnel to get there.

It is quite magical. I´ve been there a few times and am still amazed every time.

What a fascinating place! Thanks for sharing.

So pleased you enjoyed reading about it.

Thank you Darlene for taking us on a virtual trip . We are stuck at home and dream of better times.

Now is a good time to share these stories. Glad you were able to travel with me virtually.

I first visited Guadalest in 1977. I went back in 2018 and was surprised how little it had changed. Thanks for the memory nudge.

These little out of the way places in Spain don´t seem to change which is nice to see. Glad I brought back some good memories.

We stayed overnight in a hostal called Rincón de Pepe in Benimantell. Very tradional, inexpensive and great food cooked by local people. I recommend it if you ever stay over.

Sounds lovely. We only live about one hour away so make it a day trip. But I will recommend the place. Thanks.

How wonderful. I feel more spiritual just seeing the pictures.

You would love this place!!

Talk about a room with a view! I love the idea of going through the tunnel to get to the castle. What a treasure on the other side. I think I prefer this stop to the torture museum. 🙂

The views are incredible. Paul has gone there on his motorcycle as they like driving the twisty mountain roads. There is also a motorcycle museum nearby. I thought I had better show that there was more to Guadalest than the Torture Museum!!

The masonry is absolutely incredible. And I love that tunnel — great protection for castle entry. It looks like you had a great time visiting the village market and wandering the streets — your favorite thing to do. Are you traveling as much with COVID?

This place is perfect for wandering. Unfortunately, we aren’t travelling much at all. Right now we are not allowed out of our province. We are trying to stay safe so stick close to home. Hopefully, we can do more travelling around Spain next year. Stay safe.

Once again, you do great justice to this beautiful town. Love your pictures and thanks for sharing the stations of the cross….love the tile work …stunning!! I feel like I was there with you!! Thanks for sharing!!

Thanks, Kirt. So pleased you enjoyed the visit with me. I was very impressed with the stations of the cross painted on the tiles and housed in little chapels.

I love history and I love architecture……so seeing this town via you was awesome!!

It reminds me a little of some parts of Southern California. Gorgeous! You look like you are having a very good time.

I think the Spanish explorers would have felt at home in Southern California. I always have a good time at this location!! Thanks for visiting and commenting.

How lovely. Thank you, Darlene.

How beautiful! I love the walk into the tunnel and the portal. The rock, mountains and water are really breathtaking. Thank you, Darlene!!

It is such a beautiful place and so unique. Glad you enjoyed it!

I really did, Darlene! 🙂

Thanks for lifting us up with this beautiful virtual travel experience! So much to explore in Spain.

This is true, and so many small out of the way places. I love it! Glad you enjoyed this virtual get-away.

Small towns not near main roads preserve old Spain, which is fascinating.

That’s why we like exploring smaller places and seeing what we can find. Still lots to discover.

Good to find places that haven’t been whitewashed with a multinational corporation brush.

You always discover the coolest places, Darlene! I was particularly struck by the Stations of the Cross. Each one is like a little jewel. ~Terri

We have found some great little places. Paul often discovers them on his group motorcycle rides and then takes me later by car. This one is quite special and we’ve been to it a few times now. Always find something different. I love the stations of the cross too.Thanks, Terri.

This sounds fantastic Darlene! I’d love to visit!

Thanks! You would love it. xo

So fascinating, Darlene – a beautiful place. Toni x

It is so gorgeous. Thanks.

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