Altea, Jávea, Dénia… These are probably the first three names that come to mind when thinking of the Costa Blanca Norte. These incredibly beautiful towns are known for their historic centres, beaches and surrounding countryside. But there is always something new to discover on the Costa Blanca. Just a few kilometres away from Cumbre del Sol, between Calpe and Moraira, in the Marina Alta district, there is a charming place with hidden coves, cliffs, beach bars and a whole lot of history. Still don’t know which place we mean?
Benissa, quite unfairly, does seem to be the “Cinderella” of the Costa Blanca Norte. Many municipalities and towns in the area are much more popular with both national and international visitors. Are you interested in discovering what this place, which is like an open air museum, has to offer? Carry on reading, and we can tell you now, there’s so much more to this place than meets the eye.
Wander around the historic centre
The historic centre of Benissa is unquestionably one of the best preserved on the Costa Blanca. Start your route at Plaza del Portal and stroll around the Placeta de l´Esglesia Vella, passing by the Andrés family and Pere Bigot homes, houses which together form a particularly original annexe of Alicante University. You can continue along Puríssima and Desamparados (where the ancient noble families of Benissa once lived), two of the town’s most iconic streets. You should also check out the Casa Museo Abargues and, close by, the Riberer Monument, which pays homage to the Benissa agricultural workers who went to work in the rice fields of the Valencian Ribera. To complete your visit to the historic centre, save the best for last, namely, the church of the Puríssima Xiqueta, known locally as the Cathedral de la Marina.
A stroll along the coast…. Or a swim
The historic centre is incredible, but Benissa also has its own beach. 4 kilometres of coastline bordered by stretches of beach and coves that run the whole length of the municipal district. The Benissa Ecology Trail (the name given to the coastal route) is a pleasant path that joins a string of beaches, some of them very well-known, such as Cala Les Bassetes and Cala de la Fustera. The trail was restored in 2006, with a view to protecting and conserving the cliffs and recovering the native ecosystems.
Even so, sometimes you just feel like kicking off your shoes and simply chilling in the waters of the Mediterranean. Apart from those we mentioned above, there are many more beaches to choose from such as Cala Pinets (with its incredible sunsets), Cala La Llobella, or Cala Baladrar (which has the best views of the Peñón de Ifach).
Sierra de Bernia
Benissa covers quite a large municipal area, which means that you can enjoy both the sea and the mountains in just one place. The Sierra de Bernia is ideal for enjoying countryside and discovering the local flora and fauna as you wander along one of its many trails. We recommend the following routes, La Solana, Molí del Quisi and dels Riberers.
And why not? We are in the Costa Blanca after all, and its cuisine is one of its biggest attractions. Clearly demonstrating this combination of sea and mountains, one of Benissa’s most typical dishes is puchero de pulpo or octopus stew, made with pulses, potatoes, vegetables and rice. But there is so much more to discover about the Costa Blanca’s cuisine, here you can find an article about Denia’s gastronomy that can equally be applied to the whole coastline.
Now you have seen everything that you can do in Benissa. Visit this little known jewel of the Costa Blanca and discover somewhere completely new. What are you waiting for? And besides, another advantage is its excellent location in Alicante province as Benissa is just a few kilometres from Altea and Calpe, where you can continue to enjoy more sea and sand.