Benissa: Much more than meets the eye

Benissa: Much more than meets the eye

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.

 

catedral benissa

 

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.

 

Gastronomy

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.

Don’t miss our upcoming articles in this blog to discover more activities, places and curiosities in the area of  Residential Resort Cumbre del Sol.

The importance of culture in Costa Blanca Norte

The importance of culture in Costa Blanca Norte

The Costa Blanca is a favourite tourist destination. It is just like an open air museum filled with history, culture and festivities. Aside from its fabulous beaches, there are many places of interest that are worth a visit, and the splendour and cultural heritage of its villages invite you to explore and discover them further.

Romanesque churches, historic neighbourhoods with their Arab architecture, or castles from a bygone age. Fiestas, monuments and tradition which will take you back to remote times as you explore the cultural heritage of the villages in this area. Discover some magical places just a step away from the Mediterranean seashore!

 

Festivals and fun on the Costa Blanca

There’s a festive spirit in the streets of the Costa Blanca’s towns and villages all year round. Participation in these celebrations is always a popular activity. You have probably heard of the night of San Juan or the Moros y Cristianos fiesta. However, first things first, what do you actually know about their origins?

 

Moros y Cristianos

Altea, Denia, Calpe, Villajoyosa or Alcoy are well known for their popular celebrations of the Moros y Cristianos festivities held in honour of the patron saints of these Costa Blanca towns.

As the oldest residents will tell you, faithful to their religious beliefs, thanks to these patron saints, the Christians were able to overcome the Muslims in battle. This historic celebration spans a period of 3 to 5 days and is held in a number of cities and at different times of the year. The highlight of this fiesta is the Desembarco – the disembarkment – which commemorates the arrival of the Moorish troops on the coast and their battle on the beach with the Christian forces determined to reconquer the land. It’s an impressive spectacle!

 

  • Altea Fiestas

Altea is synonymous with festivity. Almost every month there is a fiesta in this municipal district, but it is in summer that the fiestas really come into their own.

Easter Week and Corpus Christi are the main religious events of the year. In February the streets are vibrant with colour as the residents celebrate their famous Carnaval. Meanwhile, Castell de l’Olla celebrates on the Saturday that falls closest to feast of San Lorenzo in Altea. It holds Spain’s biggest fireworks display from the sea. It also celebrates its own Moros y Cristianos fiestas.

 

San Juan Bonfires

When summer comes, this area of the coast attracts worldwide interest. The San Juan Bonfires begin on 19 June, and the ‘Mascletás’, the Proclamation, processions, street parades, firecrackers and bell ringing are all part of the festivities, culminating in the famous bonfire night the ‘Cremà’ (24 June).

 

Fireworks

The culmination of all these festivities and Bonfires is a particularly special event. The celebration takes place every year after the bonfires, held from the 25 to 29 June. Postiguet beach is host to a fireworks contest. The most stunning pyrotechnic displays can be found here on the Costa Blanca.

 

altea costa blanca cultura

 

History and much more on the Costa Blanca

The historic quarters of many of the area’s towns are another major attraction of the Costa Blanca. Neighbourhoods that harbour amazing legends and impressive monuments.

 

Altea church

In the heart of Altea’s historic centre, this church dates from 1607, when it was first built. A stroll around its square and the surrounding area will take you right back to the 16th century. The church has been a mute witness to the passage of time in the town becoming an historic and cultural icon of Altea.

 

Bust of Cervantes

In Dénia, the most famous part of town is known as Explanada de Cervantes, where you can find a bust of the celebrated writer Don Quixote. The story goes that in 1580 when Cervantes was freed from prison he went to the port of Dénia, kissing the actual spot where this monument now stands.

 

The Castle Route

There are over 100 castles on the Costa Blanca. Fortresses that were the strongholds of the ancient Visigoth kings and the most important monarchs in the area. The Castle Route will draw you into a magical cultural experience. There are many such citadels along the route that runs from the mountains down to the sea.

 

Legends, culture and festivities that bear witness to the Costa Blanca’s wealth of mystery, entertainment and fun. Living history alongside the Mediterranean sea. How about choosing it as a place to live?

 

World Heritage Sites in the Costa Blanca

World Heritage Sites in the Costa Blanca

Promoting identity, protection, and preservation of natural and cultural heritage is considered to be especially valuable for humanity. This is, and for a long time now, one of the main works of UNESCO (United Nations Educations, Science, and Culture organisation). The title World Heritage Site is a distinction for these types of places. In the Costa Blanca, and around it, we’re lucky enough to have a few of these places.

Before talking about these marvels, we want to briefly clear something up. Firstly, there’s two main types of heritage. “Cultural heritage”, which refers to monuments, groups of buildings and sites that have historical, artistic, or archaeological value. In this category, you’ll also find places with scientific, ethnic, or anthropological value. “Natural heritage” refers to exceptional physical, biological, and geological formations. This goes for animal habitats, endangered plants, and area that have scientific, conservation, or visual value. On the other hand, we also have “Intangible cultural heritage”, which includes living inherited practices and expressions from our ancestors. This is heritage that is passed down generation to generation, like oral traditions, scenic art, social customs, rituals, festivals…

All along the Costa Blanca and all around it, we have places that include all three types of heritage. Take note and plan a weekend escape to visit them!

El palmeral (Elche)

Over 200,000 palm trees look down on the urban centre of Elche. Since the year 2000, the place of the Costa Blanca has become a World Heritage site.

 

The Mediterranean diet

This diet was declared Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2013, the reasons being it’s richness, variety, and health benefits. You can enjoy the Mediterranean diet in all its form in the Costa Blanca. And along the whole coast of the Valencian Community! From markets where exquisite raw materials are sold all the way to the best restaurants that have kept this tradition and the essence of Mediterranean cuisine. Flagship restaurants known for exploring this cuisine, respecting its differentiating features, and being recognised worldwide for its variety of flavours and textures and for its health benefits.

 

Cave art

Cave art in itself is a unique cultural manifestation. And it also represents the prehistoric society that lived in the place where the Costa Blanca is today. In and around the area, there are plenty of these depictions, but if we had to recommend one in particular, we’d go for the following: Moixent with the drawings Abrigo de la Penya and Abrigo de Gontran. You can also visit the ones in the Caroig massive (Cueva de la Araña y abrigos del Barranco Moreno).

 

pinturas rupestres costa blanca

 

The mystery of Elche (Elche)

Declared as Oral heritage and Intangible world heritage in 2001, the Mystery of Elche is a cultural treasure in the city. This work of medieval origins is also known by the name of La Festa. It embodies all the years of the Basílica de Santa María de Elche’s history in the month of August. This activity celebrates the festival Virgen de la Asunción (the Virgin of Ascension).

 

Strong cultural legacy

The cultural legacy of the Costa Blanca brings together all kinds of activities and places that are steeped in history and tradition. Moors and Christians in Denia, Alcoy and Calpe, festivals in Altea and Alicante, Moorish quarters and castles in Guadalest and Javea are some of the best known experiences in the area. The options are almost endless and we encourage you to discover this land.

From rock castles at the foot of the Mediterranean, to those narrow cobbled streets where the smell of the sea mingles with the refreshing scent of jasmine, to massive parades of people, the magical Night of San Juan… everything feeds into an immense tradition and legacy.

In addition to the World Heritage Sites that we have reviewed in this entry, the Costa Blanca has some of the most beautiful historic centres in Spain. Clear examples are the Barrio de Santa Cruz in Alicante and those of Javea, Denia, Benissa and Teulada. All of them sharing one common feature: the Mediterranean sunlight.

Don’t miss our blog articles where we’ll give you more ideas on plans all over the Costa Blanca.

Enjoy Easter in Costa Blanca

Enjoy Easter in Costa Blanca

With April comes Easter, a time that’s interesting to tourists in almost all parts of Spain and, in particular, in Costa Blanca. Here’s a series of plans and options near Residential Resort Cumbre del Sol to spend this holiday season in one of the most popular destinations throughout the year.

Easter brings an extra incentive to any resident or anyone who wants to spend a few days here, a truly luxurious offer. Watching the traditional processions with excitement, exquisite cuisine, and the famous dreamy beaches, all tied together with rich historical and cultural heritage sites.

Torrijas and Easter mona cake – easter’s sweet staple foods

When Easter arrives, it’s tradition in Costa Blanca to bake some of the famous Easter sweets. Flour, yeast, milk, egg, butter and sugar are more than enough to make the famous mona de Pascua cake. On Easter Sunday itself, tradition rules in Alicante. Families get together to have a snack and eat this dessert outside in nature (beach, mountain, countryside…). Interestingly, the mona has always been considered a loving gift from the grown-ups to the youngest members of the family.

The other star dish of Easter in Costa Blanca is torrijas. It’s surprising how something so simple can have such a spectacular flavour. Stale slices of bread soaked in red wine or milk with lemon and cinnamon, dipped in whisked egg and then fried in oil. Some people serve them coated in cinnamon and sugar and others sweeten them with syrup.

costa blanca torrijas y mona

Processions in Alicante

Holy Week in Costa Blanca is, above all, a festival of religious tradition that year after year attracts many visitors due to its incredible, emotional processions. Throughout the municipalities of the area, you can enjoy activities such as the famous procession of silence on Holy Thursday and the procession of the Holy Burial, the protagonist of Good Friday, in which women who wish can accompany the Holy Sepulchre dressed in a black shawl and veil. Two processions in the city of Alicante are worth mentioning: the procession of the Holy Supper on Holy Thursday, which is one of the most famous in Spain and helps a good cause, as after the procession, the food that is placed on the table of the procession is donated to a home for the elderly. And, on the other hand, the palm trees of the Explanada are witnesses to the most popular and familiar procession of all those celebrated in the city, that of the Borriquita on Palm Sunday.

Other processions to take into account if you want to experience what Holy Week is all about are those of La Pasión in the town of Orihuela, in which more than 8,000 Nazarenes and around 1,200 musicians parade; and the procession of Los Tres Abrazos (The Three Embraces) in Crevillente.

disfrutar de las procesiones costa blanca

Days out, music, markets…

There is also room for other non-religious activities to enjoy Easter in Costa Blanca. It’s a tradition in some towns such as Moraira-Teulada to play live music in the streets. In the city of Alicante, the Jornadas de Cuaresma (Lenten Days) are held to promote the hotel and catering industry throughout the province with the help of the best chefs in the area.

It’s also interesting to wander around the historic centre of any municipality in Costa Blanca, especially those of Altea, Dénia, Benitachell and Moraira, and discover their most emblematic spots, such as the medieval market that takes place in Calpe during easter, where you can buy typical Costa Blanca handicrafts.

And what about outdoor plans? Easter is the perfect time to discover natural areas such as the Benitachell cliffs route, take a stroll along the L’Andragó cove in Moraira or have an aperitif in the marina of Altea.

As you have seen, during Easter Week the towns and villages of  Costa Blanca dress up and put on hundreds of events that make the Alicante coastline a splendid place to be. The perfect mix of discovering and getting to know religious traditions and enjoying a unique area on the Mediterranean coast. Don’t miss our next blog articles in which we will continue to tell you about more things to do near Residential Resort Cumbre del Sol.

From Denia to Pilar de la Horadada: The Costa Blanca is a Mediterranean Paradise

From Denia to Pilar de la Horadada: The Costa Blanca is a Mediterranean Paradise

244 km of coastline, 20 villages and an average annual temperature of 18 °C. The Costa Blanca is a paradise, and we know we don’t have to do anything to prove it! Still, we want to tell you about some of the peculiarities of this region and encourage you to visit its most emblematic places.

First of all, why the name Costa Blanca (White Coast)? There are different theories, but the most convincing one is clear just by observing the landscape. From the sky, the view of this coast is, as its name suggests, white. From its sandy beaches to the architectural aesthetics of its villages and white homes like those of VAPF. This white contrasts with the crystal-clear blue waters that further enhance the radiance of the coastline. Another theory attributes this famous name to British Airlines.  According to this theory, the airline used this name in 1975 to promote a flight between London and Valencia.

If there is one thing that stands out about the Costa Blanca, it is the geography. Have you heard of the Peñón de Ifach? This corner of the region, located in Calpe, is home to a natural park that is free to visit but does require reservations. From Residential Resort Cumbre del Sol you can reach it in half an hour by car, so it’s a great option for a day trip!

But Calpe is much more! Without going any further, the Baños de la Reina (Queen’s Baths) is next to the Salinas de Calpe. These are artificial pools that are carved into the rock and which contain a lot of history. Initially dedicated to aquaculture, today they make up one more historical attraction along the Spanish Costa Blanca. You can enjoy activities such as snorkeling to discover its underwater tunnels.

We were talking about the characteristic white color that washes the facades of the Costa Blanca. It’s not just Santorini or Ibiza that enjoy such views! Just a few kilometers from Residential Resort Cumbre del Sol, Altea stands as a white paradise. This town is beautiful from the outside but holds just as much charm on the inside. Its many monuments and landmarks show the passage of time and the mark that history has left on it. A good overview of all this can be experienced by taking a walk through the Old Town. It stands out for its preserved old town with its cobblestone streets, white houses and flowerpots.

And if you are a history buff, you can head towards Denia. Just over half an hour’s drive from Residential Resort Cumbre del Sol, here you can travel through centuries of history in just one day! Denia Castle is home to Roman, Muslim and medieval Christian remains. These traces can be found all over the city, from the historic district of Les Roques to the Torre del Gerro. The latter is a watchtower-built centuries ago with the aim of controlling the coast and its visitors.

All this geography filled with history and incomparable natural landscapes offers many interesting hiking routes. In Denia, the Montgó natural park is both a landscape and a viewpoint from which to contemplate the Mediterranean Sea. The hiking trails are only part of the many routes that can be done from Cumbre del Sol. One can also enjoy them cycling, scuba diving, etc…. there is no time for boredom!

So you can see that your life at Cumbre del Sol is filled with plans surrounded by nature and full of history. And for more suggestions, don’t hesitate to visit our blog and follow us on Facebook and Instagram you too can be part of the Costa Blanca!

Spain’s most authentic Oktoberfest is on the Costa Blanca

Spain’s most authentic Oktoberfest is on the Costa Blanca

The Costa Blanca is home to people of many different nationalities, something which can truly be appreciated in the multicultural Cumbre del Sol Residential Resort. As a result, a whole range of customs and special days from a variety of countries are celebrated here. For example, did you know that one of Spain’s most famous Oktoberfests is held in Calpe?

This event, also known as the October festival or Beer festival, originally began in Munich in 1810, with the wedding celebrations of Prince Ludwig I of Bavaria and Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen. People loved it so much that the event was repeated year after year, eventually becoming a tradition and spreading to other countries. On the Alicante coastline we are lucky enough to host the most original replica of the event in Spain, Calpe Oktoberfest, which is organised by the Carnival Club of Calpe. It began in 1987 when a group of Germans who lived in the area decided to celebrate their country’s event, and in time became a tradition in Levante which welcomes over 10,000 people each year! This year, from the 24th October to the 4th November, the municipality will drink 30,000 litres of beer and dance the polka in an enormous tent set up close to the Tennis Club.

Soak up German culture at an event that is sure to leave a lasting impression. There will be typical Bavarian food – such as pork knuckle and sausages – as well as a wide selection of imported beers. And, thanks to live music from Steinsberger, the fun is guaranteed! There will also be a range of other activities like open-air dances, folk performances, tastings, and competitions as diverse as beer carrying, lumberjack tests, or milking cows… Without doubt, the best of all is the paella contest, a clear example of the wonderful fusion of the German and Spanish cultures. What could be better than enjoying a delicious paella under the Mediterranean sun… accompanied by a nice beer? Make a note in your calendar and enjoy the true German spirit at this event. We guarantee maximum fun from the word go, when the first barrel is opened by the mayor with a cry of “O’zapft is!”.

If you want to stay up to date with events and news from Cumbre del Sol Residential Resort and the surrounding area, keep an eye on our blog and social media channels!