Europe, Itineraries, Spain
A mini road trip through the inland of Costa Blanca
Anyone who knows us, knows that we love road tripping. But for our vacation on the Costa Blanca in Spain we chose for just one stay in the beautiful Muralla Roja, located in the coastal city of Calpe. We rented a car and from our vacation accommodation we immediately set out to discover the most beautiful places in the area. During our trip we did a mini road trip of one day through the inland of the Costa Blanca. It was one of the highlights of our trip for both Jan and me. In this blog post I will take you on a great adventure through the inland of Costa Blanca along charming mountain villages, impressive waterfalls and breathtaking views!
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The inland of Costa Blanca
The Costa Blanca in Spain is best known for its vast sandy beaches that attract tons of sun seekers every year. But this region has much more to offer. Take an adventurous walk along the impressive coastal cliffs. Find the most hidden and secluded bays or opt to go more inland into the mountains. So more active travelers will definitely find something to their liking here as well.
Behind the Costa Blanca are a number of extensive low mountain ranges, including the Sierra de Bernia. This chain is part of the Cordilleras Béticas and extends in the east-west direction along the Mediterranean Sea. From the beaches of Benidorm, Altea and Calpe, you have a stunning view of these impressive peaks.
With its many hiking trails and viewpoints, Sierra de Bernia is not only a mecca for avid hikers, but you will also find numerous picturesque mountain villages for culture lovers and special fauna and flora for nature lovers.
How to discover the inland of Costa Blanca?
To discover the most beautiful places in the inland of Costa Blanca in Spain, we rented a car. We chose for Sunny Cars. The main reason why we pick Sunny Cars time and again is because all insurances are included when booking. The price you pay is therefore effectively the price. So you won’t be surprised with extra costs when you pick up the car.
I personally attach great importance to transparency and reliability in a service and I certainly find this with Sunny Cars. Besides that Sunny cars has many other advantages such as the fast lane, online check-in, no deposit service and more. This time we were also very satisfied with the smooth and excellent service at Sunny Cars.
A mini road trip through the inland of Costa Blanca
Start your mini road trip in the old town of Altea. This beautiful, white pearl on the Mediterranean Sea is located on a hill between the famous coastal cities of Benidorm and Calpe. It’s therefore a frequently visited place. Since Altea is the first stop, you’ll get there early in the morning. Perfect for avoiding crowds.
Park your car near Camí de L’algar. There you will find a large parking lot ‘zona Center’ where you can park for free. Walk your way to the top along the winding, cobbled streets and alleys. In the meantime, enjoy the authentic streetscape consisting of whitewashed houses, local shops, art galleries, hidden squares and above all the beautiful viewpoints.
Through the various art works that decorate the old center, you can still notice that Altea has been a popular art town since the 18th century. The eye catcher of Altea is definitely the church Nuestra Señora del Consuelo with its blue dome. This is located on the cozy Plaza de Iglesia, from where you also have a beautiful view of the city, the sea and the Penyal d’Ilfac. Plaza de Iglesia is the perfect place to have a drink or a bite before heading back to your road trip.
Because Altea is so charming, you can easily spend a few hours there. But if you like to continue your road trip, I advise you to stay here for a maximum of an hour to an hour and a half..
Would you like to take a unique guided tour or do another fun activity in Altea? Then check out the offers of Getyourguide below.
Would you like to stay in Altea or nearby? View all options here.
Did you already visit Altea? Or are you going to visit Altea at another time during your trip? Then drive directly to La Nucía. Park your car at the auditorium of La Nucía. Here you also have a great view of the mountain town of Polop, our next stop on the mini road trip through the inland of Costa Blanca.
La Nucía is a small, peaceful mountain village, just 7 km from Altea. Yet it has a completely different atmosphere than the white coastal city. Here the whitewashed houses make way for beautiful different-colored porches, and you can walk around very peacefully because it’s not touristy at all.
Take a moment to wander through the old quarter and explore this maze of narrow streets lined with traditional, colorful houses. Enjoy coffee on one of the cozy terraces on Plaza Major where you can also admire the impressive parish church and the town hall.
La Nucía is the perfect place for a little morning stroll. Stay here for a maximum of an hour to have enough time to see all the stops on this mini road trip.
Would you like to stay in La Nucía or nearby? View all the options here.
From La Nucía you already have a beautiful view over the neighboring town of Polop. You can walk there or go by car. If you go by car, you can park in parking ‘Parkhaus’ in Polop.
Venture into the historic center of Polop and make your way up, along the narrow streets lined with colored houses.
At the top you can visit the castle of Polop. This castle served as a cemetery until 1945. You can still see some ruins. Meanwhile, the bodies have been moved to the new cemetery in town. Not much remains of the castle, but the view at the top is amazing.
The panorama consists of the fertile inland of the Costa Blanca with many extensive orchards for orange, lemon and almond cultivation. From here you can also spot the Mediterranean Sea in the horizon. Enjoy the view with a drink and some tapas at bar El Castel. The lovely house cat likes to keep you company.
When you head back, stop for a minute at Fonts del Xorros. This is a unique and colorful monument with no fewer than 221 gargoyles! It’s also the ideal place to refill your drinking bottle with potable water before continuing your road trip through the inland of the Costa Blanca.
Would you like to stay in Polop or nearby? View all the options here.
Fonts de L’Algar
The next stop is Fonts de L’Algar. You should definitely not miss this spot, because here you can admire impressive waterfalls, in an oasis of green. It’s the perfect place to cool down during a hot day.
When you approach Fonts de L’Algar, you can find several car parks. We paid a daily rate of 5 euros. From our parking it was a 10-minute walk to the entrance of the park. You can see that this is a well known tourist attraction from the many restaurants, bars and shops along the road. Most facilities have their own swimming pool. Smart, because it can get very hot here during the summer months, and busy too! We visited Fonts de L’Algar in mid-October. It wasn’t really busy, but the temperature was still ideal for swimming.
The entrance fee at Fonts de L’Algar is 5 euros per person. When you arrive you’ll receive a map with an itinerary through the park. This trail runs along the river Algar and is about a mile long. It will take you along the waterfalls and the natural pools. The most impressive waterfall is actually just at the entrance. Here you can take beautiful pictures! It is also really worth going into the water until you reach the waterfall.
Do you want to swim a bit more peacefully? Then continue your walk. Along the way you will come across more beautiful places. The most quiet place can be found towards the end of the route. The water here is calmer, perfect to take a refreshing dip. It’s also wonderful to sit here for a while in between the trees and rocks.
We only stayed for a few hours in Font de L’Algar. We walked the route and stopped at several places to relax and get into the water.
Apart from the road trip, you can easily spend a full day here and make it a fun day trip. You can even combine some water fun in Fonts de L’algar with a visit to the Dino park. This is a botanical garden, where you can admire hundreds of cacti dinosaurs.
Do you want to stay in Fonts de L’Algar or nearby, view all the offers here.
You will be able to confirm that this mini road trip only gets better and better when you arrive at the last stop, Guadalest. This isn’t called one of the most beautiful towns in Spain for nothing.
The road from Font de L’Agar to Guadalest is an experience in itself. You drive further into the mountains along steep hairpin bends while enjoying the surrounding landscape consisting of impressive peaks.
You will find some public car parks at the edge of the town. Because we lingered a little longer at Font de L’agar, we didn’t arrive in Guadalest until 5 pm. We paid 2 euros for the parking. The fact that the car parks were still almost full at 5 p.m. says something about the popularity of this historic gem.
Guadalest is an ancient Moorish mountain town that is situated around a castle ‘El Castell de Guadelst’. Since the town is so high in the mountains in between the rocks, this formed a natural and solid defense buffer during war. You can still find prove in the impressive rock-hewn city gate. Meanwhile, the village has already expanded beyond the city walls.
I just took a few steps in the picturesque Guadalest and this town already completely enchanted me. The maze of cobbled streets, the small houses, the many souvenir shops, … completely my jam. And the best was yet to come! From the town square you can enjoy a dazzling view of the surrounding landscape in combination with the clear blue water of the reservoir. Breathtaking!
In Guadalest you can visit numerous museums, most of which are specialized in miniature art. We visited the castle of Guadalest for 4 euros per person. The castle itself is not super impressive. You can walk to the top where you have a better view of the bell tower. Here too you have an impressive panorama over the valley and the reservoir, but you can also admire this view perfectly from the town square.
Besides visiting the town of Guadalest, you can also do very nice hikes in the surrounding landscape.
If you prefer an organized trip to Guadalest, check out the offers of getyourguide below.
Would you like to stay in Guadalest or nearby? View all the options here.
Discover more of the inland of Costa Blanca?
We planned on visiting more places, but for one day this itinerary with Guadalest as end point was more than enough. In the surrounding area of Guadalest you will find even more traditional Moorish villages such as Benifato, Beniardá and Confrides. A little further you can visit the town of Penàguila, known for its noble mansions. So if you would like to extend your trip road trip, there is more than enough to see in the inland of the Costa Blanca!
We really enjoyed the inland of the Costa Blanca. It was by far one of the highlights of our trip. I hope that with the help of my itinerary and tips, you’ll be triggered to discover this region and enjoy it as much as we did.
Which places in the inland of the Costa Blanca would you like to explore? Let me know in the comments below.
Thank you for reading.