Map Overview La Vila Joiosa
Stroll and Eat
The walk along the promenade is lovely and takes a good half hour either way, at a reasonable pace. If you want to go on, climb the stairs at the end, walk around the house on your right, you can take the path or climb a bit of rock, so you have the sea view more quickly. From there you can keep going, the next beach is lovely, after that you climb again and walk on the top, passing the nudist beach from above, and after a good 2 hours, you will arrive in Benidorm.
Some of the recommended and/or experienced better food offerings are also on the map below. There is also a very simple and very good little bar (La Lonja) at the fishing port (which is a must anyway, go when the boats are coming in and check out the auction), and for a really good take away pizza: Las Palmeras in Carrer Pizarro, pretty much opposite of where the rolling walkway comes up from the beach front. If you are into Calamari fritti (Romana here): Ca Marta! Paella: Madrid!
Cycling around La Vila Joiosa
(By Marc who visited during August)
The Costa Blanca is well catered for in terms of road cycling with plenty of cyclists to be seen out on the roads most days.
The best cycling I found during my stay there was inland and away from the coast - staying by the coast has the advantage of being relatively flat but the roads tend to be much busier and whilst there are some cycle lanes and hard shoulders that double up as cycle lanes then the experience was a lot less pleasant. Spanish motorists on the whole seemed to be quite tolerant and patient when it comes to cyclists on the roads - in the week I was there then I experienced absolutely no issues at all in this regard.
I found two quiet and safe routes out of La Vila Joiosa. The first headed out past the chocolate factory and up into the hills towards Sella (you cross the main Autoroute at a fairly safe roundabout). The second is a bit harder to find but signposted to Finestrat - if you head out of La Vila Joiosa on the Main Street towards Benidorm then there’s a roundabout about 1km out of town and you can turn left to Finestrat there. Both routes take you up hill (sadly!) and come back together on the main road to Sella. Sella itself is a steady climb (about 17km in total) but is never steep - maybe an average of 3-4%. From Sella there’s a route up the Port Toudons (about 11k at an average of 5%) which is very pretty as it winds its way up gorges and through pine forests. There’s a turning with about 4-5km left on the climb which takes you along the top and then eventually down into Relleu (from where you can descend back to the Sella-La Vila Joiosa road and back home). Or you can carry on right to the top (there’s nothing much there though apart from the road up to a military communications site) and either come back down or take a left and head towards La Torre des Macanes and then back to Relleu and home. That’s a much longer circuit though - about 88km and 2000m of climbing all told). All of Sella, Relleu and Finestrat have shops and cafes of various persuasions (enough to survive the heat with in any case) - I think there was a water fountain in Relleu at least (opposite the tobacconist shop) but I couldn’t vouch for it.
I hired a road back from Benidorm Cycle Hire which worked very well. I hired a perfectly good Bianchi with Ultegra groupset for about €20 per day. I think he had newer models available for €30 a day. He doesn’t generally stock Mountain bikes or Hybrids but said he could probably help if there was a need. Details are - Ian McQuarrie, Benidorm Cycle Hire, +34-634-347-995. Website is www.benidormcyclehire.com. Ian will deliver and pick up your bike from La Vila Joiosa for a small charge.
All in all some very good road cycling to be had and a very popular area to do it in - many of the pro teams visit the region at various times in the year because of the warm and dry climate, the generally very good quality roads and the testing but not insane mountain roads.