Villajoyosa lies just a few kilometres south of Benidorm on the main N332 towards Alicante. First impressions are worrying as you enter this grotty looking town with a sign pointing to its Chocolate Museum which is one of its few tourist attractions. However, don’t be put off as a unique former fishing community awaits you. Look out for the left turn as you’re driving through (turn right for a left) and head for the town centre (centro urbano). Try to park anywhere you can and walk down to the beach. You’ll get the feeling that the town lives with the hangover of having been a thriving fishing port in the past whilst today’s reality sees the idol men folk sitting on their step watching the world go by.
On the walk down you’ll see streets with multi-coloured houses and the day’s washing hung out to dry from the terraces of the houses. Once you get down to the sea you’ll be confronted by a very attractive beachfront area consisting of numerous restaurants all offering daily 3 course menus for a reasonable price as well as locally caught fish dishes.
After lunch walk back up towards the old town through some of the most run down streets of Villajoyosa which are again usually painted in bright colours with the day’s washing hanging out. Interestingly a lot of the name plates on doors show the owners to be foreigners.
The old town itself has been largely renovated and the run down feeling of the streets nearer the coast is absent. Take a look in the window of the estate agency and the inflated prices certainly aren’t consistent with a depressed town.
Finally take the car down to the beach and head back towards Benidorm where you’ll see smart apartment blocks, nice restaurants and a marina at the most northerly part of Villajoyosa. First impressions most certainly can be deceiving. Highly recommended for a lunch break from Benidorm.