A Colorful Escape: Exploring Villajoyosa on European Car Free Day

Les Casas de Colors, Villajoyosa, Alicante

Photo © suitcaseinspain

In the hustle and bustle of our daily lives, sometimes the best adventures are the ones we decide on a whim. That’s exactly what happened when a last-minute decision led us to Villajoyosa, a picturesque coastal town in the province of Alicante, Spain. It was European Car Free Day on September 22, 2023, and we were in search of an eco-friendly adventure.
After lunch in Alicante, we decided to embrace the car-free spirit and hopped on the L1 Tram at Luceros station. Our destination? Les Casas de Colors in Villajoyosa, a place renowned for its vibrant, multicolored houses that line the seaside. The tram ride, though it took approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes, was a delightful journey through the Spanish countryside, offering scenic views that added to our excitement.

Timing, as they say, is everything. We reached Villajoyosa at around 6 pm, just as the golden hues of the setting sun began to cast a warm, inviting glow over the town. It was as if the universe conspired to make this impromptu visit even more magical. With the soft, evening light, we knew we were in for a treat, especially when it came to capturing the town’s vibrant colors in photographs.

Our first stop was the beach, and what a breathtaking sight it was! As we strolled along Av. del Port, the Mediterranean waves gently lapped at the shore, creating a soothing symphony. The brightly colored houses, each one a unique work of art, provided a stunning backdrop against the azure sea. The play of colors against the natural beauty of the coast was nothing short of enchanting.

As we walked, we couldn’t help but stop and admire the facades of these charming houses, each one painted in a different shade, telling its own story. The tradition of painting these houses in vibrant colors dates back to the town’s history as a fishing village. Fishermen would paint their homes in distinctive colors to make them easily identifiable from the sea. Today, it’s a tradition that adds a whimsical charm to Villajoyosa, making it a visual feast for visitors.

Our day of exploration concluded with a well-deserved break at The Black Lion, a cozy seaside spot where we enjoyed refreshing beverages. The atmosphere was relaxed, the sea breeze invigorating, and the experience truly authentic.

As the sun dipped below the horizon, casting a tapestry of colors across the sky, we knew it was time to bid adieu to Villajoyosa and make our way back to the city center. But the memories of this spontaneous adventure, the vibrant houses, and the tranquil beach would stay with us, a testament to the joys of embracing the unexpected.

Villajoyosa, with its colors and charm, had offered us a brief but unforgettable escape from the ordinary, a reminder that sometimes the best journeys are the ones you decide to take on the spur of the moment.

A statue of José María Esquerdo Zaragoza, a Spanish psychiatrist, physician, and Republican politician who was born in Villajoyosa. He is noted as a pioneer in the introduction of modern psychiatric treatments in Spain.

Photo © suitcaseinspain

Colorful Houses in Villajoyosa

Villajoyosa, often referred to as La Vila Joiosa in Valencian, is renowned for its picturesque, brightly colored houses that line the waterfront. The tradition of painting houses in various vibrant hues dates back centuries and has practical as well as historical significance.

Historically, fishermen painted their houses in bright colors to make them easily visible from the sea. This practice not only aided the fishermen in finding their way back to the shore but also added a cheerful and lively aesthetic to the town. Over time, this tradition has become a characteristic feature of Villajoyosa, making it a unique and colorful destination for visitors.

The vibrant color palette of the houses is symbolic of the lively and cheerful nature of the community, reflecting the town’s rich maritime heritage and its close relationship with the Mediterranean Sea.

Video © suitcaseinspain

Valor Chocolate Factory

Valor Chocolate, an esteemed Spanish chocolatier, holds a prominent position in Villajoyosa. Nestled in the town’s very heart, the Valor Chocolate factory boasts a storied legacy, tracing its origins all the way back to 1881. Although this visit didn’t afford us the opportunity to explore this chocolate haven, we’ve had the pleasure of indulging in its delights on numerous occasions in the past. After all, who could possibly resist the temptation of free chocolate samples?

The Valor family started their chocolate-making journey in a small workshop, and over the years, their dedication to quality and traditional methods propelled them to success. The factory in Villajoyosa is not only a hub for chocolate production but also a museum that allows visitors to learn about the fascinating history and art of chocolate making.

Visitors to the Valor Chocolate factory can take guided tours to witness the chocolate-making process, from the cocoa bean to the final product. The tour offers insights into the history of chocolate, the evolution of Valor as a brand, and the modern techniques involved in chocolate production.

Additionally, visitors can indulge in tasting sessions, savoring a wide range of chocolates and experiencing the rich flavors for which Valor is celebrated. The Valor Chocolate factory provides an immersive experience for chocolate enthusiasts, allowing them to appreciate the craftsmanship and passion that go into creating this beloved treat.

Photos © Chocolates Valor

Our impromptu visit to Villajoyosa on European Car Free Day was a delightful escapade, embracing the charm of a colorful coastal town and the allure of a journey decided on a whim. As the sun bid its daily farewell, painting the sky in hues of gold and pink, we left with hearts full of the vibrant hues of Villajoyosa and the memory of a spontaneous adventure. It was a reminder that sometimes, the best experiences are the ones unplanned, and the most vivid memories are painted by the strokes of spontaneity.

Postcards from the Road