Villajoyosa means the joyous city and is known as the old town that reaches down to the sea. It is one of the few communities that have been able to preserve the old city and a large part of the city walls, when you visit the market in early May it feels like you have travelled back to the Middle Ages.
It is the smells, the sounds, the tastes and the sights that together makes you feel like you are in a different timezone.
Villajoyosa was recognized as a city since the Roman Empire and was then named Aloni. Fenecierna and the Iberians lived here during 1500 BC.
The name “Vila Joiosa” does not show in the documents until the year 1300 when Bernat’d’en Sarriá, founded his new residence here and it became attractive to the Christian settlers from Catalonia and Aragon. The city was originally a castle and walls that do not exist today. The walls that remain today are from the 1500’s. The dangers of pirate attacks remained until the 1700’s. The church was built into the wall. Along the other side is the river Amadorio which is now a dry river due to the dam which was built in the mountains. The river’s existence is what has made the area inhabited for millennia.
One important legend in Villajoyosa stems from the days of the Barbarian pirates attacking la Vila Joiosa. All inhabitants prayed to the saint Santa Marta who saved them from the pirates. Since July 29, 1694, Villajoyosa celebrates to honor Santa Marta. The fiesta “Moros y Cristianos”, is celebrated during the last week of July, this is a spectacular celebration and definitely worth a visit.
Valor, which is one of Spain’s biggest manufacturers of chocolate has its factory in the city. It is a family business founded in 1881. The craftsmanship fabricates top quality chocolate, it has followed generations and made them market leaders in Spain. They produce about 6000 tons of chocolate and a turnover of more than 31 million € per year.
At the northern part of the beach is an active fishing port. Every afternoon, the fishing boats provide the freshly caught seafood to restaurants in the area. There are several high-class restaurants to choose from. Do try the local paella.
The five-star hotel Montiboli offers a buffet where guests choose the freshly caught seafood and fish to be prepared into a delicious meal which can then be eaten while enjoying the views over the bay.