I still remember that afternoon when I got into that book shop on Dawson Street to protect me from the rain - umbrellas in Dublin? Pa 'what! - and I began to browse - as almost always - among travel books. I found and began to handle a folio-sized Lonely Planet guide. It was a compendium of all the recognized countries in the world. After seeing some of the beginning I looked for “Spain”. There were only 2 pages per country, one with the text and one with photos. And that's when I was speechless. The biggest photo - it occupied half a page - it was Guadalest !! He was even older than the Sagrada Familia!
Once a typical destination for schoolchildren in the area and IMSERSO trips - due to their proximity to Benidorm they used to take them after aerobics in the pool - Guadalest hides more history and beauty than can be seen at first sight and therefore can now be seen in its tourist streets of all kinds and, above all, foreigners.
Located about 70 kilometers north of Alicante, it will only take you about 40 minutes by car to reach this picturesque village that, even with just over 200 inhabitants, can boast being one of the most visited villages in all of Spain.
He had not walked the streets for about 10 years, but as he was acting as a guide for Tatiana - which was his first time - he remembered every corner of it. Its 11th-century castle, its 18th-century church, the small hermitage that sits atop a rocky promontory - and that is the image chosen by Lonely Planet that astonished me so much - and the underground jail is accompanied by oddities such as multiple museums of micro-miniatures, the one of Nativity scenes or the one of old toys. In addition, it has a beautiful view of the swamp that caters to several villages and fields in the area.
It is worth missing a few hours through its narrow streets full of small shops of handicrafts and souvenirs, small tapas bars and sandwiches - let's not forget that many guiris come to this town! - and more history than it seems.
Last Saturday - in a brief escape back to my Alicante land - I was walking through Guadalest thinking: go fabric, the symbol of Spain on the Lonely Planet! And back to Ireland, I have been even more surprised to search the Internet and discover that Guadalest was the cover chosen by Lonely Planet itself to publish the fourth edition about Spain!