Algorfa is a beautiful place, to live and to stay, but sometimes you want to spread your wings and explore, and Algorfa’s position in the heart of the Vega Baja means you’re never too far away from the next pretty Spanish town. And the beaches of Guardamar and the bright lights of Torrevieja are only a 15 minute drive away. Or why not get on your bike, if you’re feeling energetic? Take some water and wear sunscreen though. That sun is strong, even in winter.
This is a round up of some of the local attractions. Everyone has different tastes, and one person’s beautiful place is someone else’s drive-past moment, but here are a few ideas for getting out and about Around Algorfa. Where possible, we’ve included links to the local Ayuntamiento Facebook pages, so you can check for local fiestas, etc. It’s a good idea to join some of the local Facebook groups too, because the Spanish aren’t terribly good at promoting events, so some local knowledge is a great help.
Literally the next town to Algorfa. Coming from La Finca and Montemar, carry on across the traffic lights and you will come into Almoradi. Or turn left at Tien 21, off Avenida Maria del Mar Rodriguez. Not the prettiest Spanish town locally, and the one way system can be a bit of a nightmare, even with Google Maps. However, there’s a good range of shops, and the church square with the ‘doughnut’ trees is stunning. The trees have their insides cut away, so the outside foliage is reminiscent of a doughnut. There are lights through the centre as well, so they are particularly beautiful at night.
People come from miles around to Almoradi’s Saturday street market. It’s very big, very cheap, and one of the best in the area. And there are lots of shops to browse. Almoradi is very Spanish, so expect the shops to close for siesta.
Benijofar is also the next town to Algorfa, in a different direction. (don’t ask me though!) Turn right at the traffic lights, or carry on past Tien 21 from the main street. I call Benijofar Algorfa’s big brother, because there are loads of bars and restaurants, in the town and on the Benimar urbanisation on the road to Rojales.
The church is beautiful, as is the square, with the fountains. And there’s a lovely park behind the Benimar bars. There are a lot of lovely independent shops, and a choice of large supermarkets in nearby Quesada. Market day is Tuesday, and it’s held on the ground next to Hamilton’s Bakehouse. It’s safe for children and dogs, and not too big for those who have difficulty walking around the larger markets.
Past the Benimar roundabout and you are soon in Rojales. This town is most notable for the bridge across the River Segura. The first roundabout you come to takes you into the modern area of Rojales, but if you carry on to the next one, you’re in the heart of the old town, with the iconic Municipal Museum. Lots of bars, shops and restaurants, and plenty of tree-lined, shady areas to escape the heat of the sun.
Check out the large Thursday market, opposite Mercadona on the right side of the river. It’s one of the cheapest in the area, and it’s safely enclosed for children and dogs. La Marquesa golf course is on the edge of the town, and even if golf is not your thing, you’ll love the views.
Formentera is the next town to Rojales, accessed by turning left at the second Rojales roundabout, after crossing the bridge over the Segura. It has a fabulous Spanish vibe, and the heart of the town is the square, with its hollowed out trees and the refreshment kiosk where everyone congregates for drinks. The square is dominated by the beautiful La Purisima Parish Church, built after the 1829 earthquake destroyed most of the town. Good selection of bars and restaurants. Check out the El Molino area, with the 17th century flour mill, shaded walks and picnic tables. Safe and secure for the children, and easily accessible on foot from the town.
Take the road out of Algorfa past the Cecilia Apartments and the Ermita, and you will come to Benejuzar. It’s another typically Spanish town, with tree-lined open spaces and a good selection of shops, bars and restaurants. A good place to while away a morning or evening. It’s a picturesque road in from Algorfa for a cycle ride, and there are plenty of watering holes for refreshment.
The Pilar Sanctuary sits above the town, surrounded by the Sierra Benejuzar Natural Park, which also has cycle trails and shady spots for picnics. As in most Spanish towns, there are several colourful and historic fiestas going on. Check locally for dates.
Leaving Benejuzar, Jacarilla is another delightful Spanish town not far from Algorfa. Easily the highlight of this town, which is surrounded by arable land, is the ducal palace of the Marquis of Fontalba, and has beautiful shaded landscaped gardens. Check locally for opening times. Jacarilla dates back to the 6th century, and has a rich cultural heritage.
Built by a Spanish millionaire who fancied having his own town back in the 1970s, Quesada is just a few minutes drive from Algorfa. It’s developing into a bit of a shoppers’ paradise, with all the major supermarkets, two new shopping centres, and a third under construction at the time of writing. There’s plenty for the sports minded as well, with mini golf, go-karting, bowling and a gym in the town or adjacent to it.
Good choice of bars and restaurants, some with live entertainments most nights, and most major Spanish banks. Quesada’s not a quiet place by any means, but there are activities for everyone, and if your language skills are lacking, pretty much everyone speaks English.
Around 15 minutes drive from Algorfa, past the salt lakes, Torrevieja is a large town and resort. The beaches aren’t up to Guardamar’s standard, but they are one of Torrevieja’s main attractions, along with the Marina and the Park of Nations. Torrevieja is the nearest place for real nightlife, if that’s your thing, but there’s plenty to do for all the family, and there’s a cinema behind the Habaneras shopping centre that regularly shows English language films at a reasonable admission price.
Lots of excellent restaurants, offering good meals at even better prices. There’s an evening craft market along the waterfront, and if you fancy a bit of an adrenalin rush, you can hire a jet ski. Or sit on the terrace of the Real Club Nautico (Sailing club) and watch the world go by. There’s a huge market on Fridays, and lots of events along the waterfront, including concerts in the open air auditorium.
If it’s long sandy beaches you are looking for, Guardamar is the place to go. It’s where the River Segura flows into the sea. The resort is justly famous for its 11 km of sandy beaches, but there’s much more to the town than that. If you’re feeling energetic, climb the hill to the castle that looks over the town. Built in the 13th century, it was pretty much destroyed in the 1829 earthquake, along with the rest of the town, but some areas remain, and the views over land and sea are magnificent.
Guardamar is surrounded by extensive dunes and pine forests, and there’s the iconic Reina Sofia Park, easily recognised by its green and white marble structures around the perimeter. And there’s a fabulous dog park there, with views over the Mediterranean. Lots to see and do, and a great choice of bars and restaurants. Market day is Wednesday.
That’s our round up of places Around Algorfa. Of course, there are many more, but this is just a brief introduction to some of our favourite places within a short drive of our town. Let us know where you like to go for a bit of culture and sightseeing. Maybe we’ll see you out and about Around Algorfa!