The province of Alicante is especially known for the Costa Blanca. Many of its coastal municipalities are completely transformed in summer, multiplying their population. However, this territory is much more than sun and beach. In the interior, there are also villages and natural parks with landscapes of great beauty. One of these municipalities far from the coast is Alcoy, in Valencian Alcoi.
The city, which has almost 60,000 inhabitants, has a charming historic center full of interesting places to visit. Read on to discover what to see and do in Alcoy.
If you stay at Camping Arena Blanca you can reach Alcoy driving for just over an hour.
The natural areas of Alcoy
The beautiful natural setting in which Alcoy is located makes this town an ideal destination for hiking, cycling, climbing, horseback riding and other adventure tourism activities.
70% of the territory of Alcoy is within the natural parks of Font Roja and Sierra de Mariola.
Font Roja stands out especially for being one of the best examples of Mediterranean mixed forest. During autumn, the ash and maple trees take on an ochre and reddish hue that turn the park into a visual spectacle. The Font Roja sanctuary, located in the middle of the Serrella mountain range at an altitude of over 1000 meters, is also a magical place with routes and viewpoints to enjoy nature.
Another option is the Serra, or Sierra de Mariola, a natural area well known for its aromatic herbs and the presence of numerous springs. It is one of the most beloved scenic enclaves throughout the Valencian territory for the possibility of hiking, biking or horseback riding.
The urban area
The urban center of this town in Alicante is also worth a visit. The city has been declared a Historic-Artistic Site and has several assets of cultural interest. During the 13th century, when Alcoy was founded, the entire center was surrounded by a wall of which the Na Valora and Naixa towers are still preserved, as well as the Riquer and Sant Roc gates.
However, the historic center still represents the grandeur that ruled Alcoy in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with a significant presence of modernist buildings. At that time, the locality lived a period of expansion due to the great industrial development. This is currently reflected in what is known as the Modernism Route.
Thus, one of the things to do in Alcoy is to discover some of these buildings, which total 24, including official headquarters and even pantheons of the cemetery. Some of these funerary monuments have allowed the locality to receive national awards. The cemetery of Alcoy is part of the European Route of Cemeteries since 2012, then it can also be an interesting visit.
One of the drawbacks of this town is that the possibility of parking in the street is very limited, as there is hardly any parking area and many streets are narrow. Fortunately, in recent years, pockets of free parking have been created to avoid driving downtown and encourage walking.
Returning to the historic center, the best point from which to start a walk through the center is the Plaza de España, with the presence in the vicinity of the City Hall, the Calderón theater or the parish of Santa María.
Other essential places in a visit to Alcoy are the church of San Mauro and San Francisco, the Plaza de Dins and the Llotja de San Jordi. In the latter, you will discover an architectural design by Santiago Calatrava. It is accessed by stairs hidden at each end of the Plaza de España and is surprising for being a subway room.
The industrial route
Alcoy is a municipality closely linked to industrial development, and this is partly thanks to access to drinking water. The El Molinar spring has been supplying the city for centuries. This allowed an important proto-industrial development centuries ago, with flour mills and fulling mills.
The arrival of the steam engine and hydroelectric power in Alcoy made the town a valuable economic center for its industrial activity. In fact, there are still vestiges of that glorious era in many parts of Alcoy. One of the most important is the hiking and cycling route of the greenway of the Serpis, which occupies what was once the railroad of the English.
In addition, unlike the modernist route, which is limited to the historic center, in this industrial walk you can see other areas outside the village, such as the beds of the rivers Riquer and Molinar. In the latter, there is the industrial complex of Molinar, which has been declared an Asset of Cultural Interest and can be visited on a hiking route.
With these indications, you already have an idea of what to see in Alcoy. Our recommendation is that you let yourself go and, once you get to this town, go to the Tourist Office so that the experts can suggest routes and options that best suit your needs.
And of course, do not forget that the municipality is located at the confluence of several natural areas and in the province we have our wonderful Costa Blanca.