“Hay mucha diferencia entre viajar
para ver países y para ver pueblos.”
There is a big difference between travelling to see countries and travelling to see villages.
There is more to the Costa Blanca than the big cities. I often find that the best times I have are actually outside of the city. The places where the architecture is untouched and the sense of community still exists.
Orxeta, or Orcheta, is a small municipality in the mountains of the Marina Baixa. Only 20 minutes drive from the centre of Benidorm, yet in comparison, a million miles apart.
I first heard about Orxeta when children in my class told me they lived there. After googling it, I found out that less than 800 people live there. I’m pretty sure more than 800 people live there. So, that should give you some sense of an idea of just how small and ‘together’ this village really is.
To me, Orxeta was like a mini Villajoyosa collided with Finestrat and Guadalest. Now, in no way is this village a big day out, neither is it somewhere that on a week holiday you might rush to, but, if you’re here for a while, or you’ve been coming so regularly and you’re bored of the ‘same ole scenery’ then, a trip to Orxeta might just be something you’d like.
How to Get to Orxeta
This is not easy. Unless you have access to a car, it might not be entirely possible for you.
We travelled by car, heading towards Villajoyosa along the CV 770.
Orxeta is not accessible by public transport from Benidorm or Villajoyosa.
If you enjoy a pretty steep bike ride, then it’s a 9.1km ride, uphill, according to google for 30 minutes. (I think it’d be more like an hour but there we go!)
If you enjoy hiking, there were plenty of brave? people taking the journey, apparently, it’s a two-hour walk from Villajoyosa. If you do plan on hiking up, make sure you have supplies such as water. There’s a lot of nothing in between!
What’s it Like?
Orxeta is like the paramount of a Spanish village. Local tapas bars, one on every corner. A beautiful church perched high above the village, peeking over the top, keeping watch and chiming on the hour and booming for the church service. There are open doors with friendly locals, those who are all too happy for you to take photos of their houses and stroke their dogs.
It’s like a true sense of community.
Stepping into Orxeta is like taking a step back in time. There were some definite looks when people realised we weren’t a part of the 800 population, but they were friendly and welcoming.
Tapas Bars, Lemon Groves and Slow Walks
We went to a gorgeous bar, Bar Gregori, where we happened to see one of the children I teach. She was enjoying tapas with her family and was so happy to see us. She was waving and smiling and introducing me to every member.
Bar Gregori is located on Calle Mayor in Orxeta, but believe me, once you get to Orxeta, you’ll definitely find it without directions. I would like to go back to Orxeta and just tapas hop between them all.
Surrounding Orxeta, there are rows and rows of miles of lemon and orange groves. I have never had a Fanta Limon with a lemon in it that was so full of flavour. They really had picked some and chopped them straight the way.
We also had a selection of tapas. Patatas bravas, patatas fritas, dedos de queso and nuggets de pollo.
- Patatas Bravas, cubes of white potato, usually served with a hot, tomato sauce.
- Patatas Fritas, fries
- Dados de Queso, these are cheese cubes. The ones we had were Cabra which is goats cheese.
- Nuggets de Pollo, chicken nuggets. These were the best chicken nuggets I’ve ever had.
The chicken nuggets were made of real, fresh chicken. They had been completely homemade, even down to the breadcrumbs. At 0.60c a piece, I wished we had much more! We’ll be heading back to have some more of them, at some point!
After that, we took a quick stroll around the village once more. Trust me, it takes around 5 minutes to get from one side to the other. But, it’s so beautiful to just walk around and take a look. The mountains tower over one side of Orxeta, and the views are just stunning.
El Embalse del Amadorio
“The Amateurs Reservoir” let’s hope I’ve translated that correctly…
Constructed in 1957, built along the route of the Rio Amadorio (Amadorio river). Its maximum capacity is 15.8hm³. This reservoir is used for the supply of water to the Marina Baixa, to the cities of Villajoyosa and Benidorm.
This beautiful reservoir reminds me of Guadalest. The crystal clear water really is a marvel to look at.
Down below, we could see people taking part in water sports on the reservoir. I don’t know if it’s allowed or they just did it!? I’m no sports expert, but it looked to me like they were windsurfing. Perhaps I should ask Alex…
El Embalse del Amadorio is a 13-minute drive out of Orxeta, heading towards Villajoyosa. There is a viewpoint with benches and a pull off point, so make sure you stop for a photo!
Orxeta is a beautiful spot located up in the mountains. If you’re looking for a typically Spanish town with a laid-back lifestyle then this is for you. Relax with some tapas and a caña or a copa de vino and really soak up the atmosphere!
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Have you ever been to Orxeta?