Teulada-Moraira, Benissa and Gata de Gorgos
Teulada is located 22 kms. from Dénia.
The historic town centre is well worth a visit.
Starting from the Town Hall, go towards the Plaza de la Creu where you will find the Santa Catalina Church (18th-20th century). Highlights the original nave, in Renaissance style with Gothic decoration and a polygonal apse with starry vault. The bell tower, of hexagonal plan and 30 m. high, (19th century). In front is the Abbey House and next to the church: The Ermita Divina Pastora, hermitage of baroque style and Renaissance facade. Also in the historic centre is La Sala de Jurats i Justicies (The Lawcourts, 17th century). From here you can reach the Ermita San Vicente Ferrer, in neo-classical-baroque style, which stands out for its dome of blue, white and green tiles.
In Teulada we can visit the Winery-Cooperative Sant Vicent Ferrer where we will offer a tasting of the wines made with the traditional culture, the Muscat grape of Alexandria. We highlight the white wines, the artisan vermouth and the muscat "Mistela Selecta de Teulada", endorsed by numerous international awards.
The market takes place on Wednesdays in the Plaza VI Centenari.
Towards Moraira, follow the main road to Moraira; after about 3 kms. you will come to the Ermita de la Font Santa, which is home to the "the fresh spring where the water forever gushes forth".
You should visit the Parish Chuch of "la Mare de Deu dels Desamparats", with its typical arcades in the local 'Riu Rau' style, Almacen, Playa and Mar streets, where you will see the "Margenot" which is an old sea defence wall built to protect the fishermen´s dwellings from rough seas. The Castle of Moraira, dating from the 18th century, was built as a fortress with its typical 'bull´s hoof' shape, houses a thematic exhibition on the Watchtower of the Mediterranean Coast; In its surroundings we find the cistern that supplied water to the fort and the small Ermita de Nª Sra. del Carmen.
A visit to the Moraira Yacht Club is also recommended, with more than 600 mooring points that organizes activities throughout the year. We can also travel part of the route Miradores del Litoral to approach the admired Playa del Portet, natural port of fine sand and crystal clear waters, sheltered by the peninsula of Cap d'Or, dominated by the watchtower of the 16th century and in which we also find the Cova de la Cendra, archaeological site of the Upper Paleolithic, which we can access through the local path SL-CV51.
The market in Moraira takes place on Fridays on the Moraira-Calpe Road, next to the public parking Les Sorts, Madrid Avenue with Moraira road to Calpe. The craft market is held in the summer evenings on Avenida de la Paz.
After visiting the most interesting sights in Teulada and Moraira, now let ́s set out to discover Benissa. To get to Benissa. Follow the signs towards Calpe for about 5 kms until you reach the crossroads signposted for Benissa on the right.
Starting point: La Plaza del Portal, with the Town Hall. There was a hospital for the poor and sick of the town on this spot at the end of the 18th century. In the olden days Benissa was a walled town with the main gateway located here, at the top of the street known today as calle “Puríssima”. Take your time strolling down this typical medieval street, with its impressive town houses, its local people and its balconies with ornate iron railings. Walk through the Plaza de la Iglesia Vieja, where the fortified church of San Pedro used to stand, admire the 16th century Consell Hall, and the Riberero monument built in honour of the citizens of Benissa who emigrated to the Valencia Ribera region to work in the rice fields there; opposite you will see the Casa de la Cultura, a former mansion built beside the famous Juan Vives House, where the miraculous image of Benissa ́s patron saint is kept, known to all as La Puríssima Xiqueta.
Past the Consell Hall you enter a tiny street called Calle del Angel leading to Calle dels Desamparats. This street is really worth visiting as here you see the noblemen ́s houses of the past. At the end of the Calle dels Desamparats, turn left to “El Casal dels Joves” (Youth Centre) with its interesting exterior design. Then continue until you rejoin the C/Puríssima. Yo u will then come to la Iglesia de la Puríssima Xiqueta, built in the neo-Gothic style. This church of exceptional proportions is located right in the centre of the old town. It is known hereabouts as the “Cathedral of the Marina” for obvious reasons. Inside at the altar you will find the enthroned image of the Puríssima Xiqueta, patroness of Benissa; she is taken out in procession every 4th Sunday in the month of April, during the celebrations of the town fiestas.
From here, stroll slowly down the streets and in 10 minutes you will come to the Franciscan Convent, dating from the 17th century. The façade is that of a fortified building, but inside the cloister there is an atmosphere of intimacy and serenity. Beside the Cloisters is the church itself containing a magnificent 18th century altarpiece and an excellent wood sculpture of Saint Antony of Padua.
You can go out walking on the Sierra de Bèrnia mountain, starting from the Benissa-Pinos road. If you follow this road you wil come to the site of the famous cave paintings of the “Morro de la Francesa”. Around Benissa there are also six tiny chapels, or ‘ermitas’, located in beautiful natural countryside
The most well known dish is the “putxero de polp” –a Benissa speciality; also try the rice dishes such as “el arròs de senyoret” or “el arròs amb fesols i naps”, “la melva” and “el bacalao” (cod fish), “el bull amb ceba”, “el mullador de pelleta”, “la sang amb ceba” as well as the various locally prepared cold meats and sausages, such as “la sobrasada”, “els blanquets”, “las longanizas”, “las morcillas” and “las cocas de embutidos”.
Every Saturday the weekly market is held near the Convent (hort de Bordes Str.), selling fresh fruit and vegetables, gift items, textiles and local products, such as salted meat and fish, sweets, etc.
Leaving Benissa, head towards Gata de Gorgos, well known for its local wickerwork crafts. (Take the N-332 towards Valencia).
GATA DE GORGOS
Right in the town centre is the Parish Church dedicated to Saint Michael the Archangel built in the 17th century. From here you can start your walk around the old town, which still retains its traditional village atmosphere. You could also take a walk along the left bank of the Gorgos River, in the riverside gardens of la Font del Ríu i l’Arrabal, observing the many different sculptures placed along the way, forming a veritable Open Air Art Museum.
Around the town you will find some of the most important landmarks of the region, such as the municipal open-air laundry known nowadays as la Rana, located on the Xàbia road and currently in disuse, although now restored and acting as a social meeting point for the townspeople who sit beneath the shade of the hundred-year-old tree there. In the heart of the old town, on the les Alcolaes road, you will come across another unspoilt natural space, known as la Font de la Mata. And nearby there are other areas perfect for hiking, such as la Font d’Aixa, situated in Pedreguer municipal district.
Optional visit“La Ermita del Santísimo Cristo del Calvari”. Take the C/del Calvari and the road will lead you to the Chapel, built in the neoclassical style, hidden away on top of a little hill known as el Tossalet.
In Gata, you will find the Avda de la Marina Alta and the Plaza de España full of little shops where you can buy locally crafted articles made from wicker, palm and cane, as well as other pieces of craftwork, such as bobbin lacework, handmade guitars (you can watch these being made on weekdays), ceramic ware, glass ware, leather goods, etc.
The cold meats and sausages of this area are well known; prepared using traditional recipes and methods, you can try the ‘botifarra’ sausages, the “sobrassada”, the “llongani-seta”, the “salxixa”,etc
Around Gata the main agriculture is fruit growing, with almond and olive groves, and many vineyards. The Moscatel grape is cultivated here, from which the sweet liqueur wine known as Mistela is made. This is the perfect drink to accompany the many delicious sweetmeats of the region, such as the local almond cake, the pumpkin cakes, the almond and raisin biscuits, etc.