Villajoyosa is located just 9.56 km from Benidorm. It’s renowned for its colourful houses and the fact that it’s home to no fewer than four chocolate factories.
The best known of these is Valor, established in the seaside town in 1881.
Around 40 ago I discovered that it has a museum. As a chocolate lover, I had a dream job at the time working in the publicity office of Terry’s chocolate factory in York in York.
So I could not let a day trip to Villajoyosa pass without a visit to Valor’s factory and museum.
According to this report, Valor warmly invites visitors to their on-site museum and offers tours of the premises where you can learn all there is about the ancient art of chocolate making.
What’s more its absolutely FREE. In the 19th century building, which in those days was the little family factory, visitors go through the 500 years of history about this food, starting off when cocoa beans were stone-ground up until the present day.
You can book a guided bus trip from Benidorm to Villajoyosa with our sister company Benidorm Top Trips at the British indoor market, row 5. Alternatively, you can visit their Facebook page by clicking here.
Rich in history
Writing for European Heritage Times, Anna Karla Almeida, a Brazilian architect, and historian revealed that it was through an Italian that the culture of chocolate manufacture arrived in Villajoyosa, in 1810.
According to the municipal census of the region, in 1810 the first handmade chocolate producer was registered. Thirty years later, in 1840 the first chocolate industry was officially registered in Villajoyosa.
I had the great surprise of finding other industries in the same city: Clavilleño Chocolates, Perez Chocolates, and Marcos Tonda chocolates. In the Clavilleño Factory, they created a room dedicated to exhibiting some artifacts, iconographies ad machines linked to the chocolate manufacturing, pieces of industrial archaeology between Spain and the cocoa plantations in Central America and Africa.
Why are the houses painted different colours?
Apart from the chocolate attractions, there are other ways of enjoying the town. The View from La Vila blog suggests the top ten things to do in Villajoyosa, and in one post explains the presence of the colourful houses.
The casas pintadas got their bright colours, so the story goes, so local fishermen could see their houses clearly from out at sea. That tradition is still maintained today, even though the fishermen themselves are long gone. Owners have to keep their homes painted and they can’t change the colour either.
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