Tag Archives: alicante

La Vila Joiosa: the joyful town

La Vila Blog

… typical old town street of La Vila Joiosa

La Vila Joiosa is a coastal town within easy reach of Alicante via an excellent tram service. It may not be the best known tourist destination on the Mediterranean coast, but for me it is one of the best places to relax. La Vila Joiosa literally means “The Joyful Town”, although the inhabitants often abbreviate it to La Vila.

La playa Blog

…the central beach of La Vila

It has over 2 miles of beach with a promenade and some of the best year-round weather in all of Spain.

House on the Square Blog

… blue house, old town square …

The iconic multi-colored houses of the old town provide a unique backdrop to the beach. It still retains the typical plan of a 14th century coastal settlement, with long streets descending to the sea.

Quiet Street Blog

… colors of the old town …

Local tradition explains that the houses were painted in bright colors so that sailors could spot them from their ships.

Carrer Soletat BlogLaV

… morning laundry, Carrer (street) Soletat

Nuestra Señora de la Asunción Blog

… the Gothic church of Nuestra Señora de Asunción (bell tower)

Jardin Blog

… street garden …

Since the 19th century La Vila Joiosa has been famous as a center for the production of chocolate. The town has three chocolate factories, all of which can be visited. The Valor Chocolate factory is perhaps the most famous, but there is also the Perez Chocolate factory and the Clavileno Chocolate factory.



All photos © La Gringa Ibérica

Barrio Santa Cruz, Alicante

View of the Barri - Blog

Barrio Santa Cruz

Hugging the slopes of Mount Benacantil, shadowed by the Santa Bárbara castle (Castillo de Santa Bárbara) is the historic and charming neighborhood (barrio) known as Santa Cruz (Santa Creu in Catalan/Valencian) in the city of Alicante. Santa Cruz is a cluster of traditional white houses, well cared for and uniquely decorated, build on the foundations of the earliest settlements in Alicante. The views from the terraces are spectacular. Good walking shoes are essential to explore this neighborhood, as it has many (many) stairs and is accessed only by foot.

A Place to Rest - Barri Vell - Santa Creu Alicante Blog

… a study in blue…

Window Flowers - Barri Vell - Santa Creu Blog

… a barrio balcony…

Gnomes Barri Vell - Santa Creu Blog

… barrio gnomes …

A bit of shade Barri Vell - Santa Creu Blog

… a bit of shade …

Holy Face Barri Vell - Santa Creu Blog

… pride and faith …

Perfect match - Barri Vell Santa Creu Blog

… harmony …

Green and Red Barri Vell - Santa Creu Blog

… near the fountain, Calle de San Rafael

Calle de San Rafael is the central street of the neighborhood and located there is El Rincon de Antonio — a great place to enjoy good wine and traditional local food served with generous hospitality!

Also located on Calle San Rafael is the social center and office of the Hermandad de Santa Cruz (Brotherhood of the Holy Cross), famous for their Holy Week procession. They operate a small, lively café.



All photos © La Gringa Ibérica

12 Favorite Photos from 2015

I take a lot of photos here in Spain — the 12 I have selected represent what (and where) inspired me the most in 2015.

Detail - Palacio Longoria Madridfinal

Palacio Longoria, Madrid, Corner of Calles Fernando VI y Pelayo

The Palacio Longoria (Longoria Palace) is a Spanish Art Nouveau mansion, the work of architect José Grases Riera, constructed between 1902 and 1904. It was commissioned by banker Javier González Longoria, who gave José Grases Riera absolute liberty in the mansion’s design — making Longoria Palace the most important example of Spanish Art Nouveau in Madrid.

Photo taken March, 2015

A Donde Vas

¿A Dónde Vas? (Where are you going?) Street Art, Valencia

It only takes a short stroll around Valencia to realize that it is a great city for street art.

Photo taken March, 2015

Fallas Lion

The Lion of Congress Falla, Valencia

The Fallas is a traditional celebration held in commemoration of Saint Joseph in the city of Valencia, which lasts for 5 days and 5 nights, with very little time for sleep! The term Fallas refers to both the celebration and the monuments burnt at the end of the celebration on the 19th of March. Each neighborhood of Valencia has an organized group of people, the Casal Faller, who work all year long holding fundraising parties and dinners, usually featuring paella. Each Casal Faller a falla. The Fallas are not just a celebration but a very important part Valencian cultural life. The Fallas of 2015 marked my 5th year of attendance and I was truly sad to see the magnificent falla of the Lion of Congress burn.

Photo taken March, 2015

Bassa Vilasar de Mar

Can Bassa, Vilassar de Mar, Carrer (Street) Sant Pau, 3-4

Can Bassa (The Bassa House) is the work of Vilassar de Mar architect Edward Ferres Puig (1872-1928), built in 1898. The facade has carved reliefs of medieval-inspired floral decorations. There are also Latin American iconographic motifs, including a person drinking yerba mate. Can Bassa’s first owner, Peter Sitges Bassa, made his fortune in Latin America.

Photo taken June, 2015

Plastic Flowers

Faded Plastic Flowers and Crucifix, Cemetery, Sant Feliu de Guíxols

Sant Feliu de Guíxols, located on the Costa Brava about 90 minutes north of Barcelona, has an impressive cemetery, where there are some fine stone sculptures and some Art Nouveau features. It was constructed on the outskirts of the town in 1833.

Photo taken August, 2015

Facing East Palamós

Looking East from the Augustine Arch, Pedró neighborhood, Palamós

Palamós is a traditional Catalan fishing village, and, if you arrive early enough in the morning the fishing boats can be seen setting off for the day, just as they have for centuries. The Pedró neighborhood, the highest part of the town, has architectural remains of an Augustine convent — facing east, with a spectacular view of the Mediterranean.

Photo taken August, 2015

Viva la Mare de Déu - Street Art Elx

Viva la Mare de Déu! (Viva the Mother of God!), Street Art, Elche

This street art is one of a series painted on a wall near the Basilica de Santa María celebrating the famous liturgical drama dating from the Middle Ages, el Misterio de Elche ( the Elche Mystery Play). The play is enacted and celebrated in the Basilica de Santa María in the city of Elche on the 14 and 15 August of each year. It commemorates the Assumption of Mary, Mother of God. In 2001, UNESCO declared it one of the Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity.

Photo taken November, 2015

Bright Day - Barri Vell - Santa Creu Alicante

Bright Day in the Santa Cruz neighborhood of Alicante

Blue - Barri Vell - Santa Creu Alicante

Shades of Blue in the Santa Cruz neighborhood of Alicante

I took both photos during a walk through the Santa Cruz neighborhood of Alicante. This neighborhood, located on hillside at the foot of Santa Barbara Castle, is outstanding for its history, beauty and tradition, with a view of the old city to the Mediterranean.

Photos taken November, 2015

Detail, Cathedral Girona

Detail, Catedral de Santa Maria de Girona, Girona

The Catedral de Santa Maria de Girona (Cathedral of Saint Mary of Girona) is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Girona, located in Girona, Catalonia. Its interior includes the widest Gothic nave in the world, with a width of 22 metres (72 ft), and the second widest of any church after that of St. Peter’s Basilica. Its construction was begun in the 11th century in Romanesque style, and continued in the 13th century in Gothic style.

Photo taken November, 2015

Winter Cadiz

The Castle of San Sebastián, Cádiz

Geometry and Light - Cadiz

Geometry and Light, Cádiz

I took both photos in Cádiz, the oldest continuously inhabited city in Spain and one of the oldest in western Europe. The Castle of San Sebastián is a military fortification, situated at the end of a road leading out from the Caleta beach. It was built in 1706.

With narrow cobblestone streets that open to plazas, Cadiz boasts a very Moorish ambiance. There are a number of Moorish style houses and buildings. These are characterized by their placement – generally high and lofty – and by flat roofs and turrets.

Photos taken December, 2015

All photos © La Gringa Ibérica