Penàguila is located in the mountains of Alicante. It is placed under the Sierra de Penàguila, situated on the western slope of Aitana. Being at 682 meters above sea level, it is one of highest towns in this province. A guided tour of Penàguila can be a radical change during your sun and beach holidays, or an excellent Sunday family outing on the Costa Blanca.
The river Frainos runs east of this municipality. Also called Penàguila and one of largest tributary of river Serpis, which is poured near Cocentaina. Two other streams cross the town, Anodrac and Riuet.
It was a Muslim origin population, although most of inhabitants were Christians. In 1278 King Peter III of Aragon ruled that the settlers who came from that time had to build their houses within the walls.
There are some vestiges of such walls, such as the Portalet, access to the medieval town, with a double angle of 90 degrees, which increased the armed security. A fragment of a tower, Torre Vernet, is also preserved, with a wall canvas set in the current dwellings.
In 20th century, Penàguila suffered a steady process of depopulation. At the beginning of last century it exceeded 1,300 inhabitants, but in 2017 its official statistics counted 308 inhabitants.
Its strong agricultural character justifies that half of its territory is cultivated (56%), mainly olive trees (2,480 ha) and almond trees (365 ha). Today it is also oriented to agrotourism and hiking. That’s why its main attraction is the Garden of Santos, a rustic farm from the 19th century.
Tour of Penàguila with a tourist guide
The architectural heritage of Penàguila is remarkable. The nobles of this region resided here, as evidenced by the shields that we will find on facades. Among others, they lived in Penàguila the lords of Guadalest (Sancho de Montcada) and the lords of Benillup and Alcoleja (Fenollar).
The guided tour of Penàguila combines the architectural heritage of its historical center with the natural inheritance of Garden of Santos and the surroundings of the town. The tour guide will let you know the most important tourist resources, which are listed below.
Jardín de Santos
Between flower beds and viewpoints, this romantic mansion justifies the day in Penàguila, even though we overlook the charming historical center of Penàguila.
Joaquim Rico was the owner of the hacienda Santos when, during the second half of 19th century, he decided to build the botanical garden. Rico was an educated man, a friend among others the painter Cabrera, wealthy enough to spend some money on their botanical yearnings.
The City Council acquired the land in 1987. Now, in addition to the garden itself, the rest of the domain is open. It has several attractions, such as the vegetable labyrinth, flower beds, a pond, viewpoints, even a cave with stalactites and artificial stalagmites.
Opening hours of Jardín de Santos at Penàguila are:
Open on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays
Mornings from 11:00 to 14:00
Summer afternoons from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Winter afternoons from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
It shows photographic documentation and items on the centenary production of olive oil in Penàguila. It also has vintage machinery, used in local mills.
The Parish Church of Penàguila is dedicated to the Assumption of Our Lady. The current temple, with a neoclassical design, was built by the architect Antonio Cabrera from 1790, replacing another one dated from the 14th century. It consists of three naves with cannon turns.
Castle of Penàguila
Possibly from the Almohad period (XII century), the castle is mentioned by King Jaime I in his annals, since he had to conquer it personally due to the uprising of Al-Azraq in 1247.
Today we only find the ruins of a fortress, abandoned since the sixteenth century. There are remains of the Homage Tower and a small section of wall.
The Font del Riuet
The twenty-eight pipes of this monumental fountain of 1857, fill the laundry of Penàguila. But when there is drought, so frequent in recent years, the jets dry or bring very little water.
Solar alignment of Arch of Santa Lucia
Pregnant women, or those who wanted to be pregnant, were exposed on Santa Lucia Day -13 December- to the rays of sunlight that reached Penaguila through the arch in the mountain. Today, the tradition continues to be fulfilled, not so much because it calls for fertility, but rather for complying with this ancestral rite.
In fact, we now know that this phenomenon occurs every day from 13th to 29th of December, around 15:50. The suggested point to observe it is the Avenida del País Valencià.
The hydroclimatic route in Aladrach ravine
An interesting proposal that pursues this route: raise awareness about climate change and check the adaptation of certain plant species.
The route connects the center of Penàguila with the Garden of Saints. It has an estimated duration of 45 minutes and runs through the ravine of Aladrach (nickname of Al-Azraq).
Information about the guided tour to Penàguila
Most foreigners come to Penàguila to spend a few hours with his family. Here are some tips for you to enjoy that time, either on your own or accompanied by one of our official Penguilla guides.
Meeting point for the Penàguila excursion
We will meet at the Paseo del País Valencià, to enter the town together and start the tour through its streets and squares, before going on foot to Garden of Saints. We will walk about two kilometres during our visit. Keep in mind that then you have to retrace your steps to the beginning point, which will have to add another kilometre.
How to get to Penàguila
The easiest route is through the CV70 from Alcoy, about 16 km. From Alicante, it is 62 kilometres away.
You can park before entering the town, near the site from where we will start the guided tour in Penàguila.
What do we do next?
The Safari Aitana, a zoo that can be visited by car, is very close to Penàguila. Since 1975 it remains on a farm at a thousand meters of altitude, where wild animals such as elephants, hippos, tigers and lions live.
Eating in Penàguila
It would be a shame to leave here without trying his kitchen. The most typical dishes of Penáguila are those usual in Alicante’s mountain gastronomy:
The restaurant Penya de L’aguila is a good place with the best reputation of traditional cuisine in the region. They cook paella, borreta or pericana on request.
Our next guided visit to Penàguila
Tortuga Tours are official guides for Penàguila tour, as a group or for individuals. You can book by email or contact form, indicating date, time and number of people interested in this journey.
Also, through the Tortuga Club excursion catalogue (the flat rate for tourists on the Costa Blanca), we usually offer the guided tour of Penàguila. Check the calendar of activities of Tortuga club to find the next one.
Conclusions on Penàguila
You will love Penàguila. It is one of those towns where you would like to be born, to return frequently.
The good news is that it is not required to be a native to return whenever you want. Many people frequent it. And some of them are celebrities, such as former football coach Terry Venables, who decided to open a charming hotel in the municipality of Penàguila.
Call now at 665575605 and say: “I want to visit Penàguila.” I am on the other side, and we will arrange everything to enjoy this beautiful place accompanied by one of our excellent professional guides of Tortuga Tours.