‘’Smell the sea and feel the sky, let your soul and spirit fly’’

Van Morrison

The village of Finestrat sits in the shadow of one of Marina Baixa’s most famous landmarks, Puig Campana – the mountain with the gap at the top.

As you make your way up from Alicante airport, by coach or car, you will immediately notice the missing piece from the mountain peak, or might even have heard the odd Tour Rep regale you with the story of a mythical giant spitting out the slab of rock into the sea to create what is now Benidorm Island.

Finestrat’s location makes it a serious destination for climbing, hill walking and cycling. But although a traditional Spanish village, it is also non-conformist in many ways, an attitude probably driven by being so near to the mega-resort of Benidorm.

Finestrat Hermitage in the village of Finestrat, Costa Blanca.

For instance, within the municipality, there is Marina Baixa’s largest shopping mall, Centro Comercial La Marina, a Go-Karting track, swathes of premium residential urbanizations and at La Cala de Finestrat a beach with a delightful sandy bay and a collection of seafood restaurants, bars and cafés.

Many Brits will spend their holiday down by the sea, but with a rich music and cultural heritage up in the mountain village, a nice selection of bars and an altogether more relaxed feel, it would be a shame not to jump on the Number 15 bus or hire a car and head inland to experience real Spain on your doorstep.

And a good time to visit is towards the back end of April when the village hosts a traditional market with over 50 stalls celebrating the rich and diverse gastronomy of the area, alongside music and entertainment for the kids.

Finestrat Musical Baton Sculpture in the village of Finestrat, Costa Blanca.