Villena can be found to the north-west of Alicante, around an hour’s drive following the A-31.
Bordering the Murcia and Valencia regions, the city is known for its pottery and footwear industry as well as having some excellent cultural sites of intrigue.
Often mild-mannered and tranquil, the city is also the surprising venue of one of Spain’s largest metal and heavy rock festivals Leyendas del Rock which takes place each August.
But there are also plenty of varied cultural attractions to suit just about any taste.
Here are some amazing things to see and do while you are in Villena.
No trip to Villena would be complete without exploring what is undoubtedly the most important and impressive sight in Villena: Atalaya Castle. Towering over the town centre and cutting an imposing figure, you won’t be able to miss it as you drive towards the city.
Built before the 12th century, the castle was abandoned in the 19th century before being restored in 1958. Today it is in very good condition, having been declared a Historic Artistic Monument in 1931 and receiving protection for its cultural importance.
Villena is home to a number of high quality museums that will provide plenty of entertainment for those looking to learn more about the region and its history.
The Archaeological Museum, founded by Jose Maria Soler Garcia, contains the Treasure of Villena – a famous hoard of Bronze Age gold – as well as a number of other artefacts.
For those more interested in art, it’s a good idea to visit the Antonio Navarro Santafe Museum which features sculptures, sketches and photographs from the artist.
Another reason to visit Villena is to take in some of the city’s wonderful architectural sights.
The town hall, which is known as the Municipal Palace, was built in the 16th century by Pedro de Medina and was declared a National Artistic Historical Monument in 1968. It is well worth taking a look around to marvel at the work of the sculptors who were a part of the construction process.
Additionally, the handsome Santiago Church can be visited. It was built between the 14th and 16th centuries and contains elements of Renaissance architecture that you can’t help but be impressed by.