Visiting the markets on the Costa Blanca is a must for visitors and locals alike. Every day of the week is set to several types of offerings between different towns and villages. One day you may find the fruit and vegetable market, the next a “rastro” may pop up; a flea market with its own charm. Antique markets weave their way through the hub, and in the summer several arts and craft markets show the offerings of local artisans, where often the artists create new pieces while working their stall.
You may witness the makings of leather satchels, weaving of baskets and other traditional Spanish folk crafts first hand.
But the wares and offerings are only one of the reasons for visiting these places. The main enjoyment of the experience is the atmosphere and friendly vibe that permeates through everyone present, helped along with the consistent sunshine and stops for refreshing, cold drinks. Here are 5 of our favorite summer markets from the Costa Blanca.
1. Jalon Antiques and Rastro Market
When: Saturdays (approx. 9 am to about 2 pm)
Why: Jalon village is inland from the sea, and has its own special, quiet charm. People flock to this market from as far away as Valencia, as it truly is one of a kind. Antique spanish tables and chairs are up for sale with fragrant wisps of indian incense and colorful Moroccan ceramics. One side of the market has the new hats, sunglasses and toys, while another is a complete flea market and treasure trove, there is something here for everyone.
Tips: After you walk the market, don’t forget to pick up your local wine at the Xalo Bodegas/Virgen Pobre, a co-operative society started thanks to the efforts of a small group of farmers and wine producers that got together in the early sixties. Nowadays there are four hundred partners who cultivate close to 400 hectares. You can taste all of their wines on site, and the atmosphere is always buzzing on Saturdays. We recommend their Old Red, and their dry Rose.
2. Jesus Pobre RiuRau Organic Food Market
When: Sundays evenings 6 – 11pm
Why: This market is held in the “Riurau”, a historical stone building with open arches that was used in the past to dry grapes for raisins, as well as other agricultural duties. The space itself provides a vibe of authenticity, helped along by the live music that is often a staple along with the organic edibles on sale. You can wash down the traditional “cocas” (a little fried pizza often topped with fresh chorizo and goat cheese) with locally brewed craft beer and organic wine
Tips: In the winter on the first Sunday of every month (starting October) this market combines with local antique dealers to create a large mixed variety of wares
3. El Cisne Rastro, Benidorm
When: Main day is on Sundays (also Saturdays and Thursdays approx. 9 am to 3 pm)
Why: Yes you better believe it, even Benidorm has an atmospheric rastro market with live music, friendly sellers and a fantastic location in the grounds and of an old farmhouse. From old records, to costume jewlery, and even handmade soaps, the stock is a mix of fun, antique, and just plain old quirky. Sort of like Benidorm itself!
Tips: You will definitely want to wash down your visit with a beer and perhaps even a little boogie to the lively tunes performed by various musicians on the grounds.
4. Denia Outdoor Fruit & Vegetable Market
When: Fridays 9 am – 2 pm
Why: While it may not be the largest market around, comfortably fitting in on only one street, it is a perfect location next to Denia’s indoor market, and seems to have a lovely authentic feeling. You will be shopping with the locals, it’s where they come for their weekly fresh crops, and just watching all the interactions happening around you is an experience in and of itself. Smile at feisty grandmothers, leading their unruly grandchildren, while grandpa is having a quiet moment to himself in the local “cerveceria”
Tips: You may be heaving with baskets filled to the brim with fresh fruit and vegetables but don’t miss out on having a light tapas stop in the indoor market next to the outdoor stalls. Get right in with the locals, and just point to plates and order what “he’s having” You’ll make sure to get the best selection, and perhaps even try something new!
5) Altea Arts & Crafts Market
When: Every night 7 pm – 1 am from July to September
Why: Altea is one of the prettiest towns on the Costa Blanca, and well worth a visit. You can’t help but be seduced by its beauty as you climb the cobblestoned white washed streets to the main square, where restaurants and bars surround the vendors showing off their arts and crafts. As you get to the very top you see the historic church with a traditional blue and white tiled roof, only matched in beauty with the clear view of the Mediterranean Sea directly in front.
Tips: Make sure you explore all around old town Altea, take various turns down narrow alleyways and simply get lost. Sometimes it’s the best way to find something special, and there are always hidden secrets to be found in Altea