This is one of the more important markets in the region. A great number of visitors come, and each year it gets bigger and bigger. It’s always on All Saints Day, this year it was October 31st to November 2nd, and it’s been a tradition since 1346.
There are 97,430 meters of exhibition space, a medieval market, an Arab Morocan market, machinery, diverse products, plus much, much more. You can buy anything from a donkey to a car, haha. This market occupies a good part of Cocentaina. Its both pretty and stupendous. It’s best just to go and see it.
Once you’re in the area, you can visit the Comtal Palace, the Fester Museum, the Comtat Archeological and Ethnologic Museum, the wall towers, Saint Mary’s church, and many more sights.
Cocentaina is almost 40,000 years old so you can imagine how much historical power there is in its streets. Today the town has grown but you can still get lost in the old town, full of interesting places and landmark buildings. You can see remains of the XIII century Christian wall and XVIII century ceramic panels on some of the facades on Calle Mayor and Calle de los Dolores. There are a couple of interesting churches (Santa Maria and Salvador), two convents (XVI and XVII century) and other various shrines, palaces and museums. In short, a complete program for just over half a morning's walk, without leaving what is known as "La Vila" and El Raval de Cocentaina. Cocentaina is just 5 km from Alcoy, heading north, following the N-340 you arrive in just 5 minutes.
This is is the highest peak of the Sierra Mariola, 1389 meters above sea level. It is also the third highest in the province of Alicante. This is certainly a beautiful place and an excellent viewpoint. There are several ways to ascend to Montcabrer from Agres or from Cocentaina, taking routes from San Cristofol.
The climb to Castell is because you have to do it by car, and then it's a little tiresome. It's basically a steep 1000 meter climb from the Belvedere where you find your feet, on what is known as White Peñeta, and walk to the top of the hill. The road has exceptional views and it goes around the hill and there are views of practically all the towns of Cocentaina, of the old part, which is south, and the rest of the towns in the east and north (more grown and modern). There are even crafted stone benches to rest in the middle of the climb and enjoy panoramic views of Cocentaina while quietly seated and relaxed.
This building built between the 14th and 16th centuries is now used as an exhibition gallery, library, municipal museum, and tourist information office, among other public services.
In a way, it’s a good place to start to get to know Cocentaina. First of all, you get a good dose of history at the palace, and then you head out to the streets and explore, using the palace as a reference point to not get lost in the winding streets of Cocentaina’s historical district.
There’s an annex on the left side of the front wall which is the 17th century Virgen del Milagro convent. This is the perfect point to start exploring the neighborhoods known as La Vila and El Raval (the historic district).
The foundations date back to the fourteenth century chapel which was built primarily as a monitoring point for commercial entrances to the north and east of Cocentaina. It is far better to drive (walking would be very hard), there is parking and there are many restaurants, in addition to several trails if you want to do some hiking. This is the starting point of several "treks" in the mountains surrounding Cocentaina, including natural water sources, gullies, hermitages and panoramic views. You can find detailed information and maps at the Cocentaina tourist office, located within the premises of the Palace of the Counts or Comtal Palau.
Well, what a surprise I got to the municipality of Cocentaina and I got the keys to the castle "in my hand". I made myself go up, open the doors and visit the castle on my own, without the help of guides or officials. I opened the door, entered and realized that I was alone, it was like being the master of the castle for a few minutes, I just needed a princess to rescue. The keys are ordered from the police checkpoint in the town hall, you sign a paper as you get them and sign it again when you return them, it is for everyone, the only requirement is ID (and to return them).
Amid the maze of streets in historic Cocentaina, this square is the only open space that lets in sunlight for most of the day. It is surrounded by old buildings which are not too high and has always been a very important meeing point in the town. It doesn't have too much traffic and is the ideal place to take a break.
Baladre fountain is perfect as a resting point or for barbecues, but it is also the starting point of various treks across the area. Here is a photo. There are also fun riding trails in the surrounding area near the fountain. It is a very quiet place. The small Agres riverbed, just a few miles away, is the perfect backdrop.
The Archaeological and Ethnological Museum of Comtat is located in Valencia, Spain. It is a XVIII century building, but retains some Gothic remains. It has a very interesting exhibition on the ancient agricultural production in the region. The earliest known origins of Cocentaina are 40,000 years ago, although the first prehistoric settlement in the region dates back to the Neolithic period. It is an interesting place to visit.