The History and Culture of the Costa Blanca

Fiestas: When it comes to fiestas and festivals, there are so many on the Costa Blanca, you are bound to see one wherever you are, whatever time of year. As with the rest of Spain, one of the most important events is the Semana Santa or Easter Week. These deeply religious celebrations are somewhat overwhelming.

Abdet has two main Fiestas - one at Easter and one during August, and everybody is expected to join in! Food in the village square most days, and music, entertainment at night until the early hours.

The Passion of Christ, or Easter Week, known in Spain as Semana Santa is the most important celebration in the country. The festivities begin with the Domingo de Ramos (Palm Sunday) and end with Lunes de Pascua (Easter Monday). It is a celebration of life itself and the whole country comes alive.

Each area, city and town has it's own accent on it's celebrations. They all differ but in common they all portray life, colour, culture, music and dance, all with a very religious meaning.

Everywhere, processions make their way through the streets, carrying religious icons and symbols of their faith. In Seville alone there are over 100 of these such images.Semana Santa has to be experienced first hand to be fully appreciated and no words can begin to describe the emotions that flow like water, wherever you go. If you have the opportunity to sample these festivities, one thing is sure, the images will stay with you forever.

In major cities such as Alicante, the processions go on for miles and will last until the early hours of the morning, every night through the Easter week. Children as young as 3 or 4 take part and crowds will swell into hundreds of thousands.

The Fallas festivity is held in March, in which monumental statues are ceremoniously put to the flames.

Saint Joseph's day is celebrated on 19th March. The Fallas festival runs for a week up to the weekend nearest this date.

Where to go: Valencia is the capital of Fallas, and the hotel prices reflect this. By contrast, Denia is big enough to have the atmosphere but small enough to watch almost every crema. Costa Blanca towns which have Fallas festivals include: Benidorm, Bunol, Calpe, Denia, Gandia, Oliva, Pego, Sueca, Valencia.

Spanish historical timeline

1100 BC. Phoenician traders establish colony at Cádiz in southern Iberia.
228 BC. Carthaginians occupy southern and eastern Iberia.
218-220 BC. Romans defeat Carthage in Second Punic War and occupy Iberian peninsula.
74. Inhabitants of Iberia are granted full Roman citizenship.
409. Visigoths occupy Iberian peninsula.
711. Combined Arab and Berber force from northern Africa cross Strait of Gibraltar to occupy Iberian peninsula.
756. Independent Emirate is established in Iberia, with Córdoba as its capital.
913. Having re-taken territories in northern Spain, Christians establish capital in León.

Read more: Spanish historical timeline

Local History

The area is rich in history from rock painting sites dating back 8000 years, to Moorish hilltop castles. In the year 715 the Moors settled hin the valley. The local villages were incorporated into the domain of Teodomiro and Tarik. In 1238 Guadalest was conquered by Jaime I but was not occupied until 1245 after he defeated all the Moors counter attacks from those living in Vall de Gallinera, Confrides, Alcala and Pego. The Moors rose up again in 1248 under the command of Alazraq but were defeated and expelled from the kingdom of Valencia. The Moors did not leave and Alazraq attempted again in 1253 but were defeated again by Jaime I and expelled from the entire kingdom. In 1275 a ruling was passed that any Moor wishing to change his place of abode must have prior permission from the Christians.

Read more: Local History


An important part of your stay will be the food, wine and beer on offer in the area. The village has a bar/restaurant. Bar Casa Mari (reataurant Pico) has a large restaurant and bar and a balcony with a spectacular view over the Guadalest valley and friendy service, but if you wish to eat in the evening please let them know in advance. Many bars are closed on mondays as well.

The first word that comes to mind when talking about Valencian gastronomy is RICE , which can be cooked in many ways. What can we tell you that you don't know about Paella? This Valencian dish is known and loved all over the world, and has even become a national symbol. Although its popularity has reached into national and international kitchens, we can promise you that only here in Valencia will you taste the authentic paella made in the traditional way.

Read more: Food

Snow Wells - Neveras

Snow wells

These constructions were used to store snow that was later sold to the nearby towns. Most were built at the beginning of the 18th Century, and many had a masonry dome built on top of two or more temporary arches.

Within the Well, the snow was compacted by stepping on it. When a hard snow layer of a metre or so was obtained, it was insulated with a layer of dried grass. Once full a heavier layer of material would be added and the doors sealed carefully.

Read more: Snow Wells - Neveras

How to make Paella

paella valencianos

This following recipe is a simple, easy to do paella containing both meat and seafood. It is a Valencian rice dish that originated in its modern form in the mid-19th century near lake Albufera, a lagoon in Valencia, 100km to the North.  Many non-Spaniards view paella as Spain's national dish, but most Spaniards consider it to be a regional Valencian dish. Valencians, in turn, regard paella as one of their identifying symbols. There are three widely known types of paella: Valencian paella (Spanish: paella valenciana), seafood paella (Spanish: paella de marisco) and mixed paella (Spanish: paella mixta), but there are many others as well.

Read more: How to make Paella

Moros y Christianos

The Fiesta de Moros y Christianos, Alcoy, Spain (Battle of the Moors and the Christians) is an important social event in the region. Every year, the Moorish occupation and Spanish re-conquest of the Iberian peninsula is celebrated throughout Southern Spain. Nowhere is the re-enactment as spectacular as in Alcoy, 28 km from Abdet. In late April each year, a papier-mache castle is erected in the town's main plaza and the townsfolk re-enact the confrontation between the Moorish (Muslim) and Christian leaders.

Read more: Moros y Christianos

guided walking holidays spain