Features » Travel
Villages to Visit: El Campello; A Village on a Hill
Contributor / 2006-10-09 15:19:58
On the N-332 and about 7 kilometres from Alicante sits the 'village on a hill;' El Campello, with a magnificent view over approximately 24 kilometres of beautiful, white peaceful beaches just to the north of Alicante. The remains of temples to the gods of the seas can be found giving evidence to earlier Iberian and Greek civilizations and the watchtower built in 1554 to protect the coast from Arab attacks has now become a symbol of the village.
El Campello gained its independence from Alicante at the beginning of the 20th century and today the main source of income is derived from tourism but originally the local economy was supported by the fishing industry and the production of dry crops. Whilst tourism is welcomed by the local population El Campello remains a tranquil and peaceful village, it has excellent road and rail connections with a narrow gauge train connecting it with the northern half of the Alicante coast.
Fishing peacefully on La Playa de Muchavista is a favourite evening pastime and many enthusiasts can be seen even during the winter afternoons and evenings. Take an evening stroll in the setting sun along the Paseo del Mar, or promenade, which is about 3 kilometres long after a long day soaking up the sun on the many beautiful beaches ranging from the Muchavista Playa to rocky coves such as the Cova del Llop Mari and the cove of Morro Blanc. A great variety of fish and seafood dishes and tapas can be found in restaurants and bars together with the stews and rice dishes familiar in the area. Each July the entire fishing fleet participates in a sea procession dedicated to the Virgen del Carmen as the sea and El Campello have always been associated with each other.
The village has a Casa de Cultura with an auditorium and open-air amphitheatre, there is also The Campello Yacht Club for the keen sailor and the sixteenth century watchtower is worth seeing, there are also sculptures by the Alicante artist Arcadio Blasco. This is a village where you will find a very warm welcome from the local residents who are pleased and proud to show off their village.
Whilst still enjoying their peaceful and tranquil lifestyle the mayor and the local population are aware of fact that the tourism also brings increased interest in their village and know that development is probably not far away. It is true to say that these developments provide employment opportunities for local people but it is also true that they are changing the nature of these little towns and villages. At the moment El Campello is a village with all of the modern tourist facilities but it retains its peace and quiet which is something of an enigma but there is no doubt that the nature of El Campello is destined to become more Cosmopolitan but the local people will take it in their stride after all they are accustomed to making people feel welcome. The peculiar microclimate as well as the location of the village, in front of the sea and next to the mountains and with many facilities makes El Campello a beautiful village to visit.
By Diana Bridle