Two days in Sant Joan give for a lot. The first day we recommend you a breakfast in the Robenove coffee shop, which has typical handmade products.
From there you can visit the San Juan Bautista Parish Church (17th-19th century), where the Cristo de la Paz Baroque chapel stands out.
After that, you will find Finca El Reloj (19th century), where you can enjoy a pleasant garden of pine trees and other Mediterranean species.
From there you can take the Camí de Lloixa, a medieval road, to approach to Santa Faz. You can do it by car, bike or foot, always depending on the time you have. After leaving La Concepción and Manzaneta Gardens and passing by the defence tower of Bonanza, you can divert towards Salafranca to visit the tower (16th century) and the Santa Ana hermitage (17th century).
Mount Calvary is nearby, crowned by its hermitage (18th century), from which you can see interesting views of the Horta d’Alacant. Returning to camino de Lloixa, you will reach Santa Faz, where you will find one of the most important relics of the passion of Christ. The district still retains its traditional flavour and the monastery (17th-18th century) houses the locker room where the Santa Faz (Holy Face) is kept. It is a journey back in time to the seventeenth century. After that you can have an aperitif or a coffee at the Santa Faz Hotel.
On Saturdays morning you can not miss the street market (clothing, footwear, accessories, decoration, food, local products of the Horta, etc.) that takes place in Sant Joan, around the Mercado de Abastos (provisions market). Having lunch at the market canteen is a good option. That day Sant Joan is a beehive of bustle and atmosphere. There is not better time to get closer to the down town shopping area. You can also go shopping in the shops down town, or take a snack in the numerous bars in the surrounding area. Some Saturdays you can also enjoy concerts of ‘Música a la plaça’ (music in the square), in any of the town’s squares.
It is time to eat, and there is no better place than the restaurant Al Plato Vendrás, awarded with the Best “cachopo” of Alicante 2016 and finalist in the Best “cachopo” of Spain 2018. Another option is La Cervecería Los Hierros.
In the afternoon, we suggest you to visit the city of Alacant, closely linked to Sant Joan. In the city, it is essential that you visit the Santa Bárbara Castle, a medieval fortress founded by the Muslims on Mount Benacantil – next to the Postiguet beach and the harbour – which was remodelled in the Modern and Contemporary Ages, and from which you can see some interesting views of the Mediterranean Sea and the port of the capital. Afterwards, we invite you to visit the old town, where the Basilica of Santa María (15th-18th centuries) is highly recommended, from which you can see a fantastic view of the face of the Moor of the Benacantil, or the Concatedral de San Nicolas (17th-18th centuries). To complete the visit to the city, we recommend a walk along the Explanada de España which pavement is remarkable. It is made of cream and red colours, Alicante stones, Black Calatorao and Zaragoza stones. It was built in the mid-twentieth century with millions of tiles with undulating decoration. When you return to Sant Joan, you can enjoy one of the cultural activities of the House of Culture. Every week, the theatre, dance or music, have an appointment in Sant Joan.
For dinner we recommend La Amstelería, on Avenida de la Rambla. Another interesting option may be Pizzería Nando, next to the Municipal Park. If you like Chinese cuisine you can go to the restaurant Nan King, located in the town centre, and if you prefer Japanese cuisine we recommend El Taiyo, close to the Town Hall.
After dinner the wide range of pubs will allow you to choose where you want to go. If you fancy a Chill Out atmosphere we recommend Black Coffee. Another option is to visit Irish pubs: St. John or St. Patricks. If you like jazz, you should definitely visit El Refugio. If on the contrary, you are a rock lover, a good choice will be El Euterpe. And if you fancy dancing or an atmosphere with more commercial music, you can go to the Danzáa Club or the Coimbra Pub.
We encourage you to have breakfast at Churrería San Juan. Afterwards, you can go to Benimagrell – the village of Muslim origin – that has preserved its original layout. Once there we suggest you go to the traditional bakeries (the Forn de Gines and the Horno Antiguo) that make one of the most appreciated breads in the region of l’Alacantí and where many locals come to buy bread from these workers every weekend. We also recommend you to walk down the street, where the finca Villa Ramona (built before the 19th century) is located, and visit the late-Gothic San Roque hermitage (16th century). On Sundays you can also go to the Mercadillo de Artesanía y Alimentos (Handicraft and Food Market).
We suggest you to continue with a visit to Assut de Sant Joan (16th to 18th century) in the bed of Seco river, an imposing building of ashlar, which served to divert part of the water from the Tibi Reservoir to Sant Joan through the irrigation canal Gualero that irrigated the whole Horta in this area. Although it would be highly recommended going there by foot or bike, if you do not have much time we recommend you to do it by car. If you are lucky and it has rained recently you will be able to see the waterfall that forms the water of the river when falling down the wall. From there you can return to Mutxamel, the neighbouring town of the interior that shares being the heart of the Horta with Sant Joan.
Of this population we emphasize the traditional district of the Ravalet, the Montserrat hermitage and boulevard, the Peñacerrada Palace and the Gardens (18th century). It is also advisable to visit the Parish Church (16th-18th centuries), which includes the defensive tower (16th century) and the Virgen de Loreto chapel.
After this, we go back to Sant Joan, where the second Sunday of each month you can enjoy the Arrels craft market of agricultural and organic products in plaza de España. This is also a good opportunity for you to have a snack in the local bars like Nou Bar Pepe, located in plaza Maisonnave, one of the oldest bars in Sant Joan, in whose canopies the “huertanos” (local market gardeners) auctioned the water every Sunday.
At lunchtime, a very interesting option is the restaurant Mi Casa, specialized in rice dishes, in the direction to the beach, the restaurant La Dehesa del Mazo, specialized in Castilian cuisine, or Sis Cuines, a restaurant for the family, specialized in Mediterranean cuisine, fresh pasta and pizzas.
In the afternoon, once you have finished the meal, we recommend you to go by the sea, to enjoy some relaxing moments. The best way to go is through Camino de Caputxo – Vereda de Benimagrell, one of the traditional roads of the Horta. Another option is to make the itinerary of the Torres de l’ Horta by bicycle through the Condomina, Sant Joan and Mutxamel, a very pleasant plain route that lasts two hours, departing from the Torre Cadena in Avenida Pintor Pérezgil, near the Hospital of San Juan, diverting to visit the beach of San Juan, and then resuming the route to return to Sant Joan.
It can also be a good time to enjoy the activities of the House of Culture.
You can have a well deserved dinner after cycling in any of the bars or restaurants of the town centre. Then, having a good drink in one of our pubs to end the day is never bad, as you begin to plan your next visit with us.