Alicante - 35km – 0h 34 min
Murcia (San Javier) – 43km - 0 h 42 min
Benijofar is no ordinary Spanish town. Its origins as a settlement date back to its Arabic past over 500 years ago. Its name is derived from the Arabic for “Son of Jófar", Jofar literally meaning pearl. In 1582, it appears for the first time as a settlement that belonged to the jurisdiction of Orihuela and purchased by the College of Preachers. Its influence in the region became apparent when in the late 17th century, the town lead the regions recovery both socially and economically with many new settlers attracted to Benijofar by the very fertile land that is all around the town. In 1729 it became officially recognised as a town under the “Alfonsine Decree" which allowed the town to become and independent municipally in the heart of the Alicante province.
The town of Benijofar is located on the south east coast of Spain, just 10 minutes away from the white sandy beaches of Guardamar and close to the Sierra de Orihuela mountains in an area which is known as the lower valley of the River Segura. The surroundings of this region are made up of traditional agricultural land, beautiful golden sandy beaches and stunning natural backdrops. A true a jewel of the Costa Blanca. In actual fact, the very name of Benijofar originates from the arabic “son of the pearl," making Benijofar quite literally "the pearl" of the Costa Blanca.
This small town south in Alicante's Southern province is made up of 4200 inhabitants and is just 8km from the beaches of Guardamar. Benijofar has welcomed new residents from all over Northern European as well as other region's of Spain and which gives the town a great multi-national feel with people from all over Europe mixing in the local bars and restaurants all enjoying the relaxed Mediterranean life together.
Benijofar is a pretty town with many parks and plazas and a river running through its centre. The Orchard, which is located on the banks of the river Segura is an area of about 85 hectares of fertile land where vegetables such as artichokes, potatoes and broccolli grow all still watered by the ancient irrigation system originally designed by the Moors that settled in Benijofar centuries ago. The water that irrigates these fields is moved by a recently renovated water wheel on the outskirts of the town which dates back to 17th century and is now the town's symbol in recognition of its importance in the growth of the town through local agriculture. The water wheel forms part of a group of historic structures of which the flour mil of Formentera is also a member. The original water wheel was substituted by an iron version in the 19th century with a 7.7m diameter wheel which can move around 80 litres per second.
There is an enchanting yet easy hiking route that starts in the area called “Path of the Rafaels" and runs 4.5km along the Banks of the River Segura, passing the “El Secano" recreational area and ending in the central town square of the Constitution. This green trek takes you past the water wheel and the luscious traditional orchards and fields of the town. The recreational area of "El Secano" is the perfect place to take a break, relax and take in the beauty of the local countryside. It has a great picnic area with benches, tables and even barbecues for public use. It is is great place to enjoy a family afternoon in the great outdoors at any time of the year.
The town's main Church is the Church of Santiago Apóstol (St. James) and is probably the most recognisable building in the Benijofar and is considered the most important remnant of the history and culture of the town. Although the construction of the church was relatively recent it conserves in its interior many, much older historically important items, some dating back to the 17th and 18th century as well as pieces from the Barroque period. The church was named in honour of its patron, Saint James.
This is the largest green or park area of the town is "Cañada Marsá,"which runs along the stretch that separates Benijofar from the newer area of Benimar, Rojales and Ciudad Quesada. It has an area of 125,000 m2 and is full of indigenous plants and flowers with plenty of recreational areas ideal for walking and playing sports. In the lower part of the park there is a large artificial lake with geese and ducks which sits next to the comercial area of Benimar where there are number of International bars, restaurants and shops. Park April the 3rd or "Parque de Abril III" is a much smaller park than "Cañada Marsá," located at the southern end of the town with plants and garden areas as well as bio-healthy, outdoor excercise equipment ideal for all ages to use and keep in shape!
The "Plaza de la Constitución" is located in the centre of Benijofar and is town's main plaza or square and has a very modern and minimalist design which contrasts well with the rest of the more traditional town. Celebration Square, located next to the “Casa de la Cultura" (Social Centre) is where the traditional “Patatá" celebration is held each year. Plaza de La Inmaculada Concepción is another smaller square made up of pretty flower beds and park benches. A perfect place to enjoy a good book in the shade of the trees.
Traditions & Fiestas
The most important fiestas of Benijofar occur during the Easter period and begin with the blessing of the Palms on Palm Sunday. Many are the a. processions during this Easter period march through the main high street of Benijofar. These processions end on the day of St. Vincent Ferrer and the Burial of the Anchovy (Boqueron) where it is bid farewell and Spring is officially welcomed. Just after Christmas on the 6th January is "Three Kings" and the most important event is the for children is the procession of the Kings where they are showered with sweets and treats as the floats and performers pass by.
The fiestas for the patron of Benijofar are held from the 25th of July (Día del SantiagoApóstol) and begin with the crowing of the Queens of the Fiestas. This is then followed by a full week of activities, events, processions, performances and and parties!
Benijofar is located just 8 km from the white sandy beaches of Guardamar that stretch over 11km along the crystal-clear, warm waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Guardamar is a great seaside resort and the only coastal town with a protected sand dune system which is unique to the Costa Blanca. Benijofar is not just close to the beaches of the Costa Blanca, Benijofar is also located between many, much larger towns, cities and resorts with large shopping centres, family leisure facilities and great nightlife. The largest town in the area is the well known resort of Torrevieja which lies just 15km and a short 10 minutes drive away. As a large City it has 2 hospitals, several marinas, large shopping and leisure centres, hypermarkets and the areas largest water park.
The nearest Motorway junction is little more than 5 minutes away from Benijofar town centre and both Alicante and Murcia International Airports are around 30 minutes drive away. If you are travelling within Spain, Alicante train station, where the high speed AVE train makes several trips to Madrid and Barcelona each day, is also just 30 minutes drive away.
Amenities & Services
Benijofar has a wide variety of shops some of which are run and aimed at Dutch and UK expats who now live in the vicinity. As you enter Benijofar from Ciudad Quesada, there is large Mercadona supermarket with plenty of free parking space. Mercadona is much like Sainsburys or Tescos in the UK and is one of Spain's biggest supermarket chains. As you drive into the town centre of Benijofar you will find all different types of small high street shops, including butchers, grocers, hardware shops, bakeries, pharmacies, furniture stores, clothes shops, kitchen suppliers, gift shops, hair salons and banks. .
Many of the amenities at Benijofar are run by UK and Dutch nationals and offer an alternative for buying those home grown items you can't get in the local supermarkets, although many are beginning to supply more and more international foods and beverages. The weekly market (Tuesday mornings) is a great place to buy fresh fruit and veg at a cheaper price than many greengrocers, so that is definitely a place to be once a week.
As Benijofar is in the middle of many larger towns, its a great place to set up a business offering different types of services. In Benijofar you can find,medical clinics, dentist, solicitors, insurance services, beauty therapists, pool shops, hair salons and a huge list of different services that you would expect to find in any large town. As it is so close to Formentera and the larger Rojales, (less than 5 minutes away) the list is actually much longer as the three neighbouring towns together offer a much wider choice of services, such as opticians, satellite TV fitters, physiotherapy clinics, golf accessory shops, schools, libraries and vets services with 24 hours emergency call out service. All this is practically on your doorstep.
In addition the Town and the neighbouring area have some great sports and leisure facilities. You will find several private gyms in the area as well as large public sports centre with indoor heated pool and padel tennis club. Benijofar is also located directly between two wonderful golf courses, Las Marquesas at Quesada and La Finca Golf & Country Club in Algorfa. Both golf courses are less than a 10 minute drive away and another 15 more are all under 30 minutes drive away.
One of the best things about living in Benijofar is that...you don't need a car to get to out and about. Bars and restaurants line the main street and there are several excellent places to go within a 5 minute walk from the new part of town. There are plenty of places to enjoy local or international cuisine or just a few drinks with friends everyday of the week.
Benijófar also gives the opportunity to enjoy sports even on a rainy day. The sports centre next to the Townhall has a full size football pitch and a covered multi-sports court (basketball, five aside football, handball, 2 tennis courts...etc) as well as an open air pool for everyone in the town to enjoy. And if sport is more a spectator event for you, there is a handy cantina for refreshments while you watch other people run around the pitch.
Next to the Townhall you can find the local surgery which is dependant of Torrevieja hospital. It is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 3pm although emergency treatment can be sort in the nearby Rojales surgery, just 5 minutes from Benijofar.
In short Benijofar really gives you the very best of everything. A small, peaceful and charming town with everything you need on your doorstep and just a short drive from beautiful beaches, natural parks, major cities, great shopping and leisure centres and 2 International Airports. In addition the cost of property here is considerably less than its neighbouring resorts of Torrevieja and The Orihuela Costa.