One of the most emblematic tourist images of the whole of the Costa blanca is perhaps that of the slender bell-tower and the tunnel wich allows access to the ancient town centre of Guadalest. Both are situated on a magnificent granite mass.
Guadalest is the main town of the Valley whick takes its name, which is formed by the Sierras of Aitana, Serrellla and Xortà. The river Guadalest flows through it and is dammed near the town. Given its strategic nature, Guadalest was of military importance in the revolt of Al-Azraq against Jaume I and the Moorish rebelion of Mellini, who was defeated in the nearby Vall de Laguart. The uniqueness of the town lies in its position, as the old town stands on the top of a rock whick is only accessible through a hole in the mountain.
In the high part of the town are the characterictic free-standing bell-tower, the Town Hall in the former dungeon where the Moors who helped the pirates were imprisoned, the castle of Sant Josep where the cementery now is, and the recently restored mansion of the noble Orduña family. there is also the parish church and, on the Alclaá and Cullerot rocks, the Moorish fortification called Alcozaiba. At the foot of the rocky promontory is the most modern part of the town, the Arrabal, shere there are innumerable handicraft shops, museums and restaurants.
The whole of Guadalest has been tranformed by tourism an the nearly 200 inhabitants have turned to serving the tourists, forgetting farming, which was the traditional source of incomen and today is only a minor activity. The whole town is a tourist attraction wiht endless gift and handicraft shops, the most picturesque museum in the province and a privileged position which gives magnificent views over the Valley and the reservoir of Guadalest.