Villajoyosa, the historic capital of the Marina Baixa, is a town of picturesque colorful houses and seafaring tradition. A fishing village for centuries, Villajoyosa played a very important role in the defense of the coast against the Barbary pirates. It has, exemplifying this in some way, more than ten beaches in its territory. It is also known for the celebration of the Moors and Christians Festival, in the calendar since 1694 and declared of International Tourist Interest. In short: there is no lack of reasons to be famous. When the tourist also discovers that its streets smell of chocolate?
The chocolate tradition also comes from centuries ago. The sailors who practiced the coastal trade in Cadiz, already in the 17th century, collected on their journeys products from the exotic America. Among them, cocoa cobs.
This is how chocolate arrived in this corner of the Mediterranean coast, although it was not until the beginning of the 19th century when the first chocolate maker was registered in the census. In the middle of the century, the first artisanal cocoa factory was opened. Chocolate was once distributed and sold door to door. The product sweetened the Valencian coast, the coast of Murcia and the easternmost part of Andalusia. This is how it became popular and how it managed to stay.
This trade continues to this day. The different factories that can be discovered in the town, those that make Villajoyosa smell of chocolate, include free guided tours for outsiders to learn about the link between the town and the delicacy. In addition, the town council promotes an annual event, Xocolatíssima, with which it intends to make this relationship even more evident.
Since Agustín Vinaches, a native of Villajoyosa, opened his first factory, called La perfección, many things have changed, but it seems that one thing has remained the same. The predilection of the inhabitants of the town for chocolate and of the chocolate masters for these seafaring streets.