The sea is the eternal protagonist in a land like ours which combines, in every corner, the charm of nature with the legacy of its history. Just over 15 minutes from the Hotel Montíboli, next to the fishing port of El Campello, there is a small peninsula known as the Illeta dels banyets (Islet of the Baths) which can boast of having one of the most important archaeological sites on the Mediterranean coast.
Legend has it that more than a thousand years ago there was a Moorish queen in Alicante who was known, in all its confines, for her exotic beauty. But, luckily or unfortunately, that was not the only quality of the queen that occupied the rumors of her subjects. And it is that the sultana was capricious and spoiled. So much so that she ordered every inch of the Alicante coast to be explored in search of the best place to take a bathe in a private, comfortable way and without having to step on the sand that bothered her so much.
In a stroke of luck, members of the court found in the old and abandoned Roman fish farms located north of El Campello the solution to satisfy their lady's wish. Some pools carved into the rock that centuries ago had served to raise abundant fish then became the new playground for the capricious sultana. Since then and until today this place is known as the Baños de la Reina (The Queens baths).
The Baths of the Queen today
Every summer, the Baños de la Reina become a meeting point for locals and visitors who come to recreate the queen's old hobbies. Without a doubt, they are an ideal place to enjoy the sea in a different way and practice activities such as snorkelling.
Its crystalline waters change color with the light of day, adopting all kinds of greens and blues that allow you to enjoy the numerous fish that swim among the rocks of this labyrinth of bays excavated by the sea. But if there is a moment in which it becomes even more special, that is the sunset, when the sky turns pink and the calm sea invites you to feast your eyes on the horizon enjoying the sunset. It's a magical place!
Let’s enter the Illeta dels Banyets site
The Baños de la Reina make up, together with the Illeta dels Banyets, an archaeological site of special relevance. Located on a small peninsula at the foot of the (Torre Vigía) old Watchtower of El Campello, vestiges have been found in this place that confirm the presence of different civilizations and cultures during, at least, the last 5,000 years, being the Roman, the Iberian and that of the Bronze Age the most outstanding.
Due to an earthquake several centuries ago, these deposits were separated from the El Campello coastline, forming a small islet, but in the 1930s they were artificially joined to the land again, recovering the historic peninsula. The first excavations were carried out by the illustrious chronicler from Alicante D. Francisco Figueras Pacheco between 1931 and 1935.
Among the findings, pottery, weapons, funerary monuments, pottery remains and even buildings that suggest the existence of intense productive and commercial activity in the area during the 2nd and 4th centuries BC stand out. In addition to, of course, the bays, connected to the sea, in which the fish were raised and later used by the aforementioned Moorish queen.
How to get to the Baños de la Reina, in El Campello.
The Baños de la Reina are a perfect destination to visit from the Hotel Montíboli. Only 16 kilometers and about 15 minutes separate us from this very special place, so there is no excuse to miss it during your days in Villajoyosa.
As soon as you leave the hotel, at the roundabout that gives access to the urbanization where we are, you must take the N-332 towards Alicante. After about 10 kilometers, you will take the exit towards El Campello and shortly after at the roundabout take Calle San Bartolomé towards the marina. Right next to the dock, under the unmistakable watchtower Torre Vigía de la Illeta, are the Baños de la Reina.
Complete your visit in the surroundings of the Baños de la Reina
El Campello has many other attractions that you should know about when you visit the Baños de la Reina. Just a few meters away, right inside the fishing port, the fish market becomes a real hive for tourists and locals who come to the auction to get the best fish of the day at popular prices from Monday to Friday at six in the afternoon. But it is also a real show! The auctioneer puts all his gibberish into selling the catch and it's inevitable to have a good time even if you don't buy anything.
And if what you like is not to miss any beach, in the area of Coveta Fumá, a few minutes from the Baños de la Reina, some small and quiet picturesque coves await you, ideal for a swim on summer afternoons.
Did you like our proposal? Surely you are looking forward to escaping for a few days to the Hotel Montíboli and enjoying the rest and peace of the Mediterranean. If you want to make your vacation even more special, don't miss the opportunity to discover these corners that make us unique. We will be waiting for you!
Articles published in 2018