Spain’s Chocolate Paradise
For a great day out by rental car in Alicante, a visit to Spain’s Chocolate Paradise – the Valor Chocolate Factory – or in Spanish ‘Valor Museo del Chocolate’, in Villajoyosa, is one of the most enjoyable and yummy trips you can make and the factory tour is free. When you think of fine chocolate your mind is inevitably drawn to the world’s chocolate centres in Belgium and Switzerland but in fact Spain’s Valor brand is of top quality and taste. The factory has been family run since 1881 and it is quite remarkable that so few produce so much to be enjoyed by so many! Unsurprisingly this tour is one of the most popular on Spanish school calendars…! Free Tours It is advisable to look at tour times on Valor’s website before you start as free tours are conducted in several languages – so check out when tours are held in your language of choice. The English version is usually held at around 11am but you need to arrive early as the popular tour begins as soon as there are 50 people to take part. The educational stuff covers the historic origins of the bean, mixing and cleaning, roasting and grinding and finally the meticulous processes of making and liquidising the chocolate and also packing and distribution. The free tour takes around 45 minutes to an hour and a video is included on the chocolate-making process from bean to bar. Chocolate to Die For! The first thing that hits you as you arrive is the wonderful aroma of warm chocolate. The factory complex is pristine clean, as you might expect, the staff are hospitable and helpful and the chocolate itself is to die for! The chocolate crafted sculptures are fascinating – and there is an opportunity to taste samples and a chocolate shop where you can purchase tasty souvenirs and gifts to take home. One of the most popular products is Valor’s chocolate powder for making the best hot chocolate drink you have ever tasted, far superior to commercial products found elsewhere in Europe. There are other more varied products to see and try to make your day out in Alicante even more enjoyable! Try the fabulous chocolate-coated almonds: Spain’s fine crop of almonds combine with Valor chocolate, resulting in a memorable melt-in-the-mouth experience… Chocolate Heaven This is a great ‘feel-good’ way to spend some time and if you have kids to entertain you couldn’t choose a better treat than a stroll around Chocolate Heaven! It might be a good idea to visit the chocolate museum on a cool day as your purchases might otherwise melt in the fierce Spanish sun! Or pack a cool bag in your Drivalia car rental. Getting There Take the N-332 from Alicante to Villajoyosa – it will take around 35 – 40 minutes - or join the AP-7 and pay the toll to get there a little quicker. There is plenty of parking at the factory. To contact the Valor Museo del Chocolate call 96 681 0451 for information or visit the Valor website for opening dates and times for this great day out in Alicante. The factory is found at Avda Pianista Gonzalo Soriano, 13, 03570 Villajoyosa around 35 minutes´ from the Drivalia car rental depot at Alicante Airport.