-The San Antonio Fair, “Fira i Porrat de Sant Antoni”, a historic event since for many years it was region’s central trading event, where major sales of animals and machinery took place. Today it stands out for its fair attractions, the blessing of animals, livestock shows, exhibition of classic vehicles, medieval market and a huge variety of cultural and sports activities that take place over the three weeks of the fair.
- ‘Purísima Xiqueta’ Patron Saint’s Fiestas, which are celebrated on the fourth Sunday of April. Among the many events we highlight the Crowning of the Queen of Fiestas, chosen the previous September, the bull running, the firecrackers and the fireworks displays, the religious procession where local residents show their devotion to their Patron Saint, musical bands, horseback processions and the ‘Day of the Riberero’, a monument traditionally honoured before the country labourers set off to harvest rice.
- Moors and Christians Fiestas to honour St Peter. Outstanding are the spectacular costumes, the presentation of the “filaes” groups taking part, the firing of muskets first thing in the morning to rouse residents and begin a new day of fiestas and, above all, the nightly fiestas which take place in the different marquees set up across the town.
These are the town’s three main fiestas and celebrations, but we must not overlook all the other fiestas that take place over the summer months in the town’s neighbourhoods and outlying areas.
Rambling in Benissa is a well established leisure option. Exploring its rambling routes and enjoying its rich natural surroundings with the mountains of Bernia, La Solana, Oltà and Malla Verda is a real pleasure, and there are a large number of documented and well signposted routes in the municipality.
- Chapels Route: Chapel of Pinos, Chapel of Benimarco, Chapel of Santa Ana, Chapel of Pedramala, Chapel of Lleus, Chapel of Benimarraig. The chapels were built in the remote rural areas of the municipality in the larger centres of population since the communication routes to the main town were very poor, so these small churches or chapels were built to cater for the religious needs of the faithful.
Most of these chapels are in a good state of repair and still celebrate their fiestas each year. Walking the Chapels Route is an opportunity to discover the history of the municipality whilst at the same time enjoying the magnificent landscape.
- PR Route Oltá: a route which takes two hours to complete and covers 7 Km, classed as medium difficulty, it can be done on foot, by bicycle or on horseback. This route circumnavigates Monte Oltá in a clockwise direction, and you can walk up to the peak if you wish, which adds another one and a half hours to the route.
- PR Route La Solana: a route offering spectacular views from the Montgó Massif to the Sierra de Oltá, and of course out over the Mediterranean and Ifach Rock. From the peak of La Solana we can make out the villages of Lliber, Senija and Jalón. This is a 4 hour route if starting out from Benissa, classed as medium difficulty and covering a total distance of 12 Km which can be undertaken on foot or on horseback.
- PR-V7 Route Bernia: the Sierra de Bernia covers the municipalities of Altea, Benissa, Calpe, Callosa d’En Sarriá and Jalón. These mountains reach an altitude of 1129 metres and form the barrier separating the Alicante regions of Marina Alta and Marina Baja, both physically and in terms of the climate.
One of the routes which offers the best of the Sierra de Bernia is the circular route which goes from Les Cases de Bernia to Font de Bernia, continuing through the “Forat” pass and arriving at the Fort, then coming back to Les Cases de Bernia. This route is classed as medium difficulty and takes three hours to complete.
- Indoor Swimming Pool, a six-lane pool, gymnasium, spa area with Scotch showers, sauna and Jacuzzi. The pool is in Costera del Povil, tel. 96 573 28 29 and e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Les Basetes Nautical Club, located on La Marina Avenue at the 2 Km point. It has 80 moorings and offers a variety of water sports. Full information on the club at www.cnlesbasetes.com.
- Municipal Swimming Pool and Tennis Courts, in the Collao district of Benissa, the open-air municipal pool is open in July and August and has a bar and restaurant, toilets, showers and a lifeguard on duty.
- Palau Sant Pere Municipal Sports Centre, basketball, aerobics, yoga, badminton, five-a-side football, keep fit gym classes, table tennis and weight training. Situated in the Costa de Benissa district.