Tárbena/Alcalalí - Casa Pinet
For those who have spent some time at the Costa Blanca, the term "the communist" is well known. Together with his wife and son, Jeroni Moncho Pascual has been running a family restaurant in Tárbena for more than 40 years. The restaurant has been a must to visit - mostly because of the owner's charisma and the restaurant's atmosphere.
Jeroni - or Jernonimo, as he also was called - was a communist on his neck, and it is said that he lost one arm during the war against Franko. The restaurant has been decorated in line with his political conviction.
In the restaurant Che Guevara and Fidel Castro keep an eye on you from the wall while you're eating. Jeroni still visits the restaurant from time to time, but the son has taken over the daily operation. Politics is not as important anymore, and the restaurant has been moved to Alcalali. But it is still worth a visit.
The restaurant has long been a museum of the old communism and left-wing Valencian nationalism. Singing of the political song The International accompanied by old string instruments has been one of the highlights. All the inventory is taken to Alcalali so that the atmosphere is the same.
Tárbena where the restaurant was located earlier, is not a big attraction, but it's a nice, simple village in the mountains. The reason why the restaurant was moved, was a long-standing battle for the lease. The municipality wanted to use the premises themselves and would therefore not offer the family a long-term contract.
However, the Moncho Ferrer family wanted greater security for the future and therefore chose to move to Alcalali, just a few kilometers away. The restaurant has been a tourist magnet, and Tárbena may not be as much visited now when Casa Pinet is gone.
If you travel in February, you will enjoy the beautiful almond blossom. The Halon Valley - or Xaló as it's called in Valencian - is a nice sight the rest of the year as well.
The road across the mountain is steep and narrow, and the terrain is wild and beautiful.
On the other side of the mountain, nature is a little different. Here farms cling to the mountain sides.
More excursions: www.turideer.com
Excursion of the week: Alcalalí with Casa Pinet and Tárbena where the restaurant was located earlier.
Duration: you'll probably need at least half a day to the tour and a visit in the restaurant.
Suitable for: mostly for adults - not so exciting for children.
Getting there: The trip can be started in Benidorm or Altea. Drive the N-332 towards Valencia. Drive past Calpe and then turn left to Xaló before reaching Benissa. Follow CV-750 towards Xaló and drive through this to Alcalali and Parcent.
The restaurant is located in Passeig del Pou 14 in Alcalali.
The trip is completed by taking CV-715 in direction Parcent from Alcalali. Then just follow CV-715 past Parcent to Tárbena and then back to Nucía and Benidorm or Alicante where you started.