Going Polop: writer Miró is celebrated in style in this historic Alicante town | Travel

Spanish modernist writer Gabriel Miró Ferrer (1879-1930) described the hill town of Polop de la Marina as “an oasis on the Costa Blanca”. Now a museum dedicated to Miró’s life sits in the main square of the pretty town a 20-minute drive inland from Benidorm, in the province of Alicante.

The author never lived in Polop but came to a house here every summer for eight years. Casa Pepita, built in 1911, was restored and opened as Casa-Museo Gabriel Miro in 2012. Exhibits donated by his family include the manuscript of the 1928 novel Años y Leguas (Years and Leagues), Miró’s love letter to the Alicante province.

In a corner of the grand entrance hall of the whitewashed, timbered building sits an old upright piano once played by the composer Oscar Esplá, Miró’s friend and a former Polop resident. There is also a collection of portraits by 20th-century artist Benjamín Palencia.

Photos on a wall at Casa-Museo Gabriel Miró

A mahogany staircase leads to the first floor, where black-and-white portraits of the writer, taken by writer and photographer Juan Guerrero Ruiz, hang on the wall. All of Miró’s 20 novels are displayed in glass cabinets and, outside, a balcony looks over Plaza de los Chorros and its 221 drinking fountains.

Untroubled – as yet – by boutique hotels or chi-chi bars, Polop de la Marina (usually just called Polop), is a welcome escape from the concrete sprawl of this part of the Costa Blanca. There are gorgeous views from the ruined castle and cemetery at the top of the hill, where El Cid is said to have holed up in a cave during the wars – the Reconquista – between the Moors and Christians.

Avenida de Sagi Barba, 21, Polop, polop.org. Open daily 10am-1pm and 4pm-7pm, free

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