On our month’s vacation in Spain, my parents and I decided to drive down the coast to the town of Villajoyosa and visit the famous Valor chocolate factory. Valor is Spain’s best-selling chocolate brand and has been in business for more than 125 years. It’s main factory has a wonderful tour, which happens to be free, as well as a fun chocolate museum and free chocolate testing at the end of the tour. Really, you can’t pass that up.
The Location of Valor’s Chocolate Factory – Just about the easiest thing to find in the town of Villajoyosa, just passed Benidorm, the Valor chocolate factory is at the top of town on the main road coming in. As it’s the most famous thing to ever come out of Villajoyosa, there are signs for it everywhere so you can’t miss it. The chocolate factory is actually located at Pianista Gonzalo Soriano 13 in Villajoyosa.
How to Take the Valor Chocolate Factory Tour – Called the ‘Valor Museum Tour’, all you have to do is show up at the gates of the Valor factory in Villajoyosa just a couple of minutes before the tour starts. On weekdays, tours begin at 10am, 11am, 12pm and 1pm. . Then the tour stops for the Spanish siesta between 2-4pm, with the next tours at 4pm, 5pm, 6pm and 7pm. On Saturdays, there are tours at 10am, 11am, 12pm and 1pm. The factory is closed on Sundays and, of course, on all holidays.
If you arrive at the gate, as we did, and find the gate closed and nobody there, don’t worry just wait. Around two minutes past the hour, a ‘tour guide’ from the factory will arrive and take you into the factory for the beginning of the tour. The tour is free and takes about an hour.
What You’ll See on the Valor Chocolate Factory Tour – The first thing you notice on arrival onto the factory grounds is how incredibly clean everything is. From the factory and museum itself, even down to the shining antique Valor trucks and the parking lot surface – unbelievably clean and shiny. Valor chocolate prides itself on creating the most top-quality chocolate Spain has ever had, and this attitude can be seen all over the Valor factory.
The tour guide will show you into a small movie theater where you’ll first see a 15 minute film about the history of Valor chocolate and the types of cocoa beans they use. An interesting film, you’ll come out of there dying for a bite of a chocolate as the chocolate just looks so good.
Next on the tour is a quick look around the ‘Valor Chocolate Museum’. Behind the movie theater in a small garden, the guide begins the museum tour by giving you information about the Valor family and how they started their chocolate business (Valor is still family-owned). Then you can wander around the museum by yourself to see the antique chocolate making equipment, see displays of chocolate molds, view lots of old photographs of the Valor family in the early 1900s and even see how they made chocolate back then. In the museum, you can take as many photographs as you like.
The last part of the tour is into the factory itself. Unlike some tours where you walk through the factory floor, at Valor you’re shown up a flight of stairs to a glassed in corridor, where you look down on the factory floor, seeing every step of the chocolate making process. Valor does this to avoid distractions to their workers and also to avoid any contamination of their chocolate. On this stage of the tour, you are not allowed to take photographs.
Finally, a quick look at a pretty antique chocolate packaging exhibit and into the chocolate shop, where you get to sample a whole array of Valor chocolates and are then given about 10 minutes to purchase what you want. Prices are slightly cheaper than you’ll find on shop shelves outside the factory, so here is the time to buy Valor chocolate. You must also sample (and buy!) their diabetic chocolate – absolutely superb, you cannot tell the difference between Valor diabetic chocolate and the real thing, and there are lots of choices.
The Valor chocolate factory tour, for a free tour, is well worth seeing and, if you love high-end chocolate that’s really delicious, Valor chocolate is the chocolate to buy in Spain. They currently export to all of Europe and to North America, and are expanding production every year.