Are you sat reading this in the UK and looking out of the window at the rain dripping down the windows? Gloomy huh? What about a bit of sun to cheer you up? It’s a rare thing to see that shiny orange hot thing in the UK, but I know a place where it’s abundant all year year round, in fact, I know somewhere that if you are looking for a holiday in the sun, you will love this place.
Gandia beach. No, it’s nothing to do with Ghandi, the Indian fella (!), it’s a lovely, small resort on the northern Costa Blanca, on Spain’s east coast and its services by both Alicante and Valencia airports, with regular flights from most Uk destinations.
The town is about an hours drive north from the famous resort of Benidorm, but is much further away in terms of class, style, and authenticity, attracting a discerning holidaymaker, and the area is home to several nationalities of expats such as British, Irish, French, German, Norwegian and Dutch, so a real international flavour, but retaining that “real” Spain feel.
If you need refreshment, there are a few bars and cafes dotted around that are run by expats, so if you miss your favourite food, it is here, but not to the extent of the more traditional resorts.
Gandia is very traditional and low-key and does NOT attract the lager louts or beetroot-red “ee love, fish and chips twice mate” type of crowd, clad in their Primark Union jack shorts, tattoos, and only missing one more thing, the pit bull, because they couldn’t get it past customs.
Low key holiday.
Gandia is low key and that’s why people come here, that’s what they like. Gandia is split into two main areas, the town, and the beach. The town is a great place to look around and get a real feel for the “real” spain, and see everyday folk going about their business. This gives you a feel for what it must be like to live here.
In addition, there are several local fiestas worth watching, in fact as I write this, there is a (Very noisy) moors and Christians festival going on as we speak!
A short drive brings you to Gandia beach (“Playa Gandia”) and you will find a lovely wide, sandy beach which goes on for about 2 miles, and is lined with low rise buildings and quaint little bars and restaurants, meaning that, once again comparing to Benidorm, this is as far removed as you can get from a tacky tourist spot, and walking around here you get a feeling of calm, great for a peaceful holiday away from theme parks, screaming kids and the ubiquitous sunglasses sellers who pester people in the resorts down south.
The real spain.
As I said above, you will NOT find KFC, fish n chips or a decent Cornish pasty, NOTE: YOU ARE IN SPAIN!!….and therefore there are plenty of opportunities to dine in a variety of restaurants during your stay, and can sample any type of dish you care to imagine, although most of it is Spanish food, and if you are on vacation here, you would be best advised to actually try it, you never know, you might like it!
There are also boat trips available, to soak up even more of the Spanish sun, and trips can be taken to Denia, Jávea, Calpe and Altea, however if you have time on your hands, it is actually possible to take a boat from nearby Denia, to Ibiza, if you really feel you can’t spend the week here without going wild and partying till you drop!
There are lots of day trips to be taken to nearby towns, or an hour and half up the motorways, you can visit the wonderful cvity of Valencia which has museums, galleries, attractions and more bars and restaurants than you can shake a stick at!
All in all, for a peaceful, authentic and “real” holiday in the sun, check out Gandia beach this year, I think you will enjoy it!
Gandia Travel Report from Guy Alexander Bell