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My holiday in Denia

We arrived for our holidays to Denia at the beginning of July for a two week holiday and were certainly not disappointed! The weather was amazing, one day a little cloudy but apart from that we had blazing sunshine and it was around 28 degrees. The sea was crystal clear and perfect for paddling and swimming and really refreshing too, especially after a few hours sunbathing! The locals were really friendly and helpful and our villa in Denia couldn’t have been nicer. All in all it was a relaxing, fun and beautiful holiday which we will remember forever!

deniaIf you are looking for a beach holiday then Denia is certainly a popular choice. Situated right on the coast it has a busy ferry port and the main industry is fishing. While it attracts many tourists, particularly during the summer months, if you crave the bright lights of bigger cities then you can reach Alicante or Valencia with relative ease as well.

We decided to make the San Nicolas area our base which is just south of the town centre. The villa was perfect, bright, spacious and modern with a gorgeous outdoor dining area with plenty of seating and a small pool which was great for early morning and evening swims! San Nicolas is a great area for those who appreciate their peace and quiet as well, but is only a short distance from the more lively areas of town, so if you do enjoy the occasional good night out while you are on holiday this still makes for a great spot to make your home away from home. We loved the villas so much in fact that we even had a couple of home cooked meals there, which saved money of course but still felt like we were having a fantastic meal outside in the gorgeous sunshine.

What we loved about Denia was the variety of things to see and do. There were also many different areas which meant you could spend some time in each and almost feel like you had gone to entirely different places! The port with its bustling fishing fleet, and regular car ferry to the Balearic Islands is a sight to behold. There is also a lovely marina where you can admire yachts of all shapes and sizes. This is located at the end of the Marques de Campo,  a bustling shopping street which is the perfect place to find great souvenirs and has high quality cafés and restaurants too.

shutterstock_92721862The old town, the Fisherman’s Quarter and Calle Loreto, are great places to spend a lazy afternoon simply wandering around. With charming narrow cobbled streets and lovely buildings to admire its an easy place to spend a few hours simply doing nothing! The El Mercado (the Market) is where we went to find great fresh ingredients for making a meal back at hour villa. It is open six days a week and sells meats, fresh fish, locally grown vegetables and a variety of fragrant breads and cured meats.

If you fancy doing something cultural, a trip to Denia’s famous castle is a must. The structure itself is impressive enough but it also houses the El Museo Arqueológico which will give visitors a run down of the history of the town from Roman times, and has a great and fascinating display of artefacts found in the surrounding area and the sea. If you are a museum fan then you should also make time to check out the quaint toy museum and the thought provoking  Ethnological Museum as well.

The cuisine in Denia is varied and delicious. In fact despite being in Spain visitors can enjoy a range of dishes from all over the world. Because of its busy cosmopolitan centre many restaurants have been established in recent years and you can find dishes from all over the world so whether you are a curry lover, a fan of Chinese or simply want some great British fare, it is all within easy reach. Of course when in Spain however, trying the local delicacies and dishes is a must and Denia’s fish restaurants are certainly a great place to start. With fresher then fresh fish cooked brilliantly and served simply you can almost taste the sea! Paella and Tapas are of course on offer in many of the local restaurants and the quality tends to be pretty consistent wherever you go. In fact so famed for its paella that in the  summer a great many paella competitions take place where local societies get out there and cook giant paellas in the streets!

Denia is perfect for the more active types (although simply relaxing, swimming and sunbathing is easily an option). There are some quite breathtaking walks across Montgo National Park and you can choose coastal trails or walks along the slopes of the imposing Montgo Mountain, where you can find yourself taking in some of the best views around. Plenty of water sports are available for you to try your hand at as well. Snorkelling and diving are popular pastimes here, but if you want to try something a bit different head down to the Club Nautico hire a yacht or see if you are a natural at wind or kite surfing! With sun, sea and sand and the amazing title from the World Health Organization (WHO)  as having the best climate in the world, Denia makes for a perfect getaway for you and all the family! We will be sure to return.

 

 

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Valencia

Valencia is one of the largest cities in Spain with a population of around 809,000 people in the centre. The city was originally named Valentia which in Latin translates as “strength” or “valour”. Although not as big as the popular tourist destinations of Barcelona or Madrid the city is still well known for its bustling nightlife and particularly for Las Fallas, the cities springtime festival which sees hundreds of holiday makers descend on the area for a raucous and colourful 5 day party which fills the streets with revellers, music, food and dancing.

However a good party is not the only thing Valencia is famed for. It is also host to some of the world’s most beautiful architecture such as its” Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias”, the City of Arts and Sciences which is situated on the edge of the river Turia and was designed by Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela. This incredible futuristic looking building has a whole world of entertainment inside. It hosts a huge IMAX cinema, Europe’s largest aquarium and regularly hosts arts and musical events . But let us not forget Valencia’s sporting triumphs as well. The striking Agora is the main venue of the Valencia Open 500 tennis tournament, and the city also played host to the “2007 & 2010 America’s Cup” –a world famous race between two sailing yachts. It is also rumoured that Valencia was the birthplace of one of Spain’s most famous and celebrated dishes –paella.

There are plenty of places to stay and things to do on your trip which will accommodate all levels of time and budget. In the Northern areas along the wonderfully named Orange Blossom Coast you will find many relaxed seafront resorts which are dotted along the coastline. Further South along the Costa Blanca you can discover some of Spain’s most breath-taking beaches. Spring and Summer are of course the most popular tourist seasons where of the resorts spring into action, and you can enjoy a meal of rice dishes or tapas or refreshing a drink in the wonderful open air terraces with the sunshine and the balmy sea breeze washing over you. If you tire of sea and sand then why not head inland where the landscape changes dramatically and you will find imposing mountains and ancient castle to explore.

Valencia City also boasts many green areas that bring a little bit of nature to its metropolitan landscape. These include the flourishing Turia Gardens which lie in the city centre, Cabecera Park with its huge quay, not forgetting the Botanical Gardens, the Monforte Gardens, the Viveros or Royal Gardens, the Glorieta and the pretty Alameda Gardens.

Getting around in Valencia is easy. For train and bus transport you can use the Bonobus and the Bonometro which link you to all areas of the city. You can purchase tickets (bonos) in kiosks and tobacco shops. The price of a ticket is relatively cheap being under ten euros for ten rides. If you fancy something a little more active however why not try cycling around the city? Renting a bike is a hugely popular way for people to explore the city. Valencia generally has few hills which makes biking a perfect way to travel without being too strenuous, especially in the summer heat. Since 2010 the city offers public bicycle rentals at over 250 different locations where you can simply pick up and drop off your bike at any of the terminals.

Finding a good place to eat in Valencia is easy. There are a huge amount of wonderful cafes and restaurant which accommodate your every need. Of course if you wish to sample traditional Spanish cuisine Valencia is the right place to be! You could easily eat its flavoursome signature dish of paella at a different restaurant every day and because each follows its own unique recipe, it would feel like you were eating a completely different (yet equally delicious) dish each time. As well as rice dishes you can find an excellent and extensive range of vegetables which are grown in the local countryside on the outskirts of the city. Being right beside the Mediterranean, the seafood options of fish and shellfish are always caught locally and taste delicious.

Summary

Valencia is an increasingly popular tourist destination being Spain’s third largest city. The city itself and the surrounding areas host many wonderful sights to see and things to do. There are miles of beautiful coastline to explore, or if you prefer getting to know more about the history of the area then head inland to visit extraordinary castled nestled on the tops of breath-taking hills and mountains. There are plenty of excellent restaurants offering local cuisine and you’ll find quality places to eat, drink and sleep whatever your budget. The wonderful climate and the friendly atmosphere make Valencia a must see holiday destination.