Some time ago we received a reservation from a lady wishing to book the entire property for a group of 14 family and friends for a week as part of a 50th birthday celebration. When they arrived last week, it turned out that the group consisted of two sets of parents, two grandmothers and eight younger members – i.e. the sons/daughters and respective partners.
The accommodation here is ideal for that kind of mixed group who want to enjoy a self-catering holiday on the Costa Blanca, as the two older ladies and one set of parents occupied the self-contained apartment on the lower level of the house, the other set of parents were in the room above that apartment, and the younger members were in the remaining bedrooms in the rest of the house. Each room has its own private bathroom, so everybody had ample space for themselves but could mix and socialise together in the spacious public rooms, sun terraces and around the pool.
They soon settled in to the accommodation, acquainted themselves with the kitchen facilities and then went on a shopping expedition to the local supermarket for supplies! The rest of their arrival day was spent relaxing in the gardens and pool recovering from what had been an early start for their flight from Gatwick to Valencia, collecting hire cars, etc. However, after an evening meal on the terrace they all felt very much at home and were looking forward to the rest of their stay with us.
With four hire cars, they were able to divide their excursions according to their tastes and often go out on separate trips from each other. For example part of the group might want to go to the award-winning beach at Gandía whilst others wanted to visit a monastery in the area, at the same time as the shopping rota dictated supermarket-duty for some of the others! This was no problem at all with everything here at their disposal, so everyone’s wishes could be met.
They soon realised that Gandía and Villa Florencia in particular are ideally situated in a beautiful rural setting, but with very easy access to a huge range of attractions for day-trips, excursions and activities.
- Some of them went on an expedition to the city of Valencia one day, and wisely made use of the open-top touristic bus to show them the sights and to take them to the renowned City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y de las Ciencias).
- Benidorm was also an attraction for the younger members of the group one day, and they went to visit Aqualandia – the huge water park there – where they met up with some other friends who were also holidaying in the area. Another day saw a trip to the well-known market at Oliva for some of the ladies, whilst some others carried on to the beautiful beach there at the same time.
- A further attraction there was the famous Ballesteros designed golf course at Oliva Nova, and this proved a major interest for one of the fathers with his son.
- Most early mornings one or more of them would go for a run along roads through the surrounding orchards, or even go for a ramble up one of the nearby crags.
- Some of the younger members of the group expressed interest in a day’s mountain biking in the area, so this was also easily arranged. They spent the entire day with Dave Warrington of Mountain Biking Valencia and followed the route of a former railway line along the banks of the Serpis river, through tunnels and even reaching a local reservoir at the far point of the route. With lunch along the way at a remote and unspoilt village, they returned tired but exhilarated with their achievements, and all agreeing that it had been a great day out seeing beautiful countryside that they could never have experienced in any other way.
Plenty of time was, of course, spent relaxing around the pool and in the gardens recovering from the rigours of such excursions, but with lots of outside space available there was room for everyone to enjoy themselves and feel at home.
After a week, however, their holiday came to an end, but it had been a great time for everybody and they were more than a little surprised at just how much there had been here for them all to do, with things to satisfy a wide range of interests and levels of activity. They all had a wonderful time and even suggested that they might well return to us in the future – either as the same group to rent the house for a self-catering holiday on the Costa Blanca again, or possibly just some of them, in which case the independent apartment would probably meet their needs. Whichever they choose to do, we are pleased that they had such a good time and we look forward to their return.