Villa Florencia Casa Rural Gandia http://www.villa-florencia.co.uk Spanish Sunshine Holidays - Costa Blanca Spain Mon, 10 Aug 2015 15:13:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 Dog Groomers from Holland http://www.villa-florencia.co.uk/2015/05/dog-groomers-from-holland/ http://www.villa-florencia.co.uk/2015/05/dog-groomers-from-holland/#comments Tue, 19 May 2015 22:10:02 +0000 http://www.villa-florencia.co.uk/?p=6958 Dog Groomers from Holland At Villa Florencia we are always keen to support our local animal rescue centre (S.P.A.M.A. Safor), where they give shelter to homeless and abandoned animals – mainly dogs and cats – in our local area. Our own dogs have all been adopted from S.P.A.M.A. Safor and they rely heavily on support [...]

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CIMG6076Dog Groomers from Holland

At Villa Florencia we are always keen to support our local animal rescue centre (S.P.A.M.A. Safor), where they give shelter to homeless and abandoned animals – mainly dogs and cats – in our local area. Our own dogs have all been adopted from S.P.A.M.A. Safor and they rely heavily on support from the local community as well as from overseas.

They have built up strong connections with animal rescue organisations in Holland and Germany particularly, and many of their animals are adopted by homes in these countries. Another result of these connections is that volunteers from Holland and Germany often come to Gandia to help in the centre and we are always pleased to offer our accommodation in our self-catering apartment to these volunteers at very preferential rates. For several years now a lady called Sabrina has been coming to us with her friends and family members from Germany and they have helped enormously not only with the animals but also with construction and refurbishment projects at the shelter. Another group of ladies from Holland have also been coming for several years to wash and groom the dogs and this year we were delighted that they were able to stay with us.

Anja, Edith, Petra and Stella are professional dog groomers in Holland and generously give their time and expertise for over a week at a time, often twice a year, to groom the dogs – something that is of particular benefit at this time of year when the weather is beginning to warm up for the summer heat. They arrived last Monday morning and settled into the apartment before heading off to the shelter to reacquaint themselves with the staff and helpers there in the afternoon. For the rest of their stay they would work with the dogs every morning, come back to us for lunch and a time to relax in the garden and pool in the early afternoon, before returning for the rest of the day and early evening to groom even more of the dogs being cared for by SPAMA. They did this for their entire stay of eight days and the rescue centre and its volunteers were hugely grateful for all their hard work.

It was an absolute pleasure to have Anja, Edith, Petra and Stella stay with us and we really hope they will be guests here the next time they kindly donate their time and skill to the SPAMA rescue centre animals.

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Las Fallas & Easter Fiestas http://www.villa-florencia.co.uk/2015/03/las-fallas-easter-fiestas/ http://www.villa-florencia.co.uk/2015/03/las-fallas-easter-fiestas/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 19:59:46 +0000 http://www.villa-florencia.co.uk/?p=6931 Las Fallas Fiesta in Gandia! “Las Fallas” is one of the biggest fiestas of the year in the Valencia region – it’s the one that everyone has seen pictures about, where the different districts of each town build huge wood and papier-mâché effigies about local events and then they all get burnt to the ground [...]

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Gandia Las FallasLas Fallas Fiesta in Gandia!

“Las Fallas” is one of the biggest fiestas of the year in the Valencia region – it’s the one that everyone has seen pictures about, where the different districts of each town build huge wood and papier-mâché effigies about local events and then they all get burnt to the ground on the night of March 19th – St. Joseph’s day.

The fiesta is a huge attraction for tourists, both Spanish and foreign, and we were delighted to welcome Sandy and her husband David back to us for a second year to enjoy the preparations and festivities.  They chose to stay in our self-catering apartment again as they found last year that it suited them perfectly.  They combined their accommodation there with taking breakfast and dinner in the dining terrace with the other guests, so had the advantages of both.  As far as Valencian residents are concerned, Fallas marks the end of the old season – essentially winter – and the beginning of the spring and all things new.  It always culminates on the same date, March 19th, and so also marks the beginning of the build-up to the most important time of year of all for the Spanish – Easter.

Gandia always enters into the spirit of all the fiestas with inexhaustible enthusiasm, so is a great place to visit for both the foreign tourist and Spanish holidaymaker alike.  All the colour and vibrancy of every Valencian fiesta is celebrated to the full in the town but because it is a town of 80,000 inhabitants, it is possible to enjoy all that the fiestas have to offer but without having to endure the huge crowds that can be sometimes overwhelming in the large cities.  This is not to say that Gandia, being smaller, celebrates these cultural delights with any less enthusiasm – far from it.  Processions, fireworks, street events are all to be found in Gandia according to the fiesta concerned and spectators can feel that they are taking part in a cultural event of history and tradition on a manageable scale.

Sandy and David have been coming to the Valencia province for several years to enjoy the tradition of the Fallas festivities and have become very knowledgeable about everything that is involved, from the almost year-long build-up in each local district to the selection of the Fallas queens and princesses in their beautiful and elaborate costumes.  They had a wonderful time with us again this year, and to their delight have realised that Easter in 2016 is early in the calendar, and so closer than ever to the Fallas fiesta.  Their plan is therefore to come to us again, but much closer to March 19th this time – but then to stay on after that event and take in the Easter processions and celebrations as well.  Two fiestas for the price of one, you could say!

It is always a pleasure when guests return to us time and again, and we are looking forward very much to Sandy and David celebrating not one but two of Gandia’s most important events in the fiesta calendar in 2016.  The Spanish certainly know how to have a party and Gandia manages to combine all the best elements of Spanish vibrancy and joie de vivre in a way that makes the visitor feel part of a great tradition that dates back often hundreds of years.

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Pet Friendly Holidays in Spain http://www.villa-florencia.co.uk/2015/03/pet-friendly-holidays-in-spain/ http://www.villa-florencia.co.uk/2015/03/pet-friendly-holidays-in-spain/#comments Fri, 20 Mar 2015 13:42:04 +0000 http://www.villa-florencia.co.uk/?p=6914 Last week we were visited by Helena and Stuart, who wanted to spend some time in the spring sunshine on their Pet Friendly Holidays in Spain. They were attracted not only by the chance to have some warmer temperatures than where they live in France, but also by the fact that they were able to [...]

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Pet Friendly Holidays in SpainLast week we were visited by Helena and Stuart, who wanted to spend some time in the spring sunshine on their Pet Friendly Holidays in Spain. They were attracted not only by the chance to have some warmer temperatures than where they live in France, but also by the fact that they were able to bring their lovely dog Angelo along with them to enjoy our pet friendly accommodation. They also decided to have a bit of a reunion with a good friend of theirs from their native Scotland – Maggie – who flew out the following day to join them here.

Helena, Stuart and Angelo arrived on the Sunday afternoon by car from France and soon settled in to their room. Angelo made friends with our dogs in no time and before long they were all playing happily in the garden like one extended family. Angelo even grew accustomed to our cats very quickly and learned that a slow approach is needed if you want to make real friends with them! After dinner that night, they were all more than happy to retire for an early night and a well-earned rest after their long journey.

The next day was spent travelling again – but this time down to Alicante airport to collect Maggie, who arrived on a badly delayed flight from Glasgow. They all returned in the early evening, however, and looked forward to spending some quality time together in the days ahead. A trip to Gandia’s beautiful beach was on the agenda for Tuesday, so after a leisurely breakfast and some time relaxing in the gardens in the warm morning sunshine they departed for the rest of the day to enjoy the lovely surroundings of Playa de Gandia, staying to have their dinner there as well.

The following days were spent in a similar way, with trips to nearby resorts and tourist centres, including Benidorm – a great place to visit in the low season – as well as Altea, Javea and Denia. Some evenings they returned to dine with us and the other guests, whilst on other occasions they spent the whole afternoon and evening in their “destination of the day” and returned to us for a drink in the bar before retiring for the night.

Angelo became so relaxed and content in his holiday surroundings that sometimes he would stay behind with us and his new-found companions in the garden, enabling Helena, Stuart and Maggie to venture further afield without having to worry about his welfare. It is true to say that they all – humans and dog alike – had a great time with us and felt really at home and managed to relax and unwind. At the end of their visit they decided they did not want to risk us being fully-booked at the end of the season, so all made a reservation to return to us in very early October. Maggie will fly to meet them first in France this time, and they will then all continue the journey to us by car, avoiding another time-consuming trip to Alicante and the risk of another delayed flight.

Book online nowWe are really glad that they had such a good time that they already want to come back for more – it was a pleasure having them visit us, and we are looking forward to seeing them again before too long on another Pet Friendly Holidays in Spain. Lola, Buckley and the rest of our pets will be glad to see the return of their new friend Angelo as well and his owners will be able to make the most of some autumn warmth and relaxation.
Click on image, to check availability and book your pet friendly holidays in Spain.

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Autumn Sunshine Activity Holidays http://www.villa-florencia.co.uk/2014/11/autumn-sunshine-activity-holidays/ http://www.villa-florencia.co.uk/2014/11/autumn-sunshine-activity-holidays/#comments Mon, 10 Nov 2014 10:03:08 +0000 http://www.villa-florencia.co.uk/?p=6869 Autumn Sunshine Activity Holidays! The heat of summer may be over, but the weather continues to be beautiful, with lots of sunshine and very mild temperatures. It is at this time of year – and also of course in the spring – when there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy all the other delights of [...]

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Sunshine Activity Holidays SpainAutumn Sunshine Activity Holidays!

The heat of summer may be over, but the weather continues to be beautiful, with lots of sunshine and very mild temperatures. It is at this time of year – and also of course in the spring – when there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy all the other delights of this part of the Costa Blanca than just the summer seaside attractions.

Lucy and Ashley recently returned to us for their third visit, and they take great pleasure in participating in outdoor pastimes and sports – something which this area of the Costa Blanca offers the fringe season visitor in abundance. They stayed with us for just over a week in our self-catering apartment and made the most of their time getting out and about doing lots of different activities as well as some conventional sightseeing in Valencia city itself.

Because temperatures have remained so mild, it is still very pleasant to swim in the sea so Lucy & Ashley decided one day to combine two of their interests into one all-day experience. They had made arrangements to go horse riding at stables near the beach, and so went for an escorted ride along the beach for a few hours, combining this with some time to relax, sit on the sand and swim in the Mediterranean Sea. As they said upon their return at the end of the day – that can’t be a bad way to spend a day in late October!

The local town of Gandia runs sport and exercise classes on a daily basis at the municipal sports centre. These are open to everyone and so one day they both signed up for a morning pilates class. It was well run and well attended and spurred Ashley to put his name down for another class – this time a late afternoon hour of aerobic work-out. Again, the class was well attended both by local people and visitors and is just another example of healthy activities that can be enjoyed here once the summer heat has passed.

Having been here before, they knew the surrounding villages and decided to visit some of them along a cycle route, rather than having a day in the car. Hiring bicycles here – either mountain or road bikes – is easy to do and you are well rewarded with lovely villages dotted in the nearby valleys and all surrounded by some quite often absolutely breathtaking scenery. The routes along the designated biking trails are well marked, and Ashley and Lucy had a trip through the mountains behind us and down to the town of Simat, where the monastery there is undergoing some extensive restoration work and is well worth a visit. Many of the same routes are of course also intended for hiking, and not only visitors to the area but also a great number of local inhabitants take advantage of the many trails in the local area.

Our guests sometimes chose just to go for a morning walk in the orchards to the rear of the property, which takes you along a quiet country road through the orange groves and up to the tree line at the mountains at the back. If you are feeling so inclined, you can then pick up a trail which takes you off the made-up road and up over the mountains and leads you to the village of Barx, with some spectacular views along the way. Lucy and Ashley did this a couple of times, as well as walking through the valley that lies in front of our villa and exploring the local village with its café and bar.

Their visit came to an end all too soon for them, but they felt very much refreshed and revitalised by their time here and much more equipped to deal with the rigours of a British winter! Beautiful weather and plenty of options to enjoy the outdoors mean that a late season visit to the Costa Blanca can be a real tonic for the northern European visitor – a fact which Lucy and Ashley appreciate to the full. They left for the airport with the stated intention of returning to us again next year, and we would most certainly love to see them back with us in 2015.

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2014 Sunshine Activity Holidays http://www.villa-florencia.co.uk/2014/01/2014-sunshine-activity-holidays/ http://www.villa-florencia.co.uk/2014/01/2014-sunshine-activity-holidays/#comments Wed, 01 Jan 2014 21:45:50 +0000 http://www.villa-florencia.co.uk/?p=6765 2014 Sunshine Activity Holidays The Costa Blanca is more often than not associated with sunshine, beautiful Mediterranean beaches and great memories of summer holidays spent on the coast. And this is a perfectly correct perception of what the Costa Blanca has to offer – but it is very far from the whole story. More and [...]

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2014 Activity holidays2014 Sunshine Activity Holidays

The Costa Blanca is more often than not associated with sunshine, beautiful Mediterranean beaches and great memories of summer holidays spent on the coast. And this is a perfectly correct perception of what the Costa Blanca has to offer – but it is very far from the whole story. More and more people are coming to this part of the northern Costa Blanca in the cooler months of spring and autumn to enjoy the dramatic beauty of the countryside in an area that is often overlooked by the foreign tourist. However, when foreigners do come here “out of season”, they appreciate what makes this a great holiday destination away from the beaches.

The focus tends to be on outdoor activities in the stunning countryside, with an emphasis on walking, climbing, biking and bird watching. The climate is generally mild and bright in spring and autumn, with temperatures in the high teens to low twenties (centigrade), and this makes for a perfect opportunity to get out and about and fully appreciate the mountains and valleys of this part of Spain.

With this in mind, and working in collaboration with a local company specialising in

we have put together a number of “package” options for our guests, based on different lengths of stay, differing interests, etc. These options can be taken exactly as they stand or altered to suit guests’ differing requirements – so for example if someone wanted to come for a longer or shorter period or wanted to take part in more or less activities during their holiday, this could be easily arranged.

Weekend “Escape” Mountain Biking 3 Nights Short Break Mountain Biking 1 Week Mountain Biking

2 nights accommodation dinner on both Friday and Saturday evening.
1 full day of guided mountain biking with local guide, including bike rental and packed lunches.

Only €250 per couple!

Suggested itinerary :
Arrive Friday afternoon. Meet your Mountain Bike Guide and enjoy a “welcome dinner” at Villa Florencia.
Full day of guided mountain biking on Saturday. (We have a wide variety of routes available, to suit all abilities.)
Dinner on Saturday evening at Villa Florencia.
Sunday can be spent at leisure, with late check-out available, allowing you to relax by the pool or to explore the beautiful surroundings.

3 nights accommodation, including 3 course dinner on all 3 nights.
2 full days of guided mountain biking with local guide, including bike rental and packed lunches.

Only €420 per couple!

Suggested itinerary :
Day 1 – Arrive in the afternoon, meet your Mountain Bike Guide and enjoy a “welcome dinner” at Villa Florencia.
Day 2 – Full day of guided mountain biking. (We have a wide variety of routes available, to suit all abilities.)
Day 3 – Full day of guided mountain biking.
Day 4 – Spent at leisure, with late check-out available, allowing you to relax by the pool or to explore the beautiful surroundings.

7 nights accommodation including 3 course dinner on all 7 nights.
3 full days of guided mountain biking with local guide, including bike hire and packed lunches.

Only €855 per couple!

Suggested itinerary :
Day 1 – Arrive in the afternoon, meet your Guide and enjoy a “welcome dinner” at Villa Florencia.
Day 2 – Full day of guided mountain biking (we have a wide selection of routes, suitable for all abilities).
Day 3 – Free day to spend at your leisure.
Day 4 – Full day of guided mountain biking.
Day 5 – Free day to spend at your leisure.
Day 6 – Full day of guided mountain biking.
Day 7 – Free day to spend at your leisure.
Day 8 – Free day with late check-out available.

The emphasis, however, is on making everything as easy and as straightforward as possible for our guests, so they can be assured that everything will be taken care of, from suitable transport for their chosen activity, to appropriate packed lunches on their days out. Evening meals are also part of the deal, so there is no need to search out a restaurant in town after a long and possibly tiring day in the countryside – it is all provided “in house”. We offer a choice of room options (single, twin or double) and we can also quote for those that prefer a self-catering option – we have a self-contained apartment on the premises too.

Many guests took advantage of our package options in 2013 and we look forward to welcoming many more in the year ahead. This part of Spain really does have so much more to offer than wonderful beaches and vibrant nightlife and with two airports within easy reach at Valencia and Alicante, it really is very simple to get here from the UK. Not only EasyJet and Ryanair, but also BA, Norwegian and several others now offer extremely competitive fares, so there really is no better time to select one of our activity packages, find a good flight option, and see what surprises Spain has in store before the summer season has even begun!

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Accommodation for Vegetarians http://www.villa-florencia.co.uk/2013/11/accommodation-for-vegetarians/ http://www.villa-florencia.co.uk/2013/11/accommodation-for-vegetarians/#comments Thu, 07 Nov 2013 22:31:43 +0000 http://www.villa-florencia.co.uk/?p=6725 The Vegetarian Option! We recently received a booking from Graeme and his wife Ruth to come and stay with us for one night whilst they were on their way further south as part of a driving holiday around Spain. During their correspondence and prior to confirming the reservation, Graeme asked if we offer Accommodation for [...]

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Travel Spain! Looking to book vegan or vegetarian accommodation in Spain?The Vegetarian Option!

We recently received a booking from Graeme and his wife Ruth to come and stay with us for one night whilst they were on their way further south as part of a driving holiday around Spain. During their correspondence and prior to confirming the reservation, Graeme asked if we offer Accommodation for Vegetarians, and we of course replied that we are happy to cater for almost all dietary preferences and requirements, given reasonable notification, so vegetarian choices would not be a problem at all.

One of the things we offer our guests is an evening meal service, which many find very convenient – especially the day they arrive. Not only does it avoid having to find a restaurant in surroundings that are still unfamiliar, but there is also the fact that Spanish restaurants tend to open considerably later than northern European visitors are accustomed to – normally not before 9.00pm. As part of our meal service, we ask that guests tell us of any particular requirements they may have and then it is no problem to produce an evening meal that fits the bill. In Spain it is not always easy to find hotels and restaurants that have vegetarian options as standard items on the menu. Nowadays in the UK most restaurants will have at least one vegetarian choice on a table d’hôte menu and probably several on an á la carte one. The Spanish tend to be keen meat and fish eaters and the concept of vegetarianism is not one that catering establishments often recognise.

Graeme and Ruth arrived just before dinner time, and had driven from the north of the country during the course of the day. All they wanted was to be able to relax and unwind with a glass of wine and effortlessly enjoy a dinner that suited their requirements. They soon settled into their room, became best friends with our pets – they are great animal lovers – and felt immediately at home with us. So much so, in fact, that they asked if they could extend their stay for an extra night as they wanted to spend a little time getting to know our part of the Costa Blanca. They had loved what they had seen of the La Safor region when they arrived, and wanted to know more!

The next day the set off in the morning to visit some friends in nearby Oliva, then they explored Gandia (both the main town and the beach area, which they loved), and even managed to fit in a trip over the mountains to see the monastery at Simat. They returned to us in the late afternoon, in time to enjoy a glass of wine before their second vegetarian dinner with us, which they again found wholesome and delicious (their words, not ours!). Our breakfasts were also perfect for them, as we serve a wide choice of cereals, breads, juices and fresh fruit so they always felt well set up for the day ahead.

When they left to continue their journey southwards, they said they had thoroughly enjoyed their all too brief stay with us but genuinely looked forward to returning to us in the future – possibly with other members of their family as well. It was a genuine pleasure to have them visit us and we look forward to welcoming them back again to our Accommodation for Vegetarians, and hopefully for a longer stay when they will be able to get to know the northern Costa Blanca and the La Safor region in particular even better.
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Travel Spain! Looking to book vegan or vegetarian accommodation in Spain?

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Autumn Sunshine Holidays http://www.villa-florencia.co.uk/2013/10/autumn-sunshine-holidays/ http://www.villa-florencia.co.uk/2013/10/autumn-sunshine-holidays/#comments Wed, 23 Oct 2013 08:50:30 +0000 http://www.villa-florencia.co.uk/?p=6691 Autumn Sunshine Holidays in 2013 We have been delighted to welcome a steady succession of guests this year who have been taking advantage of the beautiful weather we have been experiencing here on the Costa Blanca. The summer this year has been a very long-lasting one with daytime temperatures in October in the high twenties [...]

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CIMG4086Autumn Sunshine Holidays in 2013

We have been delighted to welcome a steady succession of guests this year who have been taking advantage of the beautiful weather we have been experiencing here on the Costa Blanca. The summer this year has been a very long-lasting one with daytime temperatures in October in the high twenties or occasionally even the low thirties. Night temperatures are of course lower now, which means that the swimming pool is only usable by the more hardy of our guests, but there is still a great opportunity for getting a late tan and storing up some sunshine before having to endure the winter months ahead in northern Europe.

There is still plenty to do here during such lovely warm days, and of course the sea temperature is still holding up well for those guests who are beach enthusiasts. And once the novelty of sitting and enjoying the sunshine at this time of year has worn off a bit, the slightly cooler temperatures mean that our guests can take part in outdoor activities which might be uncomfortable during the really hot months of the summer.

Sue and Gareth for example came for a few days relaxation in the sun on a Autumn Sunshine Holidays, but decided they wanted to explore the immediate area around Gandia, so they hired mountain bikes for a couple of days. They are quite accustomed to riding bikes around where they live in London, but thoroughly enjoyed the experience in our beautiful green valley. They spent one day cycling around to the monastery of Sant Jeroni and having lunch at a local bar, and another day was spent exploring Gandia town itself. They cycled to the historic part of the main town, and then headed off to Playa de Gandia to enjoy the beach and have lunch in a seafront café before heading home to the casa rural here for some time round the pool and then evening meal.
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Tony and Angela were another couple who visited us in search of some late summer sunshine on a Autumn Sunshine Holidays, and they also had a great time relaxing and getting to know some of the towns and villages in the vicinity. One day, they also took the opportunity to go to Valencia city using the cheap and convenient train service and spent the day there seeing the sights from the open-top tourist bus. They went on both available routes, and took in all the sights in the historic centre, as well as seeing the City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y de las Ciencias), the innovative Bio Park – a zoo without visible barriers between the visitor and the animals – and the restored port and beach areas.
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Other recent guests came to us from Holland and Belgium as well as the UK, and many were combining the opportunity of some autumn sunshine with a property hunting expedition, making some preliminary enquiries about homes for sale in the area at the same time as having a welcome break in the warmth of the Costa Blanca. Even October here can be a really lovely month, as so many of our guests have found out. It has been great to be able to welcome so many this year, who have – often at the last minute – decided to take the chance to soak up a bit of autumn warmth and sunshine. Long may the settled weather last!

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Bird Watching Holidays http://www.villa-florencia.co.uk/2013/09/bird-watching-holidays/ http://www.villa-florencia.co.uk/2013/09/bird-watching-holidays/#comments Mon, 23 Sep 2013 08:28:53 +0000 http://www.villa-florencia.co.uk/?p=6666 Bird Watching Holidays We were delighted to accept a booking some time ago from Lynn and Steve who were planning a bird watching trip to the Costa Blanca and found our suggested bird watching packages on our website.  We offer a week’s stay with us at Villa Florencia with breakfast and evening meals included, as [...]

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Bird Watching Holidays

We were delighted to accept a booking some time ago from Lynn and Steve who were planning a bird watching trip to the Costa Blanca and found our suggested bird watching packages on our website.  We offer a week’s stay with us at Villa Florencia with breakfast and evening meals included, as well as three days birdwatching in conjunction with Valencia Birding – and even packed lunches are included on the bird watching days!  This package suited Lynn and Steve perfectly, as they wanted a holiday in this part of the Costa Blanca that gave them all the birding they wanted but with plenty of time to relax and to do some sightseeing in the area as well.

Mountain-Bird-LifeThey arrived last Saturday, and had arranged to go birding on the Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday – so basically alternate days, interspersed with getting to know the area all around.  The weather has been really excellent for September and was perfect for their purposes – warm and sunny for their whole visit, but not so hot as to be uncomfortable.  They had a really great time on their birdwatching excursions, spending time inland from Valencia, then to the north of the city on their second trip out, and then finally a day in the Albufeira wetlands, which lie between us and Valencia.  The package with evening meal included was just perfect for them too, as after a whole day’s birding they were more than happy to relax in the garden with a drink before dinner on the terrace.

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Their excursions included a day spent down at Playa de Gandia where they enjoyed all the facilities of the wonderful beach there but with crowds that are now less intense than in the height on the season.  They also spent a day touring slightly inland and visited the monastery at Simat as well as the picturesque town of Xatva, with its castle and old narrow streets and town squares.

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They were really surprised at how different this part of the Costa Blanca is from other parts of Spain they have visited – and how much there is to do in the way of activities in natural surroundings and lovely scenery.  They are so impressed with the area in fact that they are seriously thinking of returning to us maybe next year with some other family members, and possibly renting our self-catering apartment for their next stay.  It would be great to see them again as it was a real pleasure to have them visit us, and they obviously took a real delight in discovering just how much the La Safor region has hidden just waiting to be discovered!

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Golfing Holidays in Spain http://www.villa-florencia.co.uk/2013/09/golfing-holidays-in-spain-2/ http://www.villa-florencia.co.uk/2013/09/golfing-holidays-in-spain-2/#comments Tue, 10 Sep 2013 09:51:40 +0000 http://www.villa-florencia.co.uk/?p=6652 Visitors from Holland We recently welcomed Geert and Oda, a couple from the Netherlands, who had booked an eight night stay with us.  Having driven from Holland in their car with a couple of overnight stops along the way, they arrived with us last Sunday in the late afternoon.  They spent some time relaxing in [...]

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CIMG4018Visitors from Holland

We recently welcomed Geert and Oda, a couple from the Netherlands, who had booked an eight night stay with us.  Having driven from Holland in their car with a couple of overnight stops along the way, they arrived with us last Sunday in the late afternoon.  They spent some time relaxing in the garden after their journey before taking us up on our offer of our evening meal service – they found it so much more convenient than having to find a restaurant so soon after arriving.

This was certainly not their first trip to Spain, and in fact they had visited Valencia city briefly in the past, but it was the first time they had had the opportunity to stay for any length of time in this part of the country.  They are golf players also, so they had brought their clubs with them in the back of the car in the hope that they would be able to play a couple of rounds on a course in the area.

On Monday morning they set off for the La Galiana golf club at Aigües Vives near here and spent most of the day there, having a great time.  They returned in the late afternoon, saying it was one of the most beautiful courses they had ever played on.  They had not heard of the course before, and had intended to go to the better known one at Oliva Nova but were very glad they followed our recommendation.  In fact they went back for another round during their visit and again had another great game.  Like most of our guests who have played there, they said it was a challenging course, but well worth the effort and made even more rewarding by the beautiful mountain surroundings where it is located.

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Golfing Holidays in Spain

A trip to Valencia city was also on their itinerary.  They had visited it once before (but only very briefly) and the weather had been very wet and miserable, so they had not had a good impression of what is in fact a very lovely city.  They went by train as they thought this would be the simpler option rather than having to park the car in the city and spent a thoroughly enjoyable day in the historic centre, walking around and getting a good feel for the whole area.  They then hired a couple of bicycles and cycled along the Turia gardens, which follow the route of the diverted river, and came to the City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y de las Ciencias).  Although they did not go in to any of the attractions there, they spent a good deal of time cycling all around the complex and taking photos from many different vantage points – something they would not have been able to do without the bikes.  They returned to us in the early evening with a much better impression of the city than they had got on their first visit several years ago!

Golfing holidays in Spain - Valencia

On many of the evenings during their stay they took advantage of our evening meal service and dined with us here at the villa, but they also went out to Gandia for meals on several occasions, as well as trying out the Thursday and Friday evening Tapas Route.  This is where many of the cafés and bars in the town provide a small drink and an often very generous tapas for two euros per person.  They agreed it was great value for money, and allowed them to see an authentic side of Gandia life as a large number of local people take part in this “evening out” and Gandia is always busy and lively on these nights.

The rest of their visit was spent visiting surrounding towns and villages in the car and they went to several resorts along the Costa Blanca.  Benidorm was not to their taste, but the old town of Altea  they found to be very charming and pleasant.  On another day they went walking in the mountains behind us, starting at the hiking centre on the outskirts of La Drova and following the marked out trail that passes the famous Parpallo cave, world renowned for its ancient paleolithic art.  The views from these hiking routes are breathtaking, and well worth the effort in following the trails as they climb upwards in the La Safor mountains.

Geert and Oda managed to go on an outing or excursion every day of their visit, but also got in some relaxing time in the gardens and the swimming pool.  They had a really enjoyable time here with us and liked the area so much that they are in fact considering renting a villa in the area for a month or so in the winter in order to escape the worst of the Dutch weather at that time of year.  They viewed one property during their stay and are now giving serious thought to the matter.  It was a great pleasure to have them visit us, and we look forward to the possibility of having them as neighbours in the early part of next year.  If that is not to be, we would of course love them to return to us next year to explore even more of what the La Safor region has to offer.

 

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Pet Friendly Accommodation Costa Blanca http://www.villa-florencia.co.uk/2013/09/pet-friendly-accommodation-costa-blanca/ http://www.villa-florencia.co.uk/2013/09/pet-friendly-accommodation-costa-blanca/#comments Fri, 06 Sep 2013 22:11:00 +0000 http://www.villa-florencia.co.uk/?p=6630 Pet Friendly Accommodation Costa Blanca Last Thursday morning we received an unexpected phone call from a German speaking couple wanting to spend that night with us as a stop-over on their way down to Malaga, where they were renting a finca for a fortnight’ holiday. They only wanted one night’s accommodation as part of a [...]

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Pet Friendly Accommodation Costa Blanca

Last Thursday morning we received an unexpected phone call from a German speaking couple wanting to spend that night with us as a stop-over on their way down to Malaga, where they were renting a finca for a fortnight’ holiday. They only wanted one night’s accommodation as part of a driving holiday towards the south and they particularly wanted to stay the night at our pet friendly accommodation because they were accompanied by their lovely Golden Retriever/Labrador cross, who was called Pasha.

They arrived around four o’clock in the afternoon, having set off from their home in Switzerland the previous day and received a warm welcome here – not only from us but also from our own dogs, who are always happy to welcome a guest dog! After the initial excitement had died down, Pasha was content to settle in their room for a short time while his owners relaxed in the garden. However, the weather was so warm and sunny that soon they decided to have a swim in the pool and so brought Pasha down to the garden to join them.

He loves playing in streams and rivers where they live, and soon realised that our pool was especially suitable for him, with its wide steps at either side. Very soon he was frolicking around in the shallow water there and playing with Lola and Aurora, who are also swimming pool fans. Pasha was an impeccably well-mannered guest and loved having the freedom to move about in the garden and play in the water after having been in the car all day on the journey. After that, they all went for a walk in the park nearby that adjoins the orange groves here so that he could run around and enjoy the space of the open countryside.

That evening they did not go out to a local restaurant but stayed here, although they did not want to make use of our evening meal service. They had had a sustaining meal on the way so were content to have some snacks that they had brought with them. The next morning it was time for them to set off on the final leg of their journey to their holiday accommodation – although they knew exactly where they were going as it was in fact a return visit for them since they had rented the same finca last year. When they left, they said they had thoroughly enjoyed their short visit to our pet friendly bed and breakfast and might very well stay with us again on their return journey. This will depend on whether they decide at the time to take the same route home but they can be sure they will receive a very warm welcome back from us all – the dogs as well as the owners!
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