The white sands and deep blue sea of Costa Blanca are enough to entice any holidaymaker, with devotees returning year after year to this much-loved Spanish Costa. The coastline however, glorious as it is, is just one of the region’s many attractions. A small team from here at James Villas, including myself, recently jetted off to seek out the soul of this popular Spanish idol on our most recent ‘educational’ visit.
Now, a trip such as this might sound like all play and no work, but in fact it’s a very important part of what the team here offers our guests. Travel Advisers – such as myself – devote our time to helping customers create their ideal holiday, and for that we really need to have a flavour not only of our properties, which we spend a good deal of time visiting during our visits, but also the destinations. We want to be able to inspire you and select that holiday destination that ticks all of your boxes, so whether you’re a beach lover, culture-craver or adventure-seeker, we like to be able to make recommendations ideally based on our own experiences. I was joined on the trip by others from James Villas’ Marketing and Commercial departments, as it’s a company mantra that everyone within the business should get to know the villas first hand, and just what a villa holiday experience offers.
El Castell de Guadalest & Altea
With that in mind, it was “straight to work” as soon as we arrived, whisked away by Villa Manager, Phil, who lives in Costa Blanca full time, to El Castell de Guadalest – a small, charming town perched on a mountain in Valencia. The town itself offers craft shops, museums and delightful boat trips across the turquoise reservoir. The views are utterly breathtaking and not to be missed. After exploration here refreshments were required, so we decided to take a coffee break in the whitewashed town of Altea – instantly recognisable from its blue-domed church and cobbled streets. Sitting on the hillside overlooking the vast, calm Mediterranean, the streets of this captivating, rugged town were alive with aspiring artists, musicians and pleasant cafes.
Nestled in by a bustling promenade and the iconic, mighty rock ‘Penon de Ifach’, the next stop on our itinerary was Calpe and our Costa Blanca villas here. I was particularly interested to see this beach-front town, as James Villas offer many properties within walking distance or a short drive of the resort centre, and these are often very desirable to customers. The piece de resistance of Calpe is the fabulous Playa de la Fossa o Levante beach. Awarded blue flag status, its shallow shimmering waters, vast range of activities and wide choice of bars and restaurants makes this place a must-see for tourists desiring sun, sea and sand.
The team from James Villas, meanwhile, stayed in the lovely Costa Blanca villas Encina and Astret in the small, relaxed fishing town of Moraira. The properties are situated next door to each other (perfect for two families wishing to travel together, but desiring separate accommodation). The villas are both within walking distance to the town, so in the evening we enjoyed a stroll along the seafront, where you can check out the selection of eateries serving delicious traditional and international dishes. If you want to recreate some Spanish flavours back at your villa, Moraira is home to a small but busy, mouth-watering food and goods market held in the main car park every Friday – a great place to pick up some local ingredients.
If like myself you want to get a real taste for Spain, jump in the car and head to the Jalon Valley. With a handful of Costa Blanca villas in this tranquil retreat, it should be top of list for those seeking seclusion and relaxation. Nestled in the mountains and unspoilt by mass tourism, the valley surrounded by vineyards, orange and lemon trees – a world away from the bright lights of Benidorm. The village has a handful of traditionally Spanish restaurants and bars, and offers wine tasting tours. There are also spectacular views to enjoy – if you take the hair-raising journey to the top of the mountain ‘Coll de Rates’ to see Jalon in all of its glory. At the summit there is café to rest your weary feet if you decided to brave the push bike or hike up.
Our last destination stop on the itinerary was Javea – a mecca for sun, sand and watersports. It’s an energetic, vibrant family destination with an upmarket promenade of modern terrace bars and restaurants. Treat yourself to a heavenly ice cream whilst overlooking the white powdered Arenal beach, while in the evening beach bars and nightlife come to life.
My verdict? Costa Blanca boasts glorious beaches and spectacular scenery. It’s home to a deliciously warm climate and the jewel that is the Mediterranean as a beautiful backdrop. There’s much to keep holidaymakers entertained, with something for everyone. Adios Costa Blanca, hasta la vista. I will see you again.
Why not give myself or one of the Travel Advisers a call on 0800 074 0122? James Villas has over 90 villas in Costa Blanca, as well as 14 destinations throughout Spain and its islands.
Other educational trips
Some of the team stayed next door to us in Villa Encina, so the location would be perfect for two families holidaying together, but desiring their own space.