Every summer growing up we’d fly to Spain’s Costa Blanca to visit my family. My Mum’s sister had moved out there in the 90s and although she’s now back in London we’re still lucky enough to be able to enjoy her villa, so when she kindly gave Gav and I the keys for a week we couldn’t book our flights fast enough!
Located in the valley of Benitachell, it’s an incredibly peaceful place to escape urban life. From the highest hill point at Cumbre del Sol you can see for miles, with 100 metre high cliffs dropping vertically into the sparkling blue ocean — it’s no wonder we saw sooo many cyclists, what a beautiful route (although I didn’t envy those hill climbs!).
We were just a couple of miles away from Moraira, a small coastal town with cobbled streets and old-world charm. Our evenings were often spent strolling into the town to indulge in some tapas and sangria, whilst eyeing up all the magnificent yachts in the marina! An abundance of seafood restaurants too I must add. With no high rise hotels, it has a local feel and the beach is beauts.
Always up for adventure, we took a road trip out to Jalon valley — a stunning mountainous landscape of olive and pine trees, orange groves and home to Alicante’s wine region. Unfortunately we’d missed the blossom by just a couple of weeks (but look!!). The peaceful old town of Jalon was a great stop for coffee and pastries before exploring the countryside on foot.
Having always loved Barcelona, and visited Madrid a couple of times, we were really intrigued to explore Valencia just 100km up the coast from where we were staying. We drove half way to Xeraco, then jumped on a train through what seemed like a forest of orange trees. Neither of us knew too much about the city, so slightly disorientated we navigated our way to the old town for lunch. Sat in a colourful square we nommed down on some traditional Valencian cuisine (oh my, the tomatoes!) before planning our day.
The barrio of El Carmen in the old town is very much like a sleepy version of Barcelona —getting lost in Medieval-style narrow streets and picturesque squares. We’d also been reading up on Russafa, as an up-and-coming neighbourhood perfect for cafe-hopping and people watching. Not as pretty as the old town but we liked it and we’d be really interested in staying here for a few days and getting to know the local haunts. Definitely a reason to return… especially because we didn’t even get chance to visit the marina or beach. Next time 😉