Sep 272011
 

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Last week we were pleased to welcome a couple from Edinburgh who had booked to stay with us for a week of late summer sunshine. Brian and Ruth are keen hill walkers and hikers, and wanted to spend some time in nice weather preparing themselves for a walking challenge that awaited them after their return to Scotland.

During conversation, it emerged that both Brian and Ruth are doctors back home in Scotland and were both feeling the need for some well earned rest and relaxation – as well as pleasant walking in the sunshine.

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This part of the Costa Blanca has some magnificent walks, and it is fast becoming a recognised destination for hikers and hill walkers as well as more serious climbers. Routes are for the most part well signposted and marked out, and lead participants through beautiful scenery and tranquil surroundings. Estimated times are displayed as well as the level of difficulty involved, so there is something suitable for everyone in the area around here.

Brian and Ruth were to be staying with us for six nights, so they had time to combine plenty of walking and exploring with some relaxation in and around the pool, as well as one day’s sightseeing in Valencia City. Typically, they would take advantage of the designated walking routes in the mornings, often have lunch in a restaurant at the end of the walk (maybe sampling the local specialities of paella and fideua), and then later in the day return to Villa Florencia for some afternoon sunshine.

The weather on the Costa Blanca has been especially good this year and remained so for the duration of their stay, without the sometimes erratic changes that can take place in September. Days have been pleasantly warm and even night time temperatures have been staying much milder than usual.

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Their excursion to Valencia was planned for the Sunday of their stay, as they wanted to get a feel for the place, without necessarily visiting every tourist sight in the guidebook! They went up by train and walked around the historic area, and were able to do so without the crowds of people that might have been around on a weekday. A trip on the tourist bus completed their visit and gave them a good impression of what a lovely city Valencia is.

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Brian and Ruth were delighted that their time with us was a perfect opportunity to get a late summer sunshine break and prepare themselves for the chill that would probably await them on their return to Scotland. They were more than pleased with the variety of walking routes to be found near our guest house, and feel that they would like to come back in the future to do more of the same.

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It was an absolute pleasure to have them visit us, and we would certainly hope to see them with us again in the not too distant future.

Spanish Walking Holidays, Spain, B&B, Casa Rural, Guest House, Costa Blanca, Sunshine, Travel & leisure

Sep 152011
 

Lacasasmall

 

This week marks the five year anniversary of our arrival in Gandía as the owners of Villa Florencia – also known now as Gandía Casa Rural.  We were originally attracted by the beauty of the area and the prospect of running our own guest house and bed and breakfast business on the Costa Blanca and that initial appeal still holds good today, five years on. 

Much has changed in that time, both in the way we run the business, as well as in the wider world generally, but we certainly have no regrets about making the move to Gandía and changing our lives so radically.  At the beginning of our time here, we put in a great deal of effort in improving the house and grounds, as well as constructing a new frontage to the road and an adequate guest parking area.  A reconstruction of the swimming pool was undertaken at the same time, and glass doors enclosing the upper terrace provided a spectacular dining and breakfast space. 

A steady flow of guests has followed, and we have always been pleasantly surprised by the mix of nationalities that has visited us and the different reasons for people seeking out this corner of Spain.  The initial surge of property hunters reduced in line with the general crisis and recession that hit Europe as a whole, but we were pleased that – as well as maintaining our level of northern European holidaymakers – we were being visited by an ever increasing number of Spanish guests.  They often wanted to spend their holidays in Gandía in an area of peace and tranquillity whilst at the same time being within easy striking distance of Playa de Gandía and all the facilities that are on offer there.  Even the attractions of Benidorm are within a very reasonable driving distance, as well as the sights of Valencia City itself. 

So, five years on we find ourselves now catering for a much more Spanish clientele than previously, but of course we are still keen to make everyone who arrives at our door most welcome.  We are able to be very flexible in the accommodation and service that we offer to our guests, ranging from the traditional Bed and Breakfast with the option of an evening meal service as well, to the possibility of renting the whole house on a self-catering basis – either for weekend house parties or for extended families to holiday together for a week or longer at a time.  The self-catering apartment (which can hold four people in comfort) is another option that we offer as well, and again it is available to rent either by the week or for longer periods for those that want to spend a few weeks away from the cold and grey of a northern European winter. 

We embarked on a complete change in our lives five years ago, and still feel that the life that we lead here on the outskirts of the town of Gandía is one that we are very privileged to enjoy.  The surroundings here are some of the most beautiful that you could ever wish to live amongst, and it is a constant source of surprise to see who will be our next guests, so moving here is a decision that we have no regrets about at all, and we look forward to the next five years and meeting even more interesting people who arrive at our door.

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