Spring Season Rock Climbing Guests
During the cooler months of the year guests come to stay with us for very different reasons than those which bring our summer holidaymakers. Outdoor activities are playing an increasing role in the tourist appeal of the La Safor region and many visitors come to walk, hike in the mountains, take mountain biking trips or climb the many famous crags along the Costa Blanca. For many years of course, spring was also the time when house hunters from northern Europe would come to look for property but their numbers reduced drastically following the financial problems of the world in 2008.
However, things are now gradually changing and we are seeing an increase in the number of property hunters who are coming here again – they realise that Spain once again represents good value for money compared to their home countries. So coupled with the higher levels of activity tourism, this is now the time of year when we see a mixture of guests coming to stay with us, and from a variety of countries. We were pleased to welcome our first ever guests from Finland a couple of weeks ago, who fell into the househunting category. Matti and his wife were looking for a second home that would be easy to “lock up and go”, but principally were visiting us to see if the area might suit them. They wanted to check out the area first before maybe returning at a later date to visit more properties. They stayed with us for 3 nights and spent some time with a property agent getting to know the complexities of property buying in Spain, as well as visiting a couple of suitable houses. However, their main aim was to see whether this particular part of the Costa Blanca would suit them in general, before leaving us to do the same exercise slightly further south in the Alicante region. Their impression of the La Safor district was a very favourable one, especially since there is a generally much lower level of foreign inhabitants compared to many other parts of the country. One thing they were certain of was that they did not want to live in an ex-pat enclave, so on balance they thought our part of Spain might suit them very well indeed.
No sooner had our Finnish guests left us than we were welcoming Frederic and Monique from Belgium. They are friends from the same rock climbing club in Liege and go on climbing expeditions together. Frederic was also wanting to check out the area to see if it might be suitable to return with his wife and young daughter in the future – although they are not climbers, he was hoping there would be ample things of interest for them whilst he could explore as yet unconquered crags! They spent their first day with us on Gandia Crag and had a really great time there – with so many designated routes, there is something for climbers of all abilities. They returned to us in the early evening and dined with us before having a well-deserved good night’s sleep – they had left Belgium in the very early hours that morning! The next day they wanted to explore a different crag so drove about 30 minutes away to Bellus and Aventador – two climbing crags very close to one another. Again, they had another good day’s climbing in truly beautiful surroundings and returned to us very impressed with the area in general.
The following morning it was time for them to leave and go on to their next climbing destination – they were heading in the direction of Altea and inland from Benidorm where they were spending another two nights before returning to Belgium. However, they liked the La Safor region very much indeed and Monique also felt that it would be a good area for her sister to explore – she is a keen walker and hiker apparently. Frederic also felt that it would be a good idea to return to us in the future, bringing his family with him the next time. We might well see them all again in that case – climbers from Belgium and of course our househunters from Finland, if they also decide that this area has something to offer them as well.