Gandia Casa Rural - Villa Florencia http://www.gandiacasarural.com B&B Accommodation in the heart of the Valencia region of Spain Thu, 09 Oct 2014 19:15:06 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Casa Rural 2014 Summer of Diversity http://www.gandiacasarural.com/2014/10/09/casa-rural-2014-summer-of-diversity/ http://www.gandiacasarural.com/2014/10/09/casa-rural-2014-summer-of-diversity/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 16:10:18 +0000 http://www.gandiacasarural.com/?p=7097 Casa Rural 2014 Summer of Diversity 2014 has been a long and busy season for us at Villa Florencia Casa Rural, with a wide variety of guests from countries all over Europe and beyond. We were happy to welcome so many new visitors, but delighted that a large number of guests returned to us who [...]

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Casa Rural 2014 Summer of Diversity

Casa Rural 2014 Summer of Diversity

2014 has been a long and busy season for us at Villa Florencia Casa Rural, with a wide variety of guests from countries all over Europe and beyond. We were happy to welcome so many new visitors, but delighted that a large number of guests returned to us who had been here before. Not only has our Bed and Breakfast accommodation been as popular as ever, but bookings for our self-catering apartment have been at a very high level, with guests checking in there almost continuously throughout the year.

The first bookings of 2014 were for visitors coming for the attractions and activities that are best enjoyed in this part of the Costa Blanca in the cooler months of the year – hillwalking, mountain biking, rock climbing, etc. In addition, “Las Fallas” is the first annual fiesta in the local calendar, and this year we had guests visit us especially for the celebrations. They had been to the area before and enjoyed the fiesta in previous years, but this was the first time they had stayed with us – and they clearly enjoyed the experience as they have already booked again for 2015! More returning guests then arrived in the form of a group of Canadian mountain bikers – again, coming back to enjoy the beautiful scenery and some bright, sunny weather.

After that, the year became ever busier with a mix of guests, including more property hunters this year too. An interesting development down at Playa de Gandia also had favourable repercussions for us – the Town Hall began to promote very actively the fact that there was now a recently designated area of the beach – and a very beautiful and unspoilt part – for use by pets and their owners. As a result, many Spanish dog owners were wanting to come to Gandia for their holidays, but not every hotel is necessarily welcoming to pets. However, we promote ourselves as being very pet friendly and as a result had many Spanish couples book rooms for themselves and their canine companions! One golden Labrador in particular was so relaxed and at home here that he was happy to float in the pool on a li-lo – and the resulting photo won first prize in a Spanish pet photographic competition!
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We were also happy to welcome a greater number of French holidaymakers this year than in the past – indeed our very first guests in January were from France, and the trend continued throughout the season. Other nationalities included guests from the USA, Finland, Sweden, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland and many other countries – but strangely this year no visitors from Italy. In previous years many Italians have come to our part of the Costa Blanca, but their absence was noticed and remarked upon this year by many in the area. July and August were naturally our busiest times, with people wanting to enjoy the traditional attractions of the Costa Blanca – beautiful weather and some of the best beaches in the whole country. The weather this year has been the traditional Spanish summer of high temperatures and lots of sunshine – and a very long-lasting one too. The lack of rain has been an issue for local farmers of course, with no sustained rainfall for about two years now. We have just recently had some autumn storms and downpours, but nothing to make up for such a prolonged period of drought.

Bookings are still coming in for what remains of the year – and again, as one would expect for the season, our visitors are mainly climbers and walkers. The apartment has already been booked by a family hoping to enjoy an away-from-it-all Christmas with some sunshine thrown in (hopefully), so 2014 will turn out to be a busy an interesting year. It has been especially gratifying to see so many guests coming back to out Casa Rural for a return visit, and of course we hope to see many more in 2015.

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Pet Friendly Gandia http://www.gandiacasarural.com/2014/07/09/pet-friendly-gandia/ http://www.gandiacasarural.com/2014/07/09/pet-friendly-gandia/#comments Wed, 09 Jul 2014 15:46:01 +0000 http://www.gandiacasarural.com/?p=7067 Pet Friendly Holidays! We received a phone call just over a week ago enquiring if we had availability for a couple from Madrid, along with their 7 month old Springer Spaniel called Trufi, who they had recently adopted from a rescue centre. We did have space for the weekend, and so were happy to take [...]

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pet friendly gandiaPet Friendly Holidays!

We received a phone call just over a week ago enquiring if we had availability for a couple from Madrid, along with their 7 month old Springer Spaniel called Trufi, who they had recently adopted from a rescue centre. We did have space for the weekend, and so were happy to take their booking and looked forward to their arrival on Saturday.

Their booking was for 3 nights – Saturday, Sunday & Monday – and part of their reason for coming to our part of the Costa Blanca is the fact that Gandia now has a section of beach which is designated for use by owners and their pets, called “Playa Can”. It is fairly unusual to find pet friendly facilities on the Costa Blanca – either in accommodation or an area of beach – so Agustin and his girlfriend were delighted to find that they could enjoy both with us.

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They arrived in the late morning of Saturday and as soon as they had put their cases in their room, they headed straight off to the pet friendly beach. They stayed there for the rest of the day, only returning to us in the early evening, when it was time for a shower and change of clothes before heading out into the town for dinner along with Trufi. That was the pattern for their time with us – they would go to the beach for the main part of the day, return to us in the late afternoon for some time around the pool, and then set off out for dinner.

They were especially pleased that Trufi settled in so well with our dogs, and happily played with them, even retrieving toys that usually only our middle sized dog – Aurora – is interested in. As a pair, they would both seek out what had been thrown, one would find and retrieve it, and then they would both eagerly wait for the game to begin again! Seeing Aurora’s love of the water, Trufi even began to feel slightly more relaxed sitting on the pool steps with her owners (she had been very wary of water) but sadly it was soon time for them to return to Madrid. They had had a very happy visit with us and before leaving made enquiries about returning to us in August. We had availability, so a tentative booking is now in place for their return! It had been a genuine pleasure to have such a nice couple visit, and their young dog is a credit to their dog training skills. We look forward very much to seeing them with us again and welcoming them back to our pet friendly accommodation in Gandia, when maybe this time Trufi will become fully at ease in the water, as a Spaniel is meant to be!

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Family Friendly Holidays in Spain http://www.gandiacasarural.com/2014/07/02/family-friendly-holidays-in-spain/ http://www.gandiacasarural.com/2014/07/02/family-friendly-holidays-in-spain/#comments Wed, 02 Jul 2014 10:15:22 +0000 http://www.gandiacasarural.com/?p=7055 Family Friendly Holidays in Spain We received an enquiry from Karin and her family last year, asking about the possibility of visiting us last October. However, due to family circumstances they were not able to make the trip so we were delighted when they contacted us again early this year with a view to visiting [...]

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family friendly holidays in SpainFamily Friendly Holidays in Spain

We received an enquiry from Karin and her family last year, asking about the possibility of visiting us last October. However, due to family circumstances they were not able to make the trip so we were delighted when they contacted us again early this year with a view to visiting us in June. Karin, Rogier and their eighteen month old daughter Maite arrived from Holland in the late afternoon and were happy to take advantage of our evening meal service that night even though they were renting our self-catering apartment – there was no need to rush out to the shops straightaway!

They soon settled in to the apartment, and found it suited their needs perfectly. They were staying with us for twelve days so were glad of the extra space, as well as the cot and high chair for Maite, of course! They became firm friends with our dogs and cats and Maite especially loved playing with them around the pool.

Most days they would spend some time in the gardens and pool, although Maite was not an enthusiastic water baby to begin with! However, by the end of their stay she had become quite keen on splashing around in the water with her mum and dad and of course loved the fact that the dogs would come and see her antics. One day, they decided to make an excursion to Valencia city so drove to a nearby station and travelled up by train – a very easy option. They loved the city and were impressed by the historic centre, the Turia gardens and of course the futuristically designed City of Arts and Sciences. Other day trips included the monastery at nearby Simat and of course many trips to the beautiful and award winning beach at Playa de Gandia as well other equally lovely beaches in the vicinity.

They had a really enjoyable holiday with us, and the time for their return to Holland came all too soon. The weather had been perfect for their visit (even possibly a little too warm some days!) and they were sorry to have to return home when they had been having such a pleasant time in the sun. However, they said they would love to return to us in the future, so we hope that we shall see them again – it would be great to welcome them back once more, on another family friendly holiday in Spain!

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Gandia Las Fallas 2014 http://www.gandiacasarural.com/2014/03/24/gandia-las-fallas-2014/ http://www.gandiacasarural.com/2014/03/24/gandia-las-fallas-2014/#comments Mon, 24 Mar 2014 22:09:20 +0000 http://www.gandiacasarural.com/?p=6988 Guests for “Fallas Fortnight”! Quite a few months ago we received a booking from Sandy and David who wanted to stay in our self-catering apartment for nearly a fortnight, to coincide with the local fiesta of Gandia Las Fallas 2014. Las Fallas is the famous Valencian fiesta which sees enormous satirical effigies constructed in each [...]

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Gandia Las Fallas 2014Guests for “Fallas Fortnight”!

Quite a few months ago we received a booking from Sandy and David who wanted to stay in our self-catering apartment for nearly a fortnight, to coincide with the local fiesta of Gandia Las Fallas 2014. Las Fallas is the famous Valencian fiesta which sees enormous satirical effigies constructed in each town (or in each area of larger towns). These are then judged on their merits and finally burned to the ground on the night of March 19th – St Joseph’s Day, the patron saint of carpenters. In the run-up to March 19th there are daily parades with marching bands and local ladies and young girls bedecked in the most elaborate of traditional dress.

Sandy and David are very keen on the whole tradition of the Fallas fiestas and have been coming to the Valencian region to view the spectacle for a number of years. However, this was the first time they had decided to spend their time in Spain with us and we were delighted to welcome them and show them to the self-catering apartment that would be their home for the next two weeks. They were of course very familiar with the area already and so very soon felt at ease in their surroundings and knew exactly where to go on each day to view the different parades and celebrations in many different towns in the Valencia region.

Although they were staying in our self-catering apartment, this was a choice they made in order to have a space they could truly think of as their own, rather than from any great desire to cook their own meals have a self-catering holiday in the true sense of the word. They were therefore delighted to learn that they were very welcome to take advantage of our evening meal service – and they even joined our other Bed & Breakfast guests for breakfast on the terrace too!
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Every day they went to a different town or village and really did their preparation when it came to knowing what parade was going to take place, where and when! In the past they had stayed near Xativa and on one day of each trip would take the train to Valencia city to see the magnificent effigies that are built there. This trip, however, they were so impressed with the offerings on display in Gandia that they decided to forgo their Valencia visit (and all the crowds of people there too!) and spend their time in the smaller towns nearby, with their main focus being Gandia. The “Mascleta” (or fireworks display) was a must for them of course, and this takes place each day at 2.00pm in front of Gandia’s railway station. In line with most fireworks in Spain, it is much more about the noise than a visible display in the sky – and a huge noise it is indeed! Sandy and David only went to the “Mascleta” a couple of times, but loved the whole general atmosphere in Gandia. They involved themselves in watching parades and bands, and especially enjoyed the day of the main parade in Gandia, which culminates in the presentation of flowers to the statue of Mary at the main church.
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After very nearly a fortnight’s stay with us, it was finally the night of March 19th and all the beautiful constructions literally went up in smoke, and Sandy and David had only a couple more days left with us. They had genuinely enjoyed their visit to our self-catering apartment very much indeed – and made a great fuss of our pets too! We were very sorry to see them leave, but absolutely delighted that one of the last things they did before checking out was to make a reservation for the same time again next year! We thoroughly enjoyed meeting them and very much look forward to welcoming them back to Villa Florencia again in 2015!

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Spring Spanish Property Hunters http://www.gandiacasarural.com/2014/03/24/spring-spanish-property-hunters/ http://www.gandiacasarural.com/2014/03/24/spring-spanish-property-hunters/#comments Mon, 24 Mar 2014 20:58:08 +0000 http://www.gandiacasarural.com/?p=6975 Spain or France for Property? We have recently been aware that more guests have been visiting us for the purpose of looking for a Spanish property on the northern Costa Blanca. Spanish property prices are now at a very realistic level compared to many other places in Europe (northern Europe especially), and this has been [...]

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CIMG4712Spain or France for Property?

We have recently been aware that more guests have been visiting us for the purpose of looking for a Spanish property on the northern Costa Blanca. Spanish property prices are now at a very realistic level compared to many other places in Europe (northern Europe especially), and this has been reflected in a gradual increase in the number of property hunters – once an almost extinct breed!

Colin and Helen arrived to stay with us on one of our Property Hunters Packages, and booked with us for five nights recently. They are very taken with the idea of a home for their retirement and would love to find somewhere that offers a good and healthy lifestyle, reasonable living costs, and of course better weather. They have been turning the idea over in their minds for some time, and are torn between either France or Spain for this big life changing decision, so this trip was very much a preliminary reconnoitre – basically to see what this part of the country is like and whether it is somewhere they could add to their list.

They had not contacted any property agents, but rather wanted to get a feel for the area in general and so each day they went “out and about” to see what sort of towns and villages they might like, and what property was available in different locations. They had decided to come to the La Safor region on their property search on the correct assumption that this area is still not one with a particularly high ex-pat population – they wanted an area that is still predominately Spanish in its flavour and atmosphere. They liked the area very much, but of course finding the right combination of the type of property that would suit them in a town that also met their requirements can always be challenging.

However, they asked us for pointers as to which towns might be to their taste and every day went on trips to check out different areas. Towards the end of their stay they explored the coastal region in the Moraira area, and loved the town and its port. For them it felt like a place they could imagine themselves feeling comfortable in – and such an initial impression is very often the one that stays with you. However, this was very much an initial exploratory exercise, but one that they found very valuable. They now feel that it would be well worth their while to return to us and focus their energy on that specific part of the coast – maybe arranging a few viewings of suitable properties at the same time.

After leaving us, they were going to spend a couple of nights close to Alicante to gain a better impression of that general area and to be able to make a comparison between the northern and southern parts of the Costa Blanca. We thoroughly enjoyed having them stay with us and would be delighted to welcome them back again to continue their search. By the end of their visit, they had decided that Spain would suit them better than a home in France and now it was probably a question of narrowing their search to the Moraira and surrounding area. We very much look forward to seeing them again soon.
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Spring Activity Holidays in Spain http://www.gandiacasarural.com/2014/03/19/spring-activity-holidays-in-spain/ http://www.gandiacasarural.com/2014/03/19/spring-activity-holidays-in-spain/#comments Wed, 19 Mar 2014 23:22:39 +0000 http://www.gandiacasarural.com/?p=6952 Spring Activity Holidays in Spain The cooler months of the year give a great opportunity to enjoy all that the Costa Blanca has to offer in the way of outdoor activities, many of which would be impossible in the height of the summer. Rock-climbing, mountain biking and bird watching are all hobbies and activities that [...]

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CIMG4699Spring Activity Holidays in Spain
The cooler months of the year give a great opportunity to enjoy all that the Costa Blanca has to offer in the way of outdoor activities, many of which would be impossible in the height of the summer. Rock-climbing, mountain biking and bird watching are all hobbies and activities that visitors can take part in, and local tourist organisations are now beginning to promote the area as somewhere to come for more than just the traditional summer attractions of sun and sea.

Recently we were very pleased to welcome Jean-Marc and his wife Nathalie who are from Quebec in Canada. They were in Spain visiting their daughter who is studying in Barcelona, and as part of their trip they wanted to spend some time in the northern Costa Blanca birdwatching. They booked one of our all-inclusive 3 night Birdwatching Packages, which basically takes care of everything they need, with all evening meals included, packed lunches, and 2 days guided birdwatching.

They arrived on the Monday afternoon and settled in, enjoying a leisurely dinner that evening before meeting their guide the next morning. They set off to the Albufeira wetlands just to the south of Valencia city for the day, and were rewarded with sightings of many kinds of birds not seen in north America. The birds were particularly plentiful as this is the time of year that the rice fields are ploughed prior to sowing the forthcoming season’s rice crop – and some of the fields were being prepared on the morning of their visit. They returned after a most enjoyable day and were glad to be able to look forward to a relaxing evening meal and a good night’s sleep.
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The next morning they headed in a different direction – inland this time – to the plains of Castilla de la Mancha and had another great day being shown even more species of birds, and in an area that they had been totally unaware of. They were able to tick off several species that they had wanted to see but never had, so returned delighted that it had been such a worthwhile excursion. Wednesday evening was again spent relaxing over a leisurely dinner before leaving on Thursday morning to drive back to Barcelona for a final couple of days with their daughter before flying back to Canada at the weekend.

It had been a perfect interlude for them during their Spanish trip and an excellent opportunity to pursue something they are very keen on – and in beautiful surroundings and perfect weather too! They loved this part of the country and are most certainly keen to return in the future. It was a real pleasure to have another set of guests from Canada and we most definitely look forward to the time when we might see them again.

No sooner had Jean-Marc and Nathalie left us, than two more Canadian guests arrived – this time Scott and Alain, who are two friends who share an enthusiasm for mountain biking. They had visited us at this time last year, along with another friend Mario who was not able to make it this time, and wanted to enjoy more mountain biking trails in this part of Spain.

CIMG4713They had booked to stay with us for 4 nights, and planned to have two days of guided mountain biking and a third day in the middle when they would just go buy themselves wherever the mood – and the bikes – took them! Since they were already familiar with the area and knew the town of Gandia from their previous visit, they checked in to their rooms in the late morning and drove down to the town for lunch and a stroll in the spring sunshine. They returned to us during the course of the afternoon and were able to make the most of the beautiful warm weather in the gardens for the rest of the day. They dined with us that first night before taking the opportunity to catch up on some sleep before their first day’s mountain biking on Friday morning. They met with their guide – Dave Warrington, who had accompanied them last year – and set off for the day in the La Safor mountains nearby. As ever, they were treated to spectacular views and near perfect weather, and of course a good work-out all at the same time. Having come from Montreal, where their plane had been delayed while a snow storm passed over, the lovely spring weather of the Costa Blanca was a real treat, with temperatures in the low 20’s – perfect for biking without being too hot.
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On the Saturday, they had decided they would use some of their knowledge of the area from last year and go it alone, following a route they had particularly enjoyed previously. This included an especially scenic route along beside the Serpis river, following the line of a disused railway track that had originally gone from Alcoi to the port of Gandia. This brought them to the town of Villalonga, and from there it was a question of cycling along country roads and lanes through the orange groves to get back home to us in time for a shower before heading out to Gandia for the evening.

Sunday was another day spent with their mountain biking guide, who showed them a new route, again through beautiful scenery – and of course up some fairly demanding ascents! However, it was a great day and the weather played its part to perfection yet again, showing that the Costa Blanca really is a great spring destination for activity holidays of all kinds. They returned to us in the late afternoon, again in time to enjoy some late sunshine in the garden. Their only regret was that the pool is not yet warm enough for swimming – although they were nearly tempted! Their last evening was spent with us over a relaxed dinner before a well-deserved night’s sleep. The next morning they were heading off in the direction of Alicante province to spend a couple more days biking in an area they had not explored before – this time higher up in the mountains there. It was great to see them again and they thoroughly enjoyed their time with us – hopefully we shall see them back for a third visit next year, on another one of our Activity Holidays in Spain!

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Spring Rock Climbing & Property Hunters http://www.gandiacasarural.com/2014/02/25/spring-rock-climbing-in-spain/ http://www.gandiacasarural.com/2014/02/25/spring-rock-climbing-in-spain/#comments Tue, 25 Feb 2014 20:44:52 +0000 http://www.gandiacasarural.com/?p=6934 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, [...]

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Rock Climbing Bellus SpainSpring 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.
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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.

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Vegetarian bed and breakfast in Spain http://www.gandiacasarural.com/2014/01/20/vegetarian-bed-and-breakfast-in-spain/ http://www.gandiacasarural.com/2014/01/20/vegetarian-bed-and-breakfast-in-spain/#comments Mon, 20 Jan 2014 19:41:18 +0000 http://www.gandiacasarural.com/?p=6763 A Vegetarian Stop-over! We recently welcomed the Subrahmanian family to Villa Florencia, as they wanted to stay overnight on their way to a holiday villa they had rented near Malaga and they had been looking for accommodation that would offer them vegetarian cuisine.  Originally from Mumbai, Chitra and Ram moved to Switzerland about fifteen years [...]

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CIMG4444A Vegetarian Stop-over!

We recently welcomed the Subrahmanian family to Villa Florencia, as they wanted to stay overnight on their way to a holiday villa they had rented near Malaga and they had been looking for accommodation that would offer them vegetarian cuisine.  Originally from Mumbai, Chitra and Ram moved to Switzerland about fifteen years ago, and their daughter was then born in Geneva five years later.  They love travelling around Europe during their holidays, but had never explored Spain until now.  They stayed with us because they had been looking not only for a guest house conveniently located between the north and south of the country, but also one that was happy to cater for vegetarian preferences, and also welcomed pets as well.  They were travelling with their two beautiful, white Swiss Shepherd dogs, so our apartment suited them perfectly with its spacious bedrooms and living area.

Since they were only staying with us for only the one night during their journey (they had already stopped near Perpignan the previous night after leaving Geneva), they wanted to dine in with us, rather than making use of the kitchen in their apartment or searching for a suitable restaurant.  This was not a problem, as we are always happy to cater for different dietary requirements and vegetarian cuisine is a fairly frequent request.  However, it can be difficult to find restaurants and hotels that offer vegetarian options on the menu, so Chitra and her family were very appreciative of the opportunity to make use of our evening meal service.  They thoroughly enjoyed the experience of staying with us, so much so that they made a booking in our vegetarian bed and breakfast in Spain, for another overnight stop with us during their return journey, ten days later!

It was great to welcome them back again so soon and to hear how their holiday near Malaga had been.  They had a wonderful time, with good weather and plenty of opportunities for excursions around the southern part of the country.  They were particularly enthusiastic about visiting the Alhambra in Granada – one of their main reasons for deciding to go right down to the south!  On their return visit, it was like welcoming friends back – and of course their dogs felt immediately at home in surroundings that were no longer strange and new to them.  Their only regret was that they were not able to stay with us for longer, as they loved the scenery and verdant look to our part of the Costa Blaca.  As they were leaving they said how much they would like to return for another visit, but for possibly a week in the summer, when they could make use of the pool and enjoy the gardens.  We very much look forward to welcoming them back, and are glad they enjoyed their “vegetarian break” with us!

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Spanish Property Hunters Galore! http://www.gandiacasarural.com/2013/10/11/spanish-property-hunters-galore/ http://www.gandiacasarural.com/2013/10/11/spanish-property-hunters-galore/#comments Fri, 11 Oct 2013 22:48:33 +0000 http://www.gandiacasarural.com/?p=6710 Property Hunters Galore! Maybe the title is a slight exaggeration, but it is undoubtedly true that we have seen a significant increase in the number of guests who have stayed with us recently with the intention of looking for a Spanish property in our part of Spain. Some have been looking for a holiday home [...]

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Spanish-property-revival

Property Hunters Galore!

Maybe the title is a slight exaggeration, but it is undoubtedly true that we have seen a significant increase in the number of guests who have stayed with us recently with the intention of looking for a Spanish property in our part of Spain. Some have been looking for a holiday home and others for a permanent residence – or even sometimes with the intention of eventually moving here but only holidaying here to begin with.

Obviously, everybody has different tastes and requirements (and of course budgets!) but at the present time there is a wide choice on the market so it’s a good time to think of buying, whatever your situation. Spanish property is now being recognised once again as representing good value for money – and not only for purchasers from the UK.
An additional consideration for non-EU citizens is the concession that the Spanish government has very recently introduced, whereby residence entitlement is automatically granted in the case of Spanish properties that are purchased for a price in excess of €500,000. Full details can be seen in the article here: Golden Visa to non-EU citizens

Amongst our guests from countries other than the UK, we were recently pleased to welcome a couple from Belgium looking for a holiday home, for example. Guy and Lieve were checking out the area in our immediate vicinity, having already spent a few days slightly further inland. By the time they reached us, they had decided that a property nearer to the sea would suit them better, so spent a few days viewing homes in our area. They were then carrying on slightly further south to check out what was available around Javea for a couple of days before returning to Belgium and maybe making a decision.

Other guests have included a couple originally from Russia (although now resident in the USA) who wanted a home here to use initially as a base for exploring the rest of Europe before possibly retiring here in the fullness of time. Happily, this was their second trip to our part of the country, they found a suitable property and the legal wheels have now been set in motion for its purchase.

Past property hunters have also returned to us for a subsequent trip and felt more able to make a good judgement on what would suit them now that they were more familiar with the area and what was available. Colin and Christine came back to view more houses recently and intend putting in an offer on one that they saw during their visit. Also, Malcolm and Paul returned to us to look at more homes and decided which one was right for them. After going back to the UK they put in an offer on their favourite property and happily it was eventually accepted, so once again the legal wheels have been put in motion for them as well.

Other guests have included a couple from the UK who already own a small holiday apartment considerably further south. They have just sold their main home in England and now want to buy a villa here that would be appropriate for permanent living. They saw several that they liked very much indeed and so have now returned to their apartment near Murcia to make a final decision.

Although it is too early to say that the property market in Spain is hotting up again – and this is certainly not going to happen again in the immediate future – it is nevertheless true that we are seeing not only many more guests staying with us and looking at property for sale, they are also serious prospective purchasers who have come with the intention of finding a good value home if they possibly can. Following the dramatic fall in property prices in recent years and the stabilisation of many other national economies, people are aware that Spanish homes represent good value once again and that now is a good time to buy. Hopefully this trend will continue and we will see more guests during the autumn and winter who come to see what property is on offer here on the Costa Blanca. The weather is holding up well as the year progresses, air fares have dropped from their summer holiday peaks and resorts are less crowded. All this gives the opportunity to prospective house hunters to come out here at their leisure and have a pleasant autumn or winter break at reasonable cost, whilst seeing what is available for their longer term plans.

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Family Holidays Costa Blanca http://www.gandiacasarural.com/2013/09/22/family-holidays-costa-blanca/ http://www.gandiacasarural.com/2013/09/22/family-holidays-costa-blanca/#comments Sun, 22 Sep 2013 09:53:59 +0000 http://www.gandiacasarural.com/?p=6688 Family Holidays Costa Blanca We usually have several Italian guests during the course of the summer season, but this year we had not seen any – until we received a booking from Stefano and his wife Elisabetta, who wanted to come to us from Rome in early September for just over a week. They were [...]

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Costa Blanca family holidaysFamily Holidays Costa Blanca

We usually have several Italian guests during the course of the summer season, but this year we had not seen any – until we received a booking from Stefano and his wife Elisabetta, who wanted to come to us from Rome in early September for just over a week. They were a family of four, and when they arrived we were pleased to welcome them, along with their two teenage daughters Pamela and Chiara.

They wanted to come to our part of Spain for a family holiday and to see what this part of the Costa Blanca had to offer – it was not a part of the country they knew well, but it is one they thought they would like. They had done their homework before leaving Italy and had a tentative itinerary worked out of all the sights they wanted to see during their visit. The Costa Blanca is a great part of Spain for a family holiday as there is something for everyone, and in the summer of course the wonderful beaches come into their own.

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Most days they went on an excursion to one of the towns along the coast, as well as to inland attractions such as the famous castle at Guadalest. Alicante was also on their list of places to visit, especially because of the castle of Santa Barbara which overlooks the whole town. They also went to Valencia city on a couple of occasions – once to look around the historic centre and another time to see the City of Arts and Sciences and specifically to visit the Oceanografic aquarium there, which is the largest of its kind anywhere in Europe. On other days they simply went to one of the blue flag awarded beaches within a short driving distance – Playa de Gandia became a firm favourite of theirs!

They were also keen to try out the local cuisine, so often dined out at nearby restaurants and of course managed to sample Valencia’s most famous creation – paella!. On the days when they had been out sightseeing for a long time, however, they made use of our evening meal service– far easier than having to set off again in search of a restaurant! They found this was the perfect combination for their requirements and would let us know each day what they wanted to do.

The whole family – especially Pamela and Chiara – were great animal lovers and thoroughly enjoyed spending time in the gardens with our dogs. They have a small dog of their own in Rome and found that the company of our pets was a great substitute for the one they had left behind! All too soon, however, it was time to return to Rome but they had really enjoyed their time with us, and we in turn had loved having them visit us as guests. They made us promise that if ever we came to Rome, we would visit them – and of course it goes without saying that we would very much look forward to the opportunity. If that does not happen, then hopefully we will see them here with us again in Spain before too long!
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