This Christmas and New Year period provided us with the opportunity to enjoy the countryside in our area and experience the beauty of it at this time of year. The weather has been perfect for activity holidays, with blue skies and sunshine almost all the time and day-time temperatures of 18-21 degrees, so it seemed a shame to waste such a great opportunity.
On Boxing Day we joined a group of bird watchers on a walk around the La Drova area, starting shortly after 10.00 am from a central point in the village. Although not dedicated or knowledgeable bird watchers, we thought it would be a good idea to meet up with this group – many of whom we already knew socially – and treat the outing more as a pleasant walk in the countryside rather than specifically for the purpose of spotting birds ourselves. We set off in the direction of Gandia, walking parallel with the main road but far back from it until we reached the edge of the village and the hiking information centre there. Crossing over the road, we then walked back along the entire length of the village along a trail that ran behind the housing line, taking time to look at various species of birdlife along the route. The most notable of these was a Griffon Vulture which was spotted soaring over a distant crag – an impressive sight. We carried on through La Drova and on to the next village of Barx for a well-earned coffee in one of the bars there, before returning to La Drova along the other side of the road, again stopping for any worthwhile bird sightings. We got back to our start point at about 1.00pm, and had had a thoroughly enjoyable morning walking through the countryside with some great company.
The following day was another beautiful morning, so we decided to venture further afield, but this time on a mountain biking trip of some 25kms – again starting out from La Drova and heading towards the next village of Barx. On reaching Barx we then headed inland to the village of Puig Mola where we stopped for a reviving coffee before heading on to Pla de Corales and then coming back to Barx in time for lunch at one of the bars in the town square. The trip took us through a mixture of forests, mountain tracks and asphalted roads, and again showed just how beautiful and dramatic the scenery here on our doorstep really is – and so much of it would be missed on a conventional drive in the car.
By experiencing these trips and outings first hand, we can not only appreciate better the enthusiasm that our guests show when they have similar days out during their stays with us, but it also enables us to make suggestions to them for an enjoyable time in the surrounding countryside. There is so much to see and appreciate in the nature that is close by here, but yet it is so easy to remain unaware of it as well. Venturing just a little way off the main roads and going into the mountains along tracks and trails can open up a whole new view of the countryside, and is one that we are continually discovering for ourselves, even after living here for over six years. We hope that in 2013 many more of our guests can explore the inland beauty of the La Safor region and see just how much more there is to this part of the Costa Blanca than its stunning beaches and already famous coastline.