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 [...]
Autumn and Winter Sunshine The weather is most definitely beginning to cool down in northern Europe now generally, but this year has seen a wonderful, long summer in Spain, and particularly along the Costa Blanca. September and October have so far been unusually warm and settled, and this weather seems here to stay for a while yet.
What better time can there possibly be to leave the grey and cold of impending winter behind and head to the Costa Blanca for what must surely be a bargain break in the sun? Hotels and self-catering accommodation throughout the region are offering great deals on holiday rates, and of course air fares are generally much lower now that the school term has resumed. All in all, a great opportunity for those who can take a holiday at this time of year – all the facilities are here and waiting for the autumn traveller – but with none of the crowds, lower prices and fabulous weather too!
The Costa Blanca has some of the best beaches in Spain – and indeed in the whole of the Mediterranean – but travellers are sometimes deterred from visiting by reports of crowded resorts and rowdy holidaymakers. These resorts and beaches are now at their best and can be enjoyed in relative peace and quiet, giving visitors the impression of what they must have been like in years gone by.
The Costa Blanca has so much more to offer than just holiday resorts and stunning beaches, however, and visitors are often impressed – and surprised – by what they find if they venture away from the better known destinations. Stunning mountain scenery and fascinating castles and attractions are to be found for those that venture slightly inland, with towns such as Xátiva and Guadalest being amongst the most well-known fortifications. Inland lakes and reservoirs are also amongst the surprises that await the intrepid traveller, with a huge choice of scenic drives to choose from.
If driving is not such a preferred option, the Costa Blanca also offers a huge opportunity for the walker and hiker. Designated routes are marked out and signposted in many parts of the region, as well as an indication of estimated journey times and distance. These are to be found not only in the hills and mountains of the Costa Blanca, but interestingly some of these routes encompass old railway tracks and tunnels, which gives an unusual dimension to a walking route and takes the visitor through parts of the region that would otherwise be completely forgotten by now.
If a city break is higher up the list of priorities than a beach or a scenic break, then of course Valencia City has so much to offer the visitor – and the scorching heat of summer has abated, so exploring the city is so much more pleasant in the more gentle warmth of Autumn. Public transport to the city is reliable and inexpensive, so if you are staying in one of the holiday areas along the coast (either north or south), a quick train ride will take you straight to the centre. Valencia has an historic part that is compact and easy to get around on foot and the usual tourist bus can be used to get a quick handle on which sights should be seen in greater detail. There are two routes to ride around, and passengers can hop on and off at any of the stops, and switch between routes at points where they intersect. In stark contrast to the historic centre is the stunning architecture of the City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y de las Ciencias) – a complex that includes (amongst other facilities) a science museum, the largest aquarium in Europe and an Imax cinema, as well as being a visual delight in its own right. As well as all this, the recently refurbished beach and port areas that include the part of the city featured in the European Grand Prix route are also a recent addition to the “must see” list for the city visitor.
So – now would seem to be the perfect time to visit this beautiful region of Spain. The Costa Blanca and the Comunidad Valenciana have something for everyone, and with accommodation prices offering particularly good value at the moment, airfares past their summer peak pricing structures and a settled outlook of warm and sunny weather, what better time could there be to leave the grey of the north behind and get a last dose of sunshine and warmth, with a Costa Blanca Sunshine Holiday?
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