Valencia is one of the biggest cities in Spain, and among the most loveliest with it's elaborate architecture, both old and new. It is about an hours drive north of Oliva although easily the best way is by train. Important trade fairs confirm Valencia's position as one of the most dynamic cities in Spain, as does the spectacular Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias, 'City of Arts and Sciences', an area of the city boasting extravagant architecture.
Until the mid 19th century the old quarter was defended by a wall. Still standing as proof are the graceful Torres de Serranos, the spacious Torres de quart and some remains of the apron wall in the basement of the Valencia Institute of Arts.
Bullfighting still takes place in Valencia, though now only takes place during important fiesta
Arts & Sciences
The City of Arts and Sciences is a cultural entertainment centre with stunning architecture and great capacity to entertain, teach and excite by promoting public participation.
Situated along almost two kilometres of what was formerly the bed of the River Turia, with a surface area of 350,000 square metres, the City of Arts and Sciences is a huge open space.
Offering cultural and intellectual leisure, it has given Valencia the best centre of this type in Europe.
The outstanding role of its architecture was made possible thanks to the work of two Spanish architects of international renown, who have contributed the very best of their work to this area: the Valencian Santiago Calatrava, who designed the Palau de les Arts Reina Sofía, the Hemisfèric, the Príncipe Felipe Science Museum, the Umbracle, and the Ágora, and Félix Candela, designer of the unique roofing of the main Oceanográfico buildings.
An architectural collection of exceptional beauty, harmonising the outer structure with the content.
About 15 minutes north of Oliva is the town of Gandía, the second largest city in the province of Valencia. It has been a hotspot for Spanish tourists for years, mainly from Madrid, but is now becoming more popular with foreign visitors as its charms become better known.
Gandía was an important commercial and cultural centre during the 15th and 16th centuries and has been home to many important poets and writers including Joanot Martorell. However, it is possibly best known for the Borgia family, who were an infamous prominent noble family during the Renaissance.
In Gandía city amidst the modern shops, boulevards and parks you can find fantastic examples of Spain's history, most notably the Ducal Palace, the Gandía Archeological Museum and Gandía Cathedral. A particularly interesting part of town is the Pasao de les Germanies, a tree lined promenade with fountains and street cafes. Gandía is great for shopping, with many shops leading off the paseo, down pedestrianised streets, whatever you are looking for you will find it here. On the other hand, if a lively entertainment and nightlife is high on your agenda, nearby Playa de Gandía provides a huge selection of bars, nightclubs, casinos and dance venues that cater for all tastes and ages.
Denia is about 20 minutes south of Oliva. It is a delightful cosmopolitan town and sits at the foot of a hill crowned by a castle which was built in the 11th and 12th century, and was the residence of the erstwhile Marquis of Denia. The Archaeological Museum is located in 2 rooms known as "The Palau del Governador". Both are remains of a palace situated at the top of the castle, which was built in the 17th century and its architecture is Renaissance. The museum was established in 1957 and then took shape in the 1980's. The museum presents the development of the city from its origins in the 2nd century BC up to the 18th century. The city has well preserved walls and bastions. From the hilltop esplanade there is an excellent view of Denia and it's surrounding countryside.
Among the other monuments in the town worthy of a visit are the 18th century church of the Asunción, the 17th century Atarazanas (dockyards), the cloisters and church of San Antonio and the 18th century, neoclassical town hall building.
Each year in July the town holds its 'Bous a la Mar', Bulls in the Sea festival. This festival has little in common with Pamplona's hair raising bull running and bullfights. Here the bull arena is square, not round. The bulls's antagonist is not the highly trained matador decked out in a silky, embroidered outfit, but gaggles of mostly scrawny young boys in swim shorts. The finish is not the fight between man and beast, but a bull enjoying a refreshing dip in the bay.
Of course we must include the Marina. Denia does not only make it's living from tourism. It possesses one of the most important harbours of the area, with ferry connections to Ibiza, Mallorca and others.
Benidorm is about 45 minutes from Oliva and here you are spoilt for choice. The streets are packed with shops and restaurants. The "Walking Street" as it's locally known, is Benidorm's busiest pedestrianised street. If you're looking for clothes you're in the right place there are 100's of clothes shops and you'll find just about every type of restaurant in the rows and rows of cafés and restaurants.
When it comes to cabaret and shows Benidorm really does have it all, from the downright bizarre to true quality entertainers and everything in between. For the biggest and most famous night out, book the Benidorm Palace where, for over 30 years, this expansive Cabaret and Dinner show has been wowing people from all over the world.
There are numerous theme parks, which include water parks, theme parks and animal parks. Why don't you try one of the many boat trips, where you sail to Calpe or take an Underwater World Boat trip.
What I can say about Benidorm is; one trip is never enough, there is so much to see and do.
The distinctive skyline
The colourful tourist shops
Casco Antiguo - Old Town
Underwater boat trips
El Castell de Guadalest, known usually as Guadalest, is a small town in Valencia, in a mountainous part of the comarca of Marina Baixa, in the province of Alicante, Spain. Guadalest covers an area of 16 sq km, and has a population of around 200 inhabitants. Guadalest is approximately 25 kilometres inland from Benidorm along CV-70 road.
Surrounded by the Aitana, Serella & Xorta Mountains the village was a strategic military stronghold with fortifications. dating back to 715AD and the period of Moorish occupation of Spain. It has a long history. It saw action during the Moorish occupation, a strong earthquake in 1644 seriously damaged the fort and houses of the village, and during the War of the Spanish Succession, it again suffered serious damage from a mine explosion.
The town grew up around the fortress. Originally the population lived within the protection of the castle walls. The castle can only be entered by one small tunnel cut through the rock at the San Jose gate. The area inside the walls includes the ancient city dungeon, the bell tower, Saint Josep castle, the Orduña House, parish church and the Moorish fortified building called Alcozaiba.
The houses the Moors lived in then were built outside the San Jose gate. This part of the town, "el Arrabal", with its little streets and squares is where the majority of the shops, craft shops, museums and restaurants are today.
The river Guadalest flows through the area and has been dammed to form a spectacular a reservoir below the town.
Guadalest has been declared a 'Monument of Historical and Artistic Value' and is a major tourist attraction in Spain.