Costa Blanca holidays

  • Welcome back to Spain in 2021

    Thu 31st December 2020

    After a rollercoaster ride of a year, we hope this challenging period is behind us.

    From Spain being in lockdown in March to flight corridors reopening in June, only for them to close again a few weeks later. Despite this, together we have overcome so much. Some of you were able to travel to Spain safely this year, but unfortunately, some of you had to postpone your much anticipated holidays until 2021.

    Now, we are looking forward to the new year and we are enthusiastic and hopeful that good times are just around the corner. With the good news of the vaccines on their way, as soon as it is deemed safe to travel again, we can't wait to welcome you back to Spain once more.

    2021 is being named “the year of travel” with many people wanting to make up for lost time and cancelled holidays. The summer season is set to be the longest one ever and is the perfect time to get your family or friends together and start making new precious memories with a trip to Spain, and private holiday rentals are being deemed as the preferred option. Renting private accommodation means you can have a “vacation pod” and spend time together, limiting your exposure to other people.

    After spending weeks, sometimes months, indoors due to lockdowns and regulations, nature’s calling is being felt by everyone. Spend time with your friends and family outdoors, exploring stunning Spanish coasts and landscapes and breath in the fresh air in big open spaces.

    With safety and flexibility at the forefront of everyone's minds, travel in 2021 will be different from what we all knew previously. We understand the need for assurance that if your holiday plans change, you are covered. That's why you can talk to us about your concerns and we will find a solution.

    The future's looking bright and we are positive that 2021 will be a fantastic year to fulfil your dreams of wanderlust. We hope to see you soon again in Spain and until then, we wish you a happy new year.

    Posted by Bruce Gibson

  • Hello from Spain

    Mon 23rd March 2020

     What's happening in Moraira and the surrounding areas here on the Costa Blanca during the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak you may ask, apart from restaurants, bars and coffee shop closures?
    Whilst we are staying in Mirador al Sur on the Moraira Benitachell hillside overlooking the valley and Moraira, we are somewhat removed from the town itself so feels like you are in the country. Without seeing hardly anyone walking about each day feels like a Sunday but even quieter.
    The Spanish regulations put in place for this lockdown from midnight on the 14th March include the limitation of movement. To that end only one person is permitted to take a car to the supermarket and one can only go for a walk if you have a dog and on your own. Sometimes you will see a police patrol car parked in the supermarket car park and a patrolman checking that only one person is driving. Although there are severe fines to support the lockdown in Spain and with France too, it appears they are giving verbal warnings, or at least in the initial stages and if it is for a minor infringement.
    I have found the supermarkets are full of produce and there are no queues at all. In fact, the isles of even the big 10,000 sq ft supermarkets may at any time only have 3 or 4 people in. On Saturday 21st March the large Carrefour supermarket had maybe more staff than customers in at 10.30am; considering it was fully stocked was quite odd. At the entrance a security guard ensures you put on a pair of disposable gloves and advises you to keep a distance from other shoppers. Gel is also provided.
    There was a rush, but hardly any panic one would say, before the shutdown, simply as it coincided with a regional holiday on the Costa Blanca, so more products were being purchased than usual.
    Pushing the trolley around the supermarkets is quite strange as everyone gives a wide birth to other trolley pushers. There is no interaction between anyone and clearly none as no partners or family are present. One is just there to shop.

    Chemists, takeaways, launderettes and oddly hairdressers are open. I understand the latter two is due to the government making the concessions in a bid to ‘not do much harm’ to small businesses which are important ‘for the economic structure of the country.’ Ministers also wanted to maintain some elements of daily life to reduce the harm to the economy and the upset to people’s routines.

    Most electrical stores that sell IT products are permitted to open, so you can even shop for a TV or fridge and not have to buy an IT product. Other retailers are all closed, as well as builders merchants, unless with the express permission of the police and have a certificate to open. Trade builders merchants are mostly closed too. Oddly one builders merchant in Benissa has been open. It may well depend on staff considerations as to why some are open but others are mostly closed. Clearly a problem for the self-employed generally, if they are unable to get any supplies to carry on working.
    Only those people who can obtain certificates to travel to work are able to get on with their business.
    Most, if not all professions like solicitors are taking the opportunity to work from home, or just spend time with family.

    The common site of group semi and professional cyclists have had to cease their sport. With gym closures and inability to walk about then nobody is getting much exercise. For those staying in villas with gardens then one can at least enjoy the sunshine outside and maybe do some exercise.
    The new games room at Mirador al Sur has a static exercise bike and ping pong table, which is getting well used.

    Local supermarkets;
    Mercadona is a huge national chain of supermarkets here in Spain and whilst the outlet in Moraira has a great wet fish counter and has staff who hand slice the wonderful selection of cured hams, currently closed off though, lacks choice in mostly all other areas. There is a good sized fresh fruit and vegetable section but lacks choice. There is no open butchery and all meat products are pre packed. The range of wines is extensive at the very cheap end and too many of the same price point and style.
    Aldi is opposite Mercadona and a busy store. Good choice of products and non-food that ever changes.
    Carrefour has its dominant presence but they do no not have an open butchery section either, There is a greater choice of fruit and veg and cheese too. Probably a better selection of wines and international products on offer. The non-food section is quite useful too.
    Lidl is just a few doors away from Carrefour and a much busier store.
    Pepe La Sal has 2 branches in Moraira and located on the main road into Moraira and on the coastal road to Calpe. Both stores have wet fish and an open butchery . The meat in particular is very good and great choice cut to order. The stores have a far greater selection of international products and vast range of wines including wonderful regional Spanish wines from Alicante and Valencia areas. In fact, there is more choice on wine than all the other supermarkets put together. If you want a 1lb of plain flour or say porcini (dried cepes) you will get it here. Pastries everywhere always disappoint. They look good but don’t taste as nice as they look.
    All supermarkets close on Sunday, with the exception of a small Corte Inglais in Moraira town opposite the fuel station. You can buy freshly baked bread there too.

    Posted by Bruce Gibson

  • The Costa Blanca: something for all the family

    Thu 18th January 2018

    Costa Blanca: something for all the family

      The 200 km Costa Blanca (White Coast) stretches from the town of Denia in the north to Pilar de la Horadada in the south, for which it is considered one of Europe’s most popular areas. Its popularity grew due to its unspoiled beautiful white sand coastline interspersed with rocky coves and pebbled beaches, as well as Spain being very inexpensive in the 1960’s when it first opened up at the end of Franco’s dictatorship era.
    It can seem, on the face of it, that all has changed, but this only applies to the busy touristy areas of Torrevieja in the south and Benidorm in the northern part of the Costa Blanca.
    If you enjoy the bustling coastal hot spots with 24 hour entertainment, then you could do no better than staying in the very popular Benidorm.
     A town that keeps growing with amazing shaped high-rise buildings, with much on offer to entertain the whole family, from water parks to international starred cabaret night clubs.
    For more information on Benidorm go to our Benidorm page.

     If, on the other hand, you prefer the more tranquil serenity away from the hurly burly, then staying in the smaller resorts along the coast or just inland can be appealing and is very much a different experience than say Benidorm. It does not prevent you from taking in a visit to see some attractions in and around the big tourist areas, so if some members of the family wish to go to experience the thrill of say the water theme park in the mountains just behind Benidorm, then it is only a 30 minute drive away from towns like Moraira.
    For more information on water theme parks go to
    Aqualandia page

      With the magnificent backdrop of the Bernia and Montgo mountains you will find quaint Spanish villages, whereby time has stood still for centuries.
    Prolific vegetation is in contrast to the drier Costa de Almeria to the south. The production of grapes, oranges, lemons, figs, olives and almonds is much in evidence and very inexpensive to buy. The Late Valencian Orange is probably the sweetest orange of all, and decidedly so in December through to March when they are harvested.

    Why rent a villa in the Costa Blanca?
    A villa holiday on the Costa Blanca allows you the flexibility to simply relax by your own swimming pool, as well as discover what is on offer and appealing close by.
    Superb Climate - the World Health Organization has declared that the Moraira, Javea and Denia peninsula of the Costa Blanca has "one of the most environmentally perfect climates in the world." This micro climate is also appealing in winter too.
    Warm Sea Temperature - the sea off the Costa Blanca is much warmer than the Costa del Sol, which is cooled by the Atlantic sea.
    Great coastline - the coastline between Altea and Denia is one of the most dramatic and picturesque in Southern Spain.
    Great Sailing - Moraira has one of the most beautiful marinas in the Costa Blanca. Discovering some of the inaccessible beaches can be reached by ski bikes or taking a kayak.
    Easy Communications - The area is served by both Alicante and Valencia airports - either of which is around an hour’s drive to Moraira, Calpe and Javea. The motorway extends all along the Costa Blanca and runs through to Northern Europe - Moraira to Calais is an easy 18 hours drive.

    Amazing places in Costa Blanca

     1) Guadalest
    Located on the CV-70 road, 25 km inland from Altea, is the village of Guadalest. Occupying one of the most stunning positions in Spain, this small village is precariously perched on the pinnacle of a granite mountain, giving fabulous views across the valley carved out by the River from which the village takes its name.
    Getting to Guadalest by the twisting road that climbs ever upwards, passing through the village of Polop, is almost as spectacular as the position of the village, but the breathtaking views make the drive worthwhile even for the more nervous passengers!
    On reaching Guadalest you can see why the Moors, who constructed fortifications to defend the area, considered this place a site of strategic importance.
    Some of these fortifications were unconquerable and the remains of several can still be seen today, even though they were bombarded in the 18th century during the Spanish war of Succession.
    However the building you will see on most of the postcards is the whitewashed bell tower of Penon de la Alcala which seems to cling to the mountain face.
    Intriguingly the old village and castle is accessed through a tunnel carved from the rock and when you reach the other end and see the ancient houses, you seem to have been transported to another age.
    Guadalest has plenty of museums, so you can learn more about its history, little crafts shops and places to buy a souvenir of your visit. Costing only a few euros the visit through the tunnel to the village is definitely worthwhile as the castle tour (starting at 10am) takes in the dungeon (great for the kids) and offers fantastic views across the valley from cobbled footpaths and lookout points.
    The population of only 200 people now dedicates itself entirely to tourism, hence some of the area's best museums being located here. If you want to be transported to another world when land was fiercely defended, don't miss a trip to the village of Guadalest!
    Also, whilst you are in the area, visit the nearby waterfalls mentioned, below.
    For more information on guadelest and how to get there go to our Guadalest page.
     2) Algar Waterfalls
    At Callosa d'En Sarrià is situated 30 minutes by car from Teulada - Moraira. The journey there is an experience in itself; Vast plantations of orange trees follow the road on both sides. But the special attraction of Callosa d'En Sarria is in the beauty of its Nature Park known as Fonts d'Algar and it was named "Fonts de Fonts" (Fountains of all Fountains).
    From Callosa the distance to the Fonts de Algar is not very long and it is all well sign posted. When you leave Callosa, you can see the water channels and the exuberant green countryside of the Nature Park on the right side of the valley.
    Numerous small fountains that merge into marvelous waterfalls and small lakes, form the Fonts d'Algar. Here you can find many paths to explore the area and see natural pools carved out by the famous waterfalls. In the Summer, visiting the Fountains is a great alternative to a day at the beach, as the water temperature of 18C offers you a refreshing swim and you can always find a shady spot. So don’t forget your swimming costume.
    Other attractions in the park are the Environment Museum and the tree nurseries, which are watered by the fountains' existing irrigation channels.
    For more information go to our Callosa page.
      3) Palm trees of Elche
    Elche is the third largest city in the Valencia region in terms of population size and resources. A stroll through the city’s streets will reveal an interesting historical centre, a silent witness to its glorious past. Between the 8th and 9th centuries it was a walled city of Al-Andalus, falling to the Christians in 1265; however, a mere two kilometres south of the present city is its original site, La Alcudia, known as Heliké. It was continuously inhabited from the Neolithic period until the Visigoth period. The primitive settlement developed into the Iberian city of Heliké. The city’s Iberian culture experienced a golden age, producing sculptures such as the Dama d’Elx. The Iberian city was Romanized in 209 BC and in the 1st century BC it was granted the title of Colonia Iulia Ilice Augusta. This glorious past contrasts harmoniously with all of the elements characteristic of a young, dynamic city with a unique townscape due to its location in Europe’s largest palm grove. The Palm Grove, legacy of the Andalusí farming culture, has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The night of August 13th is one of the celebrations that the townspeople of Elche look forward to most eagerly. Hundreds of fireworks light up the sky in a barrage of colour and sound.
    For more information go to our Elche page.
     4) Visit the city of Valencia.
    The regional capital city of Valencia is about 1 ½ hours’ drive north from Moraira.
    Stroll through the old city center, visiting the Lonja, the Central Market, the Cathedral, the Palau de la Generalitar, the Palace of the Marquis of Dos Aguas, the Serranos and the Quart towers.
    Wander up the Calle Colon where you will find top Spanish fashion brands shops, which are cheaper than in the UK. Continue on to the Mercado Central, Plaza de Mercado, whereby you’ll see an Art Nouveau glass and girder-covered market with over 1,000 stalls, selling everything from live eels and ostrich eggs to vegetables and cheese. Don't leave without sampling the paella.
    Visit the futuristic City of Arts and Science, Calle Arzobispo Mayoral 14. Forget walking: you have done enough. Pick up a cab and prepare for the jaw-dropping design by Santiago Calatrava. Puncturing the skyline like bleached cathedrals, the complex houses interactive exhibitions, an Imax cinema, galleries, a concert hall, a science museum, oceanographic park and Europe's largest aquarium.
    For more information on Valencia go to our Valencia page.

     5) Get closer to nature.
    A short drive from Benidorm is the natural park of Serra Gelada (ice mountain) which is a rugged area on the coast that rises more than 300 metres over Benidorm, Alfàs del Pì and Altea.
    Whilst in the area you may wish to take a beautiful drive up to the Bernia mountain national park plateau, which then allows you to walk around the mountain and even through the natural cave, without having to climb up the mountain.
    For more information go to our Sierra Bernia page.
    For a great walk up the mountain go to our mountain walk blog

     6) Take the 'Lemon Train’
    Not that you necessarily need a car to enjoy the Costa Blanca. There's a charming narrow gauge railway called the 'Lemon Train' that sways and rattles all the way from Alicante to Denia, with stations at all the main towns, simply a must to experience.
    It's worthwhile as an experience in itself because it gives a quite different view of the countryside, away from the main roads, and can be quite exciting as it plunges through tunnels and over bridges. But it's also worth taking the train into Alicante for a city away-day - it's an impressive, vibrant city with an attractive waterfront.
    For more information go to our Lemon Express page.


    Ezine article

    Posted by Bruce Gibson

  • Mosquitoes and best ways to handle them

    Tue 14th November 2017

    Wherever we travel in the world to warmer climes, we can be subject to the bite of the female mosquito, and even from my experience to lesser warmer climes  like Scotland, whereby we can fall victim to the swarms and bites of the mighty midge.

    The Southeast Asian Tiger mosquito has now become more prevalent in Southern Europe including Spain, for which this insects wings are not heard and being very small are necessarily seen, unlike the regular mosquito.

    The facts about mosquitoes can be found in this very helpful in depth guide, but if you do not have the time to digest this then  the most important consideration is point 26 as follows;

    DEET is considered the 'gold standard' of mosquito repellents. Endorsed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), DEET doesn't mask the smell of the host or jam the insect's senses - mosquitoes simply don't like it because it smells bad to them. A product containing 10 percent DEET can protect you for up to 90 minutes. Two other repellents, picaridin and lemon-eucalyptus oil, have also proven effective and are now recommended by the CDC.

    A useful guide as to products, reviews and their Deet content can be found here, thus underlining the need to get a repellent that has at least  a 30% Deet ingredient for a good level of protection over time.

    ·      Mosquitoes are more prevalent between the months of May to September and get attracted to darker clothes, perfumes, sweat and even ones breath.

    ·      If you see any stagnant water in flower pots or bird baths at your holiday villa, then do discard the water as it can be a breeding ground for them.

    ·      Supermarkets do not tend to sell the higher quality products with Deet in Spain, so you need to go to a pharmacy to buy them. Ideally, do your research and buy sufficient quantity before you travel.

    ·Importantly, do buy the liquid plug-in for a peaceful night’s sleep, which can be purchased in supermarkets everywhere in Spain, or the UK. If you’re anything like me then just one mosquito is enough to keep you awake until it’s dead, that is.

    ·      Villas that are more elevated tend to get fewer mosquitoes than those located within an enclosed area lower down in a valley, whereby  being a few degrees cooler and more exposed to the wind keeps them more at bay.

    Tip. If you have no mosquito nets on the villa windows, or even if you do, simply close the windows in the bedroom and any adjoining ensuite and spray the room at a high level and around curtains and wardrobes, as well as putting a single liquid anti mosquito plug-in into the socket.

    I find that even with the windows open at night without a mosquito net, the plug-ins work perfectly. However,  do ensure, for your own piece of mind, that your mosquito blind is in position in the bedroom.

    Posted by Bruce Gibson

  • A Perfect Day whilst holidaying in Moraira

    Wed 08th November 2017

    A perfect day for me on a Sunday, or for that matter any day you’re free, is to encompass a picturesque walk with dog in hand followed by a traditional takeaway paella in its own cooked pan.  Importantly, you must first pre-order your paella takeaway early, to ensure there are sufficient burners to cook your meal, in order that you can collect your dish at the agreed time.

    My favourite paella takeaway is from El Paso located by a large roundabout on the Javea, Gata, Benitachell junction roundabout. Address: Ctra. Data, 1, 03730 Jávea, Alicante.Tel 965 79 04 48 and open from 6am to 10.30pm.

    Do pre-order by phone in the morning and give the exact time for pickup, whereby it will be ready on the dot including the traditional paella and covered to keep the dish hot.

    The cost is a 10 euro deposit for the pan that you need to return. The Paella itself costs 10 euros per person and sold according to pan sizes 2,4,6 etc, so simply state the following in Spanish preferably;

    Puedo encargo paella mixta por llavar por (x number of people) and state exact time for collection, so for 2 o’clock say a las dos hora. Name and tel number required. Translated means “can I order a mixed paella (mixed is shell fish and meat combined) for takeaway for 2,4 or whatever number of persons.

    Alternatively, pop into the cafe/restaurant and order, whereby they will understand you, then go for the walk and return on time.

    A paella for 2 is really enough for 3, or if you have too much leftover you can reheat it in a microwave  and introduce either roast rabbit or chicken breasts to accompany an evening meal.

    One of my favourite drive come walk in the mountains with views is at Bernia_mountain_walk

    Being lazy, however, on occasions, which one is more so on holiday and depending on the ambient temperature and weather, does only warrant a short walk. 

    My perfect lazy day  would be to take a drive up towards the Montgo Mountain behind Javea old town. This road skirts the old town and takes you up and over the mountain to Denia. Take the CV734 towards Javea then take the Av Ondara road, which you can see on your left but have to go past to the mini roundabout and double back where you see a petrol station. Continue  past the Silvasol building on your left and straight on past the mini roundabout up the hill on calle Jurados until the next roundabout sign posted for Denia on the CV736. Continue up the windy road and take the first turning right on the CV 7362, being just a mile out of Javea town. About 3/4 mile along the road there is a monastery on the right. Park under the trees and walk for about 300mts along by the side of the monastery through a conifer tree lined avenue until you reach the historic windmills. There are several pathways and fabulous views over Javea and the port. You can enter the historic monastery on Sunday’s and fiesta days.

    Posted by Bruce Gibson

  • Vuelta De Espana cycle race in Spain

    Thu 31st August 2017

     Clients staying in our villas at the top end of Ported Valley enjoyed a  bird’s eye view of the cyclist Chris Froome winning stage 9 of the famous Vuelta De Espana on the 28th August at

    If you enjoy cycling, whether it is simply watching the spectacle from relaxed position or taking to the roads yourself, then do consider this area when next planning a trip. As a keen cyclist myself, must confess that I can only do it in Spain when the temperature is much cooler in winter.

    Villas close by, for which you can watch the spectacle of this race are as follows;


    Ladera Moraira



    Mirador al Sur

    La Madrugada



    Posted by Bruce Gibson

  • Car Hire Scam Continues The Guardian reporting

    Wed 11th January 2017

    Unwitting holidaymakers that rent a car anywhere in the world are still getting caught out with extra charges demanded at airport destination car hire offices - details

    We have reported this numerous times and show on our website some examples under car hire, but clearly we need to repeat the media coverage in case it is not seen.

    Check this out if going to Alicante for a longstanding family local car hire firm that includes all charges including fully comprehensive insurance at our car hire page

    Posted by Bruce Gibson

  • Blue flag beaches on the Costa Blanca

    Mon 09th May 2016

    ONCE again, Spain has become world leader in the number of blue-flag beaches now that the awards have been officially handed out – the prestigious emblem will fly from 586 beaches and 100 yacht marinas in the country this year.

    Turkey, Greece, France and Portugal follow Spain, in that order.

    This year, nine extra beaches were awarded the kitemark which denotes superior quality, cleanliness, safety, accessibility for the disabled, and facilities, and which explains why millions of visitors from colder countries return to Spain again for their summer breaks.

    The Comunidad Valenciana came out top for blue-flag beaches, with 125 gaining the coveted award, followed by Galicia with 123, Catalunya with 98 and Andalucía with 76.

    Murcia got 40 and the Balearics and Canaries 45 each.

    Catalunya saw the greatest improvement on last year, with nine new flags, followed by Valencia with five, and Murcia, Asturias, the Basque Country, the Canary Islands and the Spanish-owned city-province of Melilla on the northern Moroccan coast gaining one new flag apiece.

    The Balearic Islands is the region which lost the most kitemarks this year – the towns of Son Sant Josep de Sa Talaia and Sant Joan de la Labritja lost all their blue flags, a total of 11 between them – whilst Galicia lost eight and Andalucía, two.

    Barcelona has doubled its flag number – whilst the Llevant beach has lost its kitemark, but Nova Icària, Barceloneta, Somorrostro and San Sebastià i Sant Miquel have gained new ones whilst Nova Mar Bella and Bogatell have kept theirs from the previous year.


    Posted by Bruce Gibson

  • My Journey back to the United Kingdom

    Wed 07th October 2015

    Having packed the car the night before with everything including the mosquito plugin and intending to leave Moraira at 6am, was awoken by a single mosquito at 3ish, so we left with a startled sleepy dog at 4.15am.

    Taking the usual route back to Dieppe via Bordeaux (driving routes page ) we stopped for a change at the modern Comfort Hotel in Gradignan, which only cost 51€ for the room (plus breakfast 10€ pp).

    There is a restaurant on site but is only open during the week, as well as a outside small pool for  summer use. Well located just south of Bordeaux and very close to the motorway. We tend to dine out anyway, regardless that the hotel has a restaurant, so on this occasion we went locally to  Bistro de France at 1 Rue Du Bearn, Pessac, which was well written up on Tripadvisor.  Located in a  street market and is more like a good local cafe for locals than a finer dining venue. Although nothing special the food was cooked perfectly, although only option is to have a cold starters, but the staff were very friendly and helpful. The restaurant was full on the Saturday night, for which we had pre-booked, as was the hotel too.

    It is advisable to eat before going on the ferry or better still to take some sandwiches with you, simply because the food onboard is very poor and overpriced and it  helps breakup the 4 hour sailing time,

    The strong pound and low fuel costs for diesel in France and Spain at 1.12€ and 1.08€ respectively makes a car trip very inexpensive.  

    Key info one way;

    9 hours drive from Moraira to Bordeaux (speed limit adhered to +10% on occasions) then a further leisurely 8 hours on the Sunday, which then allowed for catching the 6pm ferry at Dieppe for Newhaven.

    The diesel BMW X5 consumed a total of 126 ltrs of fuel from Moraira to Dieppe  at a cost of 138 Euros.

    Cost of tolls in Spain and France 55.95 Euros.

    Hotel 51€

    Restaurant 70€ inc wine for 2.

    Coffee and snack stops for 2 being 30€

    Ferry Dieppe Newhaven £90.

    Total  £345.

    Posted by Bruce Gibson

  • Blue Flag Beach Report

    Tue 03rd June 2014

     Alicante has more than any other province in Spain, with 60 beaches and 14 marinas scooping up one of the coveted annual awards reported by euroweeklynews .

    Valencia's beaches received 28 of the flags for its beaches and the region's third province, Castellon, was given 32 flags for beaches and one for a marina.

    With recognition for six more beaches and two more marinas, this was the best result ever, said Jose Ciscar, the region's vice-president.

    One in every five of the Blue Flags awarded in Spain went to a beach in the Valencia Community, Ciscar pointed out.

    Only the 123 awarded to Galicia in the north of Spain outstripped this region's.

    The Els Molins beach in Denia received a Blue Flag for the first time while Les Marines, also in Denia, and Teulada's L'Ampolla recovered those lost last year.

    BLUE FLAG: Moraig beach, Benitachell, one of the province's 60 best beaches.

    What you should know about this beach and how to get to it on page under Cumbre del Sol.

    Posted by Bruce Gibson

  • Teulada fiestas and festivals

    Tue 01st April 2014

    Enjoy the very little known week long grand firework displays and fiesta during the last week of April in Teualda, which is in celebration of San Vicente Ferrer. 

    Ermita_de_San_Vicente_Ferrer_(Teulada) must be one of the smallest and prettiest in Spain, so well worth stopping off.

    The church is  located close to the entrance of the Go Kart track on the road between Teulada and Moraira itself. There is a lovely tree shaded picnic and BBQ area just up a few steps behind the church, which has toilet facilities and a  modern play area for children.

    Posted by Bruce Gibson

  • Wi-fi Internet access whilst on holiday in Spain

    Tue 24th September 2013

     Some of our villas provide broadband internet access, and can be found using the extended search, or seeing the wi-fi symbol on the villa details page.

    Where this is not provided, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants giving free access and you can check up on your emails whilst enjoying a lovely coffee on a sunny terrace and watch the world go by.

    If you want more flexibility, and access at the villa, then the other option is pay-as-you-go provided by MOVISTAR and to purchase a specific dongle (46 Euros); a sim card (20 Euros w3hich includes 10 Euros' worth of credit); and costs approximately 3 Euros per week.

    You keep the dongle so you can use it next time you are in Spain, or pass it onto a friend.

    The best MOVISTAR shop is in Benissa, which is the motorway junction you have to come off at, and the shop is to the right, near the large Mercadonna supermarket, so you can do your shopping at the same time. They speak perfect English, as well as other European languages, and are happy to advise.  

    Posted by Bruce Gibson

  • Know the Car Rental Cons facing holidaymakers

    Tue 14th May 2013

    A common marketing con with online car rental comparison sites is that they state the car hire includes for example third party cover, collision damage waiver and theft cover, whereupon the hirer assumes this package is the equivalent to fully comprehensive insurance cover, when it doesn't whatsoever.

    As such, if the insurance only includes the above cover then the hirer will be asked by the clerk at the destination airport car rental desk for a large deposit of up to 1,000 Euros or more to cover possible damage to the car, should the hirer refuse to allow them to clear this on their credit card then the hirer will be forced to take out additional insurance cover. The extra cost is between 7-10 Euros per day excluding VAT, resulting in an extra 60-85 Euros per week for the cost of the hired car. This additional insurance cover may well include a high excess liability in each of the categories of insurance cover that is taken, so it's vital to check the excess liability before booking.

    Other insurance cover may well then be offered at the destination airport to include protection to reduce ones excess liability and personal accident insurance, along with breakdown cover protection too.

    Quotes given online do not always reveal what they exclude. For example if the quote does not state that it includes breakdown cover then the hirer should assume it does not, which can then result in the hirer being asked to pay an extra charge at the destination airport of around 35 Euros per week, unless the hirer is willing to accept the risk of being responsible for the cost of the vehicle's recovery. Interestingly, personal accident insurance automatically forms part of the protection cover a hirer would normally get when fully comprehensive insurance is purchased, but this is regrettably not the case when the insurance is packaged separately and fully comprehensive cover is not included.

    What has happened in the car rental industry is that most car rental firms have replaced or repackaged fully comprehensive insurance with principally third party then added on collision damage waiver and theft cover, in order to ensure that their online quote is kept very low and appealing, thus enabling the rental firm to make up their profit by selling the extra insurance at the destination airport.

    By segmenting the insurance cover in this way means that many car rental firms can apply their own extra charges for each type of cover, thus effectively doubling or tripling the cost of the original car hire quote on insurance alone. Moreover, that this key information is only brought to the hirers attention at the destination airport and not at the time of booking.

    Posted by Bruce Gibson

  • Fund-raising Auction for charity

    Tue 15th January 2013

    We are delighted to say that VillaSpain accommodation raised £400 at an auction for the Martlets Hospice in December, which was part of the fundraising for the Brighton Mayor’s charities

  • Bernia mountain walk

    Wed 19th December 2012

    A 30 minute drive from Moraira to the start of the walk is one of the most enjoyable and picturesque B road drives you can take along this part of the coast.
    Travelling south as you exit Benissa on the N332 turn right for Alcalali and then at 100 mts at the junction crossover  to follow the sign for Bernia.  Follow this winding road up the mountain with stunning views at every bend with the Montgo mountain behind you. At the top there is a T junction, so turn left and park under the trees in the little hamlet of fincas. See the sign for the walks and make a choice. The one we took was to the Cave Fort that ultimately takes you through a very low ceilinged cave (one mt high in places, 30 mts long), so a crab crawl is the only option. You exit with a view over the Altea and Benidorm coastline.


    Going up at around 11am at this time of year ensured you were in the shade all the time and so very comfortable when you're not breaking into a sweat, but then with the sun on you as you exit the cave on the south side...just perfect.  Easy walking on narrow pathways with a small dog (not ideal for small children).
    Follow the red and white painted track markers, but do check the arrow markers as it is easy to take a more difficult parallel track. Ensure you take good walking boots, a few layers of clothing, water and a snack to enjoy when sitting atop and looking down onto Altea. There's a font (water spring) before you ascend the mountain to drink from.

    A popular Bernia finca restaurant is about 1 km to the right of the T junction mentioned earlier, so worth a stop.
    Descend slowly back and take in again those breath taking views.
    Walking time 2 hours returning back to car park zone.

    Posted by Bruce Gibson

  • PCI DSS Compliance

    Tue 02nd October 2012

     Streamline has confirmed that VillaSpain is now PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliant! Acquiring this compliance is a significant achievement. Our PCI project took a number of months of diligent work to move all of our payment mechanisms over to DataCash, a MasterCard company.

  • Dramatic improvements on Google Maps

    Wed 22nd August 2012

    Google maps have improved dramatically the images you can see on each of our villa listings.

    Not only that but it now includes a 45 degree angle shot too.

    Take a look at any of our villas.

    Posted by Bruce Gibson

  • Safety tips when booking a an online villa holiday

    Fri 20th April 2012

    • A quick check around the villa upon arrival to your holiday accommodation is useful before you unpack.
    • Gas boilers that are not properly maintained, and exhaust their gases back into the house, will cause carbon monoxide poisoning: a well maintained gas boiler that is properly vented is vital. A gas certificate should also be issued for gas central heating installations.
    • Flexible rubber gas tubes are used in all houses that have a gas hob or a gas central heating system: these rubber tubes have an expiry date printed on them, as they last about 5 years. It is very common for people to forget to renew these tubes, which do become fatigued and can leak gas. Check the date on the tube, which you will find imprinted along the tube that connects the gas bottle to the hob. Inform the appropriate person immediately if you find the date has expired.
    • It is a common practice in Spain for the washing machine to be placed in the bathroom along with the electrical connection socket, but this is dangerous as the bathroom is a wet environment and the user is likely to be wet too. The socket should be in an adjacent room, or be located in its own utility room.
    • Some older villas have very low balustrades, or large gaps between the spindles that a young child can slip through, or that the balustrade is placed on the edge of the plot boundary that happens to have a 10 metre drop the other side. A good agent will have inspected and ensured that such information is in the details.
    • The tiles in bathrooms and around the pool do not tend to be nonslip, as such caution should be advised, particularly if children wish to run around the pool area.
    • Always ensure that an adult is present at the poolside, or that two responsible persons are present, as even 'no diving' warming signs do not necessarily prevent children from diving in. The pool depths range from 1-2 metres, so it's quite easy to dive in the shallow end and bump your head on the bottom.
    • The pine tree caterpillars known as 'Thaumetopoea Pityocampa' give an allergic reaction in the form of a rash and pain if their hairs touch you or your pet. Wherever you see a white fluffy ball in a pine tree, it is their habitat. They are small but nonetheless should be avoided. The only way to kill them is to cut away that branch of the tree into a metal container and burn them.

    There are many older properties that would not pass building regulation of today's standard in Spain, so do be aware of anything that does not look right for your own piece of mind.

    Posted by Bruce Gibson

  • Winter weather forcast for the United Kingdom

    Thu 13th October 2011

    Autumn 2011

    The UK can expect a similar theme to continue as we head into autumn (coldest summer), with a notable increase in usual wind strengths for this time of year across many parts of the UK, that will result in frequent and potentially damaging gale force winds and strong stormy features throughout autumn and winter. Although some places further South may see some spells of settled weather at times, the general theme for autumn as a whole looks largely wet and very windy with dominant grey skies. It will be generally unsettled and turn progressively colder with an early start to winter, especially more so in the regions of Scotland, Northern England, and Northern Ireland.

    Winter 2011-12 Update

    As we head towards winter, I expect to see the first signs of some moderate to heavy snowfalls as early as October or November in certain parts of the UK. In terms of the meteorological winter, I expect December, January, and February to experience below average temperatures, with the heaviest snowfalls occurring within the time frame of November to January across many parts of the UK.

    The most important factor within our weather forecasting calculations is solar activity and other major natural factors that it influences. Radiant energy from the sun is the primary influence on both the earth's ocean and atmosphere.

    Low solar activity and ocean behaviour alter atmospheric circulation and block jet stream patterns that create enhanced moisture in terms of snowfall. The UK and Ireland is hit by prolonged periods of extreme cold and snow from the Arctic regions, as cold easterlies or north-easterlies develop. Huge swirly low pressure systems also offer the potential for widespread disruption from heavy snowfall across many parts of the UK including the South, as they clash with the predominant cold air over the UK.

    Coupled with other in depth factors such as recent volcanic activity and changes to the Gulf Stream/North Atlantic drift that we consider, this does not bode well for the severity of the UK and Northern European winter of 2011-12. Frequent and prolonged cold spells with heavy dumps of snow from blizzard like conditions is likely across many parts of the UK. The areas we expect to be worse hit throughout include the vast majority of Scotland and the Scottish Highlands, Northern England, and Northern Ireland. We have particular concerns as to the huge implications that this may pose to the infrastructure of the UK and Ireland transportation systems/economy.

    James Madden (UK Long Range Forecaster -

    Posted by Bruce Gibson

  • Simple case of damages or not to villas?

    Fri 16th September 2011


    Is the tenant responsible for this damage to two sun loungers, I ask?
    On the face of it, yes, as it looks like they were used as a diving platform possibly by children into the pool.

    The answer is no after further investigation. What has happened is that the plastic polymer resin has broken down because of sun damage, thus making the sun loungers inflexible and more brittle. The marbling effect, which looks a bit like ingrained dirt, gives an indication that the resin is breaking down.
    In such cases we believe tenants should not be charged for something that they break that would have broken anyway.

    Should an item break that is perfectly good and fit for purpose, then it is only fair and reasonable to the tenant to apply the ‘Betterment' legal rule. Which means if the life of say the sunlounger is 5 years when new, but is then broken after 2.5 years then the tenant is responsible for 50% of the cost of replacement and not 100%.

    Key words not sure what get used, so need to use tool?
    Villa damages, sun loungers, damages, fair and reasonable, betterment.

    Posted by Bruce Gibson

  • Perils of Booking a villa direct with owners

    Fri 04th March 2011

    Sunday Times exposes perils of booking direct with owners through DIY portals

    Did you see Found the Perfect Villa? in the Sunday Times Travel section on 20 February? (Visit the Times website to subscribe and view the article in full).

    Unsuspecting holidaymakers booked villas only to discover that the accommodation simply did not exist. Scrolling down these websites to the small print will give precious little comfort, with companies such as Holiday Home Rentals stating that it is:

    ‘unable to give any confirmation or guarantees regarding any of the properties advertised on its website'.

    Equally chilling is the statement by HomeAway Holiday-Rentals, which denies any responsibility for:

    ‘the quality, safety or legality of the properties advertised, the truth or accuracy of the listings'.

    HomeAway Holiday-Rentals goes on to clarify that in the event of fraud, compensation is restricted to 50 per cent of the rental, up to a maximum of £700. It's a high price to pay for being misled.

    Booking with ABTA-registered agents

    The article goes on to suggest that it is safer to book with ABTA-registered agents. But is this true? If you read around, you'll discover that the days of cast-iron protection from ABTA are over.

    Check out what ABTA itself says in The Guardian's End of Travel Protection, The Times' Travellers ABTA Protection Under Threat and ABTA Puts One Wheel Back on a Wheel-less Car

    Not only that, but ABTA had its code of conduct withdrawn by the Office of Fair Trading . Or find out what travel industry bible Travel Weekly had to say about it in ABTA Criticised for Code of Conduct Violation

    And there are certainly plenty of disenchanted holidaymakers out there. Hear what some of them have to say on the forums on:

    Holiday Truths

    Holiday Watchdog

    Holiday Watchdog Forum

    Suggesting that consumers should rely on ABTA-registered firms is confusing and flawed. Quite frankly, comments made by ABTA, and the above reports, are scary. The message is clear. In these uncertain times, any company can go into liquidation and any individual can go bankrupt. So, how do you protect your well-earned holiday?

    The only answer is to pay by credit card, such as Visa or MasterCard (not a debit or charge card like Amex or Diners Club). In the event that something goes wrong, you should receive a 100 per cent refund, as advised by Which consumer magazine here

    How to find hand-picked villas in Spain

    Piece of mind is important when booking villas in Spain or anywhere. That's why VillaSpain does not apply a credit card surcharge when you use your personal credit card to book any of our villa Spain options. It's also why you can quiz us on each and every villa in our exclusive collection.

    We offer hand-picked luxury rental villas in Spain. We inspect and rate them regularly and believe that our customers deserve expert advice they can trust.

    Thinking of booking a break? Call us on 01273 623723 and put us to the test!

    Let us have your views on booking villas in Spain. Leave your comments here.

    Posted by Bruce Gibson

  • Spring has already sprung on the Costa Blanca

    Wed 02nd February 2011

     Almond blossom is always much anticipated by the locals in this area of Spain, as it heralds the warmer weather. The valleys become a carpet of colour as the blossoms fill the air with the sweet scents and photogenic colour. There are many ways to enjoy the different landscapes, and to drag you away from your rental holiday villa.
    You will see the blossom locally, but for a real spectacle head inland from the coast of the Costa Blanca to the Jalon Valley. It really is a treat, as you drive through these sleepy Spanish towns and villages, not touched by tourism of the Costas, and wonder at the peace and quiet of it all.

    The town of Jalon (Xaló in local Valenciano) itself is very pretty, and perhaps go there on market day on Saturday where the streets are filled with local produce, and they hold a famous antiques' market that goes on and on. If that is not enough to entice you then the many co-operatives sell locally produced wines at local prices!
    Whilst there you might want to drive further to the mountain restaurant 'Coll de Rates', which has stunnings views, and an extensive outside terrace, and you can enjoy typical local mountain food.

  • Romantic Getaways in Spain for your loved one

    Wed 12th January 2011

     Want to woo your loved one? Book now to secure a hip hideaway for Valentine's Day. We've got so many villas guaranteed to melt hearts, you won't want to restrict romance to February.

    Cosy up for a long weekend, a leisurely week or longer still. Check out our villas in Javea, Moraira villas and apartments in Calpe. Whether you prefer flamboyant fiestas or non-stop siestas, we've researched ways to create the ultimate break.

    Top tips for romantic trips to Spain

    1. Find the perfect location
    For most of us, a trip for two involves seclusion, a drop of nature and utter relaxation. Pick the Jávea peninsula. No distance from Alicante or Valencia airport, it's blessed with authentic Spanish villages, glorious beaches, stunning scenery and easy access to cosmopolitan cities.

    2. Meander through food markets
    Before you batten down the hatches, saunter down to Jávea's indoor market in the old town and stock up on gourmet treats. Fill your basket whilst wandering around this impressive gothic building next to the Church of San Bartolomé. Head to the port for the freshest fish imaginable.

    3. Lazy lunch
    Enjoy a leisurely lunch. Duck into a pavement café at any of the pretty coastal towns. Eat, drink, people-watch and soak up the relaxed vibe. Tuck into spectacular seafood at restaurants throughout the area. Check out our restaurant recommendations.

    4. Chill out by the pool
    Head back to your villa, shut the doors on the outside world and enjoy peace and tranquility. Loll by the pool, drink in the views and drift away. Check our at a glance villa list for hand picked hideaway havens.

    5. Valencia city break
    We'll always have... Valencia. When you've had enough of your John and Yoko-style love-in, hightail it to Valencia. Packed with sackloads of style, it's the city with broad appeal.

    Tuck into paella (after all, Valencia is its birthplace) and knock back Agua de Valencia (a close cousin of buck's fizz, using those ubiquitous Valencian oranges and local cava).

    In March, join Las Fallas, a five-day festival of flames and fire. Marvel at the giant papier-maché figures (ninots). One ninot is saved from the flames by popular vote each year – visit the Museum of Las Fallas to see these spell-binding creations. Pyromania not your thing? Visit the Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias for the breathtakingly futuristic architecture and overwhelming choice of cultural enrichment - opera, cinema, museums and Europe's largest aquarium, it's all here.

    6. Scenery and sunsets
    Wedged between the Montgó nature reserve and the deep blue sea, this area has knockout scenery and sunsets. Take countryside strolls, amble arm-in-arm on sandy beaches or picnic in rocky coves.

    Go on. Book a trip soon. Win their heart. But be prepared to leave yours in Spain.

    What are your top tips for romantic breaks on the Costa Blanca? Where are your best places in Valencia? Email stories and pictures of your favourite way to spend a Spanish holiday to

  • Our Facebook page announcement

    Wed 22nd December 2010


     Our new facebook page has just recently been activated and requires a jump start, so we kindly ask you to simply click on the 'Like' button from the page.

    If you click on the
    'Like' button before 31st December we will plant a tree for FREE for you.

    The Plant a Tree programme serves to offset CO2 emissions (one tree absorbs 0.71 tons of CO2 in its lifetime) and also helps communities in the developing world, for which we have already planted 7,500 since inception in March 2008.
    The intention of the Facebook page will be to have interesting news stories, tips, general info of the area, new listings, changes, offers, and such like.

    For full details about the Plant a Tree programme then click here.

    Compliments of the season.
    From the team at VillaSpain

  • Variety of things to do in Moraira, Costa Blanca

    Tue 21st December 2010

    One of the things I like about Moraira Costa Blanca is that it does not have those ugly high-rise blocks prevalent in most tourist destinations and no noisy nightclubs. However you can still enjoy the nightlife with good music and dancing in a number of bars.


    There are 2 sandy beaches, the larger one in Moraira itself and El Portet, a small bay, which are both blue flag awarded. You know the photos you see of restaurants right by the shoreline, or on a cliff looking across the sea and you know they are going to be expensive because of the location. Well here you can do that and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg. There are lots of bars and restaurants in Moraira dotted along the coast. La Bona Taula, is just 1.5km along the Calpe road from Moraira offers fantastic food and amazing views over the bay. Another favourite is Le Dauphin in El Portet. Delicious food with spectacular sea views. You have to book if you want to sit outside as those tables are very popular as you can imagine. If you love seafood then the restaurant Piscis is the one to try. Stunning glass panels go around the inside of this excellent fish restaurant. Perfectly cooked fish and a free glass of cava for all guests. Our favourite dish sepia a la plancha and shared between 2 (cost 14 € for 2). Monkfish (rape) in green pepper sauce at around 21€. Also try the cocktail bar called Upperclub at the yacht club in Moraira, fantastic views, nice music and great cocktails. There are a variety of restaurants that are good quality and affordable.


    This area and the surrounding areas are steeped in history so plenty to see there too. We visited Guadalest , which was amazing. It’s a castle on a mountain and it really was like time stood still.


    Costa Blanca Golf Courses, Theme Parks, Water Sports, Cycling, Hiking, Rock Climbing …. The list goes on and on. I always stay in a Moraira villa and always book with Villaspain. They rent apartments too but I would go for a villa as you have your own space and privacy, which you appreciate after being out all day. Their page on things to do helped me plan our trip and also their customer forums had  a lot of personal reviews on Costa Blanca. 


    Posted by Jack Grogan



  • Eleven Days off for the price of three

    Thu 02nd December 2010

    Royal wedding date sparks holiday rush

     Prince William and Kate Middleton's wedding day of Friday 29 April is set to spark a holiday booking spree as the date adds a fourth UK public holiday in the space of two weeks during 2011.

    Next year's Easter holidays (Good Friday 22 April and Easter Monday 25 April) and the Early May Bank Holiday (Monday 2 May) were already expected to create a surge in bookings as employees make the most of the extra days available in quick succession.

    With the addition of a public holiday on Friday 29 April for the royal wedding, it means that a typical employee finishing work on Thursday 21 April can take just three days holiday allowance and not return until Tuesday 3 May. Alternatively, a break beginning on Saturday 16 April will use up just seven days holiday to last until Tuesday 3 May.
    Check out our availability page showing a calendar view of which villas are available over the two month period in 2011.

    Posted by Bruce Gibson

  • Take your Christmas Holidays in Spain

    Tue 12th October 2010

    Christmas holidays in Spain

    Ditch the commercial frenzy in Britain. Celebrate Christmas in Spain - Spanish style. With deeply religious foundations, there are breathtaking church services, elaborate nativity scenes and a genuine family feel. And some fabulous Christmas holiday deals.

    But don't imagine a country bound by staid, austere tradition. You'll find it hard to match the number and range of spectacular fiestas spilling onto the streets of Javea, Denia, Moraira and Calpe this season.

    Spanish Christmas traditions

    Get in the mood with a visit to the Nativity Scene Museum (Museo de Belenes) in Alicante. This quirky little treasure trove on Calle San Augustin houses hundreds of nativity scenes and figures from around the world.

    Christmas Eve/ Nochebuena - 24 December

    For everyone
    Follow the sound of the church bells at midnight summoning you to the local church for the Misa de Gallo, the Mass of the Rooster. Join in the raucous revelry on the route home as churchgoers sing and make music in the street.

    Christmas Day/ Día de Navidad - 25 December

    For families
    Relax at your luxury villa, sipping cava beside the pool whilst lunch cooks. Rent villas in Javea, Moraira or Calpe for a great escape. Visit Benidorm if access to non-stop entertainment is more your style.

    Holy Innocents/ Día de los Santos Inocentes- 28 December

    For jokers
    Watch out for pranks on this day! Youngsters light bonfires and order villagers to carry out civic duties such as sweeping the streets. Anyone refusing to comply must pay a fine, handily funding the celebration.

    New Year's Eve/ Nochevieja - 31 December

    For youngsters
    The party tends to start at midnight and go on until sunrise. Street parties abound. Tradition has it that wearing new, red underwear brings good luck, as does eating twelve grapes as each chime for midnight strikes.

    The calvalcade/ La Cabalgata - 5 January

    Three Kings day or Epiphany/ Los Reyes Magos - 6 January

    For children
    Processions snake through on the evening before the Epiphany and three wise men in sumptuous costumes throw sweets to wide-eyed children and crowds lining the streets. Children wake the next morning to discover their shoes crammed with presents.

    Christmas holiday deals

    The good news? Christmas getaways are incredibly good value. Find cheap flights and book your villa now. Let the celebrations begin!

    Have you enjoyed celebrating Christmas in Spain on the Costa Blanca or discovered any other Spain Christmas traditions? Email stories and pictures of your favourite Spain Christmas to

    Posted by Bruce Gibson

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