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  • simonbarker 61 posts

    Little trip report on Spain’s 3rd city and then a beach break in Gandia, 11 nights over all.

    First: the bad. Travelled to Valencia with BA from LHR.

    Used the Centurion in T3, pretty poor all round I felt. Very noisy, tables wrong height for chairs, weird snaking chair layout awkward for more than solo travel, food was a dietary requirements disaster, no need for sesame on more than half the dishes. Wish we had just stayed in the terminal. Everyone told to check cabin bags at gate due to “exceptionally busy” flight, it was not, empty seat in our row and less than half the over heads filled, thankfully bag came out quickly in Valencia.

    And now: the good.

    Quick metro from airport into centre, very cheap and easy.

    Stayed in an Airbnb for 4 nights right in the old town, great location for exploring, a bit noisy at night but it’s Spain so that’s to be expected.

    Highlights:
    – Freetour walking tour, pay what you want at the end, we did €35 as very informative. Not all that much walking but still good and interesting.
    – Diverted river park great for a cycle ride and/or run
    – Interesting to walk around the old town, lots of small streets to get lost in.
    – Science museum area architecture is breath taking, honestly incredible.
    Nice city, stayed one night too many probably.

    Train to Gandia, 1hr 15 and less than €20 for the two of us. Arrived in the rain which didn’t give a great first impression but the town really grew on us over the following week. I’ve not been to a mainland Spanish beach resort before so can’t compare to Benidorm etc.

    We stayed at the RH Bayren Spa Hotel which ranks in the top 5 for hotels I’ve stayed in I think. Just the right level of fancy/nice, I didn’t feel uncomfortable but likewise there was no way you could say this was a run of the mill, typical hotel, it had a little bit of wow factor. We got a suite with a sea view and it was delightful. Roof top pool access free in off and shoulder season, not sure I’d pay €35 a day for it. Food was decent with good variety and, unlike some buffets, you could actually put a coherent meal on your plate.

    The beach is miles long and a couple of hundred meters deep so plenty of space and the water is refreshing but not cold. The main town is set back from the beach area and seems fine, we went in a couple of times on the bus but only as part of something else so can’t speak to it specifically. There’s a nice nature reserve and lake area between the beach town and main town which is nice for a walk or run.

    The hiking in the hills behind is great, one hike went over 400m elevation and was an interesting climb, not quite a scramble climb but pretty thought provoking in places but without any great danger.

    Gandia is a bit of a nightlight hub for Spaniards apparently but other that seeing teens on the beach at 7:30 am when going out for a run and a handful of Spanish stag and hen dos further up the strip on the weekend I wouldn’t say it detracted from the trip. Spanish people stay up absurdly late for our British sensibilities but it’s very much a family atmosphere in June so still pleasant.

    The 7 days in Gandia were a nice switch off, I don’t think I would want to go in the height of the season as the hotel said it gets a lot busier and it would be ludicrously hot I fear. Don’t think I heard more than a dozen word spoken with and English accent all week so if getting away from the Angloshpere is you thing then this ticks that box.

    We will go back to the region, hire a car and probably alternate between beach days and hiking days.

    Oh and the Valencia lounge knocks spots off the Centurion in T3, especially upstairs.

    Richie 1,073 posts

    The Museo Nacional de Cerámica y Artes Suntuarias “González Martí” in Valencia is very good.

    sayling 77 posts

    I thought the beach at Valencia was impressively long and large, with beautifully soft sand – did you visit the beach there?

    If so, how would you compare them?

    Richie 1,073 posts

    The Platja de Gandia is deeper than Playa de las Arenas at Valencia. Valencia has a lot to offer, but if you just want beach and a good hotel like the RH Bayern Spa, Gandia is worth considering.

    simonbarker 61 posts

    @sayling we didn’t visit the Valencia beach as we knew we’d have a week at the beach in Gandia so stayed in the city. I’ve heard it’s very nice though so for just a day or two I’m sure it would be lovely.

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