Gandia is the capital of the county of La Safor, between the mountains and the beaches of the Mediterranean. It is 65 km south of Valencia and 116 km north of Alicante and is one of the largest coastal towns and a rather well kept secret. Traditionally Gandia's tourism is Spanish based with a major part of it coming from Madrid. It seems though that the cat may be out of the bag with more and more foreign tourism coming to the area. With the foreign tourism, we have also seen a rise in the number of people coming to live. Gandia is a thriving centre of commerce, and as such does not rely solely on tourism. The beach and the town are some 4 km apart which succeeds in separating the summer tourism from day to day living. Imagine, in the middle of August being able to visit the bank in Gandia without fighting through hoards of people waving foreign currency and smelling of suntan lotion, to then be able to visit the beach and be right in the thick of it all. The same advantages also exist in the winter time. Unlike many coastal towns which become deserted as the colder months approach, Gandia stays populated and open.
Oranges are a considerable source of income, but also onions, tomatoes, peppers and many other natural crops in La Conca de la Safor, handled and packed in the many local stores, contribute to the obvious wealth of the area, together with the industries that make the most varied of goods, the shops that sell them and the tourism, which has an important hotel infrastructure distributed along the coastline.
All these products used to be exported via Gandia harbour, inaugurated in 1893 after an English company built the narrow-gauge railway from Alcoi to Gandia, where the company boats unloaded the coal that heated the factory boilers. The harbour was for many years the main point of export of Valencian oranges and, though it has not the traffic that it used to have in the 1960s, Gandia harbour still has a fishing fleet of some importance, while land transport has replaced transportation by sea. This has generated the appearance of many transport companies owning long-distance truck fleets that travel the roads and motorways of Europe and carry the name of Gandia everywhere in the world where it deserves to be known.
- 1 Tourist Info Gandia, Avda Marques de Campo, 16 (across from the train station), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. M-F 09:30-13:30 15:30-19:30, Sa 09:30-13:30.
- 2 Tourist Info Plages de Gandia, Passeig Neptú (facing Carrer Cíbeles in Platja de Gandia), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. M-F 09:30-13:30 15:30-19:30, Sa 09:30-13:30.
Two major airports are close enough: Valencia and Alicante, at a distance of 70 km (the former) and 110 km (the later).
- 1 Estación de Tren de Gandía (Gandía Train Station), Parc de L´estacio, s/n, ☏ (reservations). From Valencia, Renfe regional train line C1 departs every hour from Estació de València Nord; a one-way ticket costs €5.80 and the journey lasts about one hour.
Major roads get you to the center of the city. The main A7 motorway is directly adjacent to Gandía.
- 2 Estación de Autobuses de Gandía (Bus Station), Avda Marques de Campo, 12 (behind the train station), ☏ . A large bus terminal with direct links to Madrid and other major city in Europe. Within the region, Alsa operates a route connecting all major coastal settlements between Valencia and Alicante, including Cullera, Gandía, Oliva, Dénia, Calpe, Altea, Benidorm, and Villajoyosa.
The marina at Gandia has 120 moorings up to 30 m. No visitor moorings are available (typical of Mediterranean marinas) but turn up or book and you should get in.
- 3 Trasmediterranea, Moll dels Borja, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Operates daily ferries to/from Ibiza (2½ hr, €70).
La Marina Gandiense (☏ ) operates seven bus routes within Gandía and connecting the city to the surrounding pueblos. L2 and L6 connect the train station directly to the city beaches. A single journey costs €1.50-1.80, depending on the route, and is payable directly to the bus driver on entry.
- Radio Taxi Gandia, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 24 hr. There is also a taxi stand in front of the train station.
- 1 Palau Ducal dels Borja (Palacio Ducal de los Borja / Borja Ducal Palace), Carrer del Duc Alfons el Vell, 1, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Nov-Mar: M-Sa 10:00-13:30 15:00-18:30, Su and holidays 10:00-13:30; Apr-Oct: M-Sa 10:00-13:30 16:00-19:30, Su and holidays 10:00-13:30. Built in the 14th century by the Borja family, the largely Gothic palace was renovated in the Renaissance and Baroque periods. €6 (adults), €5 (seniors/children 12-17), €4 (disabled/children 7-11); 20% discount for visitors who arrived by train (must show Renfe ticket).
- 2 Museu Arqueologic De Gandía - MAGa (Museo Arqueológico de Gandia / Gandía Archaeological Museum), C/ de l'Hospital, 20, ☏ , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Sep-Jun: Tu-Sa 10:00-14:00 15:00-19:00, Su 10:00-14:00; Jul-Aug: Tu-Sa 10:00-14:00 15:00-20:00, Su 10:00-14:00. This museum is devoted to the history of the area, and displays items dating from the Paleolithic to the Iron Age. €2 (adults), €1 (concessions), free on Su and holidays.
- 3 Casa de Cultura Marqués de González de Quirós (Marqués de González de Quirós Cultural Center), Passeig de les Germanies, 13, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. M-F 09:00-14:00. The former 19th-century palace is now a venue for temporary art exhibits as well as concerts. Free.
- 4 Museu Faller (Museo Fallero / Fallas Museum), C/ Sant Martí de Porres, 29, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Winter: Tu-Sa 10:00-13:00 17:00-19:00, Su 11:00-14:00; summer: Tu-Sa 10:00-13:00 18:00-21:00, holidays 11:00-14:00. This ethnographic museum is dedicated to illustrating and preserving traditions of the Fallas celebration.
- 5 Torreló del Pi (Great Pine Tower) (on the corner of Carrer Alzira and Carrer Sant Rafael). 24 hrs. So named from the pine tree that grows from the top, this is the only remaining and intact defensive tower from the city walls. It was built in the mid-15th century and restored in the 20th century. It is closed to the public but can be easily appreciated from the street. Free.
- 6 Castell de Bairén (Castillo de Bairén / Bairén Castle) (3km N of the centre of town). 24 hrs. This ruined hilltop fortress was probably originally established by the Romans; the current structure dates to the Moorish period. In 1097 it was the site of a battle between the Almoravids and El Cid, and in 1240 it came under Christian control. The castle can be accessed by an easy hike of just over 1km, and has great views of the sea and the surrounding countryside. Free.
- 7 [dead link] Reial Monestir de Sant Jeroni de Cotalba (Monasterio de San Jerónimo de Cotalba / Monastery of Sant Jeroni de Cotalba), Autovía Gandía-L’Ollería (CV-60), Exit 35 (Alfauir, 8 km W of Gandía), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Sa 10:00-11:30 (unguided tour), 11:30 (guided tour); Su: 11:30 (guided tour). Established in the 14th century with expansions built in the 17th and 18th centuries, this significant monastery incorporates the styles of Valencian Gothic, Mudéjar, Renaissance, and Baroque. The monastery was dissolved in 1835 and has since been in private hands; it was opened to the public in 2005. Especially noteworthy are the Mudejár cloister, Nicolás Borrás' fresco of the Saint Supper, the 16th-century gold monstrance, and the 20th-century romantic gardens. €6 (adults), €5 (seniors/youth under 18), free (children under 7); combined ticket with Ducal Palace: €10 (adults), €5 (seniors/youth), free (children under 7).
Gandia has 7 km of beaches, which are known for their especially fine sand. The beach season runs from June until the end of September.
- 1 Platja del Nord (Playa Norte). The most developed beach, with lifeguard and first aid stations, showers, toilets. Sun loungers and umbrellas are available to rent, and there are a number of restaurants and snack bars immediately adjacent to the beach.
- 2 Platja de Venècia (Playa de Venecia). A small urban beach by the Serpis River, with basic services.
- 3 Platja de L’Ahuir (Playa de L’Ahuir). A quieter beach in a more natural setting, with protective dunes and vegetation, and a nudist section.
- 4 Platja Can (Playa Can). A dog-friendly beach just south of Playa de L’Ahuir.
- 5 Platja de Rafalcaïd (Playa de Rafalcaid). Gandia's most southerly, semi-urban beach has small dunes with vegetation, and is a good place for kitesurfing.
Like its much larger neighbour Valencia, Gandia greets the arrival of springtime with a spectacular pyrotechnic festival known as Falles. Various events and entertainments take place over the period of a few days, culminating in the Feast of Saint Joseph on 19 March. All the hard work put into the creation of giant figures of wood and paper go up in smoke in the great bonfires that take place in the evening as part of the Gandia Falles celebrations.
- 1 Mercadillo de la Playa (Gandia beach street market) (by the beach). Su mornings. A weekly street market for local produce and other goods.
- 2 Mercadillo del Grau (Grau street market), Plaça Orient (in the port area). Th mornings. Another street market.
Fideuà, a paella-like dish with thick, short noodles and seafood, is originally from Gandía. A variation of this is fideuà negra, prepared in the same manner but with the addition of squid ink.
- 1 El Hogar del Pescador, Plaza Mediterrània, 1, ☏ . M-Th 12:00-16:00 20:00-23:45, F-Su 11:00-17:00, 20:00-23:45. On the harbourfront. This is a favourite, informal place with locals specialising in fresh seafood. Reservations recommended. €20-30 per person.
- 2 Restaurante Casa Manolo, Paseo Marítimo de Daimús, 5 (on the beach), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 09:00-23:30. Seafood and rice dishes, with excellent wine in a pleasant ambiance. €30 set menu.
- 3 Restaurante Kayuko, Carrer Asturies, 23 (Platja de Gandia), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Tu-Su 13:00-16:00, 20:00-23:30. In addition to fish and seafood, the restaurant serves traditional Valencian cuisine, including fideuà and rice dishes. €20 set menu.
- 1 Hotel Borgia, Avda de la República Argentina, 5 (town centre), ☏ . Check-in: 12:00-24:00, check-out: 07:00-12:00. Nonsmoking throughout the building, has free wifi and luggage storage, no parking. Doubles from €51 including breakfast.
- 2 Hotel RH Riviera, Passeig Marítim Neptú, 28 (Platja de Gandía), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: after 16:00, check-out: before 12:00. Located across the street from the beach, the hotel is completely nonsmoking and has a pool as well as onsite restaurant and bar. Luggage storage available, free wifi, parking €10/day. Doubles from €50 including breakfast.
- 3 Hotel Biarritz Gandía, Carrer Alcoi, 15, ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 12:00. Has an outdoor pool, onsite restaurant/bar, and free Wi-Fi. Parking €12.90/day. Doubles from €100.
- 4 Hotel Cibeles Playa, Carrer del Clot de la Mota, 9, ☏ . Check-in: 14:30-20:00, check-out: 11:30-12:00. Has an outdoor pool, onsite restaurant/bar, and free Wi-Fi. Parking €10.70/day. Doubles from €75, breakfast €3.
- 5 Hotel Los Robles, Carrer de Formentera, 33, ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 16:00, check-out: 12:00. Has an outdoor pool, onsite restaurant/bar, and free Wi-Fi. Doubles from €100 including breakfast.
- 6 Hotel RH Bayren Parc, Carrer de Mallorca, 19 (directly across the street from the RH Bayren Hotel & Spa), ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Has an onsite restaurant, pool, fitness centre, and bicycle rental. Nonsmoking rooms available, free Wi-Fi, parking €15/day. Doubles €118+ including breakfast.
- 7 Hotel San Luis, Passeig Marítim de Neptú, 5, ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Has an outdoor pool, onsite restaurant/bar, and free Wi-Fi. Pets permitted, parking €12/day. Doubles from €90 including breakfast.
- 8 RH Bayren Hotel & Spa, Passeig Marítim de Neptú, 62, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 12:00, check-out: 16:00. Directly across from the beach, with onsite restaurant, pool, fitness centre, and bicycle rental. Nonsmoking rooms available, free Wi-Fi, parking €15/day. Doubles from €160 including breakfast.
- 9 Camping l'Aventura Playa, Carretera Platja Daimús, s/n (Daimuz), ☏ , ✉ email@example.com. Can accommodate tents, campervans, and caravans. Has an onsite bar-restaurant, pool, toilets and showers, and laundromat. Non-dangerous dogs permitted.
- 10 Camping L'Alqueria, Avda del Grau, 142, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Can accommodate tents, campervans, and caravans, and also has bungalows. Facilities include toilets and showers, laundromat, bicycle rental, pool, bar and cafeteria, and supermarket. Pets under 5 kg permitted.
- 11 Camping La Naranja, Cami Assagador de Morant, s/n, ✉ //email@example.com. Can accommodate tents, campervans, and caravans. Facilities include toilets and showers, pool, tennis court, bar, and horse and bicycle rental. Pets permitted (€2/night).