In spite of its sandy, blue flag beach, Gandia somehow never seems as attractive as nearby Jávea or Denía on the northern Costa Blanca. Much of the resort is geared to Spanish rather than international tourism with little in the way of foreign owned bars and restaurants. Much of what’s on offer is relatively cheap Spanish tourism although burger franchises have raised their ugly heads if you do feel the need to get away from the multitude of ‘Buffet Libres’ (eat all you can fixed priced buffet lunches) that have cropped up all along the Playa Nord.
The town of Gandia isn’t a tourist destination but is a lively, working town. It’s well worth a few hours away from the beach to take a stroll around as it does have a few interesting things to see. The 14th century Palacio Ducal de los Borja is its number one tourist attraction but you can only take guided tours in Spanish with a printed explanation in English. The tours are every half hour with a break for lunch between 1pm and 4pm in winter and 5pm in summer. The church in Placa Major is also worth a visit.
A particularly interesting part of town is Passeig de les Germanies, a tree lined promenade with fountains and benches where the local pensioners gather to put the world’s problems to right. The bridge at the eastern end of this street crosses the dry river bed and takes you over to the weekly Saturday morning market. For more shopping opportunities wander along the lively c/Major where there are plenty shops and cafés keeping the pedestrianised street abuzz with locals most mornings.
The train station at Gandia is right in the centre of town at Parc de l’Estacio opposite the tourist information office. It provides regular services to Valencia.
Gandia Playa Nord is its northern beach which stretches for 3.5km from the sailing club. The quality of its fine, golden sand is second to none in Spain. This whole stretch is lined with medium rise hotels and apartment blocks interspersed with eateries and bars. There aren’t all that many Gandia Hotels as apartment blocks seem to be the chosen accommodation of most visitors. Various campsites serve the resort though these are packed during the month of August when it’s best to avoid them. The most convenient for proximity to the town and beaches is La Naranja but a better quality one is L’Alqueria.
Recommended Hotels in Gandia
The Hotel Bayren is located right on the sea front opposite a beautiful white sandy beach and only 4 km from Gandia town. It has an outdoor pool with ample space around it as well as an indoor one. There are also tennis courts and a fitness centre for the more energetic guests and a sauna and jacuzzi where you can relax.
Located directly opposite the beach the Hotel Villa Luz is in the tourist area of Gandia, 3 km from the town. There is a bus stop directly opposite for anybody wishing to go into the town. It has a nice pool and many rooms have balconies with sea views.
Also in the tourist area is the family friendly Riviera Hotel which is only 150 metres from a white, sandy beach. It has hotel rooms and apartments suitable for families and both are set in landscaped gardens. There are 2 pools, one for adults and one for children, and plenty of sun loungers and a poolside bar. It has a children’s play area and in the summer there is a full entertainment program for children with supervision.
Things to Do in Gandia
All in all Gandia is not a pretty destination and the resorts of Denia and Javea to the south will prove more appealing to the foreign visitor. If you do stay there it is the excellent beach which will prove the main attraction. Also if you head south to Oliva and cut across to the coast you’ll come across more superb beaches such as Platja Pau Pi and Aigua Blanca which are long stretches of unspoilt golden sand with little commercialism in sight apart from the odd ‘chiringuito’ (beach bar shack). Just the place to get away from it all.
An interesting place to visit in Gandia is the architecturally magnificent 15th century Palacio Ducal de los Borja.
You should eat a fideua which is a version of paella which uses noodles rather than rice.