Nick Snelling covers the Gandia area for the Spanish Property Network. You may or may not know where Gandia is but just in case it is about 45 minutes south of Valencia and is a wonderful area full of dramatic scenery and best of all very little known outside of Spain. Take a read of what Nick says about Gandia but shhhh keep it quiet!
So – Gandia. What can I say about it, having lived here for the past 11 years?
Well, firstly, I would rather not say very much because Gandia is almost unknown to people outside Spain and has remained one of the last real secrets of Mediterranean Spain – something, frankly, I am keen on preserving.
In fact, to see Britons or Germans, Dutch or French people around Gandia is very unusual This is quite unlike many coastal areas of Spain – the nature of which has often been ineluctably (and often brutally) changed by the assaults of mass tourism. This is not the case with Gandia, which has retained the purity of its culture (thank Heavens!) and its unique character. This makes it an enchanting and somewhere that truly fulfils the dreams of anyone looking for somewhere properly Spanish in which to live.
The odd thing is why Gandia has remained unknown. This is a puzzle because Gandia has all the components to make it somewhere in great demand. It has some of the finest Blue Flagged beaches in the Mediterranean (Spain or otherwise), it has a lovely marina, a town of 80,000 people with every possible amenity (including fine restaurants) and inland it is bounded by strikingly dramatic mountains, which rise up from endless, evergreen citrus groves.
Meanwhile, Gandia has excellent communications to Valencia City (and its international airport) which includes the Nacional 332 and A7 motorway, both of which are arterial routes that run along the Mediterranean coast of Spain. Gandia is also the last town on the direct south route by rail from Valencia City. This is a 55 minute train journey away, with a return ticket costing around 8 Euros (an incredible bargain).
Of course, if you like outdoor activities then Gandia is a treasure. There is superb rock climbing, stunning walking, superb horse riding (including midnight rides on the beach!), excellent cycling (on and off road) and fine sailing. If you are into bird watching then on my estate, a couple of years ago, a keen birdwatching guide sotted 118 different species!
Gandia also has its own 9 hole golf course and is only half an hour away from two excellent 18 hole golf courses (Oliva Nova and La Galiana – the latter being probably one of the most challenging and beautiful courses in Spain).
If you fancy flying there is a micro light school close by run by an expert British flying instructor – and Gandia positively hums with culture. Indeed, I have seen some of the finest classical concerts of my life in the Casa de Cultura and Gandia’s theatre puts on an excellent range of shows ranging from dance (modern and contemporary) through to plays and films.
Needless to say, Gandia is also devoted to its fiestas – with three major ones occurring during the course of the year. The first is Las Fallas, during which the town closes down for a week of craziness that has to be seen to be believed and that ends in a climax of late night ceremonial burning of vast effigies. Great fun! (You have just missed that though if you are reading this as it is published in March 2015)
Easter, of course, is notable for the parades of Cappuccinos – which is extraordinarily moving and very beautiful, whether you are religious or not. To see the files of penitents, dressed in gorgeous robes, with long, flaming candles is quite wonderful and can be profoundly moving. It is something that has happened for hundreds of years and defies modernity. (You could still get here for this)
Finally, in early October, Gandia has its Fira y Festes. This is a Baccanalian week of parties, bands, shows and entertainments (virtually everything is free), which will seduce you completely. It is my favourite fiesta and I defy you not to thrill to it and not to find something totally amazing, the memory of which will last a lifetime…
I guess that you are probably wondering about property? Is it any good, will it suit you and does the Gandia area have anything suitable?
Well, within Gandia and around its environs there are a wide range of properties. These extend from villas of varying sizes to fincas, town houses and flats. There are luxury properties, properties with large plots and properties with small plots – almost any combination that you require quite unlike the Legoland estates seen in many high density expatriate areas. Furthermore, because Gandia has not suffered the lunacy of mass international tourism the prices of properties are generally considerably less than the Anglicised areas of the Spanish coast where the prices have been increased artificially.
But, to my mind, you should not be looking to come to Gandia because of its property. To me (and I am in the business!) that is a side issue. The reasons to come to Gandia should be driven by a desire to live somewhere that is different from other parts of Spain – to live a new life and one that will provide you with real fun and fulfilment.
In short, the Gandia area is exceptional. It is markedly different from certain other parts of coastal Spain and it is somewhere where you can enjoy a wonderful way of life that is not dominated by foreign tourists and overwhelmed by expatriates. It is unique and offers you a way of life unavailable elsewhere in Spain.
Mind you, I am stating all of this on the basis that you will not tell anyone else! The last thing I want (and the other Britons around here feel the same) is for too many people to find Gandia. So, keep all of this to yourself… Shhhh!
So if you fancy a bit of Gandia tell us more below and we will guide you into this rather unknown part of Spain. You can see some of our properties in Gandia here.