Guide to Gandia, a town on the Costa Blanca, Spain.

Gandia - Costa Blanca - Spain

Normally considered to be the northernmost town on the Costa Blanca, Gandia is probably also the least attractive of the northern Costa Blanca resorts. Having a population of around 77,000 it is a city and municipality within the community of Valencia. Gandia which sits on the banks of the River Serpis is situated about 96 kilometres north of Alicante and 65 kilometres south of Valencia.

While Gandia’s sandy beaches attract large numbers of Spanish holidaymakers during the summer months, it is not generally recognised as an international resort, and the town itself is more of a working town than a tourist destination, however Gandia does have an interesting history and some interesting places to visit.

While it is not thought that Gandia existed as a town much before 1240 when Jaime I took control of the area from the Arabs, there is evidence of human settlements going back to the Palaeolithic Era (remains and artefacts found in the caves of Parpalló and Meravalles). The area was also settled by Iberians and later by Romans, before the Moors invaded in the 8th Century. The urban expansion of Gandia seems to have begun in the 14th Century, as agriculture, commerce and crafts flourished in this growing town. The 1st Duke of Gandia (Marti L’Huma) was named in 1359 and some important architectural works began at about this time including the Palau Ducal, the Convent of San Jeronimo de Cotalba and the Church of Santa Maria.

The late 15th Century saw the arrival of the Borja (Borjia) family, a name inextricably linked to that of Gandia from this time onwards. With the arrival of the Borjas, Gandia’s growth increased in pace, and did so right up until the 18th Century.

The port of Gandia was inaugurated in 1886 and seven years later in 1893 the railway line to Alcoy was opened bringing increased trade to the town.

Present day Gandia is a busy modern city, and whilst not as attractive as some nearby towns, still has a number of places worth visiting. The aforementioned Palau Ducal is an impressive Gothic palace, it was acquired by the Borja family in the 15th Century and was extended and embellished over the following centuries, the palace is mostly renowned for its stunning ceramic tile mosaics, it is located in Calle Duc Alfons el Vell 1. Also worth a visit are the collegiate Church of Santa Maria and the Museo Archeológico (Archaeological Museum), which is housed in what was once a medieval hospital.

The beach area of Gandia, which is separate from the main town is very popular with Spanish tourists and the bars and restaurants here are predominantly Spanish, unlike many other Costa Blanca resorts, which have a more international flavour. The beaches are golden and sandy and are without doubt some of the best beaches in the region. Playa Nord stretches for 3.5 kilometres and is lined with bars and restaurants.

Golfers can head for the Oliva Nova Golf course, located in the nearby town of Oliva, it is one of the most popular of the Northern Costa Blanca's golf courses.

Boat trips run from Gandia to the resorts of Javea, Denia, Calpe and Altea, offering fine views of the coastline.

Gandia can easily be reached via the N332 coast road or the A-7 motorway.

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Nearby Places: Benidorm - Moraira - Calpe - Xativa - Oliva - Pego - Albir - Javea - Guadalest - Villajoyosa - Teulada - Benissa - Cumbre del Sol - Ondara - Benitachell

Attractions: Gallinera Valley - Penon de Ifach - Algar Waterfalls - Caves of Canelobre - Fuentes de Algar - Vall de Laguar

More Golf Courses: Ifach Golf Club - Real Faula Golf - Spain Golf Courses

Related: Alicante - Murcia - Valencia - Alicante Weather - Alicante Airport Transfers - Builders