Three spanish beach destinations yoy may never heard of

ruben-150x150by Rubén Hornillo Rodriguez

It’s almost March and it’s time to start planning your next summer vacation, that is, if you happen to be lucky enough to have the time and the money to do it. I will try to chip in and offer you three alternatives if a summer of beach, sun, sangria and good food is what you have in mind. If you want to visit the “cultural” Spain, I suggest you don’t do that in the summer, but rather in spring or autumn, as must-see cities like Madrid and, especially Seville, are way too hot for any kind of sight-seeing during the summer. I am going to try to offer you three versions of Spanish Beach Towns that might be a bit under the radar but still great destinations.

gandia 1

1) GANDIA

Gandia, located in the Valencia province, is widely regarded as “Madrid’s Beach” due to the high density of tourists from the country’s capital. This is definitely the destination for domestic tourism. Gandia’s main beach is a gorgeous 3km-long stretch of pure white sand. The northern part of the beach is clothing-optional. Gandia Beach is the main party hot spot of the area, so much so that the Spanish spin-off of MTV’s Jersey Shore takes place there: Gandia Shore. However, beaching and nonsense is not the only thing going on there: There’s also a Valencia Tech University Campus that’s one of the top Erasmus destinations in Europe, so if you want to hang out among a more high-brow international crowd, I recommend that you visit during the months of June (there’s a great St. John’s beach party on June 23 with thousands of bonfires) and September.
If you’re still not sold on this idea, I’ll throw in a couple of extra perks. Gandia used to belong to the Borgias – yes, those Borgias of Vatican fame -, and as such is a lovely city full of history, with medieval palaces and monuments. They also claim to make the best Arròs a Banda (think of it as a fish-only paella) in the world.

 

benidorm 2

2) BENIDORM

Benidorm is to the British what Gandia is to the Spaniards. Located in the province of Alicante, if what you want is party, skyscrapers and a sandy beach without the inconvenience of having to learn a couple of words in Spanish to get by, then this is your destination. As far as Spanish cities go, Benidorm might not have a great deal to offer on the cultural front It is, however, surrounded by beautiful mountains, so outdoor enthusiasts have a plethora of wilderness activities at the ready. Also, a bonus for people travelling with kids, the only amusement park in the region, Terra Mitica and the water park Aqualandia, are located there.
Overall, Benidorm is a bit tacky for my taste, but every time I visit it I have a great time. If Gandia has a reality show that takes place in it, Benidorm has a British scripted comedy entitled Benidorm.

 

javea 3

3) JAVEA

If you could combine the best of Gandia and Benidorm, you would probably come up with something like Javea. In fact, this beach town is located exactly in the mid-point between Gandia and Benidorm. The tourism in this small town of 30,000 inhabitants is referred to as “Quality Tourism”, meaning it’s anything but cheap. This is the preferred destination of the most affluent Madrileños, Valencians, Brits, Germans, Dutch, French, etc.
Javea has one of the most beautiful coastlines ever to be imagined, a variety of small pebblestone beaches (one of them also clothing-optional) and a mid sized sand beach and the 800 m-high Montgó Mountain, which separates Javea from its rival city of Denia. If you want some hardcore partying, you can also board a ferry for Ibiza there, as Denia is one of the few ports with regular daily services to the party island.
However, I don’t think you you’ll need to do that, as Javea’s restaurants and nightlife are among the most select during the summer months. The chiringuitos are one of Javea’s trademarks. Chiringuitos are small wooden establishments surrounded by ample terraces that usually serve beer, soft drinks and olives. However, in Javea, chiringuitos are where the party is at: cocktails, theme parties, concerts, etc. Think of them as trendy lounges 30ft from the sea. Javea also has a couple of clubs where some of the hottest DJ’s in the World perform.