Gandia, a jewel of the Valencian Coast, shines not only for its idyllic beaches but also for the picturesque villages that surround it. In this article, we invite you to discover the most beautiful villages near Gandia, each with its own unique charm and traditions that endure over time. While you enjoy your days of sun and sand on Gandia Beach, don’t miss the opportunity to explore these magical corners where history mixes with natural beauty.
From cobbled streets to panoramic views of the Mediterranean, these nearby gems promise to enrich your vacation experience with a touch of culture, history, and dreamlike landscapes. Get ready to immerse yourself in an adventure that goes beyond the coast, exploring the best of what the surroundings of Gandia have to offer.
Visiting Cullera, located just 24 minutes by car from Gandia Beach, is an accessible and enriching experience. This town, apart from being easily reachable by car, also offers the convenience of public transportation via Renfe commuter trains, followed by a shuttle service to its famous beach. But Cullera is much more than its coastline; it is a treasure of history and culture.
Castle of Cullera: This imposing castle of Muslim origin, erected in the 14th century, sits majestically at the highest point of the city. From here, visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of the vast Mediterranean Sea. To access it, there is a charming option: a tourist train that departs from the center of Cullera and takes you directly to the walls of the castle, offering a historical and picturesque experience.
Lighthouse of Cullera: Although it is not possible to enter inside, the Lighthouse of Cullera is a must-see stop. This lighthouse is still in operation, being one of the few active ones in the province of Valencia. Its presence is a silent testimony to the rich maritime history of the region and a perfect spot to contemplate the coastal beauty.
Pirate Dragut’s Cave: For fans of piracy stories, Pirate Dragut’s Cave is a fascinating destination. This place immortalizes the legend of Dragut, an infamous pirate who, in the 16th century, obtained considerable booty in Cullera. The cave not only narrates the history of this pirate, but also offers a window into the world of piracy in general. Visitors can explore exhibitions of antique coins, historical maps, and costume recreations, immersing themselves in an adventure-filled journey into the past full of discoveries.
Cullera, therefore, offers much more than beaches; it is a journey through history, architecture, and legends, all within a short distance from Gandia Beach.
Dénia, located just 40 minutes by car from Gandia, is a destination that can only be reached by road, but that is definitely worth visiting for its rich cultural heritage and natural beauties. This charming municipality offers several points of interest that capture its history and modern splendor.
Castle of Dénia: This castle is much more than a fortification; it is the cultural and historical core of Dénia since the Arabic era. It currently houses the Archaeological Museum, where findings are exhibited that narrate the rich history of the region. The castle also marks the beginning of the oldest streets in Dénia, which still retain a marked Muslim air, offering a window into the past of the city.
The Marina of Dénia: Considered one of the most modern ports in the province of Alicante, The Marina of Dénia is a vibrant and dynamic place. Here, visitors can admire an impressive fleet of boats, from luxury yachts to traditional fishing boats, reflecting the importance of the sea in the life of Dénia.
La Cova Tallada: Located on the border with the municipality of Jávea, this cave is a natural spectacle where the beach gives way to a landscape of rocks and cliffs. La Cova Tallada is mainly accessible by sea, which adds an adventure to your visit. Arriving at the cave by kayak or canoe offers a unique experience, allowing visitors to appreciate the majesty of the coast from a different perspective.
Oliva, located just 20 minutes by car from Gandia, is a destination that captivates with its combination of history, culture, and natural beauty. This city stretches to the sea, offering an intriguing blend of a rich historical past and vibrant modernity, along with beaches of unique natural beauty.
Historic Center of Oliva: Oliva’s old town is a living testimony to its flourishing medieval era. Strolling through its streets is like immersing yourself in a well-preserved past, where churches, stately homes, and museums stand proudly. The Moorish district, with its streets carved from stone, offers a profound cultural experience. From Plaza de Alonso, visitors can follow three cultural routes that will lead them to discover Oliva’s charming heart, revealing the richness of its history and heritage.
Museum Network of Oliva: Oliva’s museums, many located in historic buildings, provide a comprehensive overview of its history. Among them are the Roman Oven, the Archaeological Museum, the Tower of the Comital Palace, the Ethnological Museum, the branch of the MuVIM Casa de Mayans, and the permanent exhibition “Vicente Parra” at the Olimpia Theater. These spaces are windows into the rich heritage and traditions of Oliva.
Pego-Oliva Marsh Natural Park: This wetland, known for the purity of its waters, is located between the Bullent and Racons rivers, surrounded by the Mostalla, Segaria and Migdia mountain ranges. Originally a lagoon, today the park is a unique ecosystem where springs and rivers emerge at the foot of the mountains, creating landscapes of exceptional beauty and unique biodiversity.
Font Salada Spring: For a more intimate experience with nature, the Font Salada spring is a must-see. Known for its warm waters all year round and beneficial skin properties, this natural spring is ideal for both cooling off in summer and a relaxing dip in winter.
Simat de la Valldigna
Simat de la Valldigna, just 35 minutes by car from Gandia, offers visitors a unique cultural and natural experience, immersing them in an environment where history and tranquility are intertwined harmoniously.
Santa María de la Valldigna Monastery: This monastery is the historical heart of Simat de la Valldigna. A detailed visit to this site is not only a journey through time, but also an opportunity to appreciate one of the most important examples of monastic architecture in the Valencian Community. The monastery, dating from the 13th century, reflects the cultural and religious importance of the region over the centuries.
Old La Xara Mosque (Hermitage of Santa Anna): This historic site, which now functions as the Hermitage of Santa Anna, is notable for preserving arches and elements of Muslim architecture, unique in the Valencian Community. This building is a fascinating testimony to the rich Islamic heritage of the region, offering visitors a unique perspective on Simat de la Valldigna’s multicultural past.
Font Gran and Recreation Area: Near the monastery is Font Gran, a fountain whose waters are vital for agriculture in the Valldigna. In its surroundings there is a recreation area that has become a popular meeting point for Simat’s residents, especially during the warm summer nights. This space offers a perfect place to relax and enjoy the natural surroundings.
Pla de Corrals and Les Foies: These two areas are ideal for those seeking a summer holiday experience in contact with nature. Pla de Corrals, located on the Xàtiva road, and Les Foies, accessible via the same road leading to Barx, are serene havens amidst nature, perfect for escaping the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Les Arcades Aqueduct: Going up the road towards Barx, you will find the aqueduct Les Arcades, an impressive 18th century construction. This aqueduct was essential to transport water from the Font del Cirer to the monastery. Visiting it is not only a delight for lovers of architecture, but also a reminder of the historical engineering prowess of the region.
Pego, located just 29 minutes by car from Gandia, is a destination that stands out for its rich history and impressive natural landscape. Climbing up to Figuereta reveals the beauty of Pego, a picturesque landscape of orange and green tones, where the marsh and the elegant tower of the Church of the Assumption stand out in the panoramic view.
History of Pego: In its past, Pego was one of the main possessions of the Taifa of Dénia. After the rebellion of Al-Azraq, the town became royal domain and finally fell into the hands of the influential Borgia family, the Dukes of Gandia. This rich historical legacy is reflected in the architecture and culture of the city.
Remnants of the War of Succession: The War of Succession had a significant impact on Pego, destroying much of its walled perimeter and its 16 towers. Despite this devastation, remnants of these historic structures can still be found, serving as a silent reminder of the turbulent past times.
Church of the Assumption: Pego’s most iconic monument is the Church of the Assumption. This church is notable not only for its architecture, but also for housing a valuable triptych. In addition, its bell tower is particularly interesting for the small cannons that adorn its crown, a unique architectural detail that adds character to the building.
Bocairent, located approximately 59 minutes by car from Gandia, is a fascinating destination that stands as a Historic-Artistic Site. This picturesque town sits on a rocky formation at the foot of the Sierra Mariola mountain range, famous for its natural beauty and intoxicating aroma.
Characteristics of Bocairent
Renowned for its textile industry, especially blanket manufacturing, Bocairent is a witness to the perfect harmony between progress and heritage conservation. The town keeps its rich history and traditions alive through a series of festivities that attract great popular participation, reflecting the community spirit and vibrant culture of the town.
Attractions of Bocairent
- Covetes dels Moros: This set of artificial caves is a distinctive element of Bocairent. Carved into the mountain, the Covetes dels Moros offer an intriguing insight into the ancient past and ways of life of the region.
- Parish of the Assumption of Our Lady: This church is an iconic monument that stands out for its architecture and religious art. Its presence in the town underlines the importance of faith and spirituality in Bocairent’s history.
- Cava de Sant Blai: This old snow depot is a marvel of historical engineering. The Cava de Sant Blai shows how food was preserved before the invention of modern refrigeration, being a fascinating part of Bocairent’s industrial heritage.
- Bullring: Unique in its kind, Bocairent’s Bullring, partially carved into rock, is a symbol of the town’s bullfighting tradition and an impressive example of man’s adaptation to his natural environment.
Xàtiva, located just 47 minutes from Gandia by car, is a historical and artistic treasure, offering visitors a fascinating journey through time. This city, declared a historic-artistic site, is a mosaic of monuments, squares, and historic corners, each with its own unique history and beauty.
At the heart of Xàtiva is the Collegiate Basilica of Santa María de La Seo, a 16th century Renaissance jewel. This basilica is impressive not only for its architecture, but also for its rich collection of artworks and metalwork. Another significant architectural landmark is the Church of San Francisco, a 14th century building that reflects the religious and architectural legacy of the city. The Marquis of Montortal Palace, from the 15th century, and the Sant Feliu Hermitage, in Gothic style, are clear examples of the city’s rich ecclesiastical and religious history.
The Almudín Museum is another point of interest in Xàtiva, known for housing works by the famous painter José de Ribera and the famous painting of Philip V hung upside down, a reminder of the tumultuous history of the city. The Parish of San Pedro, with its 13th and 14th century roots, and the old hospital, dating from the 15th and 16th centuries, are testimonies to the historical development of the city in different areas. The 14th century Convent of Santo Domingo and Xàtiva Castle, located on Mount Vernissa, are emblems of the monastic life and military history of the region.
Xàtiva’s streets are dotted with palaces and stately homes, especially on Moncada Street, which stand out for their architecture and recount the history of the city’s noble families. The 18th century Alarcón Palace and the Convent of Santa Clara, founded in 1325, are clear examples of this. The Garden of the Kiss, famous for its fountain with 25 spouts, offers a respite of peace and beauty amid the city.
In addition to its architectural and artistic wealth, Xàtiva also prides itself on its natural surroundings, such as Cova Negra and Bixquert, which offer a refreshing contrast to the city’s rich urban architecture and demonstrate the diverse landscapes of the region. Overall, Xàtiva is a city that not only captures the essence of its historical legacy, but also invites visitors to immerse themselves in its impressive natural and cultural beauty.
In conclusion, exploring the villages near Gandia enriches any trip to this region. Each nearby town provides a unique experience, from the rich history of Xàtiva to the natural peace of Pego.
Places like Bocairent and Simat de la Valldigna stand out for their culture and architectural beauty. These destinations combine perfectly with the serenity of Gandia Beach, offering more than just a simple beach holiday.
In summary, visiting these villages during your Gandia vacation is not only an escape from routine, but an opportunity to immerse yourself in a world of memorable discoveries and experiences.