Gandia is the second largest city in the province of Valencia nestled on the Costa del Azahar. It has been a hotspot for Spanish tourists (mainly from Madrid) for years, but is becoming more popular with foreign visitors as its charms become better known.
Situated around two kilometres from the beach, the town of Gandia has successfully managed to separate its tourism-side from daily life. The city is amongst Spain’s main orange growing region and produces some of the most delicious oranges in Europe.
History & culture
Gandia was an important commercial and cultural centre during the 15th and 16th centuries and has been home to many important poets and writers including Joanot Martorell. However, it is possibly best known for the Borgia family, who were an infamous prominent noble family during the Renaissance.
In Gandia city amidst the modern shops, boulevards and parks you can find fantastic examples of Spain’s history, most notably the Ducal Palace and Gandia Cathedral.
A particularly interesting part of town is Passeig de les Germanies, a tree lined promenade with fountains and benches; the bridge at the eastern end of the Passeig crosses the river bed over to the area where the weekly Saturday morning market is held.
A Tale of Two Cities
Gandia is separated into Gandia City and Gandia Playa (Gandia Beach). Whilst the old town is the beating heart of the area, with its historical sites of interest, fantastic shopping, parks and boulevards, Gandia Playa is a tourist resort area.
Largely made up of apartment complexes for the summer boom, Gandia Playa really is its namesake offering 5.8 kilometres of beautiful blue flag beaches, it’s also home to the areas nightclubs and disco bars.
In Gandia and the surrounding area the locals have a devotion to rice and eat it in all its forms and varieties. A typical dish of the region is fideuà where noodles substitute rice and are cooked with fish and shellfish.
Gandia has many outstanding fish restaurants, but never fear for meat lovers there are some excellent restaurants serving steaks, chicken and pork dishes.
Gandia is served by the international airports of Valencia and Alicante and is also connected to the rest of Spain and Europe by rail.
With its diversity of old and new, from slow paced retreat to action packed holiday; it's not hard to see why the Spanish have kept Gandia a closely guarded secret for such a long time.