We were so glad to have a long weekend break in December, a combination of two holidays in Spain. Wednesday was Constitution Day and Friday was The Day of Immaculate Conception here in Spain, which they combine to be a puente or a long break. With school out, we followed our family motto of “no school, we go!” so we set out to find a sunny, warm location. We have several upcoming hotel partnerships booked for Christmas break, but hadn’t had the chance to find a puente break collaboration due to a busy work schedule. We found that Valencia, in the southeast of Spain, was an area with good weather and worth an exploration.
Our Spanish Mediterranean Villa
I had written articles for my freelance writing business on Valencia but didn’t have a ton of interest in exploring the area compared to others in Spain. It seemed beautiful but didn’t have any famous sites or notable things to visit in comparison. Yet, since it was only a four-hour drive from Madrid, we began looking for a home rental in the area. We found the BEST Airbnb, a two-bedroom Spanish Mediterranean villa, that was quaint, welcoming and absolutely precious.
This Airbnb would be so great to visit in the summer, with a large pool and outdoor shower and a front porch out of someone’s Spanish dreams. Even in late fall, a visit here was spectacular, with the boys enjoying playing soccer on the villa’s lawn in the warm seventy-degree temperatures. If you are headed to the Spanish Mediterranean, do not miss this villa! We especially loved the orange trees in the yard, with the boys picking a few and enjoying the most delicious oranges they’ve ever tasted.
This quaint little town in the community of Valencia is directly next to the bigger city of Denia, which is actually in a different Spanish province, Alicante. Oliva is not noteworthy in of itself but makes for a cute little town to visit when you’re in route to Denia or Alicante. Decorated for Christmas, this little town had a center walking path all lit up and welcoming. With a churreria and other local restaurant gems, it was such a great small town to see. One interesting fact is that many locals speak Valencian, a combination of Spanish and Catalan, further confusing our journey learning Spanish 😉 One of the best features of Oliva is the number of Valencian orange trees that you will see everywhere.
Located about twenty minutes from Oliva is Denia, Spain, located in the province of Alicante. We spent time on the bright streets of the city, taking in the absolutely beautiful sites. Denia has its own hilltop castle, cobblestone alleys full of shoppes and restaurants and beautiful Mediterranean colors lining casas on every corner. The rolling hills of the city are lined with whitewashed homes, offering the perfect combination of Spanish and Mediterranean style. Although street parking in Spanish cities can be frustrating, we appreciated the underground parking that lined the majority of the main walk path, making it easy to secure.
Next to the city lies the coast with marinas and beaches walking distance. We enjoyed a simple afternoon on the Les Marines platja (Valencian for beach!), kicking the soccer ball and watching the waters of the Mediterranean sparkle with mountains in the background. While in Denia, we also visited the famous Bodega Casa Benjamin restaurant, to try their signature drink: Spanish vermouth. With fresh-squeezed Valencian oranges and olives, it was one of my very drinks ever!
We’re heading back “home” to Madrid, getting ready to celebrate our first-ever Spanish Christmas until our Christmas break journeys begin!