Gandia is one of the main tourist destinations of sun and beach in the Valencian Community, one of those towns that you have to see on the Costa Blanca. However, this Valencian municipality has much more to offer visitors.
Framed in the region of La Safor, of which it is the capital, its attractions are numerous. In this article we tell you about Gandía, what to see in the town and how to enjoy it.
You can book a bungalow or a pitch in our campsite in Benidorm, and from here prepare your trip with the ideas we have in the Blog for a vacation in the Mediterranean.
Gandía North Beach
In Gandía there are many places to visit, and Playa Norte is much more than an endless beach with hotels, aparthotels and tourist apartments on the first, second and third line of the coast. In fact, the origins of the municipality are located in the historic center, about four kilometers from the coastline.
Today, the urban nucleus reaches the coast and includes four well-known beaches. The best known is Playa Norte or Platja Nord, in Valencian. It is the most touristic sandy area of the municipality, it extends for about three kilometers and its width is about 100 meters.
It is considered one of the best urban beaches in the Mediterranean and has all the services for bathing, as well as a pleasant promenade with differentiated areas for cyclists, walkers, vehicles and for resting.
Another of those destinations that answers the question of what to see in Gandia is Playa de L’Auir. In fact, it is the continuation of Playa Norte. Its extension is smaller, only two kilometers, but its attraction is its wild character and the dune complex that surrounds it.
Its appearance is reminiscent of the beaches on the Valencian coastline before the tourist boom that began in the last decades of the twentieth century. From this beach you can contemplate the silhouette of the Mondúver mountain range. It is precisely this topographic landmark that determines the pleasant microclimate in Gandía and La Safor.
Along with Norte and L’Auir, the other two beaches of the town are Venecia and Rafalcaid, separated by the mouth of the river Serpis. These are smaller sandy areas, with a very local atmosphere and a purely residential character.
Did you know that Gandía is a very important place for one of the most important families in the history of Spain? The Borgia, whose initial name was Borja, have their origin in Aragon, but in the year 1485 they became dukes of Gandia. Pope Alexander VI, Borgia, as a gift for his sons, bought this noble title.
The maximum expression of noble grandeur in Gandía is shown in the Ducal Palace, where some of the most illustrious members of the Borgia family resided. In this building of civil Valencian Gothic style, the highlights are the Hall of Eagles, the Hall of Crowns and the Golden Gallery. In the town, in front of the Collegiate Church, you can see statues of many historical Borgia.
In turn, another of the tourist attractions of this town is the Borja Route, a cultural itinerary that runs through the historical legacy of this family and that begins in Gandía to visit other nearby places such as Xàtiva and Valencia.
Museum culture in Gandía
There are many places in Gandia that you can visit, and not all of them are linked to sun and beach tourism. In the cultural section, specifically the museum facet, the Archaeological Museum is an essential visit.
Formerly known as St. Marc’s Hospital, this hospice served for six centuries as an institution available to travelers and humble people. Today it is one of the most recommended museums in the Valencian Community.
The Men’s room and the Women’s room house this group of works that includes key artistic aspects of Spanish society in the 20th century.
Alquería del Duc and Aula Natura
The Alquería del Duc is an old medieval fortified farmhouse built in the 14th century that was used as a summer residence for the Dukes of Borja and that centuries later became a manor house for recreation and hunting. Currently, the interior of the building cannot be visited, but it can be seen from the outside.
It consists of a two-story building with a large central courtyard. Its original use was as a defensive construction. Today it is a tourism center of the Valencian Community that includes a hotel school and the Aula Natura, a set of nearby lagoons that acts as a space for research on the Mediterranean wetlands.
There, in Aula Natura, you can learn about the flora and fauna of the region. It is an ideal place to experience the balance between nature and human use.
Very close to the Alquería del Duc is located the Castle of Bayren, also known as the Castle of San Juan. In spite of being practically in ruins, it is known that this place was already populated in the Bronze Age, since the archaeological remains found belong to that period.
At the same time, it also offers samples of the passage of other civilizations in times of Iberians, Romans and the Middle Ages, both Islamic and Christian. The castle is a firm witness of all the cultures that have occupied this municipality. The current construction, the remains that still survive, were erected in the 14th century.
The denomination of San Juan was granted in the XVI century, by the hermitage to this ecclesiastical figure that displaced the old Arab name of Bayren. Its privileged location overlooking the city invites you to visit it.
Another of the things to see in Gandia is the natural site of Parpalló, where you will find the cave of the same name. Located about 10 kilometers from the town center and in the direction of Barx, this valley is one of the places with the highest rainfall in Spain.
The entire natural area is dotted with trails for cyclists and hikers. Of these, the Parpalló Font del Garrofer trail stands out , with the great attraction of the Parpalló cave, a cave that was already used during the Paleolithic era as a refuge and place of religious rites and social celebrations. Many of its painted stones are preserved in the Prehistoric Museum of Valencia.
Up to here a small summary of Gandía and what to see in the municipality. Its attractions are more varied and complete, but with this list you will have already seen that the town is much more than sun and beach.
The Costa Blanca is culture, tradition, gastronomy, architecture and popular traditions perfect for an ideal vacation.