Gandia Spain

Towns of Spain - Gandia Costa Blanca

The most northerly town on the Costa Blanca, Gandia has a population of approximately 77,000 and is a city and municipality within the community of Valencia. Gandia which lies on the banks of the River Serpis is situated about 65 km south of Valencia and 96 km north of Alicante. Gandia has two distinct area - the town and the beach area.

While Gandia’s golden, sandy beaches attract a great number of Spanish holidaymakers during the hot summer months, the town is not generally recognised as an international resort, and Gandia itself is more of a working town than a tourist resort, however Gandia does have an interesting history and some interesting places to visit. Gandia was at one time a university city (15th Century) and during the 15th and 16th Centuries was an important commercial and cultural centre, it is still important for commerce today and is one of the largest of the regions coastal towns.

While it is generally thought that Gandia did not exist as a town much before 1240 when Jaime I took control of the region from the Moors, there is evidence of human activity going back to the Palaeolithic Era (artefacts and remains found in the caves of Meravalles and Parpalló). The area was also settled by Iberians (an early race of Spanish peoples) and later by the Romans, before the Arabs (Moors) invaded in the Eighth Century. The urban development of Gandia appears to have started in the 14th Century, as commerce and agriculture flourished in this growing town. The 1st Duke of Gandia (Marti L’Huma) was so declared in 1359 and he made great advancements for the town including some important architectural works which began at about this time including the Palau Ducal (Duke’s Palace), the Convent of San Jeronimo de Cotalba and the collegiate Church of Santa Maria (a fine example of Valencian Gothic architecture).

The late 15th Century saw the arrival in Gandia of the Borja (Borjia) family, a name inextricably linked to the town from this time onwards, with the arrival of the Borjas, Gandia’s growth increased in pace, and did so right up until the 18th Century. Rodrigo Borja who came to Gandia in 1485 later became the notorious Pope Alexandro VI.

One of Gandia’s most famous sons is the poet Ausiàs March who lived from 1397 to 1459 and was probably the finest poet in Valencian literature.

The port of Gandia was inaugurated in 1886 and 7 years later in 1893 the railway line to Alcoy was opened bringing more trade and commerce to the town. The port was once the major export point for Valencian oranges and while it is not considered to be quite so important these days, the port of Gandia still has a busy fishing fleet.

Important agricultural products that have been important for the town of Gandia include the ubiquitous orange, together with tomatoes, onions and peppers

Gandia today is a busy modern city, and whilst it is not as attractive as some nearby towns and resorts, it still has a number of interesting places that are worth visiting. The previously mentioned Palau Ducal (Duke’s Palace) is an impressive Gothic palace, it was acquired by the famous Borja family in the Fifteenth Century and was extended and improved over subsequent centuries, the palace is mostly renowned for its shimmering ceramic tile mosaics. The Palau Ducal situated in Calle Duc Alfons el Vell 1. Also certainly worth a visit are the Church of Santa Maria and the Museo Archeológico (Archaeological Museum).

The beach area of Gandia, which is separate from the main town is extemely popular with Spanish tourists and the restaurants, bars and shops there are mostly Spanish, unlike many other Costa Blanca resorts, which have a more international flavour. The beaches are golden and sandy and are without doubt some of the best beaches along this coastline. Playa Nord stretches for some 3.5 kilometres and is lined with shops, bars and restaurants. There are lots of other beaches, which in all extend for about 20 kilometres.

Gandia can easily be accessed via the N332 coastal road and also from the A-7 motorway.

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Nearby Places: Benidorm - Denia - Moraira - Calpe - Oliva - Pego - Altea - Albir - Javea - Guadalest - Villajoyosa - Teulada - Benissa - Cumbre del Sol - Ondara - Benitachell

Attractions: Gallinera Valley - Penon de Ifach - Algar Waterfalls - Caves of Canelobre - Fuentes de Algar

Golf Courses: Ifach Golf Club - Real Faula Golf - Spain Golf Courses

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