Holiday villa to rent in Oliva, Costa del Azahar, Spain |
Oliva was originally dedicated to growing Muscatel grapes. When strolling through its streets, you will often pass the Riu-Raus - arched constructions where the locally picked grapes are laid out to dry. The dried fruit is used, amongst other things, to make the sweet local drink Moscatel.
Prehistoric man, the Iberians and especially the Moors (Benimeit, Benimarco and Alcasar are rural sections of Oliva) all left remnants of a past life along this coastal area. Oliva became a walled village that was located slightly away from the coast for fear of Berber pirate attacks. The villagers built a beautiful late-Gothic church in honour of the patron saint, St Catalina. Today agriculture and fishing have largely given way to the tourism industry.
Explore the town's back streets and learn about its rich Roman and Moorish past through the museums, churches and monuments which proliferate in the old Christian and Arab quarters. In Calle Santisimo in the town centre you can see the remains of a Roman kiln from the first century AD. It was once part of a pottery which produced ceramics and building material. The archaeological museum, a 16th century former manorial home of historic and architectural interest in itself, houses exhibits from prehistory to the 16th century charting the region's domination by the Iberians, Romans and Moors. At the junction of Calle La Abadia and Calle Las Torres you'll find the 16th century tower which formed part of the old defence wall which once surrounded the town. And dominating the town from the summit of the Santa Ana mountain is the old castle (an impressive sight when lit up at night).
There is a large choice of bars and restaurants in the area. You will enjoy discovering these for yourselves.
Below we have listed a few we know, just to get you started.
The closest is Tossal Gros, only 200m from the villa and serving a la carte plus a lunchtime menu at 12€
At Oliva Beach, we like Restaurante El Deportes where the food is excellent and reasonable, in a pleasant setting on the edge of the dunes at Aigua Blanca Beach.
For fine dining spanish style, there is little to beat Le Mistral. Tel 962855349 for reservations.
Or drive into the mountains behind Pego to the village of Alcalali (25/30 km) where the mountain views from the terasse of Restaurante Solana are breathtaking. Best to reserve, particularly on a Sunday and ask for a table on the terasse. (Tel 966482140).
For late night dining and entertainment (flamenco ) Viva Espagne, on the main road just after the Motorway exit, is extremely popular.
For an early evening drink and/or dinner we enjoy the Kikko restaurant at Kikko Port.
Finally its worth a trip to Calpe (30km) where the multitude of good fish and seafood restaurants on the side of the port offer excellent value.
There is a large fruit and vegetable market in Oliva town centre every Friday morning.
There are numerous supermarkets in Oliva but best value for the weekly shop can be found at the large Carrefour supermarket at the commercial centre on the edge of Gandia (13km)
You can find good takeaway paella on the road between Oliva and Oliva Beach.
Sports and Leisure Facilities
18-hole golf course designed by Severiano Ballesteros at Oliva Nova
Sailing and wind surfing
Riding (stables nr Oliva Nova)
Bicycle hire at El Valenciano in Oliva town centre
Terra Mitica - large theme park near Benidorm (70 km) with its rides and attractions for all the family.
Aqualandia Water Park nr Benidorm.
Vergel Safari Park, nr Ondara (20 km) featuring lions, tigers, leopards, Iberian wolves, among others. Seal and dolphin shows
Calaveras Caves, nr Benidoleig (30 km), see its stalactites and stalagmites
Denia (20 km), bustling seaside resort. Buy fresh fish as its landed, directly at the port. Daily ferries from the port in Denia to Ibiza and Mallorca.
Guadalest, fortress town set high in the hills above Benidorm. Regarded as one of the prettiest villages in the region and set in a mountainous landscape acknowledged for its natural beauty. Visit the El Arca animal santuary on the edge of the town.
Terranova Beach - natural dunes
Pau Pi Beach - has a good selection of shops, restaurants and the yacht club.
Aigua Blanca Beach - natural dunes, good selection of bar and restaruants along the sea front.
Rabdells Beach - beach bars and campsite offer a lively atmosphere by night.
Aigua Morta Beach - on the edge of the golf course at Oliva Nova.
Les Devesses Beach - borders Denia. Good for sailing and windsurfing.
for more information and photos visit www.oliva.to