The once tiny village of Daya Vieja is located just 8km from the coastal town of Guardamar, being very low lying just 4m above sea level, both the Daya’s “Vieja” and “Nueva” names come from Arabic where the word daya means “closed low lying depression.”
Irrigated fields farming remains as the town’s main economic activity with the water coming from Alfeitami. Popular crops include corn, hemp, artichokes and potatoes. There are also herds of pigs and sheep being found in the area.
What is the climate like in Daya Vieja?
Daya Vieja has a dry and sunny climate and has very little rainfall and almost 3,000 hours of sun a year. Nowadays Daya Vieja is a busy little Spanish village with a population in 2006 of 354 inhabitants (official census) with the village life being centred around the village park, where every evening and weekend lunchtimes, families meet with their children who play in the playground and the adults enjoy a drink at the quiosco bar.
The locals are known as “Dayenses” and was separated from Daya Nueva in 1791 and was fully rebuilt from 1855 to 1857 after being destroyed in the massive earthquake in 1829. The village was inaugurated on the 12th October 1857 by the Bishop of Orihuela.
Festivals and Fiestas
The local fiestas from the 1st to the 8th September which is the saints day of the Virgen de Montserrate and, the whole village revolves, day and night, around the festivities.
The “Romeria” on the 15th May is another popular festival with dancing starting late in the evening at the recreational area with BBQs where you can cook your own supper.
Food and Eating in Daya Vieja
The local gastronomy in the village is “Cocido” a type of stew, rice with rabbit, rice with vegetables or meat and the local desserts are a type of swiss roll and “pan de calatrava” a type of flan.
La Virgen de Monserrate
The patron saint of the village is La Virgen de Monserrate. The story says that in the XV century, the local neighbours could hear a ringing that appeared to come from underground. They searched and found buried, an image that had been hidden for centuries. The name of the image or who she was, was a mystery so they decided to vote for a name for her. The name of Santa Maria de Montserrate came out three times.
The place where she was found on the outskirts of the village is now a lovely “Ermita” Hermitage. The image of the virgin is made from olive wood and measures 45 cm and is seated on a chair and when found had a child in her hand who was holding a bird in its fingers. The child and the bird were lost (if they ever existed). Attempts over the years have been made to identify the image but no one’s been able to do it perfectly.
Moving to Daya Vieja
If you are thinking of moving to Daya Vieja, then you must read our expat interview with Belinda Coghill of Roberto Properties below:
Belinda, what would you say would be the advantages to living in Daya Vieja compared to other Costa Blanca towns?
The micro climate…there are more hours of sunshine in Daya Vieja abnd surrounding villages than anywhere else on the Costa Blanca.
Would the area not suit certain types of people, i.e. are there any possible downsides?
Daya Vieja will not suit anyone looking for a ‘Benidorm’ type experience although it offers an array of quality bars & restaurants (including English cuisine), drunken behaviour, walking the streets without shirts are definate no, no’s here (for example).
What proportion of the local population are Spanish?
Daya Vieja was such a tiny village that when my son was born here 12 years ago the census was less than 250, a few years later the new urbanisations were built & the number more than doubled. Today, more than half of property owners are non Spanish, although most (unlike the Spanish) own holiday homes.
What are your favourite things to do in the area?
Daya Vieja is an area that for decades has always attracted people from outside to eat in the local restaurants, eating here is one of my favourite things. Although there are miles of country walks to enjoy, many, many fiestas to be involved with . The ex-pat community have their own petanca team which runs weekly social events for its members.
Can you give us some insider tips to the best bars or restaurants?
Los Quincenos is by far the most well established and renowned restaurant in the village. It specialises in rice dishes and patrons travel from as far afield as Valencia to have lunch there. Booking is essential.
Casa Campisano is an English restaurant specialising in meat dishes (steaks etc.). Again, patrons of all nationalities travel to eat there.
La Caña is another local Spanish restaurant. The cuisine is typically Spanish although the clientele are of all nationalities. Famous locally for their pelotas (meat balls) and fish dishes.
All the restaurants here use mainly fresh local produce.
Are there many facilities such as doctors and dentists, shops etc?
Surprisingly yes, for such a small village. There is a GP’s surgery, nurse, chemist, bread shop & local shop selling various food & household items. Daya vieja has its own Town Hall, Church, Social Centre, Youth Club, 1 policeman, hairdressers, estate agent (us), floodlit football pitch, municipal swimming pool, municipal BBQ area, children’s park, village square. On Friday there is a small street market.
Are there smaller villages nearby that you might also recommend?
Yes, San Fulgencio which we share a postcode with and is about same size.
Daya Nueva (walking distance) which is much larger and has its own supermarket, theatre, butcher’s, fish mounger’s, school and many more bars and restaurants.
Almoradi, Rojales, Formentera del Segura and Dolores are all larger towns I’d recommend to visit. For the expats, the facilities in Benijofar and Ciudad Quesada are exceptional.
What are the nearest international schools and how good are they?
The nearest international schools are the Norwegian School in Ciudad Quesada & Elche (The Lady of Elche School, or Laude Newton College for example 8 km away in Elche) and have excellent reputations.
Is crime an issue for expats?
Daya Vieja does not seem to have crime, barely ever at all.
Coming onto buying property, what is the market like now in terms of prices going up, or down or staying the same?
Prices have increased over the past few years and leveled out at what seems to be a realistic level over the past year or so.
Is this a good time to buy and are there any repossessions or very cheap properties still available to buy?
Now is a good time to buy and the market is bouyant. There are very few repossessions coming onto the market in Daya Vieja while several resale bargains are still available but selling fast.
What urbanisations are there and can you describe each one and how they might differ from each other?
There are only really 3 urbanised areas. Residencial Carolina (apartments), Michelle (bungalows) and Emilie (3 bedroom quad houses) were all built at the same time by the same promoter and share the same communal pool. A good mixture of holiday and permanent homes, within easy reach of the village.
Dayasol I, II and III, these were built at the same time as the above by TM, higher spec. finish qualities, fixtures, fittings and more spacious. Phase III is securely gated and built around communal gardens and pool. Again a combination of holiday and permanent homes.
Residencial Arenales is a longer established urb with communal pool and comprises just 21 very large town houses with large under-build. Designed and used mainly for permanent living with expat and Spanish families.
How much are the typical property prices in Daya Vieja for apartments, villas etc?
Two-bed apartments start at around 65k, 2-bed quad bungalow around 80k, 3-bed quad house around 120k. The older properties requiring reform in the village centre start at around 50k for a 3-bedroom terraced house. Detached villas are found on large plots 1,500 + and found on the outskirts of the village. They start at around 280k.
Any tips and advice to people looking to buy in Daya Vieja or surrounding area?
Yes, come to Roberto Properties. the only registered estate agency in Daya Nueva/Daya Vieja.
Belinda, thank you so much for taking the time to help our readers with your experiences in Spain. If you want to contact her, you can find her details below.
Here is an interesting tourist video on Daya Vieja.
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