Enjoy our quick guide to Villalonga – a fine small town located within the La Safor district wherein Gandia is the “capital.”
Below, we feature an expat interview with Vanessa Crocker-Dean from Hello2Spain who covers the Villalonga area.
Specifically, we wanted to find out from Vanessa why people may consider moving to this area in Spain’s Costa Blanca and what they could get for their money.
You should know that it is essential to learn Spanish, as this is a Spanish working town.
Where is Villalonga?
Villalonga is situated approximately half way between Valencia and Alicante. The area is Costa del Azahar which is just north of Costa Blanca North.
It is a very picturesque location surrounded by orange groves and the Safor Mountains. When I say mountains I do not mean the Pyrenees! These mountains actually protect the area from frosts and the really cold weather. So the climate is around 2 degrees warmer than most other places but not too hot in the summer.
Beaches 27 minutes drive away (17.3 km) and a massive choice to select from.
Car: From Valencia follow the E15/ AP7 towards Alicante, take exit 60 sign posted Gandia, follow signs for the N332 signposted to Alicante exit CV686/CV60. Follow this road over several roundabouts cross over CV60 and head to road CV685 signposted Villalonga/Palma de Gandia/Ador/Villalonga.
Bus from Valencia to Gandia and at Gandia station change for the local bus to Villalonga.
Train from Valencia to Gandia and at the station change to bus to Villalonga.
Car: From Alicante Airport follow the A7 and take exit 813 onto the N340/CV615 towards Gandia then get onto the CV60 towards Gandia towards the end of this road you need to head for the CV685 signposted Villalonga/Palma de Gandia/Ador/Villalonga. Time approx. 1hour 10 minutes.
Bus from Alicante to Gandia and change at station to local bus to Villalonga.
Are there many facilities such as doctors and dentists, shops etc?
Villalonga is a self-sufficient town with bars, restaurants, supermarkets (Mercadona), banks, bakers, butchers, community swimming pool and sports centre, doctors, dentists, schools and chemists.
The history of Villalonga dates back to when Jaime I conquered the Valencian lands during his long reign (1213-1276).
What places of interest can we find in Villalonga?
Parish Church. Built in 1719 opened on November 6, 1757.
Ermita de San Antonio Abad and SantaBarbara
Chapel of the Virgen de la Fuente (Capella de la Verge de la Font, Patrona de Villalonga)
Villalonga Castle, also known as “the castell dels Moros” is a Moorish castle located in the mountains of Les Fontanelles 1.5 kilometers from the town, from where it dominates the plain.
What are your favourite things to do in the area?
Walking/Hiking. There are some beautiful walks along the river Serpis which is very popular with fishing too. This river follows from the Safor Mountains to the Sea.
Community Swimming Pool. During the hot summer months the community swimming pool is open to the public, a pass can normally be obtained from the local town hall. This allows you to use the pool all summer. When we talk about community swimming pools we are not talking about the swimming baths you find enclosed in most countries here they are a great place for a family day out with sun shade provided, chairs and plenty of space for a picnic and entertaining.
Beaches. Due to the golden sands that stretch all along this coastline, there are numerous beaches to choose from. Many have been awarded the prestigious Blue Flag award as a result of both clean water and facilities available.
The nearest beach to Villalonga is Platja D’Olivia which is back on the CV-680 road, through Potries, Benifa, La Font d’En Carros, then through the town of Oliva (set slightly inland) to Oliva’s many beaches. The drive is 27 minutes and is 17.3 kilometres.
Oliva’s beaches have a super choice of activities from wind or kite surfing, kayaking, canoeing, snorkelling, sailing or for the more relaxing lifestyle of sunbathing.
In the summer months there are sunbeds and shades to hire and pop up bars along the coastline various beaches include, Gandia, Daimus, Miramar, Bellreguard and Piles.
Some of these beaches have access for wheelchair users and most are populated by the Spanish. So if you are looking for a Spanish holiday or way of life this is a perfect location.
Golf Course. Oliva Nova Golf Course has 9 or 18 holes and you can choose which you wish to play, designed by world famous Spanish golfer Seve Ballesteros. The course is next to the beach situated on a 5 star complex, there is a driving range, professional coaches for lessons for all abilities.
Equestrian Centre. Oliva Nova has the world’s best riders that gather in the Equestrian Centre Oliva Nova. The MET 2014 will count on the representation of riders from Germany, France, Spain, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, USA, Portugal, Russia, Turkey, Malaysia, Chile, South Africa and Switzerland, amongst others. All together about 350 male and female riders from 44 countries and five continents as well as a total of more than 2,000 horses from the world’s best stables will participate in an intense schedule of international competitions in Show Jumping and Young Horses.
Can you give us some insider tips to the best bars or restaurants?
Casa Babel is a beautiful hotel and restaurant and they serve A La Carte which is beautiful, succulent and costs just a little more money than most places to eat. Quality and not quantity.
La Pelut is more of a tapas, pizza and day to day eating restaurant, fresh food and a typical Spanish atmosphere.
Ca Elsa (formerly Bar Copia). What a friendly and welcoming place, very busy with the locals at breakfast time and again in the evening for family meals. This is a good meeting place for new people moving to the area, full of lovely clients and friendly faces (families come here to eat and meet).
Are there smaller villages nearby that you might also recommend?
Old Town. This is where the original town was built, narrow streets full of character, charm and mixed nationalities. Good quality townhouses start from about 85,000 euros with gardens they can be around 120,000 euros.
La Corona. This is one of the mountainsides that overlook the town of Villalonga. It is in walking distance to the town but you may want to get a lift back up. This urbanisation has mixed nationalities and again has friendly and helpful people.
Campo/ Countryside. These are properties in the countryside normally surrounded by orange groves usually all on one level with views up to the mountains rather than down to the valley. Property is fairly cheap but there are very strict rules as to what you can and cannot do. IE most properties will have an above ground pool; very few have sunken pools that are legal. In some cases country houses with sunken pools may be legal. The easiest way to check this is on the Escitura. These are the deeds for the property. If it is on the Escitura it has been approved to be there. Other strict rules in the countryside are building regulations; again the Escitura will have the legal building on it. If in doubt get a lawyer to check it out!
Mountainside. As Villalonga is surrounded by mountains the property tend to be really cheap. Most have free standing pools which is normal as the land is protected and sunken pools are not normally allowed. It is very easy to put a freestanding pool in with decking so it is accessed from one level rather than having steps up and then down into the pool. The views from the mountains can be really quite beautiful and in some cases the Sea in the distance can be seen.
What local fiestas are celebrated in Villalonga?
San Antonio Abad and Santa Barbara. It is celebrated around the 17th January closest weekend to it. This is when the blessing of the animals happens. The locals take their pets into the streets and they are then blessed.
Would the area not suit certain types of people, i.e. are there any possible downsides?
No downsides, my Uncle lives there. Town has everything. 15 minutes to the beaches of Grau de Gandia and Daimus. 24 hour medical centre, bars, restaurants, shops, schools, sports centre with municipal swimming pool, great ex pat social life and plenty of friendly locals.
What proportion of the local population are Spanish?
What are the nearest international schools and how good are they?
Gandia International School, 10km away
Is crime an issue for expats?
Some villas in the countryside. ALARMS NEEDED
Coming onto buying property, what is the market like now in terms of prices going up, or down or staying the same?
As some of the properties do not have sea views it is cheaper than most. Very popular with French and English. Prices are the same and have been for the last 6 years
Is this a good time to buy and are there any repossessions or very cheap properties still available to buy?
Yes the bank repossessions we have there sell very quickly. We sold a block of 1 and 2 bedroom apartments for 23,000 euros.
What urbanisations are there and can you describe each one and how they might differ from each other?
La Corona is a lovely urbanisation, with beautiful villas and a few cheap modern town houses 240m². Monte Corona is a much bigger urbanisation with a very mixed nationalities, such as French, German, Spanish, English. Also has a lovely restaurant called Monte Corona. Great food.
How much are the typical property prices in Villalonga for apartments, villas etc?
6 bedroom villa sold for 250,000 euros. 3 bedroom town house no work, 85,000 euros; and cheap bank repossessed apartments from 23,000 euros.
Any tips and advice to people looking to buy in Villalonga or surrounding area?
They need to go into the old town and see how beautiful it is. Fishing is popular in the mountain lakes and rivers. The main town has supermarkets, coffee shops, a little tapas bar called Bar Copia which serves food and drink. Popular with Spanish and Ex pats. If buying in the countryside then get an alarm.
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