Oliva, with its charming streets and beautiful coastline, is a destination that captures the hearts of those who visit. Yet, the adventure doesn’t stop at the town’s boundaries. The surrounding region offers a plethora of day trip opportunities that promise to enrich the experience of any traveler. In this 1000-word exploration, we journey through the best day trips from Oliva, each offering a unique glimpse into the culture, history, and natural beauty of the Spanish Levante.
Gandia: The Ducal Palace and Sandy Beaches
Just a short drive north of Oliva is the historical town of Gandia, home to the stunning Ducal Palace of the Borgias, a family that left an indelible mark on the history of Renaissance Europe. A tour of the palace transports visitors back to a time of political intrigue and opulence. After stepping back in time, one can unwind on the long, sandy beaches of Gandia, such as Playa Nord, known for its clear waters and excellent facilities.
Denia: The Castle and Culinary Delights
A bit further along the coast is Denia, a town where a grand castle watches over the marina and the Mediterranean. The Denia Castle, dating back to the 11th century, provides panoramic views of the sea and the surrounding town. Below the castle, the streets of Denia are lined with restaurants serving some of the freshest seafood and traditional Valencian dishes, including the famed local rendition of paella.
The Caves of Benidoleig: An Underground Adventure
A journey inland from Oliva can lead to the Caves of Benidoleig, also known as Cueva de las Calaveras. These prehistoric caves offer a cool respite from the Spanish sun and a chance to explore ancient geological formations. Stalactites and stalagmites frame the caverns, and guided tours reveal the history and legends of this subterranean world.
Valencia: A City of Arts and Sciences
No day trip list from Oliva would be complete without mentioning Valencia, a city that seamlessly blends the old with the new. One can spend hours marveling at the futuristic buildings of the City of Arts and Sciences, an architectural marvel and cultural complex that includes a science museum, opera house, and the largest aquarium in Europe. The historical center, with its bustling markets and Gothic cathedral, is equally enthralling.
Albufera Natural Park: A Paradise for Birdwatchers
South of Valencia lies the Albufera Natural Park, a wetland reserve that is a haven for migratory birds and a delight for nature lovers. Boat trips on the Albufera lagoon offer a tranquil escape from the bustle of city life, and the surrounding rice fields hint at the origins of the region’s culinary masterpiece—paella.
Guadalest: A Hilltop Hamlet with a View
An inland trek from Oliva can lead to the picturesque village of Guadalest. Perched on a mountaintop and accessed through a tunnel carved out of rock, Guadalest offers breathtaking views of the valley below. The village is also known for its historical museum and miniature houses, which provide a quirky and delightful attraction.
Javea: Beaches and the Cabo de la Nao
The town of Javea, with its beautiful beaches and coves, is perfect for those looking to enjoy the Mediterranean Sea. A trip to the Cabo de la Nao, the easternmost point of Spain, reveals stunning cliffs and a lighthouse that stands guard over the waters.
Calpe: The Ifach Rock and Flamingo-Filled Salinas
Calpe is recognized by the towering Penon de Ifach, a massive limestone outcrop that juts out into the sea. A hike to the top is rewarded with sweeping views of the coastline. In Calpe, one can also stroll around the salt flats, Las Salinas, where flamingos can often be spotted wading in the waters.
Montgo Natural Park: Hiking and Wildlife
For those who seek a connection with nature, the Montgo Natural Park offers a diverse landscape of trails that wind through Mediterranean flora and fauna. The park is a protected area, home to rare species of plants and a variety of wildlife, including birds of prey that soar high above the mountain.
The Bodegas of Utiel-Requena: Wine Tasting in Inland Valencian Region
A drive into the heartland of the Valencian region brings you to Utiel-Requena, an area with a deep winemaking tradition. Visiting the local bodegas, one can learn about the wine production process and sample some of the finest reds and whites the region has to offer.
Conclusion: A World Beyond Oliva
While Oliva itself is a mosaic of cultural and scenic beauty, the surrounding area offers even more for the curious traveler. Each day trip from Oliva presents a new chapter in the story of the Costa Blanca and the broader Valencian region. From the historic palaces and fortresses that whisper tales of the past to the lush natural parks and stunning marine landscapes, there is a trove of treasures waiting just a short journey away. Whether it’s for the history buff, the nature enthusiast, or the epicurean, the environs of Oliva serve up slices of Spanish life in their most authentic and picturesque forms.