Enjoy the Costa Blanca with a villa vacation
The Costa Blanca is one of Europe's great vacation destinations, simultaneously unspolit and sophisticated, rich in the facilities demanded by all kinds of holidaymakers, yet easy to immerse yourself in the real Spain.
It was those factors that brought me to the Costa Blanca more than ten years ago searching for a holiday bolt-hole. All these years later, the charms of the area remain untainted. The Costa Blanca is a fantastic destination if I want to relax and enjoy good food, or to shed the stress of business life by throwing myself into watersports and night life.
Villa or hotel?
But where should you stay to get the most from your vacation? The great thing about the Costa Blanca is that the nicest area is compact, concentrated around Javea, Moraira, Altea and Denia in the greener north.
So should you choose a hotel or a villa holiday? Who would not jump at the chance to enjoy a five-star boutique hotel by the sea with views, along with all the service and excellent food to boot?
The problem is most four- and five-star hotels are very large, a touch impersonal and all that so-so food with buffet breakfasts and lunches, though will still cost you about £940 per week off-peak, rising to £1270 per week peak for just one room (prices taken from Expedia offers for April, May and July travel times in different four- and five-star hotels in Benidorm and Altea 2006).
By the time you add meals, use the mini-bar and make use of the spa services, your costs may well be much more than double the room rate. With a villa, you can even invite some friends without doubling the cost all over again. And you don't have to share a swimming pool.
With a villa holiday, you always win!
If you prefer your privacy of your own space and your own private pool, then renting a private luxury Costa Blanca villa makes a lot of sense. Self-catering need not be an ugly word, as it gives you the chance to enjoy copious amounts of space at a very low cost in comparison to a hotel room.
When shared with another couple or a party of six, a week in a luxury Costa Brava villa can cost no more than what you pay in a hotel for the day. And with no added tax.
With such huge savings you can afford eat out in the best restaurants every day, play golf, or enjoy theme parks, quad biking or watersports.
Discover the real Costa Blanca
When you're not tied to a hotel, you're free to experience a huge range of restaurants and cafés, styles of food and prices. You can hire a car for a whole week for the price of a taxi transfer between airport and hotel. That gives you the freedom to explore the Costa Blanca and to pick up that special iced cake and enjoy it before it defrosts.
Villas are usually located along the coast away from the high rise blocks of hotels, so you are already in areas that are less touristy and have less tourist traffic. Should you feel the call to hit the beach then you have a great choice and would find them much less occupied than those surrounding the hotel blocks.
So if you want to unwind, spend time with friends or family, or really get to know the area, renting a Costa Blanca villa is the way to do it - not to mention the real value for money that such a holiday offers. You're sure to have a memorable vacation.
For more Costa Blanca tips and information, please see www.villaspain.co.uk
About the Author: Bruce Gibson is the owner of VillaSpain.co.uk. Having been in the wine trade for 20 years I sold up successfully in the late 80's and retired early to tend a small property portfolio, which included a villa in Benitachell, Moraira. Appalled at the general service of some rental agencies and dismayed when there was any service, I started what began as a hobby of renting. As a villa owner and renter myself, I know only too well what is involved at both ends of the business and it is most rewarding for me in perfecting our service to both villa owners and vacationers.