Katie's uncle, Graeme, is lucky enough to own a property south of Valencia, closer to Alicante, in a town called Torrevieja. We went to visit him there earlier in the year and made road trip out of it (map here), heading south from Valencia along the coast, making some scenic stops on the way there and back.
Our first stop was at Xativa castle, but going to gloss over it here as we'll talk in more detail in a later post. But let's just say it was a delightful place to visit.
We then stopped at Pozas Pou Clar where there are some lovely ponds, lakes and picnic areas, making it a perfect place to stop and eat our packed lunches. The bright blue waters and surrounding greenery made this a worthwhile stop and one we enjoyed a lot, despite the long staircase to get down to see it.
After our sarnies we jumped back in the car and headed through Parc Natural de la Serra de Mariola. It was a pretty enough drive on a decent enough road, but we didn't come across any outstanding views.
Our next stop was Bocairent, which is a pretty little town that gave us coffee and a view of some awesome caves. Our timing was a little off and the caves were closed so we only got to see them from a distance. We'll definitely be back for further exploration later though.
|You can see all of the little cave openings hiding in the wall there
The next day, with uncle Graeme on board, we were back on the road. We drove even further south to a lighthouse called Faro Cabo de Palos, which is on the south-east tip of Spain. It's a cool sight and you can get up close and personal to take in the surrounding seaside view.
We then drove all the way up this tiny narrow stretch of land close to the lighthouse, with sea on one side and a lagoon on the other. It was very pretty with some good views, albeit considerably more built up than we expected, with huge hotels and apartment blocks on nearly all of the available land.
We concluded that it must have expanded during the housing boom 10+ years ago and has seemingly now suffered the fate of many Spanish towns, with mostly empty tower blocks and hotels. Still, it was a nice place to stop and have a beer and an ice cream.
Before heading back to Torrevieja, we made one last stop in a town called Cartagena. This town is flooded with Roman ruins and we didn't spent enough time there to really do it justice. There was a lot to see and it reminded us of Tarragona in many ways, but much further south of course. It's definitely worth a visit if you're nearby.
The next day we said farewell to Graeme and drove back to Valencia via a couple of places. One was an interesting salt lake called Les Salinetes De Novelda. This was just off the motorway and and appeared to have some more Roman ruins that were being excavated.
Our final stop on this trip was at Villena. This small town had a stunning panoramic view of the surrounding hills and picturesque castle. Again, worth a stop if you're driving past.
This was a whirlwind visit to the south of the Valencian county, and we'll be going back for sure. Partly because we didn't take any 360 footage, but also because we enjoyed it so much.
|A weird house in Bocairent
|Ruins in Cartagena
|Enjoying a cheeky tapa and tiny beer
|Les Salinetes De Novelda