Gandia Tourist Information
Gandia, with population over 77,000, is a city and municipality in the Valencian Community, Eastern Spain on the Mediterranean. Gandia is located on the Costa del Azahar, 65 km south of
Valencia and 96 km north of Alicante.
While it is generally thought that Gandia did not exist as a town much before 1240 when Jaime I took control of the region from the Moors, there is evidence of human activity going back to the Palaeolithic Era (artefacts and remains found in the caves of Meravalles and Parpalló). The area was also settled by Iberians (an early race of Spanish peoples) and later by the Romans, before the Arabs (Moors) invaded in the Eighth Century. The urban development of Gandia appears to have started in the 14th Century, as commerce and agriculture flourished in this growing town. The 1st Duke of Gandia (Marti L’Huma) was so declared in 1359 and he made great advancements for the town including some important architectural works which began at about this time including the Palau Ducal (Duke’s Palace), the Convent of San Jeronimo de Cotalba and the collegiate Church of Santa Maria (a fine example of Valencian Gothic architecture).The late 15th Century saw the arrival in Gandia of the Borja (Borjia) family, a name inextricably linked to the town from this time onwards, with the arrival of the Borjas, Gandia’s growth increased in pace, and did so right up until the 18th Century. Rodrigo Borja who came to Gandia in 1485 later became the notorious Pope Alexandro VI.
The port of Gandia was inaugurated in 1886 and 7 years later in 1893 the railway line to Alcoy was opened bringing more trade and commerce to the town. The port was once the major export point for Valencian oranges and while it is not considered to be quite so important these days, the port of Gandia still has a busy fishing fleet.
Today, Gandia is one of the largest coastal towns and a thriving centre of commerce and tourism in the region. There are two main zones, Gandia City, which has all the historical monuments, commercial activity, and shopping, and Gandia beach, where all the apartments and summer residences used during the summer season are to be found. The beach and town are actually some 2 km apart which succeeds in separating summer tourism from day-to-day living.
Gandia Town Hall
Ajuntament de Gandia
Carrer Major, 1
962 95 94 00
The bars and nightclubs are concentrated in the beach area. As is normal for Spain, nightlife does not take off until well after midnight.
Places of Interest and Sightseeing in Gandia
There are a number of interesting places that are worth visiting. The previously mentioned Palau Ducal (Duke’s Palace) is an impressive Gothic palace, it was acquired by the famous Borja family in the Fifteenth Century and was extended and improved over subsequent centuries, the
palace is mostly renowned for its shimmering ceramic tile mosaics. The Palau Ducal situated in Calle Duc Alfons el Vell 1. Also certainly worth a visit are the Church of Santa Maria and the Museo Archeológico (Archaeological Museum).
Only three kilometres away is the Port, Yacht Basin and Gandia Playa coastal resort offering a seven km promenade (over underground car parking ) faced with palm trees and golden sands. A major holiday playground for visitors from Madrid.
Towns and Villages Close to Gandia
Gandia is within a short car drive of towns such as
Ondara with its ancient Bull ring,
Denia yacht basin,
Javia and the
Montgo mountain. Benidorm 50 minutes by car and the beautiful city of Valencia just 45 minutes by rail. Last, but by no means least, the ancient city of
Xativa with its dramatic well preserved historic castle is just 1 hours pleasant car ride away.
Marxuquera is one of the rural areas of Gandia. This valley is part of the district of Gandía and it is located just a few kilometres from the city centre. Marxuquera is surrounded by mountains. There are a number of caves, trails and small canyons.
There are beach villages such as Diamus, Guardamar and Bellreguard within a short distance from Gandia.
The highest mountain of the whole region is called Monduver. Its most important cave is the “Cueva del Parpalló” where prehistoric artefacts were found. Today, the remains of the artefacts of the first inhabitants of this area can be seen at the archaeological museum of Gandia (MAGa). The museum is situated in the street “Calle del Hospital” close to the town hall.