This October, while our kids were off from school, we traveled to Spain, Calpe- Costa Blanca. We booked our holiday almost a year in advance through onthebeach.com. It was our first time using the holiday booking website. We were a bit nervous, but everything went perfectly with no unwanted surprises.
We had such a fantastic time and managed to explore so many beautiful places in just 7 days with 3 kids under 8 that I decided to share how we did it all on a budget.
As I mentioned already, we booked our holiday ( hotel + plane tickets) using Onthebeach.com in January and traveled in October – extra season. I believe that is the best time to travel, especially with small children. The weather is great, the temperatures were around 25 Celsius, the beaches and all the tourist attractions were not too crowded, just perfect and hotels are so much cheaper.
Playa de la Fossa o Levante – Fossa Beach
I researched everything there is to visit around Calpe that was not too far to travel to by car, the kids will get bored if it’s more than 2 hours one way. Made a list on TripAdvisor App and on Pinterest on my phone and my husband’s phone with the places we wanted to visit in every city. We rented a car and paid for insurance a few months before we left. If you are traveling from England make sure you get your EHIC cards – European Health Insurance Card, it’s free from NHS – in Calpe, just for a doctor to see you ,you have to pay £120, don’t ask me how I know that.
In our beautiful hotel gardens
We paid for our holiday in installments throughout the year which was very convenient. We stayed in a ground floor apartment at Sunsea Village, it had three bedrooms (we only used two), bathroom and an open plan kitchen and living room and gorgeous gardens just outside our living room. We did all the cooking, we ate out only 3 times in Calpe, Valencia, and Alicante. For two adults and three kids be prepared to pay over £50 for a meal out…not cheap. In Calpe, there are plenty of Supermarkets to shop from, even Aldi and Lidl. Just a note, usually in apartments like these there is no oven just a 4 spot electric hob, so keep that in mind when you shop for food.
The most delicious Coconut Icecream in a Coconut shell – from Mercadona Supermarket 🙂
Beach hair and coconut ice cream!
Just down by the Muralla Roja Hotel – La Manzanera, breathtaking views!
The first day we rested a bit and then went to the beach. The water was a bit cold as you went in but after a few minutes it was just fine, we spent a lot of time in the sea.
We also wandered around the old town of Calpe. We struggled to find a place to park…I can only imagine how difficult it is in the summertime. There was an Art street festival for all ages, there where people on every corner painting and sketching.
Making friends and learning Spanish.
The kids made a new friend, Luisa, the daughter of the restaurant owner where we had lunch.
Valencia! Oh, you are a magical city!…the light in that city is just beautiful. The first place we visited was The Science and Art Museum. As you step in…you feel like you just stepped on a different planet. The architecture by Santiago Calatrava is amazing. They were having a special sculpture exposition by artist Manolo Valdes.
We later drove to the old part of Valencia, parked our car and walked everywhere, we got lost a few times on the narrow streets, but thank God for Google maps. Yes, by the end of the day we were exhausted but in love with the city. We had a lovely lunch right in the Plaza de la Reina.
So many beautiful tall doors with cool details!
Treasure hunting in a vintage bookshop.
One day is definitely not enough to explore this city, we would love to go back, we didn’t manage to hit all the spots on our list. This post is getting way too long so I will split it in two. In the next blog post, I will share more on Fuentes de Algar and Alicante. If you have any questions please leave them in comments and I will be more than happy to answer them. <<Edited: read part 2 here.>>
Thank you for reading!