The Crazy Kitchen: A Northern Costa Blanca holiday with James Villas

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Monday 7 September 2015

A Northern Costa Blanca holiday with James Villas

When we first started searching for our villa holiday last year I initially dismissed James Villas, as I thought they were out of our price range. However once I looked into it further and factored in the free car hire, welcome pack and airport parking, I discovered that the price of many of their holidays was on a par with villas booked privately, with the added security of the holiday being bonded by ATOL and ABTA, which you wouldn't receive by booking directly with the owner.

We chose the Moraira area of the Costa Blanca for our holiday as it was only around a one hour drive from Alicante airport, which in turn was only a 2.5 hour flight from Manchester. James Villas have many properties in the area and I had to enlist the kids to help me choose a suitable one for us, once I'd made a shortlist. In the end we opted for Villa Ana, nestled in the hillside midway between Moraira, Calp and Benissa, with a distant view of the sea.

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On arrival at the villa we received a welcome note from our local rep, Pam, advising that she would be along to visit us the following morning (you can opt in or out of this when you make your booking). We also received a welcome pack consisting of tea, coffee, sugar, bread, jam, butter, water, cheese, ham, crisps, milk, fruit juice and a bottle of wine.

The following morning we put the local knowledge of Pam to the test, and quizzed her on places to see and activities to do in the area, and made a long wish list.

The living areas of the villa are on the upper floors, with the pool, terrace and bbq area below. A flight of steps lead from the gated driveway to the main door, with another flight of steps leading down to the pool, making it a little impractical for those with very young children, or the elderly, but it certainly kept us all fit during our stay.

What appealed to us about this villa was the ample living space, which is often necessary when you have teenagers that like their own space from time to time. There's no shortage of space in Villa Ana, with four dining areas; two of them indoors and another two outdoors, along with cane sofas in a conservatory type area and two comfortable sofas in the lounge, and a small terrace off the kitchen and a small roof terrace accessed by a few steps.

The villa has a rustic feel to it, which could benefit from a little modernisation in places (lack of electrical sockets which the owner has rectified by supplying extension leads), but overall it's what I would expect from a Spanish villa in this price range.

There's no air conditioning in Villa Ana, but with the windows and doors open it's lovely to get a breeze blowing through the rooms.

What the villa lacked in modern style it more than made up for in facilities, with free wifi, charcoal barbecue, kettle, toaster, microwave, large fridge freezer (plus additional fridge in the barbecue area), two bathrooms (one with bath & the other with shower cubicle), and a plentiful supply of crockery, pots, pans and cooking utensils, as well as some quirky artefacts.

James Villas quirky artefacts Villa Ana

There is a maze of streets surrounding the villa, but we quite quickly found our bearings and discovered the best ways to the local bins (there is no roadside waste collection), shops, bars, restaurants and beaches, via many steep and winding roads (some of those bends are not for the faint hearted!)

The swimming pool was a really good size, especially when it needed to accommodate not only a family of five but a crocodile, dolphin, lizard and a couple of lilos too. The villa isn't overlooked by other villas in close proximity, and the peace is only broken occasionally by the sound of splashing and laughter echoing around the valley, and the cicadas chirping in the trees. I'm not sure what chemicals they put in the pool though, so it's worth bearing in mind not to wear pale coloured swimwear in the pool, as it may turn a slight shade of yellow!

James Villas Pool Villa Ana

The views from the villa were stunning, especially at night, during a full moon, however, within a few minutes drive inland there were even more stunning views of the coast, mountains, vineyards and the rock of Calp in the distance.

Whilst we did visit quite a few places during our stay, we spent the majority of days lazing around the pool, and evenings having a bbq, relaxing, listening to music and playing cards. That's what I love about villa holidays.

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There's an abundance of facilities close to Villa Ana, including beaches, bars, restaurants, supermarkets and shops. The closest supermarket that we found was Pepe la Sal on the first island you reach heading towards Moraira. We preferred this one to the many Masymas stores around as it seemed to have a greater selection of all the important things - wine and fresh meat for the barbecue. 

We found a couple of beaches less than 2 miles away- a small pebbly beach adjacent to the Baladrar Beach Bar, and the small sandy beach of Cala Advocat, with parking directly in front of the sea, and next to a beach bar restaurant.

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Thank you, Casa Ana, we have taken lots of memories away with us.

Look out for my upcoming posts, 'Family Meals on a James Villa Holiday' & 'Discovering Northern Costa Blanca', coming soon.

We received a discount off our James Villa holiday in exchange for sharing our opinions

featuring Hammamas beach towels

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