If you’re looking for a quiet, yet historically enriching trip to Costa Blanca, look no further than the delightful town of Oliva, Valencia.
Oliva, the historic city of the region of La Safor is located in a strategic enclave in the southeast of the Costa de Valencia, in an incomparable setting between mountains, natural landscapes and on the shores of the Mediterranean.
Located on the border of the province with Valencia, Oliva enjoys 10 km of pristine sandy beaches with shallow waters, bordered for almost its entire length by dunes that separate the orange groves from the sea.
Oliva’s well-preserved town centre is divided between the Christian city and the Moorish quarter. Among its most notorious monuments are the archipelago church, the Rebollet convent, the “Torre de Comare”, and the ruins of the castle of Santa Ana dating from the 16th to 18th centuries
We recommend visiting the house of Gregorio Mayans and the stately homes dating from the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries on Tamarit Street. The yacht club and marina offer various water sports, including windsurfing. The area is ideal for river fishing and hiking in the mountains.
The town also has an 18-hole golf course. The Marjal de Pego-Oliva Natural Park, a wetland with abundant fauna and endemic vegetation, is of great ecological interest.
Marjal de Pego-Oliva Natural Park
Take One of its Guided Historic Tours
Oliva offers free guided tours from the Tourist Office, which show the extensive historical and artistic heritage of its historic centre. The tour of the historic centre of Oliva starts from the square where the town hall is located.
The first stop is a visit to the house of the family of the scholar Gregori Maians (18th century), which today houses the municipal archive and is a sub-site of the Valencian Museum of the Enlightenment.
The Valencian Museum of Enlightenment
It’s a stately building with three floors and an ashlar door, with a semicircular arch. On the other hand, the house where Maians was born houses the museum of the Oliva actor Vicente Parra; its facilities currently correspond to the Olímpia theatre and cinema.
Next, you’ll pass the old market for the trade and storage of sugar, the main source of wealth in the 15th century.
It’s one of the best examples of Valencian industrial architecture. We continue to the Plaza de la Bassa, the point where the irrigation channel, now buried, which gave water to the engine and the mill, was extended.
Church Santa Maria la Major
Further on, you can marvel upon the church of Santa Maria la Major, from the 17th-18th century. It is a beautiful example of the religious architecture of the time. You can visit a museum with valuable pieces of goldsmithing, including the chalice belonging to the Centelles family.
From Moreres street, one of the most unique streets in Oliva for its emblazoned houses, we finally reach Església street through one of the oldest entrances to the city, the Portal de la Mare de Déu, where we will see the tower of the wall from which the access to the town was defended.
Heading into the Moorish quarter, we must visit the church of Sant Roc, built over the old mosque. old mosque. Some streets still maintain their peculiar Muslim layout, such as Calle de la Hoz, with houses built on a rock in the sixteenth century.
We finish the walk through the suburb in the hermitage of Sant Vicent (18th century) from where it is believed that the saint preached, and in the convent of Mare de Déu del Rebollet, the oldest religious building in Oliva.
At the top of the mountain of Santa Anna, we come across the castle of the same name, a military fortification whose position dominated the Christian village and the Moorish suburb.
Unique Natural Surroundings
The natural dune that borders the coast is an added attraction for tourists during their stay at Oliva beach. This dune cordon, of great ecological value, is populated by autochthonous fauna and flora and delicately joins the orange groves with the beaches.
To the south of the coast is the natural park of the Pego-Oliva marshland, a wetland area with abundant vegetation. This habitat serves as a way station for migratory birds.
Numerous species populate it, from birds such as storks, teals or moorhens, to fish and amphibians typical of the area such as eels or sea bass.
Likewise, the ullals – subway water outcrops – constitute another added beauty of the landscape. La Font Salada is also a source of water, but thermal. These waters are suitable for bathing, both in summer and winter, and also have hygienic facilities.