man walking in the town centre
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The Ultimate Guide To Oliva in Spain

Oliva is an underrated and pretty town that captures the essence of Spanish charm. It’s home to clean Blue Flag beaches and cobbled streets. Here you won’t find any mass tourism or a hurried way of life.

In this ultimate guide to Oliva, we’ll discuss what to do here, where to eat and where to stay for a great time.

Whether it’s visiting untouched beaches or delving into its Moorish influences and Gothic architecture – Oliva is a wonderful escape.

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below may contain affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase.

girl standing on beach in Oliva area

Key takeaways

  • Oliva is a serene Spanish coastal town in the Alicante province, offering golden sandy beaches and an authentic Mediterranean vibe with fewer tourists.
  • This hidden gem has a diverse demographic with one – fifth of its population from various parts of the world and thrives on local businesses, tourism, and agriculture.
  • Enjoy over 300 days of sunshine annually in Oliva, which has a mild subtropical climate perfect for beach activities year-round.
  • A hub for cultural experiences, Oliva’s Old Town presents historical architecture while its market provides fresh products.
  • Housing options vary from affordable rentals starting at €490 per month to properties available for purchase at accessible prices. The town has an inviting expat community.

About Oliva, Spain

Located between the coast and tranquil mountain villages, Oliva in Spain is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. With its unique blend of vibrant culture, historical richness, and natural beauty, this pretty town offers you a serene slice of Spanish life.

Location and geography

Oliva sits proudly on the eastern coast of Spain. It borders the Costa Blanca and the Costa del Azahar. It’s located within Alicante province and under Valencia’s sunny skies.

It takes less than an hour to get here from Valencia Airport, whereas it takes around an hour and fifteen minutes to arrive here from Alicante Airport.

Oliva is situated between Denia to the south and Piles to the north. Next to Oliva you’ll find the town of Gandia, where you’ll also find many great things to do.

man walking in car park

It’s good to know that there are two different areas of Oliva: the coastal part of Oliva and the (Old) town part of Oliva. If you want to relax on the beach, head to the coastal part. When you’re looking for more cultural experiences, head over to the Old Town of Oliva.

The coastal town is home to 10 kilometers of sandy beaches that invite tranquillity; unlike other destinations with buzzing boulevards, Oliva maintains a serene atmosphere perfect for unwinding.

Its prime location means getting there is easy — park your car just outside Oliva’s centre for free and stroll into town in minutes or head straight to the beach area. I recommend getting here by car, as public transport is limited.

two men walking on promenade
man walking on wide beach

Demographics

With a diverse population where one in five residents comes from different corners of the world, this mid-sized town is home to approximately 28,419 people.

Stroll through the pretty village dotted with white houses to feel the atmosphere. There’s a community that welcomes newcomers warmly while maintaining an air of traditional Spanish charm.

Climate

As you explore Oliva, Spain, expect more than 300 days of sunshine each year. The town is blessed with a Mediterranean subtropical climate that promises mild winters and gloriously hot, dry summers.

Picture yourself strolling through pretty white houses or sitting on a terrace without the worry of a sudden chill; even in winter, the weather remains gentle.

golden sand beach with people on it

Things to do in Oliva, Spain

Oliva has a certain kind of charm and is home to several different things to do. Immerse yourself in the Old Town, find tranquillity on its sandy beaches or visit the vibrant Oliva market.

Oliva Old Town

Explore Oliva Old Town and step into a world where history whispers from every corner. This picturesque area brims with character, showcasing narrow cobblestone streets past ancient buildings steeped in centuries of tales.

Here, you’ll find pretty churches offering tranquil sanctuaries away from the nearby beaches.

Old town in Oliva
white house in town in Spain

Try the Mediterranean flavours in its restaurants; just remember to check their opening times as many restaurants close on Mondays. Make sure to visit Restaurant Pelut for its authentic local dishes.

When you’re ready to take a break from the historical charm head over to the coastal part of Oliva. Here you’ll find pristine sandy shores like Playa Terranova or Playa l’Ahuir are within easy reach, offering serenity without the crowds.

guys walking in Oliva Old Town in Spain
guy walking between white houses

Paseo (promenade)

After strolling through the picturesque streets of Oliva Old Town, make your way to the Paseo. Lined with inviting small bars and a play area for children, it’s where locals come together to relax and enjoy each other’s company.

The promenade stretches out as part of Oliva’s stunning 10 km coastline. Here, you can take walks while breathing in the fresh sea air, feeling sand between your toes from the beautiful blue flag beaches.

Oliva Castle

Step back in time with a visit to the enchanting Oliva Castle, perched above the pretty village. This historic fortress, known as the Castillo de Santa Ana, has stood for thousands of years and its towering presence is a testament to the rich past of this region.

The castle was once one of Valencia’s largest and most significant palace-fortresses. Make sure you bring your camera; Oliva Castle offers spectacular views over white-washed houses.

Blue Flag Beaches

  • Head straight for Oliva Playa where beautiful sandy expanses invite you to enjoy the serenity. The beaches here are wide and way less crowded than other tourist spots, giving you plenty of space to relax.
  • Shallow waters make it perfect for swimming or trying your hand at windsurfing.
  • Visit the Oliva Marina and Yacht Club if sailing is more your style. Here, opportunities are abundant for setting sail on a sunny afternoon or even taking lessons if you’re new to the sport.
  • Spend hours sunbathing on Blue Flag beaches that guarantee high environmental and quality standards. Just don’t forget your sunscreen and a good book to enjoy under the warm Spanish sky.
  • One of the most beautiful beaches in the area is Patja de Pau Pi. It’s also walkable from Oliva Playa if you head to the left.
guy walking along the coast
guy walking towards sea with slippers in his hands on beach
Wide beach with clear waters
girl standing on golden sand beach with mountain in the background
Platja de Pau Pi

Oliva market

Discover the Oliva market on Paseo Luis Vives, every Friday of the year it offers a wide variety of local products (such as seasonal fruits and vegetables). You can also visit the Municipal Market which is open from Monday to Saturday in the morning.

Restaurants

When here, don’t forget to try some of the lovely local restaurants. Here are some of the best restaurantes in the area:

  • Dive into Restaurante L’Olivera for an unforgettable dining experience. It’s a little expensive, but the food is very high-quality.
  • Triveni Indian Cuisine is the place to be if you’re looking for some delicious Indian cuisine.
  • For a great, small and authentic Portugese restaurant, head over to Restaurante Tasca do Lourenço.
  • A lovely Mediterranean restaurant in Oliva is Oasis. If you want to have dinner here on the weekends, make sure that you reserve a spot in advance.
  • Pop into Restaurant Pelut on any day but Monday for their speciality cuisine. If you can only visit one restaurant in Oliva, then I highly recommend visiting this one.
  • Stroll over to Platja de Pau Pi to enjoy a nice lunch or drink on the beach at Mandala Restaurant. This is definitely one of the nicest places in the area to simply relax on the beach with a drink in your hand.
Restaurant Pelut: white building
Restaurant Pelut
Inside Mandala Restaurant
Sea view from the Mandala restaurant
Green blue bright colored building
You’ll recognize Mandala easily!

Where to stay in Oliva?

So, where should you stay in Oliva? Here are some of the best places to stay here:

  • Oliva Nova Beach & Golf Hotel: Highly rated for its excellent facilities and location, this hotel lets you combine sunbathing and golfing. You get the best of both worlds here – serene relaxation by the seaside and its pool and an active day out at the golf course.
  • Balcon Al Mar – Oliva Nova: Do you want to wake up and see the sea straight away? Do you want to be able to visit the beach immediately? Then this is the apartment for you.
  • Hotel Font Salada: Known for its unique pool, this hotel offers a nice rural escape. The setting is tranquil, ideal for those in need of stress relief and warmth under the Spanish sun.
  • El Sequer Casa Rural: Experience traditional living in this converted farmhouse. With rustic decor and a lovely ambiance, this is the perfect place to stay if you appreciate authentic accommodations. Book your stay here.
whitewashed buildings in Oliva

Living in Oliva, Spain

This charming Spanish town offers an affordable coastal lifestyle with a vibrant expat scene, ensuring you’re never far from familiar comforts amidst its distinct Mediterranean charm.

Cost of living

When considering a move to Oliva, Spain, one of the foremost things on your mind is likely to be the cost of living. It’s an attractive proposition, especially when you learn that property prices here are more budget-friendly than in nearby tourist hotspots like Denia or Javea.

To give you a clear picture of what your expenses might look like, let’s dive into a summary of costs ranging from dining out to the essentials of grocery shopping.

Expense CategoryCostNotes
Average Restaurant Meal€10-€15 per personAffordable dining is easy to find, with a range of options. Look out for a ”Menú del día” for affordable lunch menus.
Pint of Lager€2-€3Enjoy a drink at local prices
Weekly Grocery Shopping€40-€70Depends on your eating habits and choices
Long-term RentalFrom €490 per monthDiverse housing options to suit your lifestyle

Keep in mind that prices can fluctuate, but overall, Oliva remains a cost-effective choice for both visitors and potential residents alike. Here you’ll find more statistics about the costs of living in Spain in general.

Expat community

Oliva’s expat community offers a warm and inclusive vibe that you’ll feel the moment you set foot in the town. With around 20% of its residents coming from abroad, there’s a rich blend of cultures and nationalities.

A lot of British people appreciate the charm of Oliva. However, you won’t just meet Brits here; there are people from all corners of the globe who’ve chosen this pretty village for their new home.

Join weekly walks along the beautiful sandy beaches, compete in pétanque tournaments, or go off on golf days with new friends.

girl walking in narrow streets

Cultural experiences

Dive into Oliva’s vibrant cultural scene by exploring the old town, where narrow cobblestone streets tell stories of a history spanning over 4,000 years. Immerse yourself in traditions and taste the local flavours at Oliva market.

Stroll along the serene beaches of Oliva Playa without having to worry about mass tourism.

For a touch of spirituality or architectural wonder, visit the majestic church that has stood witness to countless sunsets over this pretty village dotted with white houses.

White houses

In conclusion

Oliva is a lovely town filled with whitewashed houses, a beautiful church and historic streets. Don’t forget to visit both parts of Oliva: the coastal part and the town part.

Immerse yourself in the local life: taste the Mediterranean flavours, stroll through the cobblestoned streets or simply bask on its wide and clean beaches.

With this guide in hand, you’re ready to create unforgettable memories in one of Spain’s pretty coastal jewels. Let every moment count as you explore all that this delightful Spanish town has to offer.

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