I did no research on Rojales before my summer holiday there. This was not through laziness, but more my belief that sometimes it’s better to go to a place not knowing what to expect, especially on a last-minute holiday. I’d never even heard of Rojales before, but I heard it had sea, sun and sand, so I jumped at the chance to stay at a friends’ villa there. Thinking of the town as more of a base than anything else, I didn’t expect to immediately fall in love with Rojales.
Situated along the coast of Alicante, it’s a completely charming town with a great atmosphere and loads to offer. On arrival, I was immediately greeted with stunning weather, the sunshine and heat making a welcome change from the rain and freezing temperatures of Scotland that I left behind that morning.
Although Rojales is full of amenities to please tourists and locals, the town is incredibly relaxing. There are wide areas of open space still to be developed and the rustic, sandstone buildings make the town beautiful and different. The town square is perfect to relax in.
However, there are lots of neighbouring places we wanted to visit, and first on the agenda was a visit to Guardamar, a beautiful coastal town just 10 minutes drive from Rojales. The beach at Guardamar is one of the most stunning I have ever visited – crystal clear waters, clean sand and beach bars galore. The opportunistic people constantly trying to sell things on the beach get a little trying – especially since one of them called mistook me for Lady Gaga – but after you have told them for the seventh time that you don’t want to buy any sunglasses/DVDs/bags, you will be free to enjoy the beach. The beach bars and ice cream parlours offer a good variety of snacks.
Of course, no holiday of mine would be complete without some shopping and we found some amazing jewellery and accessory stores in Guardamar which are perfect for a browse after a long day of sunbathing at the beach. The siesta period in the afternoon takes some getting used to, especially when your favourite shop closes for siesta just as you are getting ready to make your purchase! We spent Saturday morning at the market stalls in Rojales, where some great bargains can be found (dresses and tops for one euro!).
The nightlife in Rojales is lively, with plenty of restaurants and the complex a ten minute walk away, playing host to an array of beautiful restaurants. If you are feeling a little homesick for the UK, try Studz, a lively bar where many British tourists and British residents of Rojales hang out. It’s not a haunt of the Spanish locals but offers some very reasonably priced drinks and, even better, a karaoke machine! I couldn’t help but treat the crowd to my very questionable vocal talents on at least three occasions.
Whilst Spanish food is delicious – just knowing that you can pick up some churros with hot chocolate as a mid-morning snack is enough to put a smile on my face- we found a really reasonable Chinese restaurant 2 minutes from our villa. It boasted a special set menu offering a starter, prawn crackers, a main, a dessert and half a bottle of wine (or a soft drink) for only five euros! And, like most restaurants in Spain, we were presented with a shot of liquor at the end of the meal (although it turned into more than a shot when they were kind enough to let us have the whole bottle of apple snapps!).
For a day of fun, head to Rojales water park which, although small, has around 8 fun water rides and slides, plus a large pool. Unfortunately my enjoyment of the pool was ruined by a young Spanish boy who took it upon himself to chase me around and splash me, but nonetheless the day at the water park was great fun.
I always thought I was more of a city-break type of girl, but I surprised myself with how much I enjoyed Rojales. My past experiences of Spain have always been in party destinations like Magaluf but Rojales taught me that there is much more to Spain than nightlife.