I came here twice in fairly quick succession, in March and September 2014, either side of the summer season when the town becomes a busy holiday resort.
I stayed in both areas, the first time at the Hotel RH Riviera on the seafront which at that time of year was very quiet (except for big groups of Spanish pensioners) and doesn’t have much nightlife in the off season, though it’s good for bracing walks and runs along the beach.
Most nights I decided to walk the twenty minutes along Avenida del Grau to the old town for a bit more action. Thankfully on the second occasion I was put up at the Hotel Borja located much nearer the old centre and a marginally better hotel in terms of rooms and breakfast.
I say old centre but there aren’t that many old buildings, with just a couple of exceptions. Gandia was the ducal seat of the infamous Borja family, and the Palau Ducal dels Borja www.palauducal.com has a stunning interior by all accounts. As usual I didn’t have time to see it due to work getting in the way.
The Teatre Serrano on the main rambla, Passeig de las Germanies, has a nice façade in a simple modernisme style.
Plaza del Prado and the pedestrian streets off it seems to be the focal point for the locals. I checked out all the bars and eateries around the square. For a change from normal Spanish food, you could go for a burger at Comics Prado. Alternatively Cerveceria El Colamadito on the other side of the square is extremely cheap and popular for drinks though I don’t know what the food was like. For better quality food Café Almeda could on the east side of the square could be a good option.
However my favourite was this great restaurant near the square:
Telero (High Intermediate A), 7 Career Sant Ponc, www.telero.es
I ate in this mid-range place twice in all and each time I thoroughly enjoyed the food, the ambience and the friendly service from the owner and his family.
The dishes here are very traditional. An unusual starter is Coques de Dacsa; corn pancakes with anchovy, boiled egg and tuna (B+), very particular to Gandia.
As you’d expect in a town in the Valenciana Communidad, rice dishes are also very typical and Melosos feature heavily on the menu here. A meloso is like a paella but wetter as it’s made with more stock. I enjoyed the Meloso de Gambas y Cigalas which is excellent here (A).
I wanted a white wine to go with the seafood but was told the local ones tended to be sweet due to the hot climate. I went for a Rueda Verdejo from Jose Pariente instead which did the trick.
To finish Helado de Pasas a la Mistela (B+) or ice cream with raisins and a local sweet wine made from ‘mosto’ (must or alcoholic grape juice from the early stages of the wine making process). A glass of Mistela accompanied this (B+).
I was introduced to a new Pacharan here called Baines which scored well (B+).
For me Telero is the best thing about Gandia! I definitely recommend eating here.
If you’re looking for somewhere down by the sea, Ripoll on Paseo Neptuno at the port end of the beach is a bit pricey but has a great view of the sun going down over the sea.
The restaurants next to the port on Avenida Pau are supposed to be good too but probably very busy in summer. There are a few other untried places on the Google map too.