Casa Mariola is in the medieval town of Bocairent, inland Valencia, ideally positioned to walk to the local bars and restaurants, whilst far enough away not to be disturbed by them.
There are plenty of places to relax in and around Bocairent; to picnic, read a book, lie by the local pool or sit and enjoy a leisurely bite and a glass of wine. History is abundant too but if activities are on the agenda, you can choose from walking, swimming, cycling, fishing, horse riding, rock climbing and much more.
Food and Drink
There are plenty of welcoming bars to choose from in Bocairent offering a variety of Tapas. Several of them offer 'Menu del Dia' at lunchtime where you can have a taste of 'real Spain' with a three course meal including a drink for around 8 euros!
If you're looking for something special in the evening, there are a few nice restaurants where you can relax and linger over your evening meal enjoying a glass (or two) of the local liqueur 'herbero'.
There are many activities to choose from both in and around Bocairent. The walking is spectacular and whether you're a serious walker or just like a stroll to take in the sights, different levels of walks are available to meet your needs. Guided walking tours are available locally.
If you enjoy a swim, Bocairent has its own pool (open high season), or swim at Pou Clar, a local beauty spot with natural rock pools only 10 minutes away and of course you can be at the beach and in the sea within an hour.
Cycling, horse riding, rock climbing, fishing and hot air ballooning are amongst the other activities available. Guided cycling tours are available locally.
Bocairent is packed with history. Walk through the old town with its narrow cobbled streets, small squares and fountains and get a feel for what it was like hundreds of years ago. Guided tours are available.
The unique bullring carved into the rock is the oldest in Valencia, dating back to 1843. There are two museums, the Archaeological Museum which has pieces from the Sarsa Cave, one of the most important Neolithic sites in the Mediterranean and the Moor and Christian Museum which gives you an insight into their history.
Visit the Covetes Dels Moros, a group of caves made up of around 50 rooms with holes like windows thought to have been formed around the 10th or 11th century. The original use of the caves is uncertain though there are various interpretations from granary stores to funeral chambers.
Enter the underground gallery of the The Cava De Sant Blai, a cave used as a snow store, where you can discover its history from centuries ago and view the map of all the snow stores found in the area.
The Parochial Church NTRA Senora De La Asuncion consecrated in 1516 combines the main characteristics of Valencian art from Gothic to the 19th century. It contains several historical artifacts that are well worth seeing.
Sierra Mariola National Park
Renowned for its beautiful landscape and variety of aromatic and medicinal plants, the Sierra Mariola Natural Park, (more than half of it sitting in the Bocairent township), has something for everyone.
Designated walks are available giving you the opportunity to take in the sights along the way including hermitages, snow stores, the Mariola fountain and the Sarsa Cave. Some of the animals that you may come across are eagles, falcons, hedgehogs, foxes and rabbits. Riding and cycling are available locally.
There are celebrations almost every month in Bocairent (the Spanish really know how to party!) but the main fiestas are in January, February and August.
In January is 'The Coming of the Three Kings', in February the 'Moors and Christians' (renowned for being one of the best in the region) and in August is the 'Dances'. What they all have in common is that everyone joins in and much food and drink is shared and enjoyed.
The Surrounding Area
The road network in Valencia is good so getting out and about is easy.
If you fancy a day at the beach, you can be in Gandia (been voted number one beach in the Costa Blanca) in under an hour. Who needs a beach though when for a swim at one with nature, you can visit the beauty spot of Pou Clar with its natural rock pools only 10 minutes away?
The beautiful cosmopolitan city of Valencia is within easy reach either by car, or train from Ontinyent. The towns of Xativa with its historical castle or Alcoy with its great shopping are well worth a visit as is Ontinyent, particularly during its Moors and Christians fiesta and bull-run.