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My husband and I discovered this area of Spain in 2015 when looking to buy a small holiday home.

As we drove inland from Gandia we enjoyed the varied scenery and the open vistas. When we saw the little town of Castello de Rugat perched on the side of the hill, with the Ermita standing proudly at the top, we were immediately drawn to it.

Hillside view to Castello de Rugat

As soon as we entered the little village house we had come to view, it felt like it was welcoming us home. This was confirmed when we stepped out onto the roof terrace with its’ view of the Benicadell mountain; it was love at first sight. We put an offer in then and there.

In the following years, we found it harder to leave each time, and Castello de Rugat is now our home. Many of our friends and family also love visiting and return often. This prompted us to buy a second home in the village in 2019, a place where friends and family could stay in comfort, and somewhere we could share with others as a holiday rental. The house we chose is an old house, with some quirky features, and was in need of a great deal of love and attention. However, we felt that its’ location, close to the centre of the village, together with its spacious outdoor areas, would make it a great place to stay and the house was therefore worth rescuing. We have slowly renovated and equipped it to make it into a comfortable, welcoming place to rest and relax. It is now El Buen Ocio, a place to recharge your batteries.

The reasons we love Castello de Rugat and our life here are varied. It is a small sleepy, town, but there is everything we need, people are friendly and have time to talk to you, and it is such a tonic after living in the hustle and bustle of Cambridge. Being here reminds us to enjoy all the simple things in life. It is like stepping back to a simpler time.

For nature lovers like us it offers so much variety, the mountains, hills and countryside have endless walking routes; you can walk from the village in any direction and within ten minutes or so be in wonderful countryside. When we feel like going further there are national parks and villages to explore. In spring the blossom of the fruit and almond trees scent the air and we have a choice of stunning sandy beaches, many of which are never crowded, to get our sea fix.

View of the village from the walk up to the Ermita

When we do want some culture there are castles and monuments to explore, and the vibrant cities of Alicante and Valencia only about an hour away, as well as the coastal resorts of Gandia, Javea, Moraira, Denia, Calpe and the pretty white hill top village of Altea. All are an easy day trip away especially as the roads are excellent and rarely too busy.