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The location and Getting Here

Castello de Rugat is a small authentic Spanish town in the province of Valencia, on the eastern side of Spain, about 30 minutes from the Mediterranean Sea.

This part of Spain is mainly an agricultural area, with much of the land given over to orange groves, almond and olive trees. It is not densely populated and apart from at fiesta time, most of the tourists that do come to the region tend to stay at the coast. This means that inland it is relatively unspoilt, with lots of natural and protected areas, quiet sleepy villages and towns and often virtually empty roads.

The inland areas attract discerning visitors who want to get away from the crowds, to relax and unwind in the natural beauty of the area, to hear the birds sing and to appreciate the open views.

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Castello de Rugat viewed from a distance

It is a great location for those wanting to do more than sit on the beach or lie by a swimming pool all day.

Here you can have a holiday which mixes some beach time with lots of completely different activities without having to fight hordes of people and traffic jams, and at much lower prices than at the coast.

It is vital to understand that to get the most out of your holiday in Castello de Rugat and this beautiful area of Spain your own transport is essential.

There is no public transport in the area, nor a taxi service in town. (There is a very occasional bus service into Gandia hospital, but it runs at the most once a day).

Finding the House

El Buen Ocio is situated on a narrow Spanish street

El Buen Ocio is situated on a very narrow, one way, street close to the centre of the town. The town centre itself is flat and it is a short easy walk from the house to the handful of shops and bars/restaurants. The rest of the town is quite hilly.

The postcode for the house refers to the whole town. We will therefore send out detailed instructions and a map of the town with parking options and the one-way system marked on it before you arrive. These notes are therefore just to help you plan your trip.


Although you can drive right to the door of El Buen Ocio holiday rental to drop off suitcases, passengers and shopping, the road is too narrow to park on or for cars to pass each other. Please therefore be prepared to just drop off your luggage and then quickly go and park.

There is lots of free on-street parking nearby, the most convenient is on Carrer d’Ausias March, a one-way street, which you need to enter from Carrer Garroferets.

Getting Here – Flying from the UK and other destinations


Choice of Airports

The town is almost equidistance between Alicante airport (ALC) and Valencia airport (VLC), which are about an hour away (100km/just over 60 miles).

Both are very good airports with a choice of flight options from the UK and major European destinations.  Because Alicante airport serves Benidorm, and the busy tourist resorts of the Costa Blanca coast, it is a much bigger than Valencia airport with more facilities and more flight and carrier options.

However, sometimes there is a big difference between the cost of flights going to the two airports, and they offer different routes, so we suggest you always check the flights options to both airports.

Tip: Be careful not to book the airport sometimes called Valencia Castellon airport (CDT) as it is about 60km north of Valencia.

Driving from the airport

Both Alicante and Valencia airports are on the outskirts of the city with access to excellent roads that will bring you onto the A7 which is the dual carriageway/motorway that will bring you most of the way here.

One important thing to be aware of is that there are two motorways/dual carriageways running between Alicante and Valencia, with confusingly similar names: the A-7 which is the one you should take if you arrive at either airport as it is the most direct road.  The, other, the AP-7 is the old toll road that runs around the coast past Benidorm from Alicante, and past Cullera on the route from Valencia. (My tip – remember which is the old toll road by P=you pay).

Whilst both roads will get you most of the way here, the AP-7 routes are a little longer. They are viable optional routes though, especially if you want to stop off at the coast on the way, and the tolls were removed last year. Although there is talk of them coming back to help pay for covid so please check if you are thinking of taking this route. 

Arriving by road

The village is approximately 30 minutes inland from the beach and the coastal towns of Gandia and Oliva and from the inland town of Xativa. From both Xativa and Gandia, most of the route is via the CV60 a wide, well maintained, major roadway.


Whilst it is possible to get the train from Valencia airport to within 30 minutes of Castello de Rugat, and then get a taxi to the village, we would not recommend it. You really need a car or transport here, and normally by far the cheapest place to hire a car is at the airport, or from one of the companies just off site.

One occasion we would recommend that you do take the train is if you want to visit Valencia. Driving in the city centre is not for the faint-hearted. Valencia is Spain’s third largest city, the traffic there can be crazy and recently they have restricted many roads to taxis and buses only.

The nearest large train stations to us are in Gandia, Xativa and Xeraco, from these there are frequent trains to the centre of Valencia. There is free parking right outside the station at Xeraco, just north of Gandia which makes it an ideal choice.

There is also a very small train station about 6 miles away on the outskirts of a small town, La Puebla de Duc, but the trains are very infrequent. 

There is no direct train line from Alicante to Gandia but there are occasional trains from Alicante centre to Xativa. Please check the train times carefully before relying on them.

Further Advice for Arriving by Plane


Hire Cars

Both Alicante and Valencia airports have a choice of car rental companies, on and off-site. The best way to get a good deal is by using a comparison site for booking the car. Then take out your own separate insurance from one of the direct hire car insurance companies. That way you can safely refuse to take out the expensive policy pushed by the hire car companies. Be aware though that they will want to hold or block a large deposit on your credit card and most will not accept debit cards for the deposit.

Also, please carefully read the terms and conditions of each hire company before you book. Most insist the car must be booked and paid for by the main driver on the same credit card you are paying for the hire cost with. Additionally, since Brexit some will wrongly insist you have an international driving licence; others want you to download a code from DVLA to prove your licence is still valid.

Do not rely on Sat Nav systems

As most sat nav systems do not start working until you are out of the airport, we suggest you print out or download initial directions from a route planner to ensure you get on the correct road. We prefer the Via Michelin route planner but there are various other planners available.

Feedback and Reviews of El Buen Ocio

 “The house was very comfortable and had all that we needed for our holiday. It was clean and well decorated and on one level. There is a private courtyard with comfortable seating and a lovely terrace which you can reach via the stairs in the courtyard with table and chairs and loungers. The village has a few supermarkets and we were able to get everything we wanted.”

Mark and Brenda, UK

 “My partner and I stayed for about four weeks – working from our laptops during the day and exploring the region over evenings and weekends.

The house is bright and modern, and has lots of space to work, cook and relax.

We found it to be in a great location for reaching beaches, nearby towns and bigger cities like Valencia.”

Kirsteen Mackay, UK

“Es war wie ein Urlaub mit der Familie und bei der Familie. Alles ist sehr liebevoll dekoriert und eingerichtet. Es ist wie die eigene Wohnung, nur alles neu und es ist vollständig eingerichtet.
Zusammengefasst: Es war ein toller Urlaub mit meinen drei Teenagern. Und wichtig für diese Altersgruppe: WLAN ist stark und funktioniert ohne Probleme überall. Also mit ganzem Herzen, beide Daumen nach oben.”

Thomas, Germany

“Maravillosa estancia! La casa cumplió y superó todas nuestras expectativas. Cuidada hasta el detalle, destacar la exquisita limpieza, la decoración y por supuesto la simpatía y atención de Gail, la propietaria, que estuvo pendiente de todo cuanto pudiésemos necesitar.”

Lola Álvarez, Spain

“My partner and I stayed for a long weekend and couldn’t rate the accommodation more highly. The house is in a great location and has everything you could ask for. The small details make it feel like home from home. Incredibly clean and tidy. The owners are warm, friendly and nothing seems to much to ask.
We will be returning again and recommending to all of out friends.”

Courtney Brown, UK

“La casa es perfecta. Todo limpio e impecable.
Cuando llegamos ya habían encendido la chimenea de pelets y la casa estaba muy calentita.
La cocina tiene todo lo que necesitas y más para pasar tus días allí.
El patio y terraza enormes para una casa de pueblo. Vistas de las montañas impresionantes.
Todo nuevo y reformado pero manteniendo el espíritu de las casas de pueblo tradicionales.”

Marta Serrano Blasco, Spain

“We had an amazing 1 week stay in May 2022. The house is big and spacious with a well stocked kitchen. The outdoor space was great for hanging out in the sun during the day and having a drink in the evening. The hosts were very helpful and provided information on local wild swimming spots that were amazing and would have been impossible to find on Google.”

Sam Foster, UK

“Wij hebben een heerlijk verblijf gehad in deze woning, de eigenaren hebben werkelijk aan alles gedacht, zoals voor in de winter een Pellet kachel, radiatoren in iedere slaapkamer, een verwarming op de patio, die heel gezellig is, hoewel de woning in het dorpscentrum ligt is het er heel erg rustig
Voor mij geen probleem want de supermarkt en andere winkels plus restaurants zijn op loopafstand.
Een heel gezellig en met alle gemakken voorzien huis.”

Anja van der Hooft, Netherlands

“This is a beautiful place to stay. A Spanish house beautifully renovated and adapted. The kitchen is well equipped, modern but in keeping with the house.
The outside space in the house is exceptional for this type of property. A wonderfully spacious and traditional patio area for cooking , eating and relaxing. Also an upstairs terrace for enjoying the sunset with a beer!”

Sean Williamson, UK

“Los huépedes están super disponibles y son muy simpáticos, lo que hace que uno se sienta aún más a gusto. Castelló es un pueblo que está en un paraje muy bonito y la terraza encima del patio es una ventana al paisaje de lo más agradable.
Volver a la casa después de un día de playa, de excursión es un gusto ya que sus diferentes espacios se prestan a la relajación, decorados con gusto y pensados con eficacia.”

Nadine Astor, Spain

“Great apartment and great hosts. Perfect village with lovely restaurants. Good size bedrooms with large communal spaces. Will definitely be returning.”

Joshua Palmer, UK

“This was a fantastic place to stay. The house was fully equipped with everything we needed.

It was spotlessly clean and everything was in good working order and well maintained.

The courtyard is exquisite and the roof terrace is lovely. Great view towards the mountains from up there.

Gail and Alan were the perfect hosts and couldn’t do enough for us. We really benefited from their local knowledge too.”

Gail Marx, UK

“Gail and Allen were wonderful hosts who always made themselves available for any questions.

Their house was sparkling clean and beautifully renovated and decorated. There was plenty of hot water and a great shower. The kitchen was well equipped for cooking our meals and the beautiful patio outback with an awesome view upstairs of the mountains and rooftops was the “cherry on the cake!”

Eriberto and Cathy, USA

“Gail and Alan’s accommodation was fantastic. Everything important was available on site. You can cater for yourself very well in the wonderful kitchen and even barbecue outside. Alan and Gail were always very helpful, friendly and open. They were always interested in our well-being, responded very quickly to messages and were able to help out directly with any problems. We had a wonderful holiday and can only recommend it to anyone and everyone :)”

Thang and Theresa, Germany

“Que dire de la maison! Très pratique, très fonctionnel, dans un si magnifique petit village très tranquille. Une sublime terrasse avec du soleil toute la journée, une maison équipée entièrement pour un confort sans précédent. Gail et Alan, nous ont accueillis avec pragmatisme et délicatesse. Tout au long de notre séjour ils nous ont guidés et accompagnés notamment lors d’une sortie ensemble. Ils savent se montrer très discret et très efficace des que l’on ressent le besoin.”

Kadir and Laura, France