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Moving to La Drova in Spain

Discussion in 'Spanish property' started by jacab, Sep 6, 2006.

  1. jacab

    jacab New Member

    Hello
    I've just found your great site and thought I'd introduce myself. I've posted on here somewhere else, but not quite sure where!!! My partner and I are planning to move to Spain by the end of the year, as soon as we've sold my house. Our preferred area is La Drova, just outside Gandia, some 40 minutes from Valencia. We love the area and can't wait. My major passion (which Peter doesn't share, unfortunately) is dance - modern jive - known as Ceroc/Leroc/French jive in particular, Argentinian Tango and Salsa less so. I can't find anywhere that offers modern jive classes, does anybody out there know anywhere on either the Costa del Azahar or Costa Blanca Norte where I can go - serious withdrawal symptoms otherwise. Failing that, I'll just have to start my own classes.
    Thank you
     
  2. Lesley

    Lesley New Member

    Jiving in Spain

    Hi,
    My husband and I also wish to move to Spain in the Oliva area and the only thing stopping us is our dancing. Did you start dance classes?
    We can teach jive and Lindy Hop, but are happy just to dance!
    If anyone out there knows where we can jive in the area please let us know. We will be visiting in May 2008.
    Best Regards
    Lesley and Joe
     
  3. barry uh spain

    barry uh spain New Member

    Have you checked the Costa Blanca News as they list many of the social activities in the area.
     
  4. barry uh spain

    barry uh spain New Member

  5. Expat-old timer

    Expat-old timer New Member

    La Drova

    La Drova – forget it - the negative issues outweigh heavily any good points. If you are considering a permanent move to this area of Spain then I would be very hesitant in endorsing a move to La Drova. As charming as this area is, driving to and from Gandia where you will need to be for supermarkets, shopping, banking, hospitals, dentists, doctors, vets, restaurants, bars, cafes and the beautiful Gandia beaches, can be an absolute nightmare. It is not just a case of going off to the local shop. There are no shops or amenities in La Drova, excepting a bar, which may not be to everyone's taste. The nearest shop is in Barx some 2 kms drive with limited stock and a hazardous walk by road. Gandia is 12.6 kms and a good 20 minutes by car. There are a couple of good eating houses in Barx but if you like to eat out regularly it can be a bit of nightmare driving to Gandia with the frequent police checks - and don't forget the Spanish are not the best drivers in the World. The mountain road is in good order but hazardous to say the least. There are frequent accidents which occur on one of the many blind bends with road closures resulting in an equally hazardous 34 km detour via Simat and Tavernes. During winter months and heavy rain, there are often landslides of red sandstone and fallen trees. On occasional mild weekends and in summer the road is full of numerous cyclists - so unless you are a good driver with a sense of humour who does not mind blind hairpin bends, I would suggest that this daily drive if required will take its toll on you and your car eventually. La Drova sits literally in the mountains on a narrow plain. Owing to its height above sea level, the temperature is approximately 3 to 5 degrees lower than Gandia at any time. You will most definitely require heating during the evenings and a heated pool is a must. Damp is also a major issue with no damp proof courses. Rainfalls are common when surrounding areas receive none and there are more properties for sale here than in any other local area - which must tell you something. Owing to the location and its limitations, broadband is only on a rural basis with frequent disruption. During rainstorms local urban roads become major escape routes for water from the mountains and are naturally hazardous. Owing to its isolation there are frequent burglaries. Buying a house on the wrong side of the road can also be a nightmare. If you do decide to move there make sure you visit at all times of the day otherwise you may find your property only gets to see the sunshine for a couple hours only. Properties have dropped considerably in price owing to the economic crisis and are much cheaper than other areas of the Spanish Costas because of the location. The local population as well as quite convincing local property agents, are heavily promoting the area owing to its rapid decline – do not get caught by the hype as they are only trying to keep some value in their mistaken investments. Whilst some advocate the natural beauty of the area there are many other stunning areas without the hazards. If you decide this is your location, bear in mind you have to live with the inconveniences every single day. Think carefully and visit in the winter to get the real picture. Pick a rainy day to get the real idea. I lived in La Drova for four years and was lucky to sell. I now live in Xeraco. At the moment (Dec 2008) over 40% of the properties are for sale – prices are low but for a reason. This is not an investment area for the future.
     
  6. nicks

    nicks New Member

    La Drova

    La Drova.

    The Blog above was brought to my attention recently by a Spanish friend who was appalled by the one-sided tirade made against La Drova by the unamed writer. As a Briton who has lived in La Drova for the past seven years, I felt equally offended by the lop-sided view and felt that some fair redress should be made.

    Of course, the obvious comment after reading the Blog above is: why anyone at all would choose to live in La Drova or its environs - if it was such a dreadful place? In fact, there are some 200 foreigners (the largest number of whom are Britons) living in La Drova and this is complimented by around 1,200 Spaniards who live in the village of Barx. For a coastal mountain valley, this is a healthy local population and reflects well upon the area given the trend (particularly amongst the Spanish) of populations moving out of their rural villages for urban areas.

    So, what is La Drova?

    La Drova is an estate that has grown up organically from a tiny village based around an ancient monastery (now turned into pretty housing). The estate was originally mainly comprised of Spanish second homes which were used for holidays and weekends. However, over the past ten years this has changed as international buyers have bought into La Drova and an increasing number of Spaniards have decided to live permanently on the estate. This generated considerable building (some good and some poor) within which there are a selection of properties appropriate for both permanent and holiday living.

    La Drova is situated within the base and sides of an east/west valley (14 km north west of Gandia, Valencia Province) dominated by dramatic Monduber mountain (882m high). The sides of the surrounding mountains are covered in pines, orange trees, olives and harsh ever green vegetation and form part of an extensive national park within which construction is forbidden. In anyone’s terms, it is a stunningly beautiful area and ideal for walking, climbing, cycling or other outdoor activities.

    Critically, some 2 kms from La Drova lies the village of Barx which has administrative control over La Drova. The two places are, in effect, part of the same ‘parish’. This is important to anyone living here - not least because the community as whole is integrated both socially and through its complimentary infrastructure.

    Barx is a vitally persuasive reason for living in or around La Drova. It is a vibrant village with three bakers, three butchers, two supermarkets, a tobacconist, a general store, a pharmacy, bank, electrical store, church and some eight bars/restaurants. It also contains a dentist (who speaks English!) and a doctor’s surgery and, once a week, there is a (modest) market. In other words, there is a reasonable infrastructure sufficient for an active, all year, sociable day to day life.

    To drive to Barx from La Drova takes a couple of minutes. However, to walk to Barx takes around fifteen minutes - although there is no need walk on the road as there are two footpaths (one on the La Solana side and one on the valley bottom). These are charming and accessible to everyone.

    Of exceptional note is the fact that La Drova is almost unique in being an integral part, in every regard, of a traditional Spanish village and thereby the life of that village. The vast majority of estates in Spain are artificial ‘islands’ built specifically and only for ‘foreign’ buyers. They have, as a consequence, no connection socially or otherwise with the real life and people of Spain. This is not the case with La Drova. Indeed, (for me) the single most compelling reason for living here is Barx - and the ability to be a part of the theatre and joy of a ‘normal’ working community. If you want to live within a real community (and not within a town) then this is probably one of the best options open to you – certainly within Valencia Province.

    Because my children have gone to school in Gandia for the past seven years, I have had to drive up and down to Gandia at least twice daily (i.e. literally thousands of times!!). The journey takes between fifteen to twenty minutes along a road that is windy for ten minutes of the journey. It has breathtaking views that have never bored me and, if taken carefully, is not unduly challenging. As a very rough guess, in seven years, it has been closed around half a dozen times (albeit never for snow or heavy rain). I have personally (‘touch wood’) never been stopped for a ‘police check’ on the road from Barx to Gandia – although my wife collected a speed fine (for the first time ever, in any country) this year on this road!

    The temperature in La Drova is normally between 3-5 degrees lower than in Gandia. However, this is not altogether as terrible as stated in the Blog above. In winter, it means that La Drova is cooler than Gandia (a bad thing!) – however in summer it means that La Drova mitigates the higher temperatures of Gandia (a good thing!). A mixed blessing, frankly.

    As to shade, this is a matter easily dealt with - as the valley in which La Drova is located is named La Solana (the sun) for the sunny side and L’Ombra for the side that is shady (the north side). The vast majority of La Drova properties are on the La Solana side (mine is) and are south facing. It is common knowledge that to buy on the L’Ombra side is a bad move about which everyone knows. It is far from being a secret to trap unwary foreigners!!

    Occasionally, we suffer from electricity and water cuts. However, these have become increasingly rare over the past seven years and generally are very short lived. On the whole, the infrastructure works well. Certainly, we have ADSL (Rural) which is not as powerful as within Gandia. However, as this is 3mb it is sufficient for both internet based work and normal downloading. The telephone landline works well and, as elsewhere in the world, ‘free’ call packages are available – I get free national calls and free calls to the UK, Germany and Ireland.

    As elsewhere in Spain, there are many properties for sale in La Drova – although to state 40% of La Drova properties are for sale (even in 2008) is rubbish. I would estimate that some 10-20% of the properties in La Drova are for sale with this figure replicated pretty much throughout Spain. In fact, on the big, foreign owned, ‘ghetto’ estates it may be very much higher (the pressure on UK pensioners being considerable due to the drop in the purchasing power of their Sterling pensions).

    Oddly enough, prices in La Drova (2009) have not dropped to the same extent as many other areas of Spain – particularly compared to the big, foreign owned, ‘ghetto’ estates around the coasts of Spain. There are two reasons for this:

    1. The prices in La Drova never spiralled out of control to the same extent as was common in other parts of Spain (particularly those popular as holiday destinations for foreigners).
    2. The demand for properties in La Drova is roughly equally divided between Spanish and international buyers. This means that (unlike ‘international ghetto estates’) the local Spanish themselves are enthusiastic potential buyers. Indeed, in Gandia, La Drova is considered to be an exclusive place to live and very desirable. I am, frankly, as likely to sell my property (should I ever wish to) to a Spanish buyer as an international

    Is La Drova a perfect paradise and the best place in Spain to live?. Of course, that is a subjective question that depends upon what you (and you alone) want. However, if you want to live within 15- 20 minutes of the coast, be within two minutes of a wonderful and welcoming village, close to a vibrant town, an hour from an international airport and enjoy a gorgeous landscape – then it is well worth considering.

    Does La Drova have ‘downsides’ – of course! Just like anywhere else. But to condemn it utterly (like the Blog above) is extraordinary – and the bizarre work of someone clearly deeply disenchanted.

    On a personal basis, I feel privelaged to live in La Drova and delighted that I have raised my family here. The combination of Barx, fabulous Gandia and the terrific culture and friendship that we have encountered has been entirely seductive.
     
  7. surveyor spain

    surveyor spain New Member

    See for yourself

    I agree Nick,

    As a surveyor I have visited most areas from Castillon to Murcia and personally chose La Drova to live for good reason. Most houses here are built on bedrock, which is a big plus as many buildings on the costas sit on less stable substrates. Most properties are established and legal, and development is generally of low density with green surrounds.

    The La Drova valley is on of the closest high points to the Valencian coast (with Playa De Gandia being a very popular spanish beach resort) and is hence popular with Spanish and foreign owners (including people from Madrid) as it makes for wonderful summer living (whilst the coast just 15 mins away can be too hot). While in the winter it is a little colder than the coast below, we are only talking 3-5 degrees and it is still warm enough to support palm, orange and lemon trees. Property here is not cheap, traditionally wealthy Gandia families and foriegn visitors, have built large villas here, though more recent delopment has also seen smaller units created. There are however some good deals to be had.

    There are very few valleys as pretty in the zone and the natural park is a popular attraction. All La Drova residents can enjoy beautiful country walks within minutes of their homes.

    Anybody looking to purchase should certainly take a look at La Drova and as always I would recommend that people see areas for themselves covering a 1hr drive radius. Many people that have done this, have chosen La Drova as their preferred place to purchase and it is obvious why.

    I do think that over time, anywhere can potentially reveal some negatives but having dealt with victims in other zones that have had their dreams shattered through, illegality, land grab, subsidence, flood etc. La Drova has always stood out as a sound choice.
     
  8. La Drovan

    La Drovan New Member

    La Drova

    I have lived in La Drova as long as nicks and would completely endorse everything he has to say about the area.
    I think the clue to the vitriol lies in the last paragraph -
    ' I lived in La Drova for four years and was lucky to sell. I now live in Xeraco'
    Moving from La Drova to Xeraco is the UK equivalent of moving from somewhere like Hampstead to Clacton, no one would do it unless they had to and I can only think of one person that has made such a move during my time in La Drova.
    That person certainly had good reason (largely self inflicted) to leave La Drova as quickly as possible and at whatever cost.
    La Drovan
     
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