Winter sun with Saga Holidays

Saga have been sending people on holiday for many years and they are always well respected by the Silver Traveller for the care and attention that they recieve, from the door-to-door service to the excellent Saga representatives that do a wonderful job to help you have a lovely holiday.

We spent a month — yes, a month — on holiday away from the cold British climate, getting away from energy bills and petrol prices. In this dreary time of year from January to March, it’s the perfect time to enjoy the sun in different parts of the world.

We didn’t want any long haul flights so decided on southern Spain. The weather possibly wasn’t as hot as some destinations but it was very pleasant at 19 degrees on some very good days. Our chosen hotel was the RH Ifach which over looks the Ifach rock which towers above the sea, standing proud overlooking Calpe bay.

This modern hotel caters for all and has spacious rooms and delicious food for our four-week stay. There is entertainment each evening, a heated indoor pool, a much cooler outdoor pool, a laundry room for the extra washing you may have to do, plus the loan of an iron if needed. No cleaning or cooking no beds to make or showers to clean – bliss.

Calpe is a very interesting, historic area. Opposite our hotel was the Salt Lake with flamingos which was created by the Romans for making salt to preserve the food for the Roman people. A ruined Roman fort is to be seen as you walk along the beautiful long promanade which winds its way to Calpe Centre. Go up Cardiac Hill to the old town – it is very steep but you can go up by bus!! Calpe Old Town is a treat to walk around with it’s tapas bars and history behind every doorway.

The transportation is excellent in this area and is inexpensive. On the bus (which is just around the corner from the hotel), ask for a Bono card which you buy from the driver. This card gives you ten journeys for six euros. The bus takes you to the tram stop and from there get the tram to your prefered destination. On the platform of the tram there are always lots of guards that you can buy another card from if you need to. You need two tickets one for the bus and one for the tram. You can go from Denia to Benidorm and see the interesting scenery from the comfort of the tram.

The lovely city of Denia, which takes 40 minutes and costs 55 cents each way using the card, has wonderful tree lined streets with good shops and bars. It has an interesting, well-used port, and old town with its old Fishermens Quarter. Denia is steeped in history surrounding its impressive castle and walled battlements. The Moors and Christians fought for this area which had belonged to the Romans, Turks and other countries that wanted to benefit from its busy productive port.

A trip to Altea is a must with its beautiful church perched high up on the hillside, but beware it is a very steep climb to the top of the hill. Alternatively walk along the beautiful promanade and stop for a welcome cup of coffee. To get to Albir which is about two miles further along the coast, just get the number ten bus outside the train station and ask for the Kaktus Hotel (a Saga hotel) which is very central to the area.

Benidorm is like marmite. You either love it or hate it. It has a character all of its own. Benidorm is a large city with massive high rise hotels blocking the sky line. But many people love the buzz of this area of Spain. Bars, cafes, night clubs and entertainment are what people love about Benidorm. People pour out of every establishment crowding the pavements with sun and fun seekers. For a more laid back approach make your way to the old town and go down Tapas Alley, a lovely treat when you taste the delights of Spanish food.

If you don’t like ‘going it alone’, then trips can be organised by your very professional Saga repesentative to various areas around Calpe. Trips are optional but it is well worth going to Valencia for the day and Guadalest – both beautiful areas to visit. Valencia is a place to return to on a weekend break or longer; it’s such a beautiful, interesting city.

The area around Calpe is ideal for walks along the promenade. You can walk towards Calpe, or go to Fossa beach which is very popular with visitors, or around the Salt Lake with flamingos enhancing the view as they graze the the salt water. Calpe is very popular with walkers, and ideal because you can just go around the area on your own or walk up into the mountains with professional guides. Also, lots of cyclists use this area in winter months due to the climate and varied terrain.

Near to the RH Ifach hotel is a small harbour, where you can go and watch the fishing boats arrive back with their catch. This can be done each evening, or you can just sit in the restaurants surrounding the harbour and eat some of the freshly caught fish with a sparkling glass of wine, or just watch the sun going down over Bernidorm.

One outstanding bonus on this lovely holiday is the people you meet. The Saga Representative has a meet and greet evening and we are all invited to meet like minded people and share our experiences of the hotel and the surrounding areas. Drinks and nibbles are provided and it is really good to meet your fellow travellers.

Join in the line dancing class or play petanque, go for walks with the animation team to the lake, or go to Ifach Rock and see Calpe from a very different angle. Play shuffle board or join in the quiz that takes place on most days. Solo travellers meet up with other solos and are not on their own for long. It is one of the most friendly holidays I have ever been on.

Why haven’t we done this before with Saga? I have been asking myself this question since we arrived. Well, I am sure we will be doing it again.

Next steps

Looking to escape dreary British weather as Glynis did? Call 0800 412 5678 and connect with our travel experts. Your winter sun awaits!


Share Article:

Glynis Sullivan

Traveller and writer for Silver Travel Advisor

Leave a comment


Sign up to our newsletter to receive the latest travel tips on top destinations.

Join the club

Become a member to receive exclusive benefits

Our community is the heart of Silver Travel Advisor, we love nothing more than sharing ideas, inspiration, hints and tips between us.

Most Recent Articles

Geoff Moore joined events across the island to celebrate Liberation Day, one of the most important dates in Guernsey’s calendar…
The Royal Shakespeare Company offers far more than just live theatre as Gillian Thornton found out on a visit to…

Come feel the love on a Princess cruise. You’ll enjoy the MedallionClass experience others simply can’t, and it’s exclusively for everyone. Visit incredible destinations and be involved in the best experiences around each one of them.

Experience more with Princess and connect effortlessly with the world around you, spend time away with loved ones, take a moment for yourself, and fall in love with your holiday of a lifetime, every time.

With over 20 years of experience, Wendy Wu Tours has mastered the art of creating exceptional, fully inclusive tours which showcase the very best of each destination.

Each tour is led by a world-class guide, who will highlight the very best of their homeland, and includes authentic cultural experiences so you are not just seeing the sights, but truly immersing yourself in local life.

Say hello to ease at sea. Ambassador’s purpose is simple: they want to inspire every guest to experience authentic cruising, effortlessly and sustainably. Passionate about protecting our oceans and destinations, their ships comply with the highest industry emission standards and there is no single-use plastic on board.

On your voyage, you will receive the warmest of welcomes from the Ambassador community as you sail upon the friendliest ships afloat.

This is a global co-operative co-owned by local partners using real local experts and guides, which supports local communities, environments and wildlife. It offers travellers quirky places to stay, activity holidays and learning experiences. Not In The Guidebooks gets travellers off the beaten track into local culture with day experiences and longer, immersive adventures.

From wild wellness breaks in Wales to painting in Portugal, sustainable adventures in Mauritius to food safaris in Brazil, this is immersive, exciting travel.

Seabourn’s five intimate ships carry guests to the heart of great cities, exclusive yacht harbours and secluded coves around the world, while two new purpose-built expedition ships will combine exhilarating adventures in remote destinations with the sophisticated amenities of the world’s finest resorts at sea.

From the luxury of all suite accommodations to complimentary fine wines and spirits, and a no tipping policy, Seabourn exemplifies the definition of travelling well.