Tuesday, June 18, 2024

In Search of Jardin de los Sentidos, Altea.

After last week’s fun and games trying to find the Palace in Gandia, my daughter Karlee and I set out on another “first time” visit… this time to Altea.

Altea is where the Gosting-McGregor clan invaded Spain almost 13 years ago when we rented our first villa up in Altea Hills. We arrived just after the BIG gota fria in 2007, just 2 days after actually and because we took our time travelling, we had no idea of what what going on while we were meandering through the channel tunnel, France and those damn scary mountains on the border to Spain. Luckily, I had not done my homework on the route before I left the UK and had no idea of the way that John Cleese, (the voice of my Tom-Tom) would take me. Had I realised the drive I would be facing, with 2 kids and a dog onboard, after we got through the flatness of France, I think I would still be plucking up the courage now to leave the hotel in Toulouse!

Sorry, I digress…I do that a lot …

We thought we would go back to our roots and as Karlee had devoloped a recent, all consuming interest in all things green, we decided to go in search of a little known garden by the name of “Jardin de los Sentidos”, or Garden of the Saints, described as a botanical tearoom, but is much more than that.

I truly hoped that St. Christopher would be with us on the way as I did not want a repeat of the Gandia circumnavigation of the week before, but seems he was otherwise engaged that day and so we were at the mercy of that damn Satnav again.

Altea was an easy drive and we were coming off the AP7 within 20 minutes of laving home. We arrived early so that we could spend the rest of the afternoon and evening reminiscing but set out to find the garden by 4pm, when they opened for the evening. We managed to find it by 7pm, lol.

Now there is a pattern emerging here, but really, Ms. Satnav told us we had arrived and parked us outside a pealla restaurant which looked delicious but not a flower or leaf in sight so we thought “oh here we go again”.

I won’t bore you all with the next three hours of our second Magellan tour but suffice it to say that.. if only we had turned left and not right, we MAY have found it!

Three hours later, we pulled up outside the garden and were so glad we did not give up. It is just beautiful. Small, funky, friendly, quirky and very different, with an Amazonian air about it that is so relaxing and good, not only for the soul, but for relieving the stress of “satnavigation” too.

Before I tell you more, here are a few photos that we snapped as we went along, resting in between on the many little “nookie” seating areas and hammocks that are dangling there for you to sway about in whenever you feel the need.

THE FLORA

Wandering around, you have to look out for the various animal life (including the cat) and the HUGE insects that dangle here and therešŸ˜‰

Then there are the funky statues and furniture

And after you are done ( and this can take anywhere between 45 minutes and a couple of hours) then you return to the reception, which doubles up as a cafe and shop, where they then give you choices of various teas, coffee or slushes plus home made cakes and plate of fresh fruit, which is all part of the ā‚¬10.00 ticket price.

Nos encantĆ³ todo!

Please do go along and see for yourself. It is actually just off the N332 but blink and you will miss it. DO NOT put the address in your satnav unless you want paella, lol. Just lookout for the sign below if you are coming in from Calpe to Altea… it will be on the right as you are heading in, just before the Gadea hotel. There is a shop called Casagalera on the corner where you need to turn. ( Put their address in if you want GPS to find it (El, Carrer Puput, 1, 03599)

It is not adapted for disabled people I’m afraid and the paths are pretty wobbly so wear sensible shoes. If you click the photo below, it will take you to the official website where you can see more and call to book if you wish. You can also stay the night, although there are only 2 rooms available for bed and breakfast but they look cool too!

Click photo for Website

Did I mention how scared I am of heights?

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