Nice view, right? I took this picture on the veranda of a gorgeous little villa in Murla. This tiny little remote village located in Alicante was our final stop on our holiday back in July.
When I say remote, I really mean it. It’s pretty much in the middle of nowhere in Spain (in a nice way!) with a tapas bar or two in the tiny town. If you want to do some grocery shopping or experience a little bit more activity, you go to the neighbouring town of Jalón (or Xaló, in Catalan). You won’t find anything too commercialised around here, so I wouldn’t bank on trawling the sales at Zara or Blanco, this area of Spain doesn’t with such things, and that’s what’s nice about it.
What brought us to Murla? My surrogate parents, as I like to call them. For as long as I can remember, my parents have been best friends with Helen and Victor. Helen and Victor’s son and daughter, Kev and Niamh have been like extra siblings for my brother, sister and I and we’ve spent many a holiday and event together, including weekly dinners and summer barbecues for over two decades…obviously a lot more in my parents’ case.
Anyway, Helen told me when they’d be in Spain and it was the same time as our holiday, so we drove just over an hour from Valencia to see the always warm and forever welcoming Helen and Victor, with the bonus of Victor’s sister Antoinette and her husband Michael (both of whom are fantastic too!)
We arrived around lunchtime in the searing heat. I remember being so incredibly happy once we got there, as my car doesn’t have air conditioning and we were melting all the way there. Have you ever driven a car in crazy heat with no air conditioning? It’s tough! You’ll sweat like you just ran a marathon. Your clothes will stick to you and…probably too much information, so I’ll proceed.
After our sweaty welcoming hugs (see, surrogate parents!) we showered and I dressed lightly in my bikini and my favourite summer dress this year which was a steal at €9.99 from H&M.
We relaxed and took in the view, pointing out houses nestled in the mountain side over a beer (for Niall) and a chilled glass of rosé for me before having a little nose around the villa which had it’s own quirky and colourful character about it.
Lunch was served up by Helen and Antoinette on a little table outside and we caught up and chatted about life in Ireland and life for us in Spain. The lunch was so appreciated – although I was on holidays, it was so nice to be looked after and fussed over by Helen (her specialty!) after all the driving I had done the past few days.
After lounging around in the sun with glasses of wine and dips in the pool to cool us off, we all washed up for more drinks on the veranda before heading out to dinner.
Murla unfortunately decided to close early that night by way of restaurants and bars (all two!) so we headed toward Jalón to a little restaurant where the guys had been the night before. The food was great, as was the atmosphere. We sat outside at a long table dotted with colourful candles on a quiet balmy night.
After dinner we headed back to the veranda for a few nightcaps and a game of Trivial Pursuit. I felt useless on the girls’ team, as the questions were really old but I tried my best! Victor reminded me I had a long drive ahead of me the next day and suggested bed. Again, this is where the surrogate parenting comes in!
My very happy team members!
The next afternoon, Helen had made another tasty lunch for us, so we were all set for the journey home to Salamanca. Murla was the perfect final stop on our holiday to refresh us for the long drive home. Thanks to Helen, Victor, Antoinette and Michael for being such great hosts!
If you would be interested in renting a villa between a group/family, H&V booked through Premier Villas Spain, but the villa is now available on Spain-Holiday.com. They’re away (in Spain, again!) this week, so I can’t be sure but these villas are clean, spacious and splitting the prices between a group would make it very affordable.
♥ ♥ ♥