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Monday, 21 November 2011

Marjal Costa Blanca

Well, we've been here a week now. The site is enormous, the largest in Europe we think and we like the amount of space generally and of our pitch in particular.




Such a treat to have brand new ultra modern facilities at hand and the option of an activities programme including archery, painting, dance classes, poker, boules, tennis, golf, walking, bike-riding, swimming and cribbage to name a few! We have agreed that the first mention of basket-weaving and we are gone. A few hiccups with the wi-fi and pool heating but the site have delivered thus far.

Because we are staying until the end of March we have a very good deal on the rates and because we're guinea pigs we currently have wi-fi, electricity and access to the spa & fitness club included gratis!!

The camp is buzzing and a continuous stream of motor homes, caravans and campers keeps Mr H busy with his self-appointed role as arrivals and departure monitor. No badge or hat required just the ability to angle your lounger, sunglasses and foot rest to the best vantage points.
  
We threw ourselves into the opening weekend celebrations by joining hundreds of people in the sunshine at an outdoor paella feast. As we waited in line (a very very long line) in typical british fashion, we chatted to fellow campers and the sites website facilitator while Mr H acquired numerous free beers for us. Many in the line arrived with an array of large receptacles for the paella including washing up bowls and huge cook pots which were duly filled by the caterers without question as we were handed ours on paper plates. Mr H managed to eat most of his but the chicken skin complete with feathers and animal vertabrae was rather off-putting for me. I must be in the minority because all seemed to relish the dish and many were heating it up the following day for lunch.


We have sampled a 3 course meal in the restaurant at 9 euros per head and it was excellent, the staff on site are numerous and friendly. Mr H has made friends with the hard-working, ever-present, ever-pleasant gent who manages the camp supermarket and they practise their language skills at every opportunity.  It has to be said that the prices in the shop are comparable to Lidl (other supermarkets are available) and the local supermarkets.

One downside to this fabulous new site is the rural location so you really need transport to get out and about. Catral is not too far to walk to and we have visited the Saturday market at Almoradi; excellent fruit, veg, cheeses, olives and leather goods and well attended by the local spanish community, always a good sign. We now have our hire car so finding our way around the local towns, villages and markets. Have been to Alicante, Elche, Crevillente and Guardamar so far. Even with the aid of a current spanish ordnance survey map we find ourselves driving around various roundabouts several times and occasionally still manage to miss our exit. Mr H says it all adds to the fun and I agree. 

2 comments:

  1. It’s always delightful to get in at the ground floor when freebies abound; and this was certainly the case when Marjal Costa Blanca opened.

    But in three short years things have changed for the worse. There’s virtually no inflation in Spain; rather the opposite. We’re seeing deflation at around 4%. Nonetheless, Marjal Costa Blanca are jacking up their prices and withdrawing facilities like there’s no tomorrow.

    Shortly to be gone are the most of the freebies. Marjal say that their rates are competitive with other camps. One might be forgiven for wondering, however, if this implies price fixing.

    The main problem with Marjal Costa Blanca is its location. This is not a suitable location for a campsite. There are continuous high winds, some approaching 60 kilometres per hour, dust storms, farmers burning plants nearby; and worse of all, the locals, who are offered very attractive prices, invade the camp at weekends. It’s not uncommon to find hundreds of screaming children doing their best to make life intolerable for foreign campers.

    The reality is that many foreign campers have found more congenial campsites for future visits. Marjal will find itself having many vacant sights in 2014/5.

    The final insult is the quality of the food served in the bar/restaurant. While the food served when the campsite was first opened was quite good, the only word for it now is deplorable.

    Greed now rules the day at Marjal Costs Blanca.


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  2. I agree with anonymous’ comments above, but what kills the site for me and my family is the noisy motorway adjacent to Marjal Costa Blanca.

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