My boyfriend, Jonny, and I recently spent a long weekend in Spain. We were visiting friends that moved there last October.
They live in a gorgeous, remote area of the Valencian Community. By train, it is just over an hour from Valencia itself.
The nearest town (with a train station) is Gandia which is a 15 minute drive from their villa. The villa sits high on the mountainside and can only be reached by an incredibly steep, winding road. The views are breath-taking as you climb higher and higher up the mountain.
The nearest town (without a train station) is Oliva, a traditional Valencian town that is still being developed and brought into the 21st century.
It is here I experienced my first Spanish market.
I thought it was Italy that was famous for its beautiful leather shoes, but I was amazed by the style and variety in Spain. And by the price!
There were rows and rows of pretty flip flops, sandals and wedges. What I loved most is how unique each pair was… so different from anything I’ve seen in the shops back home. Once I tried some on, I realised how comfy they were too. Lovely padded soles and real leather… for only €15 per pair!
My friend Jane and I spent ages trying on different sandals and I couldn’t resist buying two pairs. To be honest… I would have bought so much more if I was restricted by hand luggage!
Happily swinging our bags of shoes, we continued on, into the hustle and bustle of the market. We realised we’d only got a few stalls in as we’d been so distracted by shoes!
As well as shoes, there were stalls selling leather handbags and wallets, woven beach bags, bikinis, dresses and loose summer trousers. For most stalls, they had a little curtained off section to try clothes on. For others, we just tried the summer trousers on over what we were wearing.
When I wanted to try a top on, though, the stall owner guided me to a white van! Sliding the door behind me, I quickly got changed inside the van. When I pulled the door open again, the stall owner was holding a small mirror up for me to have a look.
What I found interesting is the Spanish women’s love of shoulder pads! The top I bought, a beautiful floral pattern, had shoulder pads sewn in. I am still undecided whether to remove them or just go with the Spanish look!
It was the quality and value for money that struck me most about this market. I wish I had had more luggage space so I could have bought more not only for me, but for my friends.
The trousers I bought were only €3 each.. such an incredible bargain!
So, if you are ever in Spain and have the opportunity to visit a local market… you absolutely should! And make sure you pack light so you have room for your purchases.
If you’re ever in Oliva, the market is on every Friday.
x Morts x