La Isla de Valdecañas: A little paradise in the middle of Spain
As all my Instagram followers for sure noticed, couple weeks ago we spent a weekend in La Isla de Valdecañas. I shared a lot of pictures from that super beautiful place and when we got back home, my inbox filled with your messages. “Is that place really in Spain?”, “That place looks unreal, it’s like a paradise!”, “How many hours’ drive was it from Madrid?”, “Was that expensive place to stay?”, “Was that more like for couples or families?” Just to give few examples for you 🙂 .
And yes, I couldn’t agree with you more! That place was unreal, so beautiful that I couldn’t found enough words to describe it and felt like we were in another country. Landscape was so different which we are used to, very non-Spain and it felt like we were abroad.
It took less than two hours to drive from Madrid to there and in my opinion hotel night was quite reasonable priced. We stayed at Vincci Valdecañas Golf Hotel (click link for more info about the hotel) and it was 145€/ night for three persons breakfasts included. The hotel was modern, room with a lake view really neat and spacious, the staff was really nice and helpful, the breakfast was all-round and very delicious. Also, my husband praised the golf course to the skies and as you can see, the hotel pool area was more than good. So, ten points and parrot badge from me!
We stayed actually only in hotel area and it was enough for us as we were there only couple of days. Our son loves spending time by the pool, so he was well-entertained but would say that there is more to do for adults. Especially if you’re a golfer! Then this place is something you have to experience if you’re ever near Madrid with your golf bag 😉 . Also you can practice many other sports there like Tennis, Padel, Basketball, Beach volleyball, Football or even Kayaking.
THE FUTURE OF ISLA DE VALDECAÑAS IS UNDER THREAT
Sounds too good to be true and so it is unfortunately. Namely, the whole La Isla de Valdecañas is under threat. The entire complex, which includes nearly 200 luxury villas, a hotel, a golf course, a sports center, restaurants, etc., is built in the middle of a protected area. The Extramadura government (the autonomous region where La Isla de Valdecañas is located) gave its approval back in the day and was actively pushing the project forward as they saw it very important for them also. However, they have been from the beginning of the project, since 2005, constantly fighting with various environmental activist groups, who believe that the complex should never have been built and currently require its destruction and restoration of the area.
In 2014, a court decision was already taken to support the environmental activists’ demands for the destruction and restoration, but the Government of Extramadura wasn’t happy with it and insisted it would have catastrophic consequences for the whole area and above all for the nature. After the court decision, the Government of Extramadura made a request that the court decision should not be put into practice and requested a thorough, impartial research which would cover all the possible options. Request was granted and the report has now been prepared for the last three years by the Spanish National Research Council and was due to be completed last month. That report, as I understand it, will now determine the future of La Isla de Valdecañas.
If you don’t know all this, you don’t see or realize it when you are there at Isla de Valdecañas. Only a few unfinished villas might be strange, but if you have traveled to Spain, especially on the south coast, that is what you’ve seen many times. However, people who are working on the island are really familiar with the situation and they are still very hopeful about the future and the fact that they would have their jobs also next year among many other things. When we left the hotel for example, my husband’s last words for the reception staff in fluent Spanish were: “We are really looking forward to see you again and we surely hope that you are here also next year.” Two women with gentle smiles on their faces responded almost simultaneously: “That’s what we hope too.”