Javea lies in the shadow of the dominating Montgo Mountain in the northern Costa Blanca and is one of the most popular resorts of the region. The town started attracting north Europeans more than 30 years ago and many of these visitors never left leaving a thriving ex-pat community to this day. But don’t let that put you off. Javea is an attractive destination with plenty to offer visitors including some of Spain’s finest golden beaches.
Javea is divided into three parts: Javea Pueblo (the old town); Javea Puerto (the bustling port area); and Playa de Arenal (the main beach area). Today the old town and the port are pretty much joined thanks to the property development which has gone on in the town whilst Playa de Arenal lies some 3km along a rocky beach from the Port.
Javea Old Town
The pleasant old centre of Javea is worth passing a few hours one morning. Just wander around admiring the whitewashed buildings with Gothic features. Take a look in the Gothic Church of San Bartolome and visit the busy food market with its stalls full of fresh fish and fruits and vegetables from the region. Take a coffee break at Temptations below the Church steps or stop at the cafe on C/Major below the steps which lead up to the very helpful tourist information in the Plaza de la Iglesia (Church Square). They’ll provide you with a pamphlet which gives you a suggested walking tour of the old centre.
Nowadays most ports in tourist destinations have become trendy marinas with designer shopping outlets but not Javea. It still functions as a fishing port with yachts moored in the same vicinity. It is very much a lived in area which is popular with visitors attracted by its lovely promenade with open air terrace restaurants and pleasant local bars. Views across the bay are spectacular. During the first week of September it is home to one of Spain’s more unusual fiestas when bulls are released into a paddock area where they are taunted by local youths who jump into the sea when the bull charges them. The aim is to get the bull to fall into the water (see Javea Festivals).
Playa de Arenal is Javea’s beach area. It is a chilled area stretching no more than 300m from the well located Parador in the north as far as the bargain food restaurant of Scallops in the south. There area numerous café bars and restaurants set back from the wide promenade which charge prices inconsistent with a place that hasn’t yet acquired exclusive client status. They also charge for two sunbeds with a parasol and there’s a charge to use the water from the beach showers. That’s a first.
If you don’t fancy paying over the odds for a fish main course just head for Scalllops of Javea where you can get a 3 course meal with wine for a very reasonable price! On the front drinks are also pricey. Cheaper options exist in numerous bars set back from the beach where you’ll meet a friendly crowd of ex-pat locals. The beach itself is fabulous with superb fine, golden sand. There are volleyball nets along the back of the beach which are popular later in the day and there are plenty play areas for the kids.
Just 8km south of Playa de Arenal is rocky outlet called Cabo de la Nao which affords stunning views back over Javea and as far as Ibiza on a clear day.
Recommended Hotels in Javea
The Javea Parador is perfectly located at the northern end of the Arenal Beach. The bedrooms have large windows with excellent views of the sea and the gardens are filled with many different varieties of tropical plants and flowers. There is a restaurant in the Parador where you can sample typical dishes of the area such as Fideua which is a noodle based Paella typical of the Valencia region.
The El Rodat Hotel Village is a member of the “Small Luxury Hotels of the World” group. It is comprised of suites and bungalows spread out amongst the beautiful gardens of tropical plants and trees. All suites have a private terrace and are luxuriously decorated. The Wellness Centre includes a full spa and other facilities include both an outdoor and indoor pool, paddle and tennis courts. The L’Arroceria restaurant is open at lunchtime and has a terrace which is a perfect spot to enjoy the rice specialities and the view of Javea bay.
This Denia Marriot La Sella Golf and Spa Resort is located in Jesus Pobre only a short distance from Javea and the hotel provides a shuttle bus into Denia during the day. As its name suggest the hotel has its own golf course and many of the rooms have balconies overlooking it. The rooms are spacious, well decorated and very clean with all the facilities you would expect and all of the suites have a jacuzzi. There is a choice of restaurants and bars offering excellent local and international cuisine. The kid’s club is very good and offers lots of different games and activities all day long.
This is a good area for camping and there are some nice campsites in the area with El Naranjal the pick of the bunch as it is only a 5 minute walk from Playa de Arenal with good sized pitches, plenty shade, a bar/restaurant area and a great swimming pool.
Things to Do in Javea
As well as whiling away your days on the beach at Playa del Arenal and dining in some fine local eateries there’s plenty to do to amuse the whole family. Scuba diving in Javea is highly recommended and there’s no end of dive shops offering introductory dives and PADI courses. The Costa Blanca has more than 13 golf courses and sailing opportunities are available from local ports.
There are also some good trekking routes around Javea and if you are interested in doing some trekking you should ask in the Tourist Information office for the booklet “Nature Parks and Trekking Routes”.
There are plenty day excursions available to other interesting resorts such as Denia and Gandia and the drive along the coast takes you adjacent to many superb beaches. Some of the best are just beyond Denia from Javea as far as Oliva.
If this all sounds too hectic take the kids to the crazy golf or the go-kart track next to El Naranjal camping set just off the main road neat El Arenal beach while you go for Sunday Roast and a pint of bitter at the popular Quo Vadis bar next door. There are 2 swimming pools within the complex.
For ‘foodies’ try the local rice based dishes which are typical of the Valencia region at the El Port district of Denia. If you’re looking for something extra for the kids head a little south to Benidorm and take them to one of the Benidorm theme parks.
Transport in Java
There are buses that run every 30 mins from Arenal beach to the Port and to the Old town. There are also buses from Javea to both Alicante and Valencia and to Denia. For more information about times and fares you should look at www.alsa.es.