Moraira is a gem of a town just a short distance south of Javea on the coast of the central Costa Blanca and a 30 minute drive from Benidorm to the south. Formerly a quaint fishing village with stunning views across to El Peñon de Ifach, the rock of Calpe, it now survives from tourism whilst retaining much of the charm which has long attracted visitors and foreign residents.
Rather than the tacky fish and chip type eateries of many resorts, Moraira is blessed with a wide selection of stylish cafés within its pleasant streets notably ‘Deli’ on Calle Calatayud which serves up an interesting selection of home cooked dishes including inventive salads, curries from many nations and quiche dishes. For more authentic Spanish fare try the shaded Las Gaviotas in the main square which lies in the shadow of the town’s church. The main fish restaurants are located on the front overlooking the small port and fish market (La Lonja) where fish auctions take place every morning at 10am except Sundays. Well worth seeing.
Platja de l’Ampolla is Moraira’s only beach within comfortable walking distance of the centre lying just 500m from the fish market. Another more attractive option is Platja del Portet which is 1.5km north of the centre. This is the most chilled out spot you could ever wish for with golden sand, turquoise waters and a few little café bars overlooking the beach. For more extensive beaches it’s only a short drive to Javea and Denia where some of Spain’s finest beaches can be found. Beaches immediately south of Moraira are rocky rather than sandy but are excellent for snorkelling.
An interesting excursion from Moraira is to take one of the jet skis from the seafront between the fish market and Moraira castle and go on a tour of the coastline as far as Cabo de la Nao, a headland that offers fabulous views towards Javea. The excursions are from 9am till 11am and then from 11.30am till 1.30pm. To book in advance you can call 667 57 30 50 (they speak English). If that’s a bit pricey (or dangerous) for you then head to the Ermita de San Juan at El Portet and take one of the walks along the headland. The helpful tourist information on the outskirts of Moraira will give you a handy map of the area.
For shopaholics Moraira’s weekly market takes place on Fridays and there’s another one every Wednesday in nearby Teulada. Teulada is actually the old town of Moraira and is well worth a visit to see Santa Catalina Church and the Divina Pastora Chapel amongst others. You can also sample some of the regions wines at the San Vicente Ferrer wine cellar. The Moscatel Festival in early September is another good time for a tipple!
Moraira doesn’t have a lot in the way of hotels but there are plenty apartment blocks and independent villas around. In fact some of the residential villas out near Platja del Portet are amongst the most luxurious you’ll see anywhere. The nearest campsite to town is Camping Moraira just to the south on the coast road to Calpe.
Although the Tetley Bitter signs and Indian restaurants have long been a feature of Moraira they don’t spoil what is still essentially a Spanish town. How long this will last is anyone’s guess considering the vast number of estate agencies lining every street.
There is a Go-Karting circuit between Moraira and Teulada. For more information about it you can call 96 574 14 69 or ask at the tourist office.