Regarded by many as the jewel of the Costa Blanca, Jávea is a port town with an exclusive feel, set on a beautiful coastline, yet overlooked by an amazing mountain. Jávea has undeniably embraced tourism, yet in a far more classy way than some other towns on Spain’s famous Costas. Did you know that according to the World Health Organisation that Jávea has one of the healthiest climates in the whole world? Mix this in with the fact that the medical journal, the Lancet, ranked Spain as the healthiest country to live in within Europe, well if you’re looking for a good spot to holiday or even invest in, Jávea is definitely right up there!
Romantic coves and beautiful beaches
Think of romantic coves, beautiful beaches and wonderful scenery. Enjoy the three different aspects of Jávea – the old town, the coastline and the pretty port area. Discover a stylish tourist town, where you are entirely spoilt for choice in terms of where to go for food, drink or shopping experiences. Of course it’s not a surprise that Jávea has a healthy tourist industry, as well as a noticeable number of International residents.
The Arenal Beach is the most popular with tourists, but try not to miss out on one of Spain’s most beautiful beaches – La Granadella. It’s actually a horseshoe-shaped cove, which has sapphire blue water and seagrass beds.
Embraced by a vibrant, verdant green
Driving to Jávea (Xabia), whether you come via Valencia or Alicante, is a real treat once you hit a certain distance from the upmarket tourist town. The countryside is filled with pines and other trees, and even in early September, after a hot summer, the palate was a vibrant, verdant green. For some of you Javea may not not be a secret of Spain, although I still know a number of people who haven’t heard of it. Jávea is on the Costa Blanca, almost an equal distance between Valencia and Alicante.
Stroll around Jávea old town
Enjoy a stroll around the narrow, medieval streets of Jávea’s old town. Tosca sandstone, whitewashed façades, Gothic windows and arched doorways are made even prettier with colourful flower pots. The landmark of the old town is undoubtedly the 14th to 16th century Church of St. Barthomolew (Iglesia de San Bartolomé), which is a fine example of Isabelline Gothic architecture. However there are a number of other interesting buildings to be seen.
A pleasurable stroll in the old town will also bring you past a number of family owned traditional shops and plenty of tapas bars. Be sure to rest your legs and enjoy the ambience, over a nice cool drink, perhaps accompanied by some tapas, and just people watch and take in the scenery.
Spend time in the historic pretty port area
The origin of the pretty port area of Javea can be traced back to the 15th century. Check out the narrow streets and the old fishermen’s houses, and the avant-garde church, with a silhouette that highlights the area. Be there to wait for the fishing boats to arrive, and see the fish auction.
Jávea for foodies
As you enter the lands surrounding Jávea, and see the abundant fertility, and look out to the Meditereanan sea, it won’t surprise you to know that Javea is also a good spot for foodies. Seafood and rice dishes feature, as do sea urchins. Fresh produce comes from the fertile valley of St. Barthomolew, and other favourite ingredients include raisins, legumes, figs, saffron and dried red peppers. I would like to mention one restaurant that we went to, where we had wonderful food and impeccable service – this is Eme & J Carlos – it’s not far from the Arenal Beach.
Javea is proud of its gastronomy and runs a number of events throughout the year such as Xábia al Plat, for 10 days in March, where delicious menus are prepared and offered at a special price. In the old town, towards the end of September the Tapas Festival takes place, and in October there’s another Tapas Festival in the port area.
Throughout the centuries the wind and sea have played artistically with the environment so that today you can see sculpted scenery. The Jávea municipality has a rich, diverse natural heritage, which includes some protected spaces, such as a marine reserve, a natural park and plant micro-reserves. Explore islands, cliffs, coves, capes, beaches, mountains and valleys. There are a number of spots that are a photographer’s dream!
From the water…
On land there’s many beauty spots, but don’t forget to see Jávea from the water. If you’re into scuba diving the rich sea floor is somewhere to explore the diversity and beauty of the flora and fauna. There are 10 routes that are included in a small guide on offer at the Tourism offices.
Alternatively there are sea excursions which are on most of the year, that take visitors out to the sea and off to see nearby towns. You can also hire boats, kayaks and jet skis.
Where to stay
With a parador in a superb location, overlooking the water that laps into the shoreline of Arenal beach, it would be a shame not to experience the Spanish concept of a parador if you visit Jávea. There are some other good luxury hotels in and around Jávea, but the views from the rooms facing the sea in the Parador are beautiful.
To give you a little taste, I will leave you with this image of a wonderful sunrise over the sea, at the Arenal beach, where the Parador is located!
Jackie de Burca is Co-owner of Catalonia Valencia.