Welcome to Jávea

Jávea is the jewel on the Costa Blanca coast. That sounds like marketing whitewash (pardon the pun) - but it really is a beautiful spot. Like other parts of the Spanish Mediterranean coast it has changed and developed since the tourism boom began in the late 1960s. But unlike its near neighbours, it doesn’t boast a proliferation of high rise blocks and development that overwhelms what was once a charming village. The mayor of Javea, back in the 1970s, saw what was happening down the coast and made an edict that no buildings could be built over 4 storeys high. And that holds true through to today which results in a place where the village and port of Javea still retain their character and charm.

Its restaurants offer everything from authentic tapas through to the very best in haute-cuisine. Its bars can offer you anything from a peaceful and cool retreat from the afternoon heat through to discos jumping to the latest in dance music.

The beaches are clean, plentiful and the water inviting. A range of watersports are on offer: water-skiing and jet-skiing for the thrill seekers; or for a quieter life why not take a pedalo out for a spin or go paddle boarding? If boating is more your thing, the harbour is home to everything from an Optimist dinghy to multi-million pound ocean going yachts. Some for hire, all free to look at. Xabia Activa are recommended if you want to enjoy an organised outdoor activity such as kayaking to secret caves and snorkelling in crystal clear waters.

Great outdoor activities in Javea with Xabia Activa - www.xabiactiva.com

Click on Xabia Activa to check out the great range of activities they offer.

The Pueblo

The pueblo dates back to the 13th century after the Reconquest and much of the church (which was originally a fort) dates back to the 15th century. In medieval times pirates would terrorise the coast and so the town was fortified - and when alerted to a potential attack, the fisherman would retreat up to the pueblo for protection. To this day the Casco Antiguo (old town) of the pueblo is defined by where the old town walls ran. As time passed and the pirate attacks relented the fort changed function and became the main place of worship in the town.

Today the narrow streets of the old medieval town are great fun to wander down and explore - there are a variety of shops to catch the eye as well as some galleries and of course there are a variety of bars and restaurants where you can stop and whet the whistle and try some croquetas or sepia (see the things to do page [click link] for a brief explanation of some of the food and food culture of this part of Spain).

The Port

So the pueblo is where you can go to soak up the atmosphere of an old Spanish town - and to get your history and culture fix. The Port has a different flavour. This is still a working Port, retaining a small fishing fleet and at different times of the day you will see the fishing boats coming in and out. They normally return at 4pm and the fish is taken straight from the boats and into the auction where it is bought by the local restaurants, fishmongers and supermarkets. Some of the fish that is off loaded is also sold direct to the public - there is a fishmonger that is attached to the port. You can stroll down in the afternoon and watch the fisherman unload the catch and then purchase your choice of a range of fish to take home and make the freshest of homemade paellas or a simple dish of barbecued sardines with rock salt and lemon . . . delicious.

The Port is a popular place for tourists to visit - it’s a quaint setting with its own beach next to the port that is home to a small fishing fleet and every type of private boat from old school life saving boats (i.e. a rowing boat) through to massive ‘gin palaces’ (to view the really impressive oligarch type motor mega-yachts, go to the larger port in nearby Denia). Many people visit the Port to enjoy a leisurely drink looking out across the bay after their morning walk or cycle ride or to have a lunch or dinner at a waterside table. There are a large variety of bars and restaurants to suit every taste and pocket.

Fisherman's Church, Javea Port - detail

The Port is also home to the extraordinary Iglesia de La Virgen de Loreto (church). A beautifully realised modern Church that is sympathetic to its setting and reflects the Parish.

Outside it looks like some kind of sea creature that has landed in amongst the buildings of the Port and inside you feel as though you are under the sea as you look up at the underside of the hull of a wooden boat.

Strolling past outside of an evening is quite magical - since the shape of the building reflects the sound of the waves lapping at the shingle shore of the Port - a sound which is otherwise obscured by the buildings that stand between you and the sea. It is almost like some art installation - standing surrounded by concrete and yet being bathed in the organic sounds of wave upon shore.

The Arenal

For the children, the Arenal beach is a very safe environment with the beach and promenade well away from traffic. It is a bay with a sandy beach and a shallow sloping shelf, so there is extremely safe bathing, even for toddlers, since the waves are small and break a long way from the shoreline. There is a children’s activity area, and a multitude of restaurants and shops in the specially designed pedestrianised area behind the beach.

Pueblo BlancoView to sea from bedroom window