Welcome to Pueblo Blanco

Jávea has something for everyone. Whether you are a culture vulture or a sports nut - or you enjoy the finer things in life like great food and drink and a beautiful view - the Javea region has something for everyone. This page is not definitive, but will give you a flavour of some of the things that make Javea such a great place to holiday. Scroll down to read more, or alternatively click on one of the links to go straight to that section:

Sports

There is a wide variety of activities available to you all the year round. During the winter road cycling is especially popular - because of the climate (it hardly ever rains) and the variety of terrain and quiet roads. This combination makes the area a magnet for the professional teams who come here en masse to do their winter training - BMC, Cofidis, Trek Factory Racing and Francais des Jeux have all been spotted this winter ('15/'16) cycling through Javea. La Vuelta (the Tour of Spain) visited Javea in 2015 and in 2016 is hosting a time trial stage (9th September).

Jem Hall rocking it in the Costa Blanca windsurfing

enjoy a kayak excursion with Xabia Activa, Javea, Costa Blanca With the beautiful Mediterranean quite literally on your doorstep at Pueblo Blanco, watersports such as sailing; scuba; surfing; SUP; kayak or windsurfing are all options available to you. Rent a stand-up paddle (SUP) board and cruise around the bay - a fantastic way to enjoy the sea - no previous experience is needed. Fun for all ages and a good workout too. Alternatively grab a kayak and explore some of the beautiful caves that litter the coast or paddle to an isolated beach or cove and enjoy your own slice of paradise.

snorkelling on the Costa Blanca with Pueblo Blanco, Javea and Xabia ActivaSnorkelling the azure waters with Xabia Activa

Take a snorkel and mask and you can enjoy the beautiful clear waters and variety of sea life that live off the coast. In May you might even see a pod of fin whales (razorback whale) as they pass Javea on their migration south!!

find hidden caves in kayak with Xabia Activa, Javea, Costa Blanca

If sailing is more your thing, the harbour is home to a whole variety of craft and some are available to rent (with crew) for a days sailing. If you prefer a bit more speed then motorboats are also available for a spin across the bay. Don Pepito on the Costa Blanca with Pueblo Blanco, JaveaOr grab a jet-ski and see if you can come across the famous 'Don Pepito' - a floating bar that visits some of the more popular coves serving drinks to people aboard their boats that are anchored there.

climbing on the Costa Blanca with Xabia ActivaClimbing on the coast near Javea

In addition there are some great spots to go climbing or to go canyoning. If you prefer something less technical but equally fun then the coast boasts some great stretches for coasteering. Coasteering is basically where you do a little climbing of sea-side cliffs (without ropes) and then when you have had enough - or are high enough - you leap into the sea, cool off a little and then start again! coasteering on the Costa Blanca with Xabia ActivaIt's great fun, but to find the best spots, and to know where it is safe to jump, then we recommend that you use a guide (who can also provide you with the correct equipment to enjoy your sports safely). We recommend Xabia Activa, for any of the sports listed above. They are the first and only fully licensed and insured outdoor activities operator in the Javea area.


coasteering on the Costa Blanca with Xabia ActivaCoasteering with Xabia Activa

We recommend Xabia Activa if you want to enjoy an organised trip with fully qualified and insured guides. They can take you to hidden caves in kayak; lead to you the best and safest spots to go coasteering; organise a hike through the back country and explain to you the flora and fauna that you see; enjoy your first experience of climbing or canyoning, in complete safety. Xabia Activa's guides are multi-lingual and are from this area and so know the history, culture (and best spots to eat and drink!) better than anyone. Not only that, they are the only fully licensed operator in the Javea area.

Click the links below for more information about:

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Food & Drink

There is a (mythical?) UN report that cites Javea as one of the healthiest places to live in the world. A combination of the climate and diet are the driving factors. In northern Europe much of the traditional cuisine consists of preserving foods in order to be able to consume them 'out of season' when the climate would be too harsh to harvest. So we have pickles, chutneys and jams to preserve vegetables and fruits; or smoked or salted meats and fish (proteins). In this part of Spain these techniques have not been traditionally employed - since everything was eaten fresh. Fish from the ses and produce from the land - the climate means that there is a virtually a year round growing season. Hence the healthy diet of the Javienses (people from Javea).

As a modern and cosmopolitan community there is a wide variety of cuisines available to visitors - in addition to the local Valenciano cuisine you can find restaurants offering something to all palettes: Indian, Thai, Italian, Argentinian. Fine dining is also available - Javea boasts a 1 star Michelin restaurant in Bon Amb and in Denia Quique Dacosta has been listed in the Top 50 restaurants in the world for over a decade and has been awarded 3 Michelin stars since 2012.

Of course Valencia is synonymous with paella or rice dishes (arroces) in general. The Moors brought the rice with them and also the know how to irrigate and cultivate it. In the area to the south of Valencia, the Albufera, they found the perfect environment for rice cultivation - and this is why the paella is the dish of this part of Spain. Rice dishes (paella or arroz a banda) are all cooked in a flat round metal dish over a flame. The best will be cooked to order and this means some patience on the part of the diner since they take 30 minutes or so to cook. But this gives you the opportunity to enjoy some tapas and a glass of wine.

Recently an initiative to create a list of the best paella restaurants in Spain was launched, called wikiPaella (geddit?). Four restaurants in Javea are listed (out of 292) - Azorin & La Cantina are located in the Port; and Amarres 152 & La Perla in the Arenal.

The seafood in Javea is second to none. There is still a working fleet operating out of the harbour. The catch is landed and sold in the auction to the local fishmongers, restaurants and supermarkets. You can watch it all happen at 4pm each day when the boats come in. There is also a fishmonger attached to the auction selling the catch direct to the public (open until 9pm).

Squid and octopus are favourites and will appear on menus in different guises. Calamares are probably the best known, the squid rings that are either cooked on the grill (a la plancha) or battered and fried (a la romana). In this part of Spain octopus is either grilled (a la plancha) or it is served dried. Once caught the octopus is dried in the sun and then cut into fine slices and served with a drizzle of oil. Baby octopus will also appear on menus - it is battered and deep fried - and is delicious, like a protein popcorn! This is called 'chopitos' or 'chipirones'

  Names of foods and dishes
    paella = rice dish with saffron either seafood (marisco) or a mixture of meat and seafood (mixta).
    arroz a banda = traditional rice dish of fisherman where the rice is cooked separately in a strong fish broth.
    calamar = squid served either 'a la romana' (cut into rings, battered and fried) or 'a la plancha' grilled.
    sepia = squid, typically cooked 'a la' plancha' and served with a drizzle of oil and parsley.
    chopitos = baby squid (battered and fried).
    albondigas = Spanish meatballs (delicious!)
  Cooking styles
    a la plancha = cooked on the grill
    a la romana = dipped in flour and deep-fried in oil

The various colonisers of Spain have left their mark on the food culture of Spain. The Romans and Phoenecians introduced olives and olive oil and grapes for wine production; the Moors brought a variety of foods and spices with them that are now deeply entrenched in Spanish food culture - pulses, such as lentils and chickpeas; oranges and lemons; saffron amongst others.

Javea grew prosperous in the 19th century on the cultivation and production of grapes that were dried and shipped to the UK (predominantly). The typical grape for sultanas grown here is the Moscatel grape. The grapes were grown, picked and then flash boiled before leaving in the sun to dry on large cane frames. The typical architecture of this region include buildings called "Riu-raus" that have a large covered area with arches that allowed the hot air to pass over the grapes but prevented the intensity of the sun over desicating the grapes. The land that Pueblo Blanco was used for this purpose - there was a large riurau with the land around used for the initial drying and preparation of the grapes. These would then be taken down to the port where large steamers would anchor in the bay and rowboats would take the cargo of 'pasas' or sultanas out to them.

Oranges are also an important fruit in this area - the Seville oranges were shipped abroad for marmalade production, but the sweeter Valencia oranges are kept in Spain and used for juicing or eating. Whilst this is a dying industry hereabouts (cheaper production elsewhere) it is still possible to purchase locally grown oranges in the streets and lanes of the port and the pueblo and occasionally at the roadside.

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Fiestas

Any time of year is a good time to visit Jávea. As locals will be quick to tell you, the area has the most number of sunshine days of any part of Spain (some reports state 320 days per annum) and also boasts the longest life expectancy of all of Spain. In fact the World Health Organisation assessed the climate of the region to be the best for human beings. Could there be a link between the hours of sunshine and the longevity of residents? Of course there could be, but it could also be linked to the fresh fish, fruit and vegetables that originate from this area and the good humour of the local people. All these attributes of Jávea are best combined in the numerous fiestas that are dotted throughout the year.

The Spanish love a fiesta and they know how to throw a good party. Of course you don't need me to tell you that Spain and the Spanish are synonymous with parties - hardly a week goes by without some sort of celebration going on somewhere, often with its own food and dress attached - but all well supported by the local population and vigourously celebrated with music and dancing, often into the wee hours. And in the Valencia region you can throw in (quite literally) fireworks into that already volatile stew! If there is something to celebrate then the Valencianos like to make sure that everyone knows about it, by letting off crackers and fireworks in the street.

There are many fiestas and celebrations that are famous out side of Spain: the bull running in Pamplona; Semana Santa in Sevilla; the Fallas in Valencia; the Tomatino festival (massive tomato food fight not far from here) and the Catalans' passion for building human towers (castels) at any event (once I saw a spontaneous castel built whilst at a gig). Javea is no exception - the fiestas might not have the scale of those in Seville or Pamplona, but they are celebrated just as passionately. Some of those listed below may be particular to Javea whilst others may be celebrated nationally. This is not an exhaustive list, but rather picking out some of the highlights in the calender. To know the specific dates for this year, then please check one of the links at the side of the page for the tourist websites.

    5th January - Los Reyes Magos. The arrival of the Three Kings is the highlight of the Christmas celebrations for Spaniards. Children will excitedly gather to watch the Three Kings come ashore at the Port in the late afternoon and then make their way in a large procession of floats up to the Old Town. Then, once they know that the Three Kings are here, the children return home and will leave out a shoe and a drink and snack and hope to wake up to a present left by the Kings. This procession of the Three Kings is repeated right across Spain. The massive processions in Madrid and Barcelona are televised.
    Mid January - San Antonio Abad. The local priest will hold a blessing for animals and pets.
    Last week January - San Sebastian. San Sebastian is the patron saint of the Old Town and so the festivities are focussed there, including bull running in the plaza between the Church and the Town Hall.
    Mid February (Shrove Tuesday) Carnaval. Everybody gets dressed up in fancy dress and lets rip (at the mid-winter blues).
    Semana Santa or Easter. Week long series of processions and services culminating in Easter weekend.
    May 3rd - Santa Cruz. Crosses made of natural flowers are placed in various streets by the villagers and a competition is carried out for the most original and beautiful. To mark the end of the fiestas, the image of Jesus of Nazareth leads a procession from the church of San Bartolome (Old Town) back to the Ermita del Calvario.
    Mid June - Sant Joan/San Juan. This is celebrated nationally and is the principal fiesta of Jávea - parade of floats, dancing, bull-running, fireworks, flower offering procession and live music. It culminates on the 24th June (San Juan) which is a national holiday. The fiesta is about rebirth and so on the night of the 24th several fires are set in the street and people process through - leaping through the flames. The idea being that the flames will purify us of our sins.
    End of June - International Festival. Various food stalls, representing different countries from around the world, are set up in the Via Augusta and a large stage for music. Celebrating the diversity of the inhabitants of the area.
    Mid July - Moros y Cristianos. This is a big and colourful affair that is celebrated in the Port. For a week different groups from the port will dress as either Cristianos (Christians) or Moros (Moors) and at different events through the week will recreate the history of the Reconquest when the Moors were finally driven out from Spain. Lots of blundrbuss' being let off (i.e. loud bangs!), cigar smoking and brandy swilling. You will also see plenty of feasting by the various groups.
    July 16th: Fiesta de Nuestra Sra del Carmen - fiesta of the sailors. Fishing boats of the town take out the image of the Virgin, and scatter flowers on the sea.
    End of July - Living Chess
    August 31st-September 8th: Fiesta of the Virgen de Loreto. Patron of the Port of Jávea/Xŕbia. Bullrunning on the jetty, fireworks, live music
    December 13th: Fiesta of Santa Lucia. celebratory mass at the Ermita and then chocolate and churros are handed out.

Public Holidays in Spain are as follows:

  • 1 January: New Year
  • January 6: Epiphany
  • March 19: San José, Father's Day
  • Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Monday
  • May 1: Labor Day
  • June 24: San Juan Bonfires
  • August 15: The Assumption
  • September 8: Our Lady of Loreto
  • October 9: Day of the Valencian Community
  • October 12: Fiesta Nacional de España
  • November 1: All Saints
  • December 6: The Constitution
  • December 8: The Immaculate Conception
  • December 25: Christmas

Remember that in Spain the holidays are celebrated upon that specific date, regardless of the day of the week (i.e. it is not alloted to the nearest Monday to that date, as in other European countries.

Also note that different regions celebrate different holidays. So it may be a working day for Javea, but could be a holiday in Madrid - or vice versa!


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Contact us if you would like to make a booking or to answer any questions you might have.