What to do in Javea?
“This is the place I always dreamed of — a mountain and the sea, but what a sea!”
Thus Sorolla described the panorama of this town in Spain’s Levante region. The vivid green of the pine forests sloping right down to meet the crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean sea makes for a perfect combination of colours captured so masterfully by the artist in his paintings.
In truth, it is impossible to resist the charms of this area bounded by the Cabo San Antonio, the
Montgó mountain and Spain’s easternmost cape, the Cabo de la Nao. Jávea’s contrasting elements make a startling impact on the visitor’s senses: the mountain clothed in pine, almond and carob trees, the coves with their turquoise waters, while within the town itself, the cobblestone streets with their whitewashed houses, complemented by the area’s typical Tosca sandstone, make for a picturesque historic quarter.
There are two distinct areas: Jávea’s old quarter, rising high above the rest of the town, is criss-crossed by narrow streets festooned with colourful flowers that bring a touch of gaiety to the pristine medieval, typically Mediterranean façades.
Here, visitors can find fascinating boutiques selling artisan goods, and tapas bars with their own particular charm and a mouthwatering, reinvented, Levantine cuisine. In the main square stands the impressive Gothic church of San Bartolomé, with its cannons and imposing, carved doors. Just behind the church, the provisions market is always replete with top-quality produce, and here the visitor can also enjoy tapas in an authentic, lively setting.
Jávea as a seaside town.
The lower part of Jávea has two main focal points. One is the bustling promenade, the Paseo del Arenal, with its large beach and huge assortment of beach bars. Some of these, including La Siesta, Montgo di Bongo and El Achill, have acquired mythical status, thanks to their chilled-out atmosphere. Or there are restaurants, such as the Monsoon Thai, a Thai restaurant which is particularly popular locally, or La Perla de Jávea, where guests can enjoy superb rice dishes while gazing at the spectacular views.
Without a doubt, the port has become one of the trendiest places in recent years. Though on the quiet side, it nevertheless boasts magical spots such as the cove of La Grava with the casual-chic Cala Bandida restaurant, and a lively seafront promenade with craft stalls on summer evenings.
Having fun in Jávea: Everything you can imagine.
For sport and leisure enthusiasts, Jávea is a destination of infinite possibilities. Kayak trips are one of the most popular activities, especially to enjoy the islands — El Descubridor and Portixol — and the secret caves that are only accessible from the sea.
Thanks to its size, the bay offers opportunities for paddle boarding and surfing; pedalos are also available for hire.
Lovers of the countryside will want to include an ascent of the mountain, Montgó, on their family itinerary. With an altitude of 750 m, Montgó dominates the area, and offers not only fantastic views, but also the possibility of an enjoyable hike, with routes of varying degrees of difficulty.
Another excursion that can be undertaken with children in Jávea is the mirador, or viewpoint tour, which allows visitors to view the entire coastline, and to discover the various towers that were built along the coast to ward off pirates.
Breathtaking secret coves.
Having said a little about the numerous attractions of this lovely town, we must not forget its nine beaches and coves. All nine have a blue flag to attest to the quality of their waters, and one of Jávea’s outstanding features is its wide selection of beaches, ranging from large expanses of fine sand through pebble beaches to magical coves with limpid waters.
Arenal beach is probably the most popular, partly thanks to the range of services it offers (all kinds of restaurants, canoe and pedalo hire, beach loungers, etc.). It is lined with palm trees, and has a busy seafront promenade. During the season, the surfers provide a highly enjoyable spectacle when viewed from the shade of one of the terrace bars.
Another highlight in terms of beaches is La Grava, which is closer to the port, and less crowded but equally delightful. It has a small promenade with good quality restaurants offering fish fresh from the market and typical local cuisine, as well as quaint, charming craft shops. The small town around it is home to the Parroquia del Mar [parish church] with its unusual floor plan and innovative architecture.
However, the jewel in Jávea’s crown must be the idyllic cove La Granadella; which has been voted one of the most beautiful spots on Spain’s coast. Here, the pine trees stretch down to the sea, and the waters are an irresistible shade of blue.