Dénia (Spanish: Denia) is a small tourist city located in the southeastern coast of Spain, to the north of Alicante province. It has a population of around 40,000 although this can be more than doubled by tourism during the summer months.
Dénia is right on the coastline of the Costa Blanca - the White Coast. On one side is the Mediterranean sea and to the other distant mountains. The town has had a very long history predating the Romans (when it was called Hemeroscopeion) and continuing through the Moorish period until the present. Almost everywhere in the town you can find ruins dating back to its historic past.
- 1 Tourist Info Dénia, C/ Manuel Lattur, 1 (opposite the train station), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Vary by season, generally M-Sa 9:30-13.45 and 17:00-19:00/20:00, Su 9:30-13.45; during Jul and Aug also open Su 17:00-20:00. Staff members speak English, French, and German.
Dénia is equidistant to Alicante and Valencia and both airports are very well serviced by numerous major and low-cost international airlines, so arriving and departing is really easy and because of the competition is not expensive. Both airports are approximately 60 minutes travelling time straight down the A7/E15 autopista.
- 1 Estació del TRAM (Tram Station), Passeig del Saladar, ☎ . Tram Alicante (el Trenet) operates a light rail train connecting all major settlements along the coast between Dénia and Alicante, with the exception of Xábia. From Alicante the travel time is about 2½ hours. Guide dogs and small pets in carriers are permitted.
For travelers with smartphones, there is a helpful official app (iPhone and Android) with a route planner and timetables. €1.35-7.15 for a single journey, depending on distance.
- 2 Estación de Autobuses (Bus Station), Plaza del Archiduque Carlos, 4. Within the region, Alsa operates a route connecting all major coastal settlements between Valencia and Alicante, including Cullera, Gandía, Oliva, Calpe, Altea, Benidorm, and Villajoyosa. There are also daily buses going to and coming from Madrid, Algeciras, Barcelona, Seville, and Almeria.
- 3 Port de Dénia (Puerto de Denia / Dénia Port), Estación Marítima, Moll de la Pansa, s/n. Has a taxi stand, bus service, restaurants, and Wi-Fi.
- 4 Baleària (in the main ferry terminal), ☎ (call centre), e-mail: email@example.com. M-Sa 09:00-20:00, Su 10:00-20:00. Operates ferries to the Balearic Islands, including Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca, Sant Antoni de Portmany, and Formentera. For ticketed passengers the company offers free transportation from downtown Dénia to the ferry terminal.
- 5 Mundo Marino, Avinguda Joan Fuster, 2 (ticket office), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Daily 09:00-14:00, 16:00-19:00. Operates a ferry route to Jávea (Xàbia); hours vary by season. A round-trip ticket costs €18, and the journey lasts 50 minutes.
DeniBus (tel. +34 966 421 408) operates five routes in Dénia, four of which depart from 6 bus shelters on the Esplanade Cervantes. A single journey costs €1.50, payable directly to the bus driver on entry. Route maps and timetables can be viewed here.
This is the original town settlement of Dénia and spreads from the harbour and old marina to the other side of the castle – the castle being the center which offered protection to the inhabitants. Today you can walk on cobblestone pedestrian streets, pausing for tapas and a drink at one of the many typical bars. It is very interesting to walk around the old fisherman neighborhood, the old marina and harbour or the main street (Carrer Marqués de Campos) which now has wonderful and elegant shops. The new marina is sited to the south side of town and you can walk, dine and drink whilst looking out over some wonderful yachts, both sail and motor.
- 1 Castell de Dénia (Castillo de Denia / Dénia Castle). Open daily: Nov-Mar 10:00-18:00, Apr-May 10:00-19:00, Jun 10:00-21:00, Jul-15 Sep 10:00-20:30, 16-30 Sep 10:00-20:00, Oct 10:00-18:30. The 12th century castle has been sympathetically restored and forms the center of the town and of the historical center of Dénia. It is in good condition and retains the main wall which encircles the castle. €3 (adults), €2 (seniors/students), €1 (children 8-14).
- 2 Museu Arqueològic (Museo Arqueológico / Archaeological Museum), Palau del Governador (in the castle). Open daily: Nov-Mar 10:00-18:00, Apr-May 10:30-18:45, Jun 10:30-20:35, Jul-15 Sep 10:30-20:15, 16-30 Sep 10:30-19:45, Oct 10:30-18:15. This 17th-century palace now houses archeological finds from Dénia and the surrounding area. Admission included with castle.
- 3 Museu Etnològic (Museo Etnológico / Ethnology Museum), Carrer Cavallers, 1. Tu-Sa 10:30-13:00 16:00-19:00, Su 10:30-13:00. In the ethnological museum you will find all the information about the ancient and most recent history, when Dénia was a big raisin exporter and had a big toy industry. Free.
- 4 Museu del Joguet (Museo del Juguete / Toy Museum), Carrer Calderón, 2 (1st floor of the former Dénia-Carcaixent train station), ☎ . Oct-Apr daily 16:00-20:00, May-Jun daily 16:00-21:00, Jul-Sep daily 17:00-21:00. The museum showcases a collection of toys produced from the early 20th century until the 1960s, when Dénia was a centre of toy manufacturing. Free.
- 5 Centre d’Art L’Estació, Carrer Calderón, 4 (ground floor of the former Dénia-Carcaixent train station), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Oct-May daily 10:00-13:00 16:00-20:00, Jun-Sep daily 10:00-13:00 17:00-21:00. A venue for temporary art exhibitions. Free.
- 6 Església Parroquial de l'Assumpció (Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción / Church of the Assumption), Plaça de la Constitució, ☎ . The 18th-century parish church has a couple of interesting Barroque altarpieces.
- 7 Torre del Gerro (Torre de l'Aigua Dolça / Gerro Tower), Carrer de la Via Lactea (5km SE of the old town). This well-preserved watchtower was built in the 16th century as part of a coastal defensive network against pirates. The tower itself is not generally open to the public, but there are great views to be had from the site.
- 8 Ermita de Sant Joan (Ermita de San Juan), Cami Nou de l'Ermita, s/n. This is one of the first churches built immediately following the Christian reconquista, between the 14th and 15th centuries. Between the 16th and 17th centuries the facade was expanded with an atrium.
- 9 Ermita de Santa Paula, Cami de Biserot a Santa Paula, s/n. Also built in the 134th century in the so-called 'reconquista style'.
- 10 Ermita de Santa Llúcia (Ermita de Santa Lucía), Partida Santa Llúcia B. A Gothic hermitage also of the reconquista style, built in the first half of the 15th century.
- Falles (Fallas). 15-19 March. As in Valencia, Dénia celebrates Falles with the plantà (assembly of the satirical falla monuments to be eventually burnt), l'Ofrena (offering of flowers to the Virgen de los Desamparados), the mascletà (gunpowder demonstrations), fireworks, and finally the cremà (burning of the fallas).
- Moros i Cristians (Moros y Cristianos / Moors and Christians). 13-16 August. This annual event commemorates the liberation of the town from the Moors by Jaime I of Aragon. On the 13th there is a reenactment of the sea landing of Moorish forces, on the 14th and 15th there are children's and adults' parades, respectively, and on the 16th the Christian landing is reenacted, including a mock battle, surrender, and retreat of the Moorish troops, finished with a show of fireworks.
Beaches and water sport
One of the main attractions of Dénia are the beaches, which stretch for around 26 kilometres of coast and are divided into three sections: sandy beaches, the marinas and the rocky coastline. Many of the beaches are 'blue flag' and from June until mid-October most are equipped with foot showers, first aid stations, lifeguards, and toilets. Along some stretches there are chiringuitos or beach bars which are open from May through September.
The sandy beaches of Las Marinas towards the northern side of Dénia are good for relaxing and sunbathing, and are suitable for children. 1 Platja Les Bovetes has disabled access, and dogs are permitted on 2 Platja de la Escollera Norte (near the port area).
The southeastern rocky end of Dénia is known as Les Rotes. If you like diving or just snorkeling this stretch is more interesting, where you can see all kinds of Mediterranean fishes, squids, octopuses, sea urchins, etc. 3 El Trampolí, 4 La Punta Negra, and 5 La Cala (near the cliffs), are very popular with divers; a prior permit, available from the tourist office, is required. 6 Platja de la Marineta Cassiana has disabled access and a boardwalk, is and easy stroll from the centre of Dénia.
Hiking and biking
- Parc Natural del Montgó (Montgó Nature Reserve). The Montgó (753 m) is now considered a nature reserve thanks to its Mediterranean flora and fauna. It has also some interesting caves like 11 La Cova de l'Aigua (Cueva del Agua). The drive over the mountain from Dénia to Javea on highway CV-736 is stunning with amazing views, and there are some great hiking and mountain bike trails. A brochure with route maps and descriptions (in Spanish) can be downloaded here.
DeniBus (tel. +34 966 421 408) has now begun to run a new circular bus route which departs 7 Plaça Jaume I (by the Conselleria de Sanidat / Centro de Salud Pública) and makes five stops along the northern flank of the mountain, greatly easing access to hiking trails. The new route is still being operated on a trial basis, and currently planned to run until 15 December, or longer if it is economically viable. A single journey costs €1.50, payable directly to the bus driver on entry. A route map and timetable can be viewed here.
- 1 Mercat Municipal (Mercado Municipal / Municipal Market), Carrer Magallanes, 16, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Sa 08:00-14:00. The traditional market is a good place to find fresh produce, local meat and fish, and baked goods.
- 2 Llotja de Peix (Lonja de Pescado / Fish Market), Puerto Pesquero (fishing port, off of l’Esplanada de Cervantes), ☎ . Summer: M-F 17:30-21:30; Jan Feb: M-F 17:30-20; spring and summer: M-F 17:30-20:30. You can watch the small fishing vessels bring the daily catch into the port where it is boxed and sold at auction – the freshest fish you'll eat anywhere! You can even buy it and take it back to your apartment to cook on the barbecue. Fishing boats arrive from 15:30 until 18:00, and sale begins at 17:30.
- 3 Mercat Ambulant Setmanal (Mercadillo Semanal / Weekly Market), Carrer Germans Maristes, 13-23. M 08:00-13:30. A good place to pick up local produce.
- 4 Rastro Antigüedades (Rastro Semanal / Fleamarket), Carrer Germans Maristes, 13-23. F 08:00-13:30. Good for secondhand items and antiques.
Dénia is famous for its restaurants which serve fresh fish and wonderful meat dishes. There are so many and so varied including a 3-starred Michelin-rated gastronomic wonder. In 2015 the city was designated a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy. It is most well known for the Dénia gamba roja (red prawn), a deep-sea prawn which lives in a trench between Cap de Sant Antoni (Cabo de San Antonio) and Ibiza, and fetches upwards of €100/kilo at the market. Other well-known and popular dishes include arrós a banda, which is the focus of an annual national cooking competition, suquet de peix, a type of seafood stew, and numerous other rice-based dishes.
- 1 Ticino Due, C/ de Bellavista, 3 (near the port), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Daily 10:00-23:00. Mainly Italian cuisine. Outdoor terrace. Reasonable prices. Set menu €12.60.
- 2 Quique Dacosta Restaurante, C/ Rascassa, 1 (Urbanización El Poblet), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Sep-Jun: W-Su 13:30-15:00 20:30-22:30; Jul Aug: daily 13:30-15:00 20:30-22:30. This restaurant is owned and operated by star chef Quique Dacosta, known for his avant-garde cuisine using only locally-sourced ingredients. It is widely considered to be one of the best restaurants not only in Spain but in Europe, and has been awarded three Michelin stars. Reservations can be made online, and require a €50 non-refundable deposit. Set menu €199, optional wine pairing €99.
There are many apartments and penthouses which can be rented as well as small hotels.
- 1 Hotel El Raset, Carrer Bellavista, 1, ☎ . Check-in: 14:00-23:00, check-out: 12:00-12:30. Has an onsite restaurant and bar, and free Wi-Fi. Parking €15/day. Doubles €126, including breakfast.
- 2 Hotel Villamor, Camí Entrador de Llobell, 1 (Carretera de Las Marinas, km 3), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 14:00-23:30, check-out: 07:30-12:00. Has an onsite bar and free Wi-Fi. Also has holiday apartments. Doubles €99-125, triples €142, breakfast €5.90.
- 3 La Posada del Mar, Plaça Dressanes, 2 (in front of the market), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 15:00-24:00, check-out: 12:00. Located in a restored 13th-century building, the hotel has an onsite bar and restaurant, and fitness centre. Free Wi-Fi, parking €16/day. Doubles €151+, breakfast €10.
- 4 Hotel Los Ángeles Dénia, Carrer Picardo, 12 (Carretera Las Marinas, Km 4), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Located right on the beach, the hotel has an outdoor pool, fitness centre, onsite bar-restaurant, free Wi-Fi and free parking. Doubles €175+, including breakfast.
- 5 Hotel Port Dénia, Carretera Denia-Javea, 48, ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Has an onsite bar and restaurant, garden, indoor and outdoor pools, fitness centre, and free Wi-Fi. Parking €12/day. Doubles €153.
- 6 La Sella Golf Resort, Partida Alquería Ferrando s/n (Jesús Pobre), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 16:00, check-out: 12:00. This holiday resort features a five-star Marriott hotel and spa, stylish apartments, outdoor pool, a golf course designed by Jose Maria Olazabal, and several restaurants. Free Wi-Fi and parking. Doubles €154+.
- 7 Camping Los Pinos, Camino La Racona, 16 (Las Rotas), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Can accommodate tents, campervans, and caravans, as well as boats. Facilities include toilets and showers, self-service laundry, supermarket, Wi-Fi, and refrigerator rental. Pets accepted.