Jávea, or Xàbia, is in the Costa Blanca region in Alicante, Spain. The town has three main areas, namely Jávea old town, Jávea port, & the beach area. The old town has not changed much and is a maze of narrow winding streets with homes that have wrought iron balconies and windows in gothic style. There are many ancient churches and other structures. The harbor and fishing port has numerous restaurants and bars overlooking the sea. The Arenal beach area is the main commercial and recreation centre of the town.
Grenadella cove is attached to Jávea but hidden away behind the buzz of the main Arenal beach. A spot well worth visiting for its natural beauty, tranquil atmosphere and historic castle ruins.
Montgó's prehistoric cave dwellers and hunters dating from at least 30,000 years ago, and its paintings in Migdia cave are well-enough known. Its slopes have certainly yielded evidence of the ancient past to many local residents whether collecting Stone-Age handaxes and flints, Roman pottery or Muslim ceramics. If you are among those who gather the wild herbs still struggling to survive amid ever-increasing construction, just think of the Moorish Caliph Abd ur Rahman the Third who, 1000 years ago, at the beginning of the 10th century, made a special journey from Cordoba to collect over a hundred medicinal herbs from the slopes of our Montgó.
The slopes of Montgó, the tops of surrounding hills and the valley itself, all tell of the earliest known Neolithic settlements in the Western Mediterrean, where men developed agriculture and domesticated animals from around 3000 BC and into the Valencian Bronze Age between 1900 and 500 BC. In our Museum you can see Iberian beads, shards of decorated pottery, stone axes and pestle and mortars found all around us, including from a fox's burrow dig into the hill crowned by the Santa Lucia Ermita, and which revealed a Bronze Age and Roman Village.
Visigoths were here too. In the 6th century AD. Christian Visigoth monks whoses ancestors had accompanied the troops sent to battle in North Africa, came across to Javeda and founded the monastery of San Martin, now disappeared but which probably gave its name to the Cabo San Martin. Here Hermangildo, son of the Visigoth king Leogevild of Toledo, sought refuge in the Monastery after angering his father by marrying a Christian girl. When his father's troops arrived to arrest him all but one ancient monk fled to Portichol - but Hermengild and the old monk were killed. You'll find a number of Javiense with Visigoth names even today.
A dilapidated village house in the angle of Santa Marta, leading off the Church Square, was pulled down and in the brief period given the archaeologists to examine the site, they made an astonishing discovery: the foundations of the 17th - 18th century house had been built right on top of a 3000-year-old Bronze Age farming site, thus preserving the remains of two cabins and several silos. And in San Bartholome. the next street, facing the church, another house has been demolished to reveal relicsof a 14th-century dwelling with a cistern, well and various ceramics and coins.
Come to that, do you remember when the police station, then part of the Ayuntamiento was moved to its purpose-built location opposite the car park, in 1994(?) The intention was to open a tourist office in the old premises, part of the Ayuntamiento, and renovations included relaying the floor. But what did they find? Fourteenth century graves- some with several skeletons added later, all of the first Christians to repopulate Jávea after the long Muslim occupation- The cemetery was in use for another two hundred years and archaeologists found the remains of what appeared to have been a high, fortified tower and the later, smaller, 17th century chapel of the Desamparados. Making use of some of this material the original Ayuntamiento was built over them in 1774. Fortunately several of the rock-cut graves - without their skeleton inmates which have been removed to the nearby museum - have been preserved and can be seen under the glass floor as you enter what is one of the Ayuntamiento's offices.
A datable lead weight used by Roman fishing boats, put back Roman occupation of Jávea to the 2nd century BC, making ours the oldest known Roman site on the coast with a commercial port for fish and minerals. And of course you know about the important Roman fish factory under the Parador, and the nearby cemetery, probably the largest in the province, part of which lies under the recently built "Alkazaba holiday apartments.
The late Solar Blasco, that fine artist who painted the triptich (now divided) over the Ermita de Popol's altar, and who was also our Alcalde, greatly concerned about Jávea's past, showed me many Roman and Iberian sites already lost or being covered by apartments along the coast. He pointed out the remnants of a Roman theatre, now disappeared, on the slopes of Montgó overlooking the main Valencia road, and a temple site by the Arenal's Canal de la Fontana, among many other relics of Jávea's ancient past.
There is little left of the Moors but some inscribed gravestones and ceramics, although they were here from about 714 AD until the last were expelled from Jávea and Dénia in 1609. Most were farmers, cultivating and terracing the land but undoubtedly there are remains hidden beneath many buildings and wooded areas.
Well, walk where you will in the valley, town or hills, you can be sure of one thing, you are walking on history.
Jávea is also known by its Valencian name Xàbia.
Valencia airport is 100 km to the north.
Alicante is found 100 km to the south, and Murcia a bit further
Several companies offer transportation from both nearby international airports, there is a train station connecting to Valencia and Benidorm in nearby Gata de Gorgos
For most locations in Jávea a car is essential. If arriving at Valencia or Alicante airport there are several car rental companies readily available. If booking a car rental locally in Jávea it is generally advised to do so in advance of your journey as they tend to sell out during the busy summer season. Rent a car and walking
- Visit Mercadillos - weekly open air markets for all kinds of goods.
- Go visit the Fuentes del Algar Waterfalls in the Mountains
- Go visit the caves near Benidoleig or Canalobre
- Go swim, sun and surf at the Arenal Beach
- Rent a sailboat, sailboard or jet ski
- Take the ferry boats to Dénia or Altea
- Take a hike to the top of Montgo
- Go parasailing
- Go skin or scuba diving in the sea
- Watch the commercial fishing boats come in at the port
- Visit the Dénia castle and museum
- Take a walk at the arenal
- Go visit one of the Safari Parks - Aitana or Vergel
- Visit all the view spots of Miradors
- Go to the Rastro - Antique markets - in Jalon on Saturday
- Take a ride up to the castle in Guadelest
- Go visit Alicante
- Take a ride on the Lemon Express
- Have a coffee and brandy on the seafront in the Port
- Pick some books up at the used bookstore - Pollys
- Go to the waterpark in Benidorm
- Topless sunbathing at the beach
- Take a walk down the tree lined street in Dénia
- Visit the Solar Blasco museum in the Town
- Go to a Bodega and find an old bottle of wine - 64 Rioja!
- Visit the fishermans church in Jávea Port
- Granadella Beach (10-min drive from Javea). Granadella Cove and the attached beach of Granadella is one of those hidden little pieces of paradise that has to be experienced. The cove is enclosed by mountains, features a Blue Flag beach, excellent diving facilities and plenty of pure natural beauty
- Corral del Pato - Outside of Gata on Lliber-Jalon road. Very good Catalan cuisine with popular menu; great wood fired lamb, oxen and duck. Eat in or outside under huge carob trees. Reservations recommended. Local Jalon wine by pitchers. Open except Monday. Tel. 96 575 68 34
- Casa Pepa - Fantastic food in a nice setting. This restaurant is located in the orange groves near Ondara. Great menu/food, and excellent wine list. Pricey but worth it. Tel. 96 576 6606 Open except Sun/Mon
- La Boheme (& Los Remos) - Are the two better restaurants at Jávea's arenal. French owned/fine tapas. Consistently good reports. By Parador end of promenade Tel. 96 679 1600 Open except Wednesdays
- El Clavo - In Port, Classic Spanish fisherman's bar. Fresh seafood and good values. Menu on wall only. Overlooking sea near fishing docks.
- Drassanes - Near Dénia is one of the best local fish restaurants. Excellent "memu Gastronomique". Dénia harbour front, end of palm treed avenue north of roundabout Tel. 96 578 1118 Open except Mondays
- Mena - On rocks at end of Las Rotas road (over Montgó-Dénia rd, hard right at bottom roundabout. Tel. 96 578 0943 Lovely terrace right on the sea. Good for rice dishes.
- Austrian Cafe Wien (& bakery) at Arenal Beach. Excellent bread, pastries and croissants (a favorite place for breakfast). Tel. 96 579 3804 Open except Wed Austrico restaurant is here too.
- Piripi - Excellent/imaginative copious "Tapas": on new pedestrian Jávea port sea-front. Book or but worth the wait. Open except Sun-pm & Mon
- Azorín - Jávea Port (in street behind Napoli Pizza and Piripi) Super fish & chips (& chicken). Order a paella or fidejua ahead of time. Great mixed fish plate. Tel 96 659 4495
- Cabo de la Nao (Cap de la Nau) - On the cliff next to the lighthouse Fantastic views and good food. Tel 96 577 1835
- Masena - Swiss-owned with very good foods and wines. On road between Jávea roundabout and Golf course, across the street from Giardino. Try the salt encrusted sea bass. Tel 96 579 3764
- Gota de Mar - On main road just below the villa at entrance to Tosalet and Hotel Rodat. Lovely terrace overlooking valley. Tel 96 577 1648. closed Sun/Mon
- Montgó - 2-3 km on Jávea -Jesus Probre road on left with large patio below Montgo) Great value, quantity, quality & well presented. Excellent fish & chips. Tel. 96 579 5021 Great view of the mountain. Also try Los Almendros across the street.
- Calpe (Calp) Harbor - Might be the best local place for fish.
- Montevideo - A favorite for meat. Just out of Benitachell on way to Cumbre Del Sol. Tel 96 649 3283
- Pepe Y Estrella - On sea front near the port. Classic Spanish with a great view of the bay.
- There are also two restaurants at Hotel Rodat (see its "Sleep" listing).
- 1 BonAmb Restaurant, Carretera Benitachell, 100 (just outside town), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Operated by chef Alberto Ferruz, this was awarded a Michelin star in 2014, just two years after opening. The restaurant is known for innovative cuisine featuring mostly locally-sourced produce.
- Peter Arnold Wines (La Bodega del Garroferal), Ptda. Garroferal 7, Murla 03792, (Hard to find, so phone to ask for directions!), ☎ . 9AM-7PM every day by appointment. Situated in the Jalon Valley (Vall de Pop), approximately 30 minutes inland from Jávea and Dénia. Although grapes have been grown in this region since Roman times, La Bodega del Garroferal was only set up in 2002. Run by German-born Peter Arnold (who had already made a name in the international wine scene) and his English wife Helen, this is a tiny, relatively new winery in the Jalon Valley. The pair relocated to Spain from South Africa in 2002. They offer a small range of delicious wines - three reds, three whites and one rosé. For a small charge, Helen offers a sumptuous range of tapas to complement an arranged wine tasting. You can visit the vineyards, taste and see how the wines are made and then you can play with the family cats. Prices per bottle €4.75-7.00.
- La Locura Jávea, Arenal Beach (Above Scallops), ☎ .
- Montgo di Bongo, Avda. del Mediterraneo (Between The Arenal & The Port), ☎ .
- Casa Amanda. Secluded villa with private pool.
- El Rodat Hotel & Spa, Calle La Murciana 15 (Take the road to Cabo la Nao, when you get to the Saladar Supermarket, take the road that goes up, just in front of the supermarket, and you´ll get to the hotel), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 16:00, check-out: 12:00. 4-star hotel with services such as 2 restaurants cheffed by Nazario Cano, spa and sports facilities.
- Villa Sol y Luna, Montgó, ☎ . Bordering Mongo National Park with exceptional views across the valley of Jávea to the mountains beyond.