What to see in Javea — a medieval town by the sea
Javea (or Xàbia, in Valencian) is one of the most beautiful towns on Alicante’s Costa Blanca. In addition to idyllic beaches and coves, it’s also home to Montgó Natural Park, Santi Antoni Marine Reserve, a 15th century fishing port, a long history and wonderful food. And you can enjoy all this in an outstanding climate almost all year round. If you’re planning a holiday to Javea in Alicante, here’s a list of unmissable places to visit in this lovely town and its surrounding area.
Javea historical centre
If you want to travel back in time to the Middle Ages, just take a stroll through the streets of Javea. You’ll walk past walls that were built as a defence against pirate attacks and numerous buildings with fascinating architecture. Javea historical centre is a labyrinth of cobbled streets lined with little white houses trimmed with yellow and you’ll discover palaces and secular monuments to appreciate. Don’t miss the market, the church of Sant Bertomeu, and the 18th century town hall that was built on an old medieval cemetery. The historical centre of Javea is a far cry from the region’s buzzing beaches and is sure to impress.
Arenal beach is around 500 m long and lies in the centre of Javea bay. The water is shallow so it’s a great place for swimming safely. The beachfront promenade is lined with shops and all kinds of restaurants, bars and terraces that tempt you to enjoy a drink or some of Alicante’s typical food while you enjoy the sea views. The beach has great facilities and blue flag status.
Cap de Sant Antoni
Cap de Sant Antoni is located between Javea and Denia and it’s a remarkable series of ravines and huge cliffs that look as though they’re about the tumble into the sea. It’s one of the most beautiful spots in Alicante province thanks to the riches of its environment and idyllic landscapes, with one of the most flourishing seabeds on the entire Mediterranean coast. Make sure you visit Sant Antoni lighthouse, which has spectacular views of the coast.
Gerro tower was built in the 16th century to protect the coast from attacks by pirates and corsairs and this vase-shaped construction still bears Charles I’s coat of arms. It’s part of one of the most famous hiking trails in the area, together with the Cova Tallada trail in northern Alicante.
La Nau lighthouse
La Nau lighthouse sits on the most easterly point of Alicante province on an area of incredible cliffs with wonderful views of the Mediterranean. If it’s a clear day, you can even see the silhouette of Ibiza from here. At your feet you’ll spot small coves with numerous cavities and the most famous of these caves is Cova dels Orguens, a popular spot with scuba divers.
Also known as the ‘Les Planes mills’, these eleven 14th century constructions are no longer in use. They have a huge wooden structure and robust mechanisms that were used to move heavy round grindstones. Today, the windmills have lost their blades but you can still imagine their importance in years gone by. The mills are located at the top of Cap de Sant Antoni because it’s an area with almost constant wind.
What to visit near Javea
The area around Javea has plenty of attractions that are ideal for a short excursion during your holiday in the town. Some essential visits include:
Denia is definitely worth visiting because it has a long history and a spectacular castle dating from the Moorish period. It’s lovely to go for a walk through the ‘Baix la mar’ sailors’ neighbourhood with its small squares and narrow streets lined with colourful houses, or the Les Roques neighbourhood, another labyrinth of streets from the time of the Moors. And while we’re on the subject of Denia, we shouldn’t forget to mention Montgó Natural Park or the Cap de Sant Antoni Marine Reserve. Both are natural spaces where you can enjoy wonderful walks in nature with impressive views.
- Trail to Cova Tallada.
One of the most interesting hiking trails in Javea is the route that leads to Cova Tallada, almost on the border with Denia. This sea level cave was once a quarry for the Moors, who mined it for rocks to construct their buildings. It has a spectacular interior and once you dare to head inside, you’ll feel as if you’re in the centre of the Earth. Walking through its crystal clear waters and between the columns of rock that keep it standing is a wonderful experience. And if you like photography, this cave is the perfect place to play around with the most beautiful and surprising angles and framing.
Cap de la Nau.
Another highly recommended excursion close to Javea is a trip to Cap de la Nau, where you’ll find the lighthouse of the same name. As we mentioned above, you’ll enjoy some of the most impressive views from this spot as you put your nerves to the test. And don’t forget the Cap de Sant Antoni is always worth a visit during your holidays in Javea.
Montgó Natural Park.
Cap de Sant Antoni is part of Montgó Natural Park, which should certainly be included on your list of excursions. The park covers an area that is over 2,000 hectares in size and offers visitors countless possibilties for a wonderful day out in nature with activities close to Javea. We recommend following one of the six safe, signposted hiking trails, each of which has spectacular panoramic views.