My Javea travel guide*
I’ve just returned from spending a lovely week in Javea (or Xabia as it’s known to the locals), on the Northern Costa Blanca of Spain. Spain is definitely up there amongst my favourite countries – I love the language, the food, the culture, the weather, what’s not to like? – and I have fallen in love with Javea. The region also gets 320 days of sunshine a year – although, it did rain for one day of my stay – typical! Here’s my guide to where to stay, what to eat and what to do in Javea…
Where to stay in Javea
We stayed in the amazing Las Tres Palmeras villa in the district of Tarraula, a 10 minute drive from the centre of Javea. This three bed, two bathroom villa sleeps six. The outside is absolutely stunning with a large swimming pool (probably the largest out of any villa I have stayed in!), a tennis court, a large terrace which is perfect for morning coffee and watching the sunset, and an outside kitchen and BBQ area.
The very best thing about the villa were the stunning panoramic views over the mountains and the surrounding countryside. Waking up to that view every day was just incredible. There were also amazing sunsets, even though we couldn’t quite see the sun, the colours of the sky were just beautiful and I loved sampling a sangria on the outside terrace while taking in the skies. There was lots and lots of outside space which suited us perfectly as we spent most of our time outside during the week. There was plenty of parking, so if three couples were to go together, each couple could bring their own car.
There was also so much to do in the villa that we barely felt like leaving it! We got our fitness fix two or three times a day by swimming lengths in the large swimming pool, we played tennis on our own private tennis court and table tennis, when real tennis got a bit much, and there was even a boules court where we discovered that my mum has a hidden talent for boules! There were sunbeds surrounding the pool and this area got the sun all day and so we spent plenty of time catching some rays. There was wi-fi in the villa which was really good in the living room and so we could keep up to date with our emails while we were relaxing.
After a couple of days, I almost felt like the villa was our new home and I definitely did not want to leave by the end of the holiday.
What to do in Javea
This week was all about relaxation for me, as I’ve had a hectic few months so I was ready for some chilling. All my holidays this year have been pretty hectic sightseeing holidays (Australia, Cornwall) or fun-packed girls weekends (Portugal, Ibiza, North Yorkshire) and so I was looking forward to some sunbathing, swimming and sangria – three of my favourite s’s! We spent plenty of time in our villa, just sunbathing, but we did make it out for a little bit of exploring.
Javea’s landscape is full of peaks and mountains, making it perfect for hiking and exploring. From our villa, there were several paths and walks and we tried to do at least one walk per day, either in the morning before it got too hot or in the evening when it had cooled down slightly. There were walks ranging from 20 minutes to four hours. If you’re really into hiking there is also Elephant Mountain (so called as it resembles an elephant lying down) which I believe you can climb – although that proved to be a little bit too taxing for me on this holiday.
Exploring the old town
Old Town Javea or Xabia Pueblo is full or narrow Spanish streets which you can wander down and outside bars where you can enjoy tapas and drinks outside – we had three coffees and a Fanta Lemon for just 5 euros. On a Thursday, there is also a local market selling everything from clothes to toys and lots of fresh fruits, vegetables and every variety of olive that you could imagine.
There is a beautiful, large sandy beach at Javea – Playa El Arenal – which we spent a few hours on. The sea is clear and beautiful and you can walk quite a long way from the shore as it’s quite shallow. If you’re into watersports you can do stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking and jet skiing here.
Top tip: To get off the tourist track a little bit, check out Granadella Beach. Accessed by a steep mountain track, this beautiful pebbly bay is frequented by locals and has a lively atmosphere. There is also a restaurant and bar serving local cuisine on the beach.
Places to eat in Javea
One of my favourite things about Spain is the food and of course, Javea has some great restaurants. Here are some of my favourites…
Situated just off the beachfront on the Rue de Champagne, this restaurant feels like you’re sat outside on a bustling Spanish street. Here we had my favourite Spanish dish, paella, for four. It was packed full of delicious prawns, squid, mussels and crayfish and tasted just incredible. We also had a jug of sangria to wash it all down.
On the day it rained (read: chucked it down all day with no respite!), we legged it to the car and headed to Tango for a late lunch/early dinner, picked as it was the closest restaurant to where we had parked. Again, situated on the sea front, Tango’s menu was full of contemporary classics like fish and chips and burritos and they serve very strong gin and tonics.
This modern-rustic restaurant had a really great value menu which was around 17 euros each for three courses. We had tapas for starters – calamari, white bait and potato croquettes, paella for mains and then coffee to finish off (well, I was pretty full by this point).
Why not eat Italian food when in Spain?! Although this was probably the most expensive restaurant we ate at all week, it was worth it for the delicious stuffed pasta, Italian breads with fresh tomato jam and mozzarella and the pasta dishes packed full of seafood. I chose a seafood pizza and it was absolutely huge and packed full of mussels and prawns.
Top tip: If you’re self-catering and on a budget, the supermarkets in Javea are really cheap. There’s a Lidl and an Aldi as well as a Supermercado, and prices are a lot lower than at home. We ate in our villa for quite a lot of the week and spent around 200 euros for food and drink for four for the whole week. Beer and wine is also super cheap with a litre bottle of beer coming in at just 63 cents!
We had an amazing week in Javea and this holiday has definitely made me fall in love with Spain all over again.
[I was provided with a villa from Interhome for inclusion in this post]