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Javea’s Old Town
Javea holidays isn’t a holiday without gorgeous beaches and warm gentle seas then in and around Javea is definitely the place to go. There are many beautiful areas of coastline which offer the beach lover sun, sea and sand. So whether you like to get in on the action with swimming, diving and all the various water sports on offer, or simply like to lay down your towel and relax in the glorious Mediterranean sunshine, there is sure to be a beach in the area that will be perfect for your needs.
Cala Tango is one of the most famous and popular beaches in the area, nestled in a quiet cove in between Javea port and the Cap de San Antonio marine reserve this beach is truly stunning. However if its white sandy beaches you like this may not be the one for you as Cala Tango is a gravel and rock beach. However, what it perhaps lacks in comfort it makes up for in beauty. The craggy hills in the backdrop are truly magnificent and if you are lucky enough to catch one of the achingly beautiful sunsets here you are sure to be talking about it for many moons to come. Marine enthusiasts will also be in heaven at Cala Tango with the waters packed full of different species of colourful fish, plants and other sea creatures which make it a perfect place for snorkelling and diving -it truly is a sight to behold. Facilities are a little scarce in this area but there is a restaurant along the beach serving meals, snacks and drinks as well.
Arenal Beach is a haven for sun worshipers and those who like to simply sit back and relax. The striking beach curves round and slopes down to the sea where swimming and paddling is a true delight with the warm, soothing crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean right at your fingertips. The gorgeous golden sand, blissful Spanish sunshine and numerous bars and restaurants nearby are all you need for a perfect chilled out day on the beach! The beach has been praised for its cleanliness too being awarded a blue flag by the World Health Organisation who have described the beach as ‘near perfect.’ It has everything you would need for a relaxing day out with family or friends, if you aren’t a fan of lying on the sand then parasols and sunbeds are provided all the way along and they even have a few beach showers dotted around so you can rinse off before heading to one of the many restaurants for some well-deserved lunch or dinner.
For those who like to be a bit more active there are also several volleyball courts on Arenal Beach which attracts both players and spectators usually in the afternoons. There are also often artists who come and use the sand as their material to make impressive sculptures and works of art. Diving, snorkelling, fishing and surfing are also all activities to get involved with during your visit.
Granadella Beach is best suited to those who enjoy their peace and quiet. Despite its overwhelming beauty the beach remains relatively undisturbed. Being located in a little cove in Javea means that Grandella beach is not always easy to find, however if you are willing to go off the beaten track in search of it, it will be well worth your while. The beach is pebbly however still comfortable enough to lie on with a towel where you can sit back and look up at the curves of the cove which tower over you while admiring the astonishing mountain scenery behind it. If you fancy exploring the mountains then remember to take plenty of food and water with you as the terrain is tough but for those who like an adventure the views at the top are truly breath-taking.
Portichol Beach is another quiet area of outstanding natural beauty. The beach is also known as Portitxol or La Barraca. Again a mostly pebble beach it offers a quiet place to relax, swim and generally immerse yourself in nature. Unlike the other beaches its surrounding views are of rolling forest hills which truly make you feel that you have got away from the hustle and bustle of the more popular tourist beaches and the centre of town. Again facilities are scarce at Portichol beach so make sure you bring sufficient supplies. If you like seafood however you are in for a treat as there is a real gem of a restaurant which is hidden from view from the main beach. Traditional Spanish tapas and fresh mouth-watering seafood are the order of the day here and we are sure you won’t be disappointed!
Cala ambola is the local nudist beach in the area. Generally the Spanish are liberal in their views of nudity and Cala ambola is a very popular place to go. If you fancy being truly at one with nature and having a refreshing naked dip in the stunning Mediterranean sea then Cala ambola is the place to be! Make sure you bring your own refreshments however as there are no restaurants or cafes on this beach.
Cala Blanca Beach
Cala Blanca beach is another hidden gem and if peace and quiet is more up your street then the buzz and excitement of the main tourist beaches then Cala Blanca will suit you well. A beach more for those who like to explore rather than the sun worshippers, Cala Blanca has gorgeous white rocks to scramble on and many caves to explore. Of course as always the water is delightful, clear, warm and inviting so after taking a little hike around, swimming in these gorgeous waters is the perfect way to finish off your day.
Javeas Fiestas: A Year Long Spectacle
Javea’s fiestas are a product of the zeal and passion with which the locals practice their deep and unshakable religiosity. To the casual observer, it would seem that the Javeans take advantage of every excuse to throw a party. But to the Javeans every single fiesta is an opportunity to demonstrate their unshakable and devout faith in God.
There is at least one fiesta celebrated every month. During the summer months and the Christmas season, there seems to be one each day! Here are some of the important and notable fiestas celebrated in Javea.
January is the tail end of the Christmas season, and this month is loaded with festivals. The first month of the year kicks off with the celebration of “Los Reyes Magos” – “The Three Kings.” A procession takes place commemorating the journey of the three wise men to the site of Jesus’ birth. A weekend festival takes place in the middle of the month in honor of San Antonio Abad, which starts off with the blessing of the animals and the handing out of “sacred” bread at the Plaza de la Constitucion at the old town. The month ends with a fiesta in honor of Javea’s patron saint, San Sebastian.
A carnival highlights the month of February. In the evening a fancy dress procession takes place, with prizes awarded to the best dressed. The night ends with some vigorous street dancing to a full orchestra and disco music. March hosts the curious “Entierro de la Sardina,” the “burial of the sardine.” The strange ritual is said to have originated during the reign of Carlos III back in the 18th century. A large shipment of sardines landed in the port of Madrid, the country’s capital. At a loss on what to do with all that fish, the government gave them away to the people. Unfortunately the sardines had gone bad, so the people had to bury them. The experience was so much fun it became a yearly event all throughout the country, including Javea.
An Artisan Craft Fair during the middle of April showcases the works of local artists and craftsmen. Then toward the end of the month leading into May, “La Semana Santa,” Holy Week, commemorates the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus. May also features the Fiesta Santa Cruz, where thousands of crosses made out of flowers are displayed in the streets.
June is fiesta time in Javea, beginning with a sort of beauty and popularity contest, the “Proclamation of Queens” at the Plaza de la Constitucion. An International Festival during the middle of June offers the best dishes from around the world, as well as music performances by various international artists. The month closes out with the week-long fiesta of St. Joan, one of the most important festivals in Javea. There are numerous elaborate processions along the streets of the old town, and the days end with fantastic fireworks displays. The celebration isn’t complete with the wild flaming horn bull run and the burning of the “foguera,” papier mache statues.
July belongs to the Javea port area, and it starts with a week-long pilgrimage to the “Virgen del Rocio.” One week later, a procession of fishing boats sets out to sea carrying an image of the Virgin Mary to offer flowers out in the middle of the bay. Another week later, the famous re-enactment of the battle between the Christians and Moors takes place out on the shore. This is a must-see for the awesome spectacle, the colorful costumes, and the history.
This year, more fiesta fun will take place at the port area from August to September as Javea celebrates “Mare de Deu de Loreto,” in honor of the Virgin of Loreto, who is said to have once spared the lives of Javea fishermen caught in a storm out at sea. Masses, processions, bull runs, parties, games and all sorts of fun activities will make this two-month fiesta a whirlwind of festivities. October celebrates of The Day of the Valencian Community, commemorating the liberation of Valencia from the Moors by King James I of Aragon in 1238. Nightly fireworks displays lead up to this important fiesta.
December is the Christmas month, and it rounds off Javea’s fiestas. Although Javeans celebrate in January (during the feast of the Three Kings), this month is nevertheless special. A giant nativity scene is set up in the old town, and colorful bulbs light up the town.