Saturday, June 02, 2007

Javea - A Coastal Paradise

By Gabriel J. Adams

Xàbia, also known as Jávea, is a coastal town overlooking the Mediterranean Sea in Marina Alta, a comarca in Alicante, Spain. The town itself is divided into three parts; the Old Quarter, the port and the village that is almost 3 km inland. Declared one of the healthiest climates in the world by the World Health Organization, Jávea is protected by the cool harsh winds of the winter from the north by the mountain of Montgó. The temperatures stay pleasant enough even during the summer, averaging 32°c in the warmest month of August which is also one of the most active months in Jávea in terms of tourist activity.

Fast becoming a popular tourist resort, the town of Jávea has developed into a hot property market for retirement villas and land in general. The population of around 28,500 swells to over 100,000 when the tourists pour in. For the most part through, the inland groves of Jávea are undisturbed by the tourist activities, they still produce tons of citrus oranges every year and the sight remains awesome when the branches are laden in season.

From a tourist point of view, the town is accessible through roads while the nearest train station at Gata de Gorgos is 10km inland. Connected to Alicante and Valencia through bus service as well, Jávea is at an hours drive from the two airports. In addition, the coach service caters daily to travelers headed to and from Madrid.

Once a town fortified to ward off pirates and marauders, the ‘old quarter’ of Jávea boasts the 14th Century Church of Sant Bartolomé that is dated a further 300 years back through some evidence. The church was declared a National Historic and Arts Monument for its historical value and is a popular tourist attraction now. While the ruins of the 15th Century Fontana Castle in the Arenal region have been replaced by apartment buildings, the cannons of the British destroyed fortification are still displayed in front of the Church of Sant Bartolomé. The Museo Historico y Etnografico Municipal J.B. Soler Blasco Javea, an etnographical museum, and the Agustinas Descalzas are also located in the old quarter, along with a modern market that, even with the span of time, retains the beauty of the olden days.

The port is an obvious tourist favorite with a gravel beach, marina and a wide variety of restaurants to keep holiday makers adequately entertained. As with most areas in Jávea, there is a historical significance to everything. The port, dating back to the 15th century, played its extraordinary role in raisins export till the trade collapsed by the end of the 19th century. An attraction in the port area is the church of Nuestra Señora del Loreto which shows off the town’s fishing culture to the hilt in its build. This area compliments the sandy beach of Arenal which is the party centre for the town. The various sand artists work away as while the tourists pour in, making it into a bustling place with bars, beach parties and long nights of fun and activity.

If all this isn’t enough to set Jávea out as a town to visit, the 2,150 hectares of Montgó National Park add another mix of history and modern lifestyle to the area. The archeological remains dating several thousand years back, and the various pagan and Christian and cultural fiestas held in June, July and September make sure the time spent in this beautiful resort town worth your while.

3 comments:

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