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Towns of northern Costa Blanca, Spain
Midway between Valencia to the north and Alicante to the south, Denia is located on the Mediterranean with some 20km of beach and a backdrop of pine clad hills and mountains. The climate is one of the best in Spain, and Denia was voted as the 3rd healthiest place to live, once visited you can see why. With the temperature rarely dropping below the mid teens in the winter and averaging 19 degrees throughout the year, Denia’s climate is both mild and dry, ideal for both holiday makers and the orange and lemon groves surrounding the town.
More of a family resort, this quiet town is based around the tiny fishing port, where the daily catch is still unloaded and sold at the fish market or straight from the fishermen in some cases around the harbour.
Dating from the time of the Romans, the town’s history can be seen at the castle which doubles up as the museum of archaeology.
Most holiday makers will head for the water and the water sport activities that are mainly based from the large marina, though golfers are well catered for at La Sella, an 18 hole golf course with golf hotel resort and luxury golf urbanisations.
Set in an area of outstanding beauty, the holiday resort of Javea has an historic past, which is still evident throughout this small town devoid of the high rise apartment blocks of the resorts further to the south. A walk through the ancient streets reveals a town steeped in history and the old town is beautiful to behold with its traditional buildings, with their small balconies looking out towards the main Javea beach of Playa del Arenal with its long stretch of sand. Like Denia and many of the other smaller towns along the coastline of the northern Costa Blanca, Javea still has a small fishing port, where the daily catch is delivered as it has been for centuries.
Bars and restaurants can be found alongside the Avenida del Mediterraneo alongside the Javea harbor area. Holiday accommodation is plentiful with many of the Javea accommodation rentals having spectacular views from the hills overlooking the town of Javea and its beaches.
Arenal beach is the main beach of the town with its vibrant promenade and the place to visit for the town’s modest nightlife. Golfers will not be disappointed with the Javea Golf Club course set within pine and orange groves not far from the town.
With its backdrop of hills rising upwards to the upper valley of Jalon, Moraira is about 1 hours drive from the international airport of Alicante. Alicante airport car hire is reasonably cheap, though it pays to book online before you arrive to get the best deal and be certain that a vehicle will be waiting for you.
Arriving in Moraira will bring you to a climate that has an average yearly temperature of 18 degrees and 325 days of sunshine each year. A low rise resort built around the small fishing town, Moraira has 8km of coastline to explore and associated water sports to enjoy. The towns fishing port history can still be seen at the interesting fish auction from Tuesday to Sunday on the harbour side, with many of the fish caught ending up on a plate in one of the excellent restaurants and bars around the modern marina and port.
An attractive resort, there are many vacation rentals here, set within pine forests. Most are private villas each having their own pools, though you will find beach front apartments for those wishing to stay in the town.
Moraira has 4 golf courses in the vicinity, so golfers are well served and a weekly town market held near to the main beach selling farm products, souvenirs and local specialities.
Calpe is dominated by the towering Penon de Ifach, a vertical sided rock that protrudes from the Mediterranean over the town. The town, once an ancient fishing village, is now one of the most popular resorts in the northern Costa Blanca with its quaint Valencian charm and beautiful sandy beaches. The town still has its fishing port, where you can watch the daily catch, though next door a stunning marina houses dream yachts.
A glimpse of Calpe’s past can be viewed from the old town walls beside the Moorish quarter, used to defend the town against the pirate attacks. Calpe’s Roman heritage can be seen at the remains of the Roman villa next to the Paseo Maritimo, and more at the towns Museum of Archaeology. Self catering Calpe comes in many forms from frontline beach apartments on Calpe’s beaches to luxury villas overlooking Calpe and the Penon de Ifach.
Between Calpe and Moraira is the small village of Benissa with its not to be missed Cathedral of the Marina Alta.
Altea is without doubt one of the prettier villages along the Costa Blanca coast and yet only 7km north of the resort town of Benidorm, with its vibrant nightlife and towering holiday apartment blocks. Situated less than 1 hours drive from Alicante airport where most of the Alicante car hire is found, Altea is a fishing village that maintains it beauty with low rise buildings preserving the skyline and ancient history of the port. Remaining small, has also meant that Altea is a much more family orientated resort with a modest nightlife mainly centred around the restaurants along the beach front and the old town centre with its tapas bars and cosy atmosphere and cobbled streets. As well as the well maintained beaches, most with sun loungers and eateries, the town has the backdrop of the Sierra Bernia mountains to either explore of behold, especially around sunset.
Accommodation in Altea comprises of both private villas and resort complexes with all their holiday facilities.
Benidorm is not really the ideal place for a quiet holiday, the largest resort on the Costa Blanca, the skyline is full of high rise hotel apartments that are full to capacity during the summer months. However, Benidorm has come a long way from the days of the bucket and spade brigade and has improved its image considerably, becoming quite chic in the process. For nightlife the resort cannot be beaten and there is something for everyone, and for those of you who think that eating out in Benidorm is all pie and chips, think again. Benidorm has an old town which has still kept its Spanish culture and the flavour of Spain in its cuisine.
Being set on a wide and long crescent bay, Benidorm’s beach is perfect for families and provides safe bathing for children under the supervision of the parents.
Not far away from the resort is the theme park of Terra Mitica, based on the legends of the ancient civilisations that ruled the Mediterranean. Rivalling Euro Disney for its thrills, Terra Mitica, is a loud and exciting addition to the Costa Blanca and worth the visit.
About the Author: Warren Ward runs the vacation owner rental website of www.ChooseSpain.com which advertises hundreds of holiday villas and apartments throughout Spain.