Javea Port Details- Video
Any seaport town has some built-in attractions just by virtue of being located at the edge of an ocean, but from the perspective of a visitor looking for pure enjoyment, Javea’s is truly a port for all seasons and just about all reasons. You can eat, drink and be merry and you can also go para-sailing or imbibe some art and culture or shop for bargains or extravagances, and you can do it pretty much any day of the year in shirtsleeves.
Blessed with a climate that seldom gets colder than 16°C or hotter than 30°C , with a massive rock formation in the form of Montgo Mountain sheltering the harbour and town from cold north winds, it’s no wonder that the port of Xabia has been a thriving concern for many centuries. Parts of that history are very much apparent, especially in the sea-going activities that are still the main livelihood of many people of the town.
One of the reasons for its charm is the fact that though tourism and its accompanying ‘improvements’ in this part of Javea flourish, they do so in moderation; the look and feel is still very much like a small Spanish community harbour. However the port and marina is considered one of the best on the coast, and the mix of fishing boats and expensive yachts is another aspect of this area’s overall appeal.
Hotel accommodations right in the port area are somewhat limited; there are really only two options. The Hotel Miramar is highly praised by reviewers, and it has probably the best views of the port and bay that you’ll find. Note that booking early is a must for peak season and strongly advised at any time; only week-long bookings are accepted in summer. The Miramar is family-owned and operated, noted for its friendly efficient staff, sparkling clean rooms and excellent restaurant with its own fabulous view.
There are two reasonably large and free car parks in the port area, you should note that motorhomes and caravans are not allowed in the port.
The Hotel Javea tends toward the casual, more like a boutique, but reviewers give it top marks for clean, attractive rooms and excellent service. There is a rooftop restaurant here where you’ll find the best views (those from most rooms provide just a peek at the sea and port), but it is very reasonably priced and consistently receives accolades as a great value for the money. Other restaurants, bars, shops and a cinema are just a short walk from the hotel.
Of course if you prefer the heights, you can head up the hills behind the port to some gorgeous villas, many of which can be rented for short or lengthy stays. This is a lived-in sort of port, not the usual conglomerate of high-rise hotels and fancy marinas, but you’ll see plenty of luxurious yachts moored in the harbour along with the fishing boats. Any site featuring Javea rentals will give you all the options and information you could possibly need.
If you do stay in the port area, the beach called La Grava is close-by. Though it is pebbly not sandy, La Grava is a delightful beach with the tourist information centre handy as well as shops and restaurants within easy strolling distance. There are public telephones and toilets provided for beach-goers, as well as a wide, well-kept Promenade for ambling and sightseeing. This is a blue flag beach, very clean, with moderate waves, and popular with local residents.
Another beach that extends from the port breakwater along to the Parador Hotel is known as Muntanyar beach, where jet skis can be hired. This is a beautiful area but rocky; appropriate footwear would be wise if you want to get in and out of the water without using the convenient metal ladder provided.
One thing that every visitor hopes to do – wherever they are – is to eat well. Don’t worry, there will be ample opportunities to do that, many of them in close proximity so you can pick-and-choose your favourites. Around the port are a variety of little tapas bars, with three very good ones right by the church (Our Lady of Loreto, which is briefly described later in this article). The spacious, charming restaurant called El Posito is situated right on the Promenade. It’s a great spot for devouring fresh fish and/or savoring a cold beer as you lounge in the shade about 20 feet from the Mediterranean and watch the people-parade go by.
Most of the eating and drinking establishments in the port area are a mix of cafes, bars and nightclubs – there is even a Cheers Bar – but there are also plenty of dining options that include Italian, French, Chinese, Thai, Indian and others. Also on the Promenade and on the road heading inland from the port (not far) you’ll find a number of chiringuitos, or beach bars.
According to the best Javea sources, the concept of chiringuitos really got started in the 1950s, when the first ripple of the tourist trade, which would turn into a massive wave, hit the shores of the Spanish Med. In small fishing villages like Javea, local entrepreneurs realised that cold drinks and tapas would be most welcome to beach-goers. Chiringuitos were often nothing more than an overturned dinghy that could be used as a serving table; now they are usually covered kiosks with optional seating in the shade.
Also note that amongst other more energetic ways to spend a sunny day, you can take scuba diving lessons at the certified school, and of course the beach provides another options. You could sail or water ski or jet ski or para-sail – or you could just swim and bask.
Spain as a country is famous for festivals, and Javea is no exception. On numerous occasions throughout the year, the port of Javea runs riot with celebrating residents and visitors. Depending on when you plan to visit, be sure to find out which festivals are taking place and try to arrange your schedule so it coincides with one of them – you can’t possibly catch them all unless you decide to live there year round. Here is a brief description of a couple of the most beloved festivals.
Every year on January 6th, a local fishing trawler brings the Three Kings into the port, where they are met by town dignitaries and most of the local children and their parents. These are the three Wise Men of Christmas tales, bringing gifts from afar for the baby Jesus and for the youngsters, literally, in the form of candy and small toys. The western Santa Claus hasn’t really taken hold here, not yet, so for kids, this is the real Christmas tradition of gift giving.
If you love lots of noise and fireworks and general spectacle, try to be in Javea port during the Fiesta de Moors y Cristianos (Moors and Christians) which takes place in mid-July. It goes on for four days, with Moors invading from the sea, complete with much cannon fire, in the evening of the first day and progressing through two more days of parades, processions, mock fights and gunfire galore. The fireworks start very early, but never mind; you can have sardines and sangria for breakfast with the Moors, and the world’s biggest Paella, cooked and served in the port’s main plaza, for lunch or dinner.
The Feast of Our Lady of Loreto is another loud, rambunctious celebration that involves bulls on the beach and a lot of food and flowers. During the ‘running of the bulls’ anyone who’s brave or foolish enough to run for it tries to lure the bulls through the streets to the haphazardly constructed bullring in the port and from there into the water. More humans than bulls end up in the sea, and as a rule nobody gets hurt and everybody has a wonderful time.
Assuming no festival is going on, the preferred activities in Javea port tend to be strolling, shopping, and water sports and generally sightseeing, which includes watching fishing boats go in and out. The friendly and relaxed atmosphere that seems to be Javea’s trademark is apparent everywhere and can best be enjoyed with frequent stops for a drink and a snack. Do check out the ‘fisherman’s church’ that’s a landmark in the port.
This unusual church is dedicated to the Lady of Loreto. The story goes that many years ago a terrible storm struck while all the local fishermen were out at sea; the storm raged for days and both sailors and townspeople prayed earnestly to the Lady, promising that if the lives of the fishermen were saved they would build her a new church. The storm passed, the fisherman came home and the church was built with its ceiling in the form of a boat’s hull; it is quite beautiful and well worth a visit.
Unless you’re already familiar with the area or even if you are, it would be helpful to stop in at the tourist information centre that’s located at 11 Almirante Bastarreche Sq., right by the beach in the port.
Not only can you get directions and suggestions about the amenities and attractions, you’ll also get up-to-date information about current and upcoming events including festivals. There are so many you’ll almost surely catch one; if you get the chance, don’t miss it.