The diversity of Denia, Costa Blanca, Spain

December, 2015

From Pedreguer, it is only a short 15 minutes drive to Denia. Apart from shopping at the supermarkets, I haven’t paid a visit yet to the old town and what a nice surprise it is! Not only the promenade, where the trees form an arch above the street and where you find the nice boutiques. Denia has so much more to offer!

 

The best thing is to start your stroll within the “Bax la Mar” or the old fisherman’s quarter. There, the houses are all painted in different colours, the streets are narrow and around every corner, you will find a small Plaza with lovely smelling fish restaurants and tapas bars. This area is so authentic and from here you are in a few steps in the harbour of Denia.

 

Walking into the other direction, you can follow the Castle wall and climb higher up, until you reach the entrance of the enormous Fortress, where the views over the city, the harbour and the Montgo mountain are impressive.

 

It is a surprisingly hot afternoon for December and around 4.00 p.m, suddenly the sun decides to come out through the hazy clouds. With the light shining on the harbour down below, it is fabulous to sit for a while on the Fortress wall and enjoy all the movement in the harbour. One of the ferries is arriving from the islands. Probably Ibiza, but also the ferries for Mallorca and Formentera are leaving from Denia.

 

While walking higher up the Castle grounds, you will find the Archaeological museum. Although small, it definitely is worth a visit. Denia had so many influences from Iberians, Romans, Muslims and Christians and still their traces can be found all over the city. From the Castillo, it is a 15 minutes walk to the harbour and in between 5.00 and 6.00 p.m, the fishermen are coming back with their boats from the sea and the auction starts right away. There is a walkway, specially for the spectators.

 

From here, you can watch the boats arriving and witness the “catch of the day”, which is impressive! Also, you are allowed to glaze through the window, where people are sorting out the fish, giving it numbers and putting it on the scales. At this point, I wished I had a few eyes more, as so many things are happening and more boats are arriving. In the meantime, the huge ferry is also leaving and the sun is slowly going down. When taking my first pictures of the catch of one of the boats, the captain tells me to take away my camera. His tone is very strict and he asks me in Spanish if I understood him. I nod and after 5 minutes he tells me that now I can take pictures! I am a little bit confused, but probably he caught too much or he caught fishes he wasn’t allowed to catch, as the first crates are suddenly gone………

It is an enormous variety of all kinds of fish, which the boats brought back from the sea. Tonight, you will be sure to eat the “catch of the day” in one of the many restaurants along the harbour or in the old Bax la Mar……..

 

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In between Denia and Altea

December, 2015

This is my second time on the Costa Blanca. Last February, I stayed for two weeks in the same beautiful house, but the weather was quite a bit different then. This time it is sunny and still warm and it will stay this gorgeous, until I leave on the 6th of January. Also, this time I have the opportunity to explore the countryside, the towns and villages along the coast and the inner country. I even have time to spend two enjoyable days in the attractive city of Valencia.

My first outing is to the coastal town of Javea (Xabia). This town is divided in an older part more inland, with a historical centre, an Archeological Museum and the church of San Bartolome and the coastal part with the fishing port, the walkway and quite some nice restaurants along the beach.

I have a very tasty lunch, just amidst the fishing boats and the parking place! The sun is warm and the sepia, mussels and small fishes (I forgot their name; it’s not sardine) are very fresh and tasty. The restaurant is called; Bar Cantina Lonja.

It is hidden just at the far end of the promenade, right where the fishing boats are situated on the quayside. A meal for two, with a bottle of white wine, olives, bread and coffee costed 30 Euros…….

Later in December, on New Year’s Day, I go back to this town. There was supposed to be a New Year’s dive in the Mediterranean Sea, but maybe I was mistaken in the time, as nothing spectacular was happening. Enough people though, wandering around the pier and the walkway along the sea. By coincidence, I discover a very modern and different church, while having some tapas and wine on a cute, small terrace in a side street. From where I sat, I could see into the narrow alley and my curiosity brought me to this fabulous building, which otherwise I would have overlooked! This church is called “Nuestra Senora de Loreto” and the roof is depicting a ships hull!  Even from the inside it is remarkable, but very bare……..

South of Javea you can find some amazing views from high up the cliffs. Following the road along the coast towards Cap de la Nau en Playa de la Granadella, the road is getting very curvy and narrow. This is a neighbourhood with very pretty and expensive houses and a lot of foreigners are living here! The small Playa de la Granadella is a surprise. Here, the road ends, but there are some nice hiking paths, which are starting from here. You will need good hiking shoes, as it is very rocky and the trails go high up.

On the way back, I get lost in Javea town, take the wrong turn and the road directs me high onto the Montgo Mountain, direction Denia. Just there, where the road is very narrow and curvy, an enormous truck suddenly comes from the opposite direction and just flips its steering wheel on the last moment…….. pffffff, that was indeed a narrow escape and the last time I will ever take this road again!!!