The Birthday Diary
Saturday 23rd June 2018
Saturday brought a lot of new places and a brand new festival. It was massively hectic, but I loved it. To find out more about these beautiful places, read on below.
First Stop – Jalon
Jalon didn’t make it into the title, purely because, we didn’t ‘stop’. We took a slow drive that proved everything was closed. Jalon is the capital of the Jalon Valley region, surrounded by Sierra de Bernia. It has some of the most spectacular Spanish scenery with rows and rows of olive and pine trees, intertwined with lemon groves and vineyards.
Although we didn’t stick around, it was beautiful to see and we will be sure to visit when it’s more… open.
Second Stop – Xàbia… or Javea
Here’s where it gets confusing. I genuinely didn’t know Xàbia and Javea were the same places. Why does Spain do these things to me? I read Xàbia as cha-bee-ah and Javea as jah-bee-yah so even though they sound pretty similar, I just thought it was because they were in the same region! But, from here on, I’ll refer to it as Xàbia Anyway…
This coastal town is rather stunning. It’s a true representation of when the modern world collides with history. I must say, it did remind me of a mini Benidorm crossed with a mini Ibiza. But, in a good way!
There is a very distinct theme across the bars in Xàbia. They all have a very Moroccan, south-eastern sort of feel.
We were automatically drawn to Chabada, or more so I was, so we spent some time there. If you love a variety of wine or a Cava with raspberries, then Chabada is your place. The decor is gorgeous and the chandelier, well, let’s just say I would have liked to have snuck it home not that it would have even fit in the car, it’s that big!
Smooy is a frozen yoghurt company that is the answer to my prayers and also my nightmares. Luckily, they’re all low fat, high fiber and gluten free, so I haven’t got to feel so guilty when I have it every day before work, have I? It’s this years café con helado.
My toppings are usually fruit, with lots of melted chocolate. Life is all about balance, right? There is a smooy in Xàbia, so, it was lovely sitting on the promenade watching the action and catching glimpses of Ibiza with a refreshing treat.
We also took a look around the port of Xàbia which was a short drive away. The port is definitely a working one, the smell of fish clarifies that one!
There are plenty of water sports and services for those who love to spend time by the sea, plus, there is the fabulous Lonja fish market which is a bonus for anybody visiting Xàbia.
Third Stop – Denia
I felt like I owed Denia an apology. Ok, let’s clear something up, I am not a fan of Denia. I still don’t think it’s outstanding and I still think there are better places. But, I’m not hating on it as much as I did before.
When we first went to Denia, we planned to travel by tram, in April. It was cold. It was windy. It was an excessively long journey and we were miserable. On our first visit, we had dressed for the weather in Benidorm. Pretty mild, pretty calm. That was not the case in Denia. So, tip number one, check the weather for where you’re going, not where you start! Even if it is only across a short distance, the Costa Blanca weather can vary so widely! The tram has terminated its line due to it just not existing, so we had to terminate at Calpe and take a bus. Let me tell you now, that was not fun.
This time to Denia, travelling by car, it was much more enjoyable. Plus, we welcomed that breeze from the mountains that we hated so much previously.
We stayed around the port, but it certainly has redeeming features. So, if you’re in the area, it’s worth taking a look around Denia. Denia this time reminded us of a mini Valencia, collided with some Barcelona’esque’ architecture.
Fourth Stop – Cala Granadella
This beautiful, little spot was one of Alex’s finds. Though it wasn’t somewhere we felt we could leave the car, so we didn’t head down to the cove itself.
La Cala de la Granadella is one of the small coves of Xàbia, to arrive in the cove, you drive along a small road, that slowly, reveals the beauty that you are about to see. It’s small, so small that La Cala de Finestrat appears large! This cove has crystal clear waters and the beach is so empty, no fighting for a space around here.
If you’re looking for a relaxing spot near to Xàbia, then I definitely recommend this hidden little gem tucked away only for those lucky ones who find it.
Looking back on Saturday, it’s no surprise I was tired Sunday. Bear in mind, I had also done a six-hour shift at work in the morning. The wine at San Juan probably didn’t help either.
I will do a longer write up about San Juan and what it’s all about, but it was a great festival at La Cala de Finestrat. It was also lovely to see Irene and her husband, Paul, at the festival. There was no trouble, just everybody coming together and enjoying the evening.
I must commend the emergency services who were quick on hand whenever they were needed.
Saturday was a massively hectic day, seeing new places, experiencing new Spanish traditions. It has made me massively grateful for this week and I really am closing twenty-three with some of the best opportunities.