If pretty places, chic bars and a relaxed atmosphere is what you’re looking for on your next holiday to the costa blanca then Javea, or in Valenciano, Xàbia, is where you should be heading. Instagrammers: if you’re looking for somewhere to make your Instagram “pop” on the costa blanca, Javea is that place.
Xàbia can be found 40 minutes north of Benidorm, heading towards Valencia. Nestled between Moraira and Denia, I’d recommend visiting all of them, if time permits. It is easy to visit Xàbia by taking the ALSA bus in the direction of Valencia, but, be aware that some buses take much longer than others. Some buses can get you to Xàbia is 90 minutes or so, some can be shorter or longer. Always check the timetable, or ask the bus driver if you’re not sure.
Time Zone: GMT + 1
Plug Socket: European
Language: Spanish and Valencian. English very widely spoken. Large English expat community.
Climate: A comfortable and welcoming year round temperature. Very hot in July, August and September. Low rainfall. October is the wettest month. The bay is relatively open and the buildings are all low rise making it susceptible to wind.
How long a stay: If you’re planning to head on holiday to Benidorm or Alicante, it’s very easy to see Xàbia in a half day or full day trip, depending on what you want to do there and the mode of transport you have available. If you’re wanting to go on holiday to Xàbia, 7 nights allows you to see different places in the area as well as relax at the beach and the pool.
What to pack: With a pleasing climate all year round, it’s easy to pack lightly for Xàbia. I managed to pack everything from my Spring LookBook into my American Tourister Spinner luggage. If you’re travelling in the summer months, you’ll definitely need a stock up of swimwear, shorts and light clothing. If you’re heading out in the winter months, be sure to pack a few jumpers and have a jacket, just in case. In the sun, you can bask in 20 degree temperatures during the winter months, but once the sun drops and the temperature dips you can feel lows of 5 at night.
Xabia is a tiny, historic town, free of the burden of high rise buildings and daunting shadows. Instead of looking up at a concrete jungle, open space is aplenty and the views spread for miles. Whether you’re looking towards the mountains, or looking out at sea, where on a good day you can catch glimpses of Ibiza, it’s completely unspoilt.
The first thing that made me fall in love with Xàbia was the crystal clear blue Mediterranean Sea that lapped against the sandy white shoreline. Imagine a cove on an island, and that’s Xàbia. A taste of the island lifestyle on mainland Spain.
Let’s talk about the bars. Finished, beautiful and friendly bars that combine modern aesthetic with old time values. The bars, especially chabada, are adorned with beautiful furnishings, chandeliers and topping it off with tasty drinks and mouthwatering tapas. I had my first try of “albóndigas” which is a meatball in tomato tapas dish at chabada, and they’re definitely worthy for a mid afternoon lunch.
We’ve also tried the “mejillones” there and the patatas bravas. The mejillones (mussels) were Rio’s absolute favourite and the patatas bravas changed my opinion on patatas bravas. They also do a happy hour, where you can get cocktails at a reduced price and they offer a fabulous selection of cava’s, my favourite is the cava with raspberries! The food and drinks are always good and the staff are smiley and helpful. If you’re in Javea, go to chabada!
Another beautiful bar is that of The Beach House, Jávea. Looking like it had been put together by the interior designers over at Elle Home, it’s a stunning bar with a laid back relaxed atmosphere. Its tagline “taste the slow life” is reflected in every aspect, don’t expect to rush around, it’s a chilled atmosphere with slow, acoustic music to let the day pass you by.
The interesting aspect of Xàbia is its range of landscape. One of my favourite things about Spain is the ability to swap and change between Sandy coastlines and rugged mountains by the turn of a head. Xàbia offers all that and more. The caves at the edge of the main Arenal bay are both cool to look at and offer an escape from the sun in the summer. Xàbia seems to nail that combination of clutching its old ancient charm of the fishing village and modern facilities.
Not just limited to the main Arenal bay, Javea also spreads to the Cala Granadella and the Cala Portixol. If you do have access to a car and don’t mind a windy mountain road, then heading down to them is a must. In the summer, they both come to life with loud music and a party atmosphere. The Cala Portixol also has restaurants and bars which come to life opening the once closed blue doors that I regularly stand in front of imagining I’m in Santorini and that I’m a real blogger. Ha.
Xàbia is renowned for its gorgeous beaches and laid back atmosphere. It’s a place that once we visit, it feels like we’re on holiday. The sun seems to linger for longer due to the low rise buildings and the atmosphere just seems a million miles away. It’s like a holiday without branching out too far. Javea is one of those idyllic places that, although I couldn’t see myself living there, or at least for now, it’s a fishing town that I’ll always want to go back to. It has that holiday home feel.
Have you been?