A Dog-Friendly Day Trip to Javea and Moraira

Couple and two dogs in Moraira

One of my favourite things about the weekend is that it usually means we head out on a little trip. Whether that’s somewhere close by or somewhere a little farther afield, we tend to make the weekends a time to explore.

Two cavaliers on a road trip

We do try to not revisit the same places over and over, unless it’s to either visit one of our favourite restaurants, like chabada, mex y go, the beach house or another one of the Javea company bars, or to explore somewhere slightly different in the same place.

Whilst Marley was in Spain for a while, I wanted to get some photos of Marley and Rio together in some of our favourite spots.

Last weekend, before the Gota fria arrived, we took Marley and Rio on a little road trip with my mum. Just a short journey north from Benidorm are the beautiful towns of Moraira and Javea (Xabia). Moraira is slightly closer to Benidorm than Javea, but both are reachable on the same motorway, which is now toll free.

Two cavaliers and diary of a Spanglish girl Spain blogger at Moraira castle travel guide

The first place we stopped was the gorgeous town of Moraira. We’ve been back a few times, but it’s always so fun to take a walk along the promenade and by the castle. The wind was starting to get up, but once we got into the sun at the bar, it was such a sun trap.

We visited Gelateria Venezia opposite the port and had a drink, I opted for a hot chocolate. Topped with whipped cream, it was just like the cream we’d had a few years prior in Rome. The cream was the thick, whipped cream which doesn’t disintegrate when it touched the drink. I’ll certainly be back for another!

I noticed they do loads of different ice creams so we’ll be sure to visit another time to try one of the sundaes. I did see they do a spaghetti ice cream, which I had wished I’d tried in Rome, so I’ll need to go back and give it a try!

Drinking hot chocolate in Moraira mum and daughter

The car parking at Moraira is currently free at the moment because it’s off peak time. They do say to limit the parking to 2 hours, to not cause disruptions to others who may wish to visit. So, after a short time we were back on the road.

By midday we had started to get hungry so it was a trip to Chabada. We’ve been many a times because we love the tapas there. It’s relatively cheap, always of a good standard and comes quickly. We were a little disappointed in the meatballs this time as they came out quite cold. But, the patatas bravas were tasty as always and the mussels are delectable! They’re not too expensive either, it ended up being around 10€ each for quite a lot of tapas and a drink each. I had a rose wine which I’ve been opting for over white wine more often recently!

By the time we had eaten and had a short walk along Xabia front, we headed back to the car. The promenade was filled with dogs all on long walks in preparation for the storm which was coming. Speaking of which, Xabia had built its dyke along the front in hopes of making a bit of a barrier against the ferocious sea that would be on its way. We now know it wasn’t a successful as it had been before.

It’s so sad to look a videos and see what a difference a couple of days has made to the Xabia coastline. Bars that we had sat in are now flooded and windows smashed. Hopefully, with a bit of time, sunshine and money, they businesses will be able to repair and come back stronger.

Cavalier on portixol beach Javea

Our final stop of the day was at Cala de Portixol. We’d been a few times in the past, mainly for the blue door and the beach. But this time, we were aiming to give the bar a go. Unfortunately, by the time we got there it had already closed up for the day. Rio did love having a run around on the beach though. Marley was pretty sceptical about a pebble beach.

Have you ever been to Xabia and Moraira?

L x

Visiting the Benitatxell, Alicante Cave: La Cova dels Arcs

we decided to head up to Javea to see the famous caves for ourselves. It is known as one of the most photographed spots around that area and a massive pull for snorkellers. 

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La Cova dels Arcs, one of the most magical corners to watch the sunrise, take photos of the caves and, the most popular of all, snorkel, is one of the longest underground watercourses in Spain to the sea. For those who love snorkelling, or love doing something different, a trip to La Cova dels Arcs is essential.

To the right of Cala del Moraig, in El Poble Nou de Benitatxell, Alicante, you’ll find La Cova dels Arcs, a cool cave that is considered to be one of the best examples of history and drainage. For thousands of years, La Cova dels Arcs has taken batterings from weather, water and who knows what else, giving it its unique appearance today.

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It is said that La Cova dels Arcs served as a refuge for sailors and an important water supply for the population of the surrounding areas.

After searching Benitatxell and things to do around Javea, Spain, and Alex being advised to visit by a colleague, we decided to head up to Javea to see the famous caves for ourselves. It is known as one of the most photographed spots around that area and a massive pull for snorkellers.

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Arriving at the caves, I probably wasn’t wearing the most appropriate of clothes. Especially shoes-wise. Extreme caution is to be taken when heading into the caves as the rocks get extremely slippery from the seawater crashing against them. It’s also recommended not to go in when the sea is even a little rough, one slight wave can cause you to slip and fall into the sea and potentially get hurt by all the rocks below.

DIARY OF A SPANGLISH GIRL la cova dels arcs costa blanca spain

Anyway, the cave itself is protected by a small entrance with a series of artificial stairs. It’s also considered the exit to sea from the underground watercourse. Of course, to snorkel and take part in the longest underground watercourse in Spain, you should be an advanced caver, strong swimmer and snorkeller and be with a group.

BOY AT la cova dels arcs costa blanca spain

Once you’re off the stairs, it’s a case of trudging along the rocks. Through wearing sandals and not wanting to venture too far in, we stood by the arcs, the famous photography spot of the caves. It’s here where, daily, people gather to watch the supposedly stunning sunset, renowned to be one of the best places to watch the sunset across the Costa Blanca.

How do I get to La Cova dels Arcs?

From Poble Nou of Benitaxell, take the road that leads to the urbanization of Cumbre del Sol, “Carretera del Puig”. After around 2000 metres you’ll see the entrance to the community, where you’ll be able to continue on.

Around 500 metres later, there is a triple crossing in the form of a trident, take the wider, central road, following the last stretch of nearing 3000 metres. The route takes you to the beautiful Cala del Moraig, after a very steep downhill slope. At the end of this road, you’ll find the cave and the beach parking. You’ll see the entrance to the coves to the right of the beach, which is signposted.

Hasta luego,

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WHERE TO SEE la cova dels arcs

The Vision of El Mirador de Poble Nou

All at once, everything looks different. When you’re standing at what feels like the top of the world looking down, suddenly, the perspective shifts.

poble nou viewpoint

All at once, everything looks different. When you’re standing at what feels like the top of the world looking down, suddenly, the perspective shifts. Who’d have thought that just a short drive away from Javea, where everything is so low rise, that you’d find yourself with such spectacular views.

It’s not that often that we make a point to head up to natural viewpoints, we usually steer towards actual tourist destinations, bars or slightly off path beaches and the rest is down to luck. That probably doesn’t sound very blogger of me, but that’s what we like to do. Sure, it’s not particularly adventurous, but what really defines adventurous? This was no different. Driving along the country road, we saw the gap to pull over in, so we did.

girl standing on poble nou viewpoint javea

The sky was the perfect blue, the kind that makes you wonder if you’ll ever see a nimbus cloud again. The kind where the sea and the sky roll into one and create a picturesque view. The kind where you have to focus on the horizon to really acknowledge where the sea ends and the sky starts. The kind that when the plane flies overhead its contrails seem to last and last.

One of those days where you start to remember that summer is on its way. The spring breeze blows away the winter memories. You just imagine how wonderful it will be in summer. Until you remember that with summer comes the insect that bite you to shreds.

It was one of those lovely sunny days, the days I crave when they grey skies settle in. The sun shone and shone with its heat beating down. We’d just been the beach house in Javea where we had relaxed and listened to the acoustic live music and I had a latte macchiato. I had a piercing headache and I know its because I’d skipped my morning coffee. It’s scary how quickly we find ourselves reliant on our caffeine intake.

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You start to incline and the buildings get smaller and smaller until they become just a part of the wider picture. A part of the view. You incline and incline and with each passing second you realise how significantly small we are in this great wide world.

I think there’s something incredibly beautiful to acknowledge that we are somewhat insignificant to the wider world. To the world, we are a mere person. We are small. We are a build up of atoms that will take our place in the circle of life.

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Yet, in this moment when you’re standing there with your person, we are everything.

We are so insignificant to the wider world, yet to our family, our friends, our partner. We are significant beyond comprehension. I’ve always found myself craving to be high up. Rooftop bars and mountain views. It’s always one of the first things I google when we’re heading somewhere new. It’s why we usually found ourselves in a DoubleTree Hilton with a cocktail or two on holiday. If there’s a chance to see the world below and feel inspired, so small yet so significant, then I’m there.

If you’re looking for somewhere to rise above the Costa Blanca skyline with views of Xabia to the north and Calpe rock to the south and, if you’re lucky, a glimpse of the Valencia coastline then the viewpoint of Poble Nou is somewhere you should drop by.

Hasta luego,

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Xàbia / Jávea Travel Guide

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.

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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.

Quick Guide:

Time Zone: GMT + 1

Plug Socket: European

Currency: Euro

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.

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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.

cala de portixol javea

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?

Hasta luego,

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This is a Blog Post

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This is a blog post. It’s not a post about where to find the coolest spots on the Costa Blanca, it’s not a review of a snazzy product I’ve been sent, it’s not even a blog post about how to build an audience or maintain your traffic. But, it’s a blog post. Sure, it’s probably not the best blog post in the world, but it’s mine.

It’s been a long time since I sat down with a cup of coffee and rambled. Shared my story. Well, excuse the fact that I’m sipping on a fruits of the forest juice instead of a caffeinated beverage but I wanted to strip it back and write a few lines.

writing in a bar in benidorm

Recently, I’ve been feeling less inspired by my blog. I just genuinely didn’t know what to write. What did I even write about? Why were people even reading it? What direction did I want to take?

First things first, the ads had to go. The ads that I had no control over that is. There is a huge difference between the ads that WordPress placed on to my site, which I had no control over and the posts where I review a product that I contacted the company to feature it on my site. The latter being products that we already use and love, or something that I think we will love. The first ones are the ones that are gone, instant square ads that led visitors to hotels, experiences or anything else which I had no control over.

Doing a sponsored post in exchange for a blog post makes the running costs even out. I can do a sponsored post in exchange for a shopping spree, or a new bottle of perfume, which covers my outlay for the days that we filled the car to post about a place. I spend out on keeping the blog running and having the information available. We test out bars and restaurants, experiences, hotels, things that cost money. The outlay for running a blog is a considerable amount. Of course, the people I make friends with along the way and their kind comments make it all the worthwhile too!

A product every now and again is my benefit for putting in the work. They will never go, as long as the opportunity is available to me and it’s relevant. I will only ever put things on my blog that I love and use and I have taken down some posts that don’t reflect my best work since.

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Blogging is hard. It’s hard when you first start out and have no idea about what your time is worth, let alone what your work is worth. I didn’t think I was worth anything. You accept the products and the work you think you deserve. I accepted some collaborations or terms that now I would never accept.

I felt privileged that a brand wanted to give me 20% off their bikini, in exchange for a blog and social media post. Now, I know my worth. If you’re a blogger just starting out, you’re worth more. You’re worth much more than a discount code. Never pay to collaborate. It has to be mutually beneficial.

I’ve turned down many collaborations recently and it makes me feel so much better. I had a brand promise me a collaboration that I just couldn’t turn down. Working with my dream brands, promoting their event and creating a blog, vlog and social media posts. We splashed out on flights, only for 24 hours before the event to be told I can try out a new menu at a restaurant and still put the same work in. Knowing this doesn’t align, I turned it down, through pure morale.

In a paradoxically way, it felt like a turning point, shedding skin, starting afresh. A moment where I knew accepting it wasn’t my worth. I finally felt like I figured my worth and didn’t want to put something out I didn’t fully believe in and waste not only my time, but yours too. It felt like, sure I had wasted my own money for America, but I’d gained my own respect and knew I wasn’t doing it for the freebies, which some may say.

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Weirdly enough, the same day I had an email from Instax and The Fragrance Shop. Two brands that I do love. Two brands that wanted to work with me. Collaborations that were and are mutually beneficial. They’re the kind of brands that I’ve always shared photos or talked about anyway, so posting a photo and tagging them in makes no difference. It’s natural content. Working with brands that you genuinely love shines through.

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The new guidelines are a little hard work when it comes to collaborations. Now, even brands you’ve worked with in the past but it’s a product you’ve bought, technically you have to list as AD, even though it’s not an ad. If you’re sent a product with no monetary value, it’s an AD. So, it looks like I’m doing more adverts now, but I’m not, I’m actually doing less but the guidelines have changed, so the declarations have had to change. Everything is not as it seems.

Meanwhile, whilst things have been changing in terms of my blog, life in Benidorm hasn’t changed much. I’m still teaching and wouldn’t give it up. I love that I can inspire and enrich kids everyday. Everyday there is a moment where I notice that I’ve made a change. Inspired them. Taught them. Those moments where it just clicks for them and you get a real sense of satisfaction. People ask me if I want to take blogging full-time and the answer is no.

Why don’t I?

That answer is simple. I never set out to make money. It’s a hobby and a free product to review now and again doesn’t pay the bills. I’m not sure my landlady would accept a bottle of perfume in exchange for the rent, neither do I think Iberdrola would call it quits if I sent them a camera in exchange for the electricity payments. I don’t want to ever have to rely on my blog to make money or live in the doom of freelancing. 

Freelancing is tough. I imagine it becomes more difficult finding paid opportunities and with the looming bills, I imagine people take on collaborations they aren’t fully committed to or feel 100% in because naturally they have bills to pay. I don’t want that. I only want collaborations that I truly believe in and think it fits both you and me. I also like the fact that I go to work, I get dressed, leave the house and have social time. It keeps me out of the spiralling stuck in the house freelance syndrome.

Speaking of being outside, we’ve been spending more and more time out and about capturing and planning content for my instagram (shameless plug). There was a while where I felt awkward and self conscious posting to Instagram everyday. It felt narcissistic. I felt self centred. But, seeing the photos come to life, building my following and seeing Alex’s photography get out there and helping him build a portfolio, whilst helping me find brand collaborations makes it worth it. What certain people think of me isn’t my prerogative. I know who I am. Soy como soy.

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It’s funny that friends who should be the ones who support you are the first to drop away. People who watch all my stories yet refuse to engage. People who will message me trying to tell me how to run my blog or my Instagram. But, the people who genuinely love reading your blog or looking at your content are the people who push you to be better. Those who are trying to drag you down, they’re not the people you need to focus on. I need to teach myself this.

So, this is a blog post. A blog post about me. A blog post about how I’m finding my voice and finding myself in a saturated world. A world where I could have 70,000 followers today and 700 tomorrow. A world where brands might love my content today and tomorrow not want to work together again.

I’m excited for the direction my blog is taking. The direction of better quality photos, higher quality editing and only putting out blog posts I’m proud of. Which means, there might be fewer posts, or there might be more. Who knows!

Days like today, I’ve written two blog posts that I’m happy with. But, I’m not going to force anything anymore. I’ll upload when I feel like it’s worthy, not because it fits the box.

Thanks for sticking with me on this whirlwind.

Hasta luego,

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