Javea or Xabia, depending on which name you find easier to pronounce, is a beautiful area in Spain. Officially part of the Costa Blanca it is surrounded by the Mediterranean on one side and an hour away from Valencia to the North and Benidorm and Alicante to the South. Javea is made up of three separate parts; the beach (Arenal), the port and the old town all well linked my road. Overlooking the town is the Montgo – not quite a mountain by a constant presence providing shelter between the mainland and coast.
The holiday was my 30th birthday present so I had a few months build up and a chance to research before arriving in mid-October. Flying into Alicante with my Mum and Dad we knew we had an hour’s drive to our apartment. Our flight landed at 1am local time and although finding our hire car was simple the journey was not! Mainly due to small Spanish road signs and no clear direction on which way Alicante was.
After driving in the opposite direction for 45 minutes we realised that we hadn't seen an Alicante road sign and on arrival at a toll booth got the news we dreaded. Our destination was the complete opposite direction! Thanks to straight roads we could turn around and re-do the 45 minute drive before getting on the right road – nightmare!
An Aunt had joined us at the apartment and we settled in making ourselves at home before passing out. The apartment (found on owners direct) was exactly what we needed. Spacious, with three bedrooms we had plenty of space to spread out and when morning arrived we found ourselves looking out over the beautiful pool.
The apartment was by the marina, a short walk from the beach and main town centre and in a complex that looked like it belonged someone more exotic than Spain.
For a relaxing break I could not recommend Javier more. Although the journey from the airport was not great once we were there we had everything we needed in a short distance. From essentials like supermarkets to the non-essential nail bars this small town had it all. Along the seafront was a continuous line of bars and restaurants offering everything from tapas to fish and chips, Chinese to Italian – it became hard making a decision!
With temperatures between 25 – 30 degrees it was perfect weather to lay on the sandy beach and explore the area. The old town held a market on two days and wandering the streets you got a real sense that not much had changed since the town was first built in the 14th century.
On the Wednesday we heard Valencia was celebrating the ‘Day of the Valencian Community’ with a fiesta so my Aunt and Uncle drove the hour and a bit to arrive just in time for fireworks. It was a new one on me – fireworks in the day! But the noise was more than enough to get the party started.
From the fireworks we followed the crowd to the town square for traditional Spanish dancing – castanets and all, before the final event – a parade through the streets. Featuring Christian and Moors army outfits, dancing horses and bands it is an experience to enjoy up close.
Not only is the 9th of October the day of celebration for the communities independence from Moorish rule it is also the ‘Lovers Day’ or ‘Feast of Sant Dionís’ where gifts are exchanged between couples. All in all a great day of celebration in a beautiful city – I loved Valencia and can’t wait to bring Laura back!
I also took a day trip to Benidorm. My parents met in a bar on Benidorm seafront some 36 years ago and after a brief holiday romance and some perseverance on my Dad’s part they were reunited in the UK and have been together ever since. As well as enjoying dinner by sunset on the promenade we paid a visit to the very bar and the hotel my Mum stayed in all those years ago. It hadn't changed! While Benidorm in itself fulfills the expectation of being tacky and full of high rises the people were aged anywhere between 20 – 90. Turns out it is a place for all ages and with the bustling old streets packed with shops and bars you can see why. I personally was glad to get back to the quiet, relaxed Javier but I can see the appeal if you want sun, sand and sangria!
When I wasn’t day tripping or standing on my bed to get wifi signal and connect briefly every day to L I loved nothing more than strolling to the beach, talking a dip in the warm ocean and then sleeping or reading on the beach. Although tanning wasn’t my top priority it seems relaxing in the sun allows me to turn a colour that causes L to go ‘who are you and what have you done with my Sarah’ – there I was thinking I was a bronzed beauty :)
Depending on what you want from a holiday I couldn't recommend Javier more highly. Easy to get to – just a 2 and a bit hour flight from London, not too expensive (our week cost just over £250 per person including flights) and with a local Spanish feel with British ex pats (if you need a paper or directions) it really was a great holiday!