As airline and holiday companies announce attractive new packages to attract tourists in the new “vaccinated-travel” world, long-standing popular destinations such as Alicante remain key to their planning.
Evolving preferences for travel are also increasingly focused on quieter village areas away from the main cities, ideally seaside. And, once again, this is where Alicante really comes into its own, with many well-established resorts offering a laid-back beach lifestyle along the Costa Blanca coastline. Towns such as Xàbia, for example.
Xàbia (the official Valencian name for Jávea in “castellano”) is – like Dénia just to the north near the border of Alicante and Valencia provinces – a convenient one-hour drive along the coast from Alicante-Elche Airport, where seven leading car-hire companies have desks.
It is an area of stunning contrasts, extending from the sea into the mountains – offering many fun-filled outdoor pursuits for visitors.
Xàbia is a paradise for travellers who enjoy hiking in pristine surroundings. Its wonderful natural settings offer the opportunity to explore verdant expanses of diverse vegetation, stroll along picturesque cliffs and enjoy spectacular views along a network of paths.
Xàbia is part of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route networks. “Camino del Alba” officially starts at Xàbia port and connects to the historical “Camino de la Lana” pilgrimage route in Almansa, traversing hiking trails, green paths and roads as well as several towns… Jesús Pobre, El Verger, Pego, l’Atzúbia, Villalonga, Lorcha, Albaida and Ontinyent.
2. Scuba Diving
Xàbia’s rich sea floor provides a wonderworld of underwater life for scuba diving enthusiasts. Guides available from the tourists offices provide detailed information on routes that are highly recommended for their diverse flora and fauna. There are also many diving clubs for those keen to start practising the sport. The 25-kilometre Xàbia coast is home to coves, beaches and cliffs enveloped by a stunning Mediterranean forest environment.
3. Sea Excursions
Some areas of Xàbia are only accessible from the sea. Islands, islets and caves such as Isla del Portixol, Isla del Descubridor, Cova Tallada, Cova del Tabac, Cova dels Orguens and Cova del Llop Marí are renowned for their breathtaking scenery and transparent waters, ideal for scuba diving or snorkelling. Visitors can hire sail boats or motor yachts, jet skis, kayaks or canoes.
4. Bike Routes
Cycling enthusiasts have access to a wide range of bike routes throughout Xàbia municipality, passing through such spectacular landscapes as Montgó nature park with numerous “miradors” (scenic lookouts) to admire the vistas. There are also many tranquil rural roads that are ideal for short cycling trips or visiting neighbouring towns.
5. Surrounding Areas
The main township of Xàbia is dominated by a castle containing the ruins of fortifications dating to different ages (including an Arab gate) and a fascinating museum. South from Xàbia is Poble Nou de Benitatxell, a small town that is home to Cala del Moraig cove, and further afield is the traditional farming town of Teulada-Moraira, with its well-preserved historical centre and a fortified 16th century church.
Benissa has a neo-Gothic church (“Iglesia de la Purísima Xiqueta – popularly known as the “Cathedral of Marina Alta”) and a mediaeval town centre with a wide variety of traditional shops. Located next to the Penyal d’Ifac Natural Park, whose peaks can be accessed by a hiking trail, Calpe’s town centre preserves the ruins of a 16th century fort, as well as the remains of a salted foods factory from the Roman era (“Baños de la Reina”).