Are you heading to Javea, Spain for some summer fun and looking for the very best things to do? Well this is exactly what you need… with our holiday guide you can’t go wrong!
I have lived in Javea on two seperate occasions in and around summer. Consequently, I’ve spent much time digging deep into everything this charming little place has to offer. As such I have uncovered Javea’s best activities and the most awesome things to do. From walks, to water activities, gastronomy, markets, beaches, history and culture… there is a little something here for everyone.
Firstly, DON’T panic about the number of things to do on my list. I get it, 21 sounds like a lot, but as I said above, we did everything there is to see and do, over multiple months in Javea. All you need to do is scroll down and figure out what it is YOU want to do!
WE share some unique things to do in Javea, as well as the more popular activities. Also a collection of day trips from Javea, that you might like to take.
Don’t miss our more detailed guides, where we have written in-depth posts on some of our favourite things to do in Javea. If you see the arrow – it means click through to our full guide on that topic. So happy exploring! And IF you’re heading to Javea, and want to know more, then don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Also Get Our: Best EVER Holiday Guide to Javea!
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Table of Contents
Where is Javea?
First up, lets paint of picture and help you understand… where Javea is and what makes it special.
Well referring to our map above you’ll see Javea is on the East Coast of Spain! To be precise, Javea is in the region of Costa Blanca. It’s 1½ hours south of Valencia and just over an hour north of Alicante. This makes getting to and from Javea very easy, given it’s proximity to two international airports.
Javea is loved by holidaymakers, for the stunning beaches and bays (also known as calas). Lining the rocky coastline, are some of the most beautiful Mediterranean beaches Spain has to offer.
And I have to note, one of things we absolutely love about Javea is the fact that up until now, it has managed to avoid the high-rise, mass tourism, of its surrounding neighbours. I’ll name no names. Therefore, Javea has held on tight to those gorgeous quintessential Spanish feels, especially in the old town and port area.
And the last thing to mention before we start – Javea, is pronounced ha-vee-a. But it’s also called Xàbia, pronounced sha-vee-a in the local Valencian dialect. Therefore, I may refer to both throughout our guide.
21 Summer Fun Things to Do in Javea
Javea is a great place for families, but at the same time has a lot to offer couples or single travellers exploring Spain. Below we jump straight in… so read on for our top 21 things to do in Javea, Spain.
Arenal Beach – Soak up the Sun
About 15-20 minutes from Javea’s port you’ll find the popular pedestrian walkway of the Arenal, it’s right on the beach. By day, both locals and holidaymakers flock to the beach, umbrella, chair and a few beers in the cooler box to spend the day sun bathing.
Like all good Mediterranean beaches the water is crystal clear and calm. The swimming is easy going and there is plenty to keep the kids entertained with the multiple climbing frames dotted along the beach. In addition, for a bit of on-the-water-fun there is a kayak and Paddle-O rental spot at the northern end.
During the summer months, around June to September there are portable toilets and changing rooms set up at the southern end of the beach. Feet washing stations are conveniently located as you leave the beach. Also lifeguards are always on duty. Keep an eye on the flags, for an idea of the swimming conditions – green means go, red means no go.
There is always a good energy at the Arenal both day and night, read below for the Arenal at night! If you want to know more about the best beaches in and around Javea, we recommend you read our complete blog below.
Arenal Tapas & Tintos
As the day begins to cool off, the bars and restaurants of the Arenal begin to heat up. In fact, the afternoon, is an ideal time of the day to find a table on the Arenal. Order some tapas, a tinto, or a cerveza and get comfortable.
Parents – position yourself at a table on the Arenal, across from one of the climbing frames. Then you’ll have the perfect setup to order multiple rounds, while the kids play.
Some of our favourite spots for a bite to eat, would be Chabada, Geographic and Carnaval. But honestly there are so many options, and they are all great. So go wild and try them all if you have time!
Queen’s Baths: Banys de la Reina Xàbia
If you’ve sat at the beach for a while and need to give the legs a stretch, walk around to the Banys de la Reina. Interestingly, translated to English as the Queen’s Baths, the name does not reflect the purpose for which it was used.
Constructed from 100 BC and in use until the end of the 2nd Century, it was a location for fish salting. The Roman’s, with the aid of the natural cove created a channel in the rock for the salt water to funnel through. They then created a fish entrail and salt ferment sauce… mmm yummy!
There is a local dispute associated with this archaeological space. In short, the land above the bath area was gifted to a Minister in the late 50’s. During the construction of the house, part of the baths were destroyed. In the 80’s land ownership questions were raised and the house now sits neglected above. Therefore the Queen’s Baths are also referred to as the Minister’s Cove.
The Queen’s Baths can be accessed from around behind the Parador Hotel which sits on the point at the north of the beach. Basically, walk from the Arenal to the Av. del Mediterraneo, follow it past the Parador. When you see the carpark on the right, follow the track along the rocks out to the point.
Breakfast and a Swim at Portixol Beach
If you haven’t already click through to our beach guide above, then I’m listing the next two beaches here as a must see. Firstly, Portixol (pronounced por-tee-shol) is one of those beautiful little calas that I spoke about in the introduction.
This was my personal favourite beach to hang out with my kids for the morning. We snorkelled, swam, sun bathed and admired the prettyness of it all. Then popped up to Cala Clemence for breakfast and a coffee.
In terms of photography, I became obsessed with hanging out in the golden hours, trying to get that perfect photo. The blue doors and white houses make for the perfect backdrop alongside the crystal Portixol waters.
I put the drone up too while the beach was empty and couldn’t believe the patterns captured from above. This image shows the deep crevices in the stone reef, a favourite place for the fish to congregate. So don’t forget the Go-Pro!
You can explore Portixol beach, (also known as Cala Barraca) from two access points. During the summer months of July and August, the carpark gets impossibly busy. So busy in fact, that from after 9am you won’t be able to access the road down to Portixol. If you park nearby at the Portixol Cross (Creu) you can walk down into the cala. Note however, that parks here are also limited.
⚠️ We definitely recommend you read our post on the beaches for all the details!
Walk and Swim at Granadella
A second beach and another personal fav is Granadella. Once again parking can be a nightmare, so read our beach post for all the details.
But given that it’s best to get there early, I recommend you start with the walk out to the Granadella Castle or Castillo. This walk is VERY impressive, gifting a view that makes the draw drop. We hung here watching from above for a good 10 minutes.
The walk can be combined as a longer loop walk, or taking the same route back, head to the cala for a swim. We wrote a complete guide to the walks and hikes of Javea, which provides a map and more information on Granadella and the PR CV-354 walking track.
Cliff Jump & Snorkel at San Antonio Marine Reserve
Javea’s costal caves, gigantic cliffs and secluded bays make for some amazing cliff diving and snorkelling spots. This includes the San Antonio Marine Reserve, which stretches from the northern end of the Javea port, around the Montgó headland and through to Cala de Aigua Dolç in Denia.
But it has to be mentioned that the snorkelling just to the east of Cala Tango in the San Antonio Reserve was our favourite snorkelling spot. There are some super fun little cliff jumping spots in Cala Tango ranging between 3m and 7m. Then just a little further over is a small cave and shallow area, ideal for snorkelling. You’ll find an abundant fish life, clear water and generally speaking a very pretty little snorkel experience.
Get there north of the Javea port, via the coastal PR-CV 355 Montgó walking track. A word of warning finding Cala Tango and snorkelling is a little tricky. However, you can download this AllTrails map which will help you find your way. Also read our beach guide, which explains where to find the cliff jumping spots.
Go Kayaking in Javea
Naturally, the coast offers some pretty epic scenery and conditions for kayaking and paddle boarding. We loved our kayaking experience SO much that we wrote a dedicated blog on it!
There are multiple places and beaches on which to book a guided kayak tour. The best include Cala Tango, Granadella and Portixol – all beaches we have mentioned above.
What’s more, we recommend a guided tour rather than renting and taking the do-it-yourself method. This is simply because you’d never find all the hidden gem spots without the experts. Read our guide to find out more, including how much it costs and the best tour operator in Javea.
Rent a Boat
Keeping our list focused on things to do on the water for a bit longer, Javea’s port also offers some great options for day excursions. If you fancy a morning, full day or sunset boat tour, maybe a fishing trip or a diving trip, then you need to add this to your list.
We went out on a fantastic four hour trip with friends in Javea, and have to say it’s right up there with one of my favourite things to do in Javea. The tour was booked with Area Nautica and they provided a fantastic and friendly service.
Just like kids in a candy store, we excitedly jumped onto the boat at the port. Bringing with us a bottle of bubbles and some of our favourite snacks, we headed for the seas. Our skipper was keen to follow our lead, and delivered an awesome day.
We visited several destinations, parking up finally in Cala Sardinera just in time for the arrival of a floating cocktail tiki bar. Naturally, we had to try a piña colada, blended by the onboard bike blender!
If a private boat tour is outside the budget, then check out the group tours on the Mundo Marino Catamaran. This boat gathers a lively crowd and sails around the San Antonio Reserve. I know this as they cruised by us during our morning kayak trip. It looked like a lot of fun!
Walk the Javea Port: Swim, Sightsee and Shop
The Javea port is a super place to spend an afternoon. And there are a few places worth mentioning here. So despite it being just one of our things to do in Javea, there are actually a few places to visit.
We found the free parking on the Av. del Port was the best place to park during the day. It was walking distance to everything within the port therefore convenient.
The shopping throughout the Javea Port is boutique in nature. And it’s always nice to combine a little window shopping, with a swim, and some light sightseeing.
Sightsee at Parroquia del Mar or Iglesia Nuestra Señora de Loreto
The Parroquia or Iglesia Nuestra Señora de Loreto, is something of a piece of art. Now I’m no expert on churches, nor a regular participant, but this one is unlike any church I’ve ever seen.
From the outside a series of structural arches, which appear to reach outwards, form the external walls of the church. While inside the church, the ceiling represents the hull, or bottom of a boat.
Religion and art enthusiasts might like to further note the following. The 12 apostles are represented through the concrete arches, while the “temple is visualized as if it were the bottom of the sea, whose surface is furrowed by the boat of salvation creating waves of foam that turns into white light.”
As such, the cleverly constructed Iglesia with significance around both boat and ocean, is the perfect tribute to the fishing port of Javea.
Swim at Platja de la Grava
The electric blue water and small stretch of restaurants is a more intimate experience than the Arenal. The small pebble bay is a calm place to swim and sunbathe. And of course just over the road are a series of small cafes and restaurants.
Mid week, spot the elder locals as they walk through Javea Port streets carrying their beach chairs. The rocky beach of Platja de la Grava is their destination, as they go in search of sun and a social catch up among friends.
Shop at Pòsit de Xabia – Fish Market
My favourite kind of shopping, is the sort that ends in my belly.
And the fish market in the Javea Port is an excellent place to shop for the catch of the day! They are open Tuesday to Friday, 4pm to 9pm. Once again you’ll find this is where the locals come to get their seafood.
If you’d rather not do the cooking while on holiday, you could always head across the road to Cala Bandida Restaurant for a bite to eat instead.
Montgó Natural Park
Montgó Massif, the local peak of Javea is an important part of local heritage and history. It’s represented in many signs and images related to the area. And it’s mighty form is ever present in Javea’s landscape, like a beacon helping you realise your location.
We loved learning about the discovery of Cova Barranc del Migdia in the 80’s. During which time climbers stumbled upon a cave spanning several levels on the side of Montgó. Within was found human remains, artefacts and rock paintings, some of which dated back to more than 4500 years ago. Therefore, in terms of archaeology Montgó holds great significance for the region.
Montgó is open year round, offering beautiful flora and fauna for nature lovers to seek out. It is a protected park that stretches 21km2 with a number of walking trails and sights. There is no doubt that it’s a tremendous natural resource for the community and a space we loved exploring.
If you like the idea of getting the blood pumping, then consider a summit to the top. The return walk takes 2+ hours, over 1.6km of trail. Read our dedicated guide below, to find out about our walk to the summit with kids.
Oh geez, another of my favourites!! So much so, that I wrote a full-guide to it, linked below. It was on my list of things to do for my first visit to Javea, but I didn’t get there until the second time I visited.
So interestingly, Cova Tallada is also part of the San Antonio Reserve and Montgó Natural Park. But in fact the best way to visit, or the quickest, is via the walking trail from Denia.
Javea and Denia were once the locations where sandstone (aka tosca) was mined. And so, you may see areas carved into the oceanside reef and rock, lining the bays and beaches of the region. Cova Tallada is a combination of a natural cave, as well as a man-made cave, as a result of tosca mining. What remains is an extraordinary carved-out cavern of layered rock.
The sea feeds into the cave, and you can stroll around in knee deep water admiring the cavern. There are several parts to explore, other caves, nooks and crannies. The snorkelling is good and the walk in and out is super scenic.
Note: You need to apply online for an entry permit, this is to restrict access to Cova Tallada during the summer season. Read our guide to get the online registration links.
Lighthouse of Cape San Antonio & Mirador
Take the scenic drive out the Lighthouse of Cape San Antonio for the breathtaking view back towards Javea. Located on the tip of Cape San Antonio, and Montgó Natural Park, there are actually 3 view points or miradores to enjoy.
Better still, if you haven’t rented a car, hire a scooter from Martin at Javea Scooters and explore this little peninsula and piece of the Montgó Natural Park. Combine your adventure with a walk to the windmills, or a small trail within the park.
The CV-736 road across from Javea to Denia through the Natural Park was beautiful, as was the drive out to the lighthouse. For the return, take the shortcut down the hill, which enters Javea at the Port. This was a steep, windy drive, but provided spectacular views.
If you’ve been to the Javea Port already you may have noticed the windmills above on the hill in the National Park. These are known as Los Molinos. They are an interesting destination for a morning or afternoon out. Providing another great view point to look back over Javea.
Some of these windmills are now owned privately, and have been renovated as tiny homes. While others sit vacant on the hill, remnants of a time gone by. In their hay day, the 11 windmills were used as grain mills, they date back to the 14th and 18th century.
Los Molinos can be explored as part of a walking trail on foot from the Port, or can be accessed by car. Check our guide below on where to find the trail.
If you prefer to drive, take the road out towards the lighthouse point at Cape San Antonio. Turn right onto the dead end road of Cami del Molins. There are two sections to see along this road. The first, and smaller cluster with 3 windmills comes first. Park on the side of the road, walking through the trees a short distance, admiring one of the windmills from the outside, which has been renovated.
Then back in the car drive further along, parking just before the road becomes a private driveway. Follow the path to the right and it will bring you to the larger cluster of Los Molinos. In this area some are privately own and renovated, and some are here for the public to walk among and admire.
Stroll the Historic Old Town – Saint Bartholomew Church
In the Javea Historic Centre, you have the charming old town. The following four destinations are located in the Javea or Xabia Historic Centre, but they are difficult to visit all in one trip. As such, you may decide to visit the old town more than once.
The town is mostly restricted to pedestrian access. Therefore we recommend you park underground in the Plaza de la Constitucion, slightly to the north of the old town.
One of the sights we recommend you visit is the church of Saint Bartholomew. Constructed with the local tosca sandstone, the churches origins date back to the 13th Century.
However, much work was carried out on the church, throughout the centuries to meet the towns needs. This was largely due to the fact, that this region of Spain was prone to Barbary pirate attacks. Consequently, the churches renovations was not only a place for worship, but also served as a place of defence. Incorporated into the church design, parapets, arrow slits and other lines of defensives were included.
Javea Food Market or Mercat de Xabia
Javea old town is know for it’s gastronomy, so if you are a food lover you’ll definitely want to dine out a few times. You absolutely must make a booking well in advance (like more than 1 or 2 weeks), for the likes of restaurants such as Volta i Volta.
Another way to experience the local food is to visit the small, but very cool municipal market. Prepare to find meats, seafood, cheeses, olives, wines, honeys and more. We regularly stocked up on supplies for our own tapas. The local stall vendors are super friendly, happy to make recommendations and let you try before you buy.
Then when you have your supplies, stop for a coffee or something a little stronger at the Bar Mercat. It’s not uncommon to see group of locals enjoying a tipple or two before midday.
Located just in behind the Saint Bartholomew church, the Javea Food Market is open from Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, and on Saturday 8am to 5pm.
Soler Blasco Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum
This little museum in the Historic Centre was free and a great way to learn more about the local history. What’s more, the museum is in the historical building and palace of Antoni Banyuls. Once again, the external facade constructed of local tosca sandstone.
The total of 10 exhibition rooms, showcase collections of local history. Over three levels you will get a better understanding of how tosca was mined in Javea and Denia, and you’ll see the treasures and ceramics discovered in the region.
Among our favourites were the exhibit dedicated to the Cova del Migdia – the cave discovered in the 80’s on Montgó. Which I explained above in the section on Montgó. We enjoyed the archeological exhibits displaying the artefacts discovered in the area, as well as the views from the rooftop of the Museum.
Opening hours are from Tuesday to Sunday, 10am to 1.30pm and from 5pm to 8pm. They operate on a donation basis and we suggest that 60-90 minutes is enough time to see the Museum.
Weekly Market in the Historic Centre
The weekly Thursday market is held above the underground carpark in the Plaza de la Constitucion. There are several fruit and vegetable stalls set up, a great place to pick up some fresh local produce.
There are also vendors selling leather goods, clothes, bags, belts and that sort of thing. Probably not the best markets to do your holiday shopping, but interesting all the same, especially when combined with a visit to the Historic Centre.
Further towards the bottom of the main street by the Iglesia San Felipe Neri y Santa Mónica, the market continues. This was probably my preferred part of the market, lending more to an Artisan food type of feel. Don’t leave without trying churros and chocolate!
Note: That if you visit the historic centre on a Thursday morning, traffic can be very slow!
Les Freses Wine Tasting
I thoroughly recommend a wine tasting at Les Freses near the small village of Jesus Pobre. The tasting takes place in their small orchard, not far outside the Javea Historic Centre. Learn about how the owners stumbled across wine making after a failed attempt at strawberry growing.
Over the period of two hours you’ll be taken on a tour of the vineyards, receiving an explanation of the grape varieties and picking process. Followed by a visit to the cellar and production room to learn more about about how their wines are stored and barrelled.
For the tasting, you’ll try three wines, accompanied by two tapas. Les Freses are known for their dry muscatels, and this made for a very pleasant tasting. I’m not a fan of sweet wines, so tasting a dry muscatel was a unique experience, opening my tastebuds to a new kind of wine altogether. Given the opportunity, I recommend you also try the Àmfora which is barrelled in large traditional clay pots.
You’ll need to make a reservation in advance, their spaces to fill up quickly so allow time. The tasting costs 18€ per person. Kids are welcome, they pay a small fee for tapas and juice.
Farmers Market or Mercat del Riurau, Jesus Pobre
If you like artisan foods and products, then you MUST visit this cute little Sunday market, in the small village of Jesus Pobre. I could have gone wild!
Vendors sell typical breads, pastries and sweets, including a few gluten free options. Watch chocolate making in process and get yourself a few bottles of Les Freses wines for the shelf at home. Find a unique hand made jewellery piece, or collect your weekly organic fruit and veggies.
The Riurau Market, is a great atmosphere. A perfect place to meet up with friends, or to take a simple Sunday day-out! Parking is best found, off the main road to the left of town, and it won’t cost you to park here. The market timings are from 9am to 2pm.
Moraira is a small town just south of Javea. It’s worth a morning visit, well combined with a visit to the weekly Moraira Friday markets from 9am till 2pm.
Walk to the Castillo de Moraira, overlooking the ocean and take a swim at Platja de l’Ampolla with the kids. The rock pools and the rocks in general, in and around the Castillo and near the beach are a favourite place for the kids to explore.
Take a Day Trip (Valencia, Guadalaest, Calpe & More)
There are several day trips options from Javea that you might like to consider –
- The city of Valencia – 1½ hours from Javea
- Inland town of Anna – cascades and the Counts of Cervellón’s Palace – 1½ hours from Javea
- Pou Clar – river with swimming holes – 1 hour 15 minutes from Javea
- Guadalest – mountain village and castle – 1+ hour from Javea
- Calpe – coastal town with swimming and historic centre – 35 minutes from Javea
The two days trips that we did and can recommend from Javea are listed below. Neither are very long drives and both completely different from each other.
The mountain village of Guadalest
Just over an hour drive from Javea Historic Centre. We were impressed by the views from the castle over the lake, but also by the drive through the countryside.
One of the special things about this region is the Nispero fruit, which is grown in abundance. As you drive through the valley towards Guadalest the orchards begin to appear. Giant netted orchards protect the sensitive fruit from frost and hail. And when you arrive at the village be sure to ask for a tasting of the Crema de Nispero liquor. This is what the fruit eventually becomes.
The coastal town of Calpe
Calpe is a shorter 35 drive from the Javea Old Town. Calpe is the perfect day trip if you want more beach time, but also for a change in scenery.
Our favourite location in Calpe was the Queen’s Baths. Unlike Javea’s Queen’s Baths, but used for the same purpose of salting and fishing, these pools are stunning. As such they are a beautiful place to swim, which I’m sure you can see from the picture above. You can also visit Calpe’s Historic Centre, go flamingo spotting, or head to one of the famous fish restaurants by the iconic Calpe rock.
More on Javea & Costa Blanca
That about exhausts our list of summer fun things to do and see in Javea. We hope you have been able to find a few favourites, and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch!
Javea is one of our favourite places to visit, and no doubt we’ll be back again.
🛋 Need to find an awesome hotel, apartment or villa for your stay in Javea? Then read our complete accommodation guide to Javea, Spain.
🚌 Travelling from Valencia to Javea, then read our guide to taking the bus, among other transport options.
🚸 Read our guide to Javea with Kids! This list of things to do will keep the little ones in the family pleased too.
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