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Spain

Situated in the far south-western corner of Europe, the Iberian Peninsula is a holiday country par excellence. Spain is not uniquely for sun seekers, although they will be pleased to find never-ending -beaches. In the interior, ever-changing scenery, sites and monuments of which some are internationally known, and -picturesque villages and towns await the curious visitor.

Avenue in Costa Blanca, Spain

Costa Blanca

Stretching from the Gulf of Valencia to Cabo de Palos, Costa Blanca is for the most part, flat and sandy, and is sprinkled with many beaches and holiday resorts from lively Benidorm to the more typical resorts of Denia, Javea, Moraira and Calpe. Residents and holidaymakers can enjoy this region year round because of its extremely mild climate.

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Denia, Costa Blanca, Spain

Denia

Denia is a magical place full of life, tradition and vibrant colour, especially during one of its many fiestas like "Las Fallas" or local celebrations like "Bous a la Mar" (Bulls in the Sea). The town is situated at the foot of the majestic Montgó mountain between Valencia and Alicante and has officially been recognised as one of the worlds healthiest places. Denia is a town which can offer something for everyone, it has spectacular blue flag sandy beaches and rocky coves, five 18 hole golf courses, and more fiestas per year than any other Spanish town.

Las Marinas situated just north of the town has sandy beaches stretching to over 15km offers an ideal place for sunbathing and swimming. For water sports lovers Denia offers a first class Yachting Club, fishing, windsurfing, diving or sailing can be practised almost all year round with beaches and coves of Las Rotas and the Cape of San Antonio, just south of the town being a haven for scuba divers and snorkelers.

Denia’s ports have always played an important part in this town with the fish market every day and regular departures to the Balearic Islands, and the new Marina which accommodates over 1000 moorings for yachts of all sizes, this town is always full of life. There are regular ferry trips from Denia to the island of Ibiza which can often be seen on the horizon on clear days (Trips take only 2 hours).

The town is dominated by the ‘Castello’, an old castle built by the troops during the siege of the Muslim town and then refortified during the War of Independence. It is now an archaeological museum which shows the towns history from 200 BC to the 18 century. In the town you can find all the modern facilities from supermarkets to banks, restaurants to dentists. But a walk around the narrow streets of the fishing quarter will reveal its history, culture and architecture of Iberian, Carthaginian, Roman, Arab and Christian civilisations that have inhabited Denia over the years.

The restaurants of the area are of excellent quality, with the main focus being rice dishes, such as the traditional paella and of course a great variety of fresh seafood. Many of the small local inns, traditional bars and restaurants offer the famous "tapas" and "A la Carte" menus.

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Javea, Costa Blanca, Spain

Javea

Javea (Xabia) is situated between the San Antonio and de la Nau capes and around this area are hidden caves and bays which were once used by pirates and smugglers in the Middle Ages. These beautiful bays are now used by sunbathers, snorkelers and scuba divers. The streets in the old town of Javea are well worth exploring and here you will find a magnificent fortified Gothic church (San Bartolome) and a very good museum which explains the history of the coast from Palaeolithic times through Iberian, Roman and Medieval times. (Museo Etnografico 'Soler Blasco'.

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Javea, Costa Blanca, Spain

Moraira

Moraira has grown from a small fishing village to an attractive holiday and retirement resort whilst retaining its unique charm that attracts visitors from all over Europe and is particularly popular with the Spanish who come from Madrid and Valencia. It has a small and colourful Main Street, a large marina, excellent variety of local shops, weekly open markets, harbour-side fish restaurants and bars still all retaining their Spanish character.

The sturdy fortress that overlooks the beach of Moraira dates from the days of Felipe II (16th Century). But today the importance of this fishing port in the municipal district of Teulada, located 6km inland, is due to its tourist infrastructure. Visitors from all over Europe have discovered the magnificent environment this town offers for holidaymakers or even for residents from abroad. Sandy beaches like El Portet, L'Ampolla and Plagetes, and also the tiny rocky coves with clear blue water (L'Andragó, Punta Estrella and La Cala) make Moraira the spot for fun, sun and sea sports. The modern Moraira Yacht Club completes the round -up for seadogs.

    Sights:
  • Watchtower at Cap d'Or Torreón (Moraira Castle)
    • Fiestas:
    • Moors & Christians in June
    • Our lady of Mt Carmel on July 16th

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Benitachell, Costa Blanca, Spain

Teulada

On the road to Teulada, vineyards and almond and olive tree orchards cover the undulating slopes of the mountains facing the sea to create a special kind of Mediterranean landscape painted in tones of ochre. The 'riu-rau' houses - a name for the typical farmhouses with columned patios where grapes are dried - show how traditional lifestyles still follow the rhythms of yesteryear. These grapes make delicious raisins and an excellent muscatel wine, sweet and tangy.

    Sights:
  • Church of St Catherine and chapel of St Vicente Ferrer.
    Fiestas:
  • Patron Saint Festivities in April; November brings fiestas honouring St Catherine
Benitachell, Costa Blanca, Spain

Benitachell

A tranquil and pretty village, originally an Arab outpost, with a stunning coastline formed by a succession of cliffs of more than a 100m high that descend vertically into the sea. Situated on the road between the port of Moraira and Javea as you drive northwards. This mainly agricultural village boasts two coves and has a great traditional fishing heritage. It is some 15 minutes from Moraira and Javea, Benitachell offers a fantastic location. Visitors staying around this part of the Costa Blanca can benefit greatly from the attractions and activities close by. Golf fans are well catered for as the local course is in the area, however a car is recommended so you can explore the delights of Northern Costa Blanca.

Benitachell is the perfect base from which to enjoy this lovely part of the Costa Blanca. Apart from Benitachell village and beach there are many places to visit along the coast including Javea that has a fine beach, a fishing harbour, restaurants and golf courses, Denia with some excellent shops on a beautiful tree lined main street, Moraira with its two sandy bays and marina with seafront restaurants, Calpe with its superb fish restaurants near the harbour and fine sandy beaches and Benidorm that boasts Aqualandia (water world), Mundo Mar (Sea World) the famous Benidorm Palace, that is the venue for some spectacular shows, and now of course the new Disney style Terra Mitica theme park and the Terra Natura nature park. Inland you will find the beautiful Jalon Valley and Bernia Mountain range plus caves, a safari park and waterfalls.

Calpe, Costa Blanca, Spain

Calpe

Calpe is a friendly fishing village which sits close to the Rock of Ifach on a hill rising up from the last spurs of the sierra Bernia in the middle of Spain's Costa Blanca, a geographical marvel that provides access to the northernmost towns of Alicante's Marina district. It is an authentic tourist site, with a coastline boasting sandy beaches, cliff faces in some areas and an ancient salt mine, which all give the town a peculiar flavour of its own. Calpe is overlooked by the towering Penon de Ifach which juts out into the sea and rises to over 1000 ft.

In contrast to the larger commercialised resorts, the village of Calpe with its narrow winding streets, traditional Spanish architecture and street markets generates an atmosphere of friendship and relaxation, a village where after only a few days you seem to know and greet everyone.

Calpe is a place of daring contrasts, where modern buildings and wide avenues harmonize with an ancient fishing village, where locals are proud of their past, yet welcome tourists and visitors with warm - hearted hospitality.

Calpe's fishing port comes alive with hustle and bustle as the afternoon fish auction draws near. Restaurant terraces fill up with lively crowds anxious to try some of the fresh local shellfish. The town centre preserves the remains of a small fort from the 16th century, called the Torreon de la Peca. There is also a Gothic-style parochial church worth visiting, with Mudejar additions. From the chapels of Cometa and Salvador there is an attractive view.

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Benissa

Benissa proudly offers visitors the elegant neo-gothic temple of the Purísima Xiqueta (Our Holy Maiden), which is part of the Marian tradition of the La Marina district. To the right, on the way to Alicante, lies the town centre, with a Medieval quarter still very well preserved. This is an ideal place to do some shopping in the many establishments which offer traditional products including the local sausages which are famous all over the La Marina district. There are fine old houses with ornate window grilles. La Lonja de Contratación, or marketplace, built in the 15th century, is the most notable construction. Also viewable is the Casa de los Torres Orduna - the lords of Guadalest - which is an important family monument. Today this mansion has been transformed into a Cultural Centre. Sights: Lonja de Contratación, Convent of the Franciscans. Temple of the Purísima Xiqueta, Town Hall and Chapel of Santa Ana. Fiestas: In January, the traditional 'Fira i Porrat de Sant Antoni'; late April the Patron Saint Festivities; June, Moors & Christians.

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Albir, Costa Blanca, Spain

L'Alfàs del Pi

L'Alfàs del Pi is between Altea and Benidorm on the Spanish Costa Blanca. The nearest international airport is Alicante and the journey time is about 45 minutes on the motorway. Alfaz del Pi is a typical Spanish small town and the area offers all the attractions of nature, combining coastal landscapes and mountain scenery, with the ubiquitous Mediterranean pine providing shade and decoration that is the symbol of the town, (pi, in the Valencian vernacular meaning “pine”). L’Alfàs del Pi enjoys an intense cultural life with the usual programme of Fiestas plus film festivals, jazz festivals, chamber music concerts, band concerts and painting and sculpture exhibitions at the Casa de la Cultura. The sandy beach at Albir offers sun-bathing and swimming opportunities with lovely views along the coast and an extensive choice of restaurants.

If you want to venture further afield spend a day on the Albir beach and enjoy a meal at one of the many restaurants. If you feel adventurous, hike along the footpaths of the Sierra Helada and see breathtaking views of cliffs 400 metres high while enjoying the plants and flowers that grow on the mountain slopes. Alternatively drive along the coast or around the fascinating countryside to take in the beauty of this part of Spain or visit some of the many attractions

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Jalon Valley

No visit to the Northern Costa Blanca is complete without venturing further inland to the Jalon Valley. Here, visitors find peace and tranquillity in the abundance of orange and lemon groves, pine trees as well as local vineyards where wine is produced. You can even partake in some local wine-tasting. The mountains offer superb views in all directions and provide an idyllic setting for the many people that choose to live and holiday here.

The Valley of Jalon, also known as the Valle del Pop, represents one of the most attractive areas in the Alicante Province. The towns that form the Valley are:- Murla, Benichembla, Parcent, Alcalali, Jalon and Lliber.

There are many things that unite these towns:- the gastronomy, the local fiestas, and the Jalon River which runs through them. There is a wide range of activities in this area (walking, cycling, bird watching, tourist routes etc) that combine adventure, history and the enjoyment of nature. The valley consists of a combination of large flat areas of vines and almonds, which contrast against the wildness of the mountains surrounding them. With it's excellent weather and environment, it is an ideal place to rest with few crowds, yet with excellent amenities. Jalon, the main town of the valley, is internationally known for the production of table wine, the famous mistela, home made sausages, and the fine selection of pastry and sweets. It is obligatory to visit the famous rastro or flee market, which takes place each Saturday and is one of the biggest on the Costa Blanca. The closest beach is Moraira, about 30 minutes drive away. The nearest airport is Alicante, which is approximately 50 minutes drive to the south of this area.

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