Denia, Javea, Orba & Valley of Jalón

Denia

At the north of the Costa Blanca, at the foot of Mount Montgó lies the town of Denia with its stunning white sandy beaches and rocky coves.
This is a modern city but at the same time an historic town with about 45,000 inhabitants.
From here you can travel by ferry to the Balearic Islands of Mallorca and Ibiza.

The castle in Denia was built during the Muslim period of the 11th and 12th century. It is located on a hilltop in the historic center, and offers a wonderful view over the sea, the city and surrounding area with orchards of citrus, almonds and grapes. In the castle you will find the city’s archaeological museum.

The train, TRAM, going from station Lucero in Alicante city center along the sea from Denia. This beautiful trip goes every half hour to Benidorm. From Benidorm to Denia every hour. For more info www.fgvalicante.com

Denia has several long sandy beaches from the port along Carratera Las Marinas.
East of the port is Las Rotas which has a long sandy beach and four rocky beaches suitable for snorkelling.
In the city center, Marques de Campo, Diana and La Mar o Cop are in the main shopping streets. There are many clothing and shoe shops as well as bars, pubs, restaurants and cafes.
In the historic center you can shop in the main street Carrer Loreto. This street is famous for the local gastronomy and shops with quality products.
http://va.denia.net is Dénia tourist info. You can select the language.

Jávea

This is a fine city on the hill surrounded by a large bay, protected by Cap San Antonio in the north and the Cap de la Nau in the south. Jávea consists of three three parts Jávea Pueblo (old town), Jávea Puerto (harbor) and Playa de Arenal (beach).

At one time it was an exciting and rocky coastline a popular haunt for pirates and smugglers. For a long time the port was important for exporting goods but eventually it became a fishing port.
Jávea has 29,000 inhabitants in winter and about 100,000 in summer.

Traces of people who lived on the mountain Montgó (753 m ) have been found as early as 30,000 years ago. It winds along trails through nature, past ancient caves up to the lookout points where, on clear and fine days, you can see the island of Ibiza.
In the nature reserve Montgó you will find remarkable variations in flora and fauna. There are more than 600 rare species.
From the lighthouse of Cabo de San Martin is a great view and worth to visit.
In the historic old town are many beautiful buildings, including the church of San Bartolomé from the 1500’s.
There is also markets full of fresh fish and vegetables.
Jávea Tourist Info: http://www.xabia.org

The Orba Valley

Orba is a small typical Spanish village with just over 2100 inhabitants, it is located 18 km inland from the popular coastal resorts of Javea, Denia and Calpe, just over 1 hour’s drive from the airports of either Alicante or Valencia by motorway AP-7.
The valley has a mild climate, excellent water and orange groves, lemon trees, almonds, and of course, olives.
In Orba there are banks, pharmacies, medical center, dentist and optician, a public swimming pool, tennis, basketball and football. A small market is held in the village every Wednesday, selling fruit and vegetables, clothes and souvenirs.
Orba has almost everything you need for daily life, a small supermarket, butchers, fishmongers, bakeries, electronics store, video rental, internet cafe, car repair shop, gas station, and many other shops that meet almost any need.
Shops are generally open 09:00 to 13:30 and then again 16:30 to 20:00 every weekday. They usually close after lunch on Saturdays and do not open again until Monday.

Locally produced honey is available at Orba bodega. Honey is also available in the bodega Riko in Jalon. This store has the best range of different flavours. Market stalls are another option.

Larger supermarkets such as Mercadona, Eroski and MasyMas available in the nearby towns. There is also a great shopping center close to the motorway.
On Saturdays you can visit the famous “Rastron” or flea market in Jalon, which is one of the largest on the Costa Blanca.

Orba’s story begins with the discovery of prehistoric Bronze and Neolithic human and animal corpses in the nearby caves in Benidoleig, Las Cuevas des Calaveras (Cave of Skulls). The caves have been dated to around 50,000 years old. The 12 skulls found in 1768 are believed to be from the early Moors.
The area has been exposed to many invasions. Iberia was occupied in turn by the Greeks, Carthaginians, Visigoths, Romans and Moors. One of the earliest names was Ur-obia “the place where the water on the bottom of the mountain streams’ then it was Awraba and finally became Orba.
There are significant Roman remains near Denia (known to the Romans as Dianium after Diana the goddess of hunting, forestry and female fertility).
Evidence of occupation by the Moors can still be found around Orba. They brought with them their techniques and skills to build and maximize the use and conservation of water through the terraces, hillsides and streams. They brought citrus fruits and rice to Spain. Mining of iron took place in Orba in Roman times. Moors dominated this part of Spain for 500 years, until Christians began the takeover. Jaime of Aragon shared the conquered land and gave it to settlers. In the populous areas the Moors were tolerated probably because of their wealth and positive contributions to agriculture. Then it was decided that the Moors had to be christened and called Moriscos. The Spanish nobility tolerated that many Moors were left behind because of the income they provided. There is an old saying that says “whoever has the Moors have gold.”

But the Church in Spain was determined to get a Catholic religious unity and the remaining Moors were forced to leave Spain. The final expulsion of the Moors from the region of Valencia came in 1609 when they were forced to leave through the port of Denia. It took until 1616 to complete the process.
After repeated appeals, in 1611 the “Letter of Population” that defines how the land would be redistributed, was written. Migrants from surrounding villages and from Mallorca were brought in to restore a viable population and traces of the Majorcan culture still exist today in the architectural details and foods such as ensaimadas.
The Moors left their mark not only in the countryside but also in the way the law works. Even today, Valencia has a special open court to regulate the distribution of water and settles disputes between users or irrigators, this works using the principles set out in Moorish times.

Orba still has its own castle, now a ruin, which was originally built by the Moors before being taken over by the Christians around the 13th century and known locally as El Castellet. The church is located on the Plaza and was built on the site of an ancient mosque. There is not much to look at from the outside but the inside is impressive.
There were several paintings by local artist Carlos Ruano Llopis. The church was enlarged and restored in 1917. During the rampage of 1936 it was destroyed apart from what is now the altarpiece (Prophet Abraham).
The bell tower, Torre Campanario, built  in around 1850, said to have been designed by Toribio Iscar Saez who was also the architect of the failed dam called Isberts folly, in Barranc I’Infern near Fleix, a village of Orba.

Valley of Jalón

Jalón is the capital of Jalóndalen, also known as the Vall de Pop (Pop valley), situated on the River Gorgos, on a plain surrounded by mountains “Sierra de Bernia” and “Sierra del Forner”.

Jalon boasts some of the most magnificent natural sites in Spain, with its landscape of olive trees and pines intermingled with orange groves and vineyards and surrounding villages in the valley, Alcalali, Lliber and Parcent.
Jalon has about 3200 inhabitants. The town is located about 1 hour drive northeast of Alicante airport, 14 km from Calpe or about a 20 minutes drive.

Jalóndalen produces some excellent wines, red (Tinto), White (Blanco) and rosé (Rosado), available as dry (seco), medium sweet (semi dulce) and sweet (dulce). But Jalon is best known for its sweet Moscatel wines. The wineries have wine and sherry for sale.
In September, the locals take their grape harvest to the cooperative bodega in Jalon for processing. This bodega is worth a visit. Bring your empty containers. There are large barrels of different types of wine, try before you buy.  Good local wines from the barrels will cost about 1 € per liter. This bodega has a good selection of sherry from the barrel for 2 to 3 € per liter.
Oranges can be purchased from local growers at the side of the roads. You can sample before you buy, 5kg costs about 3 €.

The climate on the Costa Blanca is considered one of the healthiest in the world. Daytime temperatures are above 30 degrees Celsius in July and August with 11 hours of sunshine. Even in the middle of winter it is still 20 degrees, usually with an average of 6 hours of sun. Humidity is usually low. The driest months are June, July, August. The wettest (average 100mm) is November, December. Rain is usually a week or ten days in October / November and for short periods during the winter until May.