Hailed as the gastronomy capital of the Costa Blanca, the city of Dénia is halfway between Alicante and Valencia. With beautiful beaches, castle ruins and an archaeological museum, as well as a good selection of restaurants, Dénia is a great base to explore the Alicante peninsula from. Or you may just want to stay put and windsurf! And the Segway tours are a fun way to see the city, going right up to the castle.
A delightfully small, traditional Spanish village, with its typical brightly coloured and white washed villas, Jesus Pobre nestles at the foot of the Montgó mountain. It's surrounded by orange groves and the beautiful countryside of the Montgó National Park. With three bars/restaurants, a bakery, pharmacy and a bank in the centre, the La Sella Golf Resort & Spa is nearby, too.
La Xara is a pleasant country village just two minutes from Denia. There you'll find several bars, restaurants and shops, including a supermarket, bakery, hardware store, bank and dental clinic. For clothes shopping try La Marina, a big shopping mall a little further down the road close to the motorway. It also has a large supermarket that's open all day, six days a week, and has a multi-screen cinema and several cafes. Plus a large car park.
Named from the Gorgos River that runs through the town, Gata is known as the bazaar of the Costa Blanca. Its artisan shops selling hand-made crafts such as ceramics and wicker ware are a photographer's heaven. Nearby vineyards producing Moscatel grapes means that you'll find several wine bodegas to visit. Gata is also known for its quality guitar production, having a factory that's open to the public. The annual artisan fair, held at the end of September, is also well worth visiting.
Xàbia is an attractive, prosperous town with a fishing port, a fine beach - Play de Arenal - and a very pleasant old town. The historic quarter was built around the gothic church of San Bartolomé, made to defend the city against pirate attacks. Do visit the Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum and learn about the history of the town. Popular with locals and visitors alike, Xàbia's port area and restaurants can be lively in the evenings, especially at weekends. Having plenty of idyllic cove beaches nearby, water activities abound and you can enjoy a boat trip to Denia.
Known as the Eye of Montgó, La Cova Ampla del Montgó is a huge cavity cut into the southern flank of the Montgó mountain that resembles an elephant’s eye when viewed from the valley to the south. At a height of around 450m, the cave has a large exterior entrance and has been excavated several times, but still not much is known about its geographical strata. Archaeological findings show that it was inhabited during the Upper Paleaolithic Era, with improved evidence of habitation in the Neolithic age. A steep path from La Plana allows you to walk there and explore the narrow cave system, enjoying the stunning views en route.
Dominating the skyline in the northern part of the Alicante, the Montgó massif was formed during the Cretaceous period, characterising its rock formations. Renowned for its craggy cliffs, caves and natural harbours, the mountain is home to some of Spain's more unusual flora and fauna and many rare species of wildlife, such as eagles, falcons, owls, toads, lizards, snakes and rabbits. Many people enjoy cycling or walking one way and then taking the boat back.
The Montgó Nature Reserve covers 2150 hectares (5312 acres) around the mountain, including a coastal section and important archaeological finds such as cave paintings, Phoenician amphoras and the remains of Iberian settlements. It's easily reached by highway CV-736, which links Denia with Xàbia.