Once a sleepy fishing village, Javea has grown into a thriving town, with a happy mix of old and new. Known as Xabia in Valencian, the town has its own marina and a beautiful white sandy beach at Arenal Bay. This and the pebbly beach, La Grava, are Blue Flag rated and are flanked with restaurants and bars. On a clear day, you can see across to the island of Ibiza.
Faced with the real threat of marauding pirates, the original inhabitants of Javea built their town a little inland from the coast. Here, narrow, winding streets weave their way towards the 14th Century church of San Bartolemé, which was fortified to protect against attack. Gothic architecture is also evident in the old town’s bay windows protected by wrought iron railings and balconies.
Development began in earnest in Javea in the 1970s and continues today, but is guided by planning laws which prevent high rise construction. The port area, with its fishing fleet and yachts, feels very Spanish and is popular with local residents.
The landmark church, Mare de Déu de Loreto’s roof is built to look like the hull of fishing boat surging through the waves. There are plenty of bars and restaurants here where you can enjoy the catch of the day or sample “Jijona” - a nougat ice-cream, made from local almonds.
The area around Arenal beach is another popular area, with busy shops and varied bars and restaurants. A two-bed apartment on the seafront costs around €115,000.
Cap de San Antoni and Cap de La Nao, the rocky headlands that shelter the bay, are topped by lighthouses, and are home to some of the stunning villas that are dotted around the cliffs. Hollywood couple Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones own property here, as does celebrity chef Nigella Lawson.
It is worth noting, however, that many of the outer lying villas are used as second homes, and may be quiet in the low season. The best places for year-round occupation tend to be around the Arenal beach, in the port area or in the old town.
Montgo Mountain is mostly given over to a natural park and is frequented by walkers enjoying the cooling breezes. Climbing the mountain itself takes about three hours, but you can stop and see the famous cave paintings along the way.
Tantalising views of Javea can be had from the many walking trails in the surrounding cliffs. The 27km-trail linking 15 iconic viewpoints, known as the Miradors of Javea, promises some of the best views in the Costa Blanca. Walking along the coastline also reveals secluded bays, long-deserted by the pirates.
Javea is 84km from Alicante airport, which is well served by flights from around the UK. Typical flying time is two and a half hours. Typical journey time for the drive to the town is an hour and a quarter. The town is also within easy reach of Valencia with only a slightly longer drive from there.
The idyllic lifestyle offered by Javea comes at a cost. The areas of Cap Marti and Absubia are popular because of their proximity to Arenal beach. A three-bed “finca” style villa here costs €475,000 - with similarly sized apartments are considerably cheaper at around €140,000.
Exclusive villas can be found in the Puerta Fenicia area but are not for the budget-challenged either. In the foothills of the Montgo Mountain you can pick up a three-bedroom villa surrounded by forests for around €400,000.
Where to Buy Property in Javea
Better bargains can be found in the towns and villages surrounding Javea. In the Jalon valley, famous for its vineyards, for example, you can buy a four-bed villa for €180,000 or a 3-bedroomed townhouse for €135,000. The village of Orba is also close by.