Join us in a Vanyou to explore every corner of the Costa Blanca. We will enjoy its beaches, but we will also go on excursions and take you aboard our van to discover magical corners. We are going to Xàbia!
- Distance from Valencia: 115 km - 1:30 h
- Best time of year: any season, but to enjoy bathing better in spring and summer
- Recommended length of stay: 2 days
- For sleeping: park4night, El Naranjal camping and Jávea camping.
Just 1 hour and 30 minutes from Valencia and now that the AP7 is toll-free, you just have to go. Its turquoise waters, cliffs, coves and islands make Xàbia a destination that will not leave you indifferent. Enjoy it however you want: alone, with your friends, as a couple or with your children. Whoever you go with, you will find plans for all tastes.
If you dispose of more than three days, you can combine the visit to Xàbia with other places on the Costa Blanca.
The Costa Blanca is the tourist name that the Mediterranean coast of the province of Alicante is known by. Situated between the towns of Dénia and Pilar de la Horadada, it has 244 km of sandy beaches, beautiful coves and spectacular cliffs. The towns that compose it are Dénia, Xàbia, Benitatxell, Teulada-Moraira, Benissa, Calpe, Altea, Alfàs del Pi, Benidorm, Finestrat, La Vila Joiosa, Campello, Alacant, Elx, Sant Pola, Guardamar del Segura, Torrevella, Orihuela Costa and Pilar de la Horadada. Xàbia is the second town on the Costa Blanca from the north. It goes from Cabo de San Antonio to Granadella, where it borders a little further on the town of Benitatxell. In Xàbia you can enjoy the sun on its beaches, go scuba diving and snorkeling, swim in the sea, go kayaking along its coast, go hiking, go on bike rides and also go climbing. It is essential that you do not forget to include diving goggles, snorkel equipment and rock shoes in your luggage.
We are going to discover the best coves and beaches of the Costa Blanca. From north to south we find the following:
- The Pope o Tangó cove: located on the slopes of the Cap de San Antoni and in the vicinity of the eastern dock of the Marina, it was famous for being a remote cove and owes its name to the fact that a pope (a Russian Orthodox priest) used to enjoy bathing in this cove all year round. And we say "it was famous" because nowadays access is forbidden due to the risk of landslides. Even so, we can admire the environment, which is certainly worth it, since the views are spectacular. It is here where the trail PR-CV-355 begins, about which we will give you information later.
- La Grava: the first large beach in Xàbia, bounded on the north by the marina and on the south by the mouth of the Gorgos river. It is almost 300 metres long, with a promenade. You will enjoy crystal clear waters normally calm. This semi-urban gravel beach continues to have the imposing Cap de San Antoni as a backdrop.
- Primer Muntanyar or Benissero (well-known because of a house owned by a neighbor of Benissa): from the mouth of the Gorgos river to the famous Arenal beach, it is two kilometres long. A section of about 400 metres is still gravel and the rest is coarse stone. The coarse stone is a very porous limestone (fossilized sand) and in the area it is widely used for the construction of houses. In fact, along this beach you can see the marks of how it has been extracted. A clear example is the Queen's Baths, a large raft carved out of the rock. This area is also known as the “the Ministers cove. On this beach it is very typical to set up a table and chairs for dining al fresco, ideal for our Vanyou. You can go snorkeling, although it seems that it is not the most ideal place to do it. You can also rent canoes and there is a small area marked out for windsurfing and paddle surfing. Don't forget your rock slippers. The sunrises on this beach are beautiful. It is very easy to park the van along the entire beach.
- El Arenal: it is the only fine sandy beach, one kilometre long and it is the most commercial beach in the urban center, where shops and restaurants are concentrated.
- Segon Muntanyar: almost two kilometres long, this beach is similar to the first coarse stone Muntanyar. Unlike the latter, the chalets are located on the seafront, many of them just 50 metres from the sea, so that the houses monopolize the front line, giving the feeling of it being a private beach. There is only a parking area in the southernmost area of the beach and in the intersections that face the beach. Do not miss the viewpoint of the Séquia de la Nòria, a canal dug to facilitate the entry of sea water to some salt flats.
- Cala Blanca or La Caleta: made up of two coves, the first Caleta de Fora, is reached on foot by a walk of about 100 meters from the car park. The second cove or Caleta de Dins, protected by a rough rock barrier makes its waters calm. It is reached on foot from the first cove or from the Mirador de les Caletes by steps. Here you can snorkel.
- Cala Sardinera: this almost virgin cove, with very few people, has crystal clear waters, with a seabed full of life, ideal for snorkeling. Its difficult access just on foot means that there are much fewer people than in the previous coves, since you cannot park on the same beach. It is accessed from the Creu del Portitxol, where the SL-CV-98 trail leaves from, a dirt road of about 500 metres, sometimes complicated and, above all, very hot, since there is hardly any shade, which will take you directly to the cove.
- Cala Barraca or Portitxol: we arrive at one of the most representative coves in Xàbia and one of our favourites, a cove of about 900 metres long, with pebbles, surrounded by fishermen's houses. It can be reached by car, but the parking area is not very large. You can also get there on foot from the Creu del Portitxol. Opposite the cove is the island of Portitxol, about 300 metres away. Famous for going scuba diving. In the cove is the mythical La Barraca restaurant, with a terrace that offers incredible views.
- Cala Ambolo: a nudist pebble beach with the island del Descubridor protecting the cove. The water here is turquoise and spectacular, but unfortunately it is closed to the public due to landslides. This warning should not be taken lightly as falling stones is an unfortunate reality. So the only thing we recommend is that you go to the viewpoint to enjoy one of the best views of the beaches of Xàbia.
- Cala Granadella: chosen as the best beach in Spain in 2012, it is undoubtedly the star dish. We always recommend a visit here. A winding road brings you closer to this cove of great beauty, ideal also for diving. The parking area is small and we advise against visiting it in the high season, like the rest of the small coves. As you will have seen, Xàbia has large slopes and a lot of cliff area. For this reason, we wanted to make a list of the viewpoints where you can enjoy the best panoramic views and contemplate the best landscapes. There are 15 viewpoints and all make up the Route of the Viewpoints of Xàbia. You can do the route with the van, but also by bike. In this way, you will visit 13 of the 15 viewpoints. You will find the route on Wikiloc. They are as follows:
- Cap de San Antoni, Els Molins de les Planes, Punta del Castell, Séquia de la Nòria, Cala Blanca, Caletes, Creu del Portitxol, L´Illa, La Falzia, Cap Negre, Cap de la Nau, Granadella, Les Pesqueres. Ambolo, Castel de la Granadella.
- La Cova Tallada: a beautiful place, although in recent years it has become overcrowded and as a consequence of this in the high season access has been limited and requires prior reservation. Access from late September to mid-June is free. This route is not suitable for everyone. The arrival at the cave is delicate, but the path to the cave gives you incredible views. If you go in summer, you can enjoy a bathe. Be very careful going down to the cave. There is an access, but it is somewhat overhead. What is inside this cave? It is not a natural cave, but, as its name indicates, a carved or excavated cave. It was used from time immemorial to extract rough stone, a material widely used in traditional architecture for building. Enter the cave and explore it. The cave has quite a few passageways and rooms. You will discover the marks that are left in the rock of the quarry and there are still pools where the water that filters through the cave accumulates. Do not forget to bring sunscreen, water, food, a flashlight, rock shoes, goggles and snorkel equipment. You can go on this excursion from Xàbia or from Dénia. In our Dénia post, you have the description of how to get there. From there the excursion is much shorter and easier. To make the route from Xàbia you have to go to the marina and leave the car there. Next to the roundabout there is a small parking lot, where you will see directions. The route follows the PR-CV-355 trail. Reaching the Cova Tallada will take you around 2.5 hours and is about 7 kilometres away. Keep in mind that you have to go up the Cap de San Antoni, on the other side you have to descend it and then you will find an overhang section with a chain. Along the way, you will pass the Cap de San Antoni viewpoint, the Santuari de la Mare de Déu del Àngels. You can also go by road to the viewpoint of Cap de San Antoni and start the route there.
- Els Molins de les Planes: they are located in the Cap de San Antoni, in the area known as Les Planes, and they are 11 historical monuments. In the fourteenth century, Xàbia's economy was based on agriculture, especially the growng of wheat. Hence the construction of the first mill, taking advantage of the energy of the constant Llebeig wind (southwest), to transform the harvested wheat into flour. Later, in the 18th century, the remaining mills were built. Today practically in disuse, only three mills belong to the Town Council, the rest are privately owned. To reach them you have three possibilities: by the PR-CV-355, which takes you to the Cova Tallada; by a route that starts from the end of Puig Molins street, either by van from Camí del Monestir or from Camí dels Molins, or from les Planes road. Included in the Route of the Viewpoints, the view from els Molins de les Planes is impressive and you can see the entire coast up to Cap Prim.
- Cap Prim: this beautiful walk of low difficulty lasts 1 hour (one way) and is approximately 2 kilometres long. Cap Prim is an overhang located between Cala Sardinera and Cala Barraca. The start of the route is in the Creu del Portitxol, where we will see some directions. The SL-CV-98 trail is the one that will take us to Cap Prim and also to Cala Barraca and the SL-CV-97 will take us to Sardinera cove.
- Granadella: the cove is spectacular, but if you do this 1.5-hour route (one way) and almost 3 kilometers, we assure you that the views are incredible. The route begins in the parking lot of the cove and a few meters to the left a concrete track emerges. On the route we will find a first balcony to admire the Granadella cove, the Torre d´Ambolo and the Descobridor island. Then we will continue the route to the castle. Be careful when you go down the ravine of Xapa, you have to be careful. Then continue to the Llevant viewpoint where you can see the Moraira point and the Penyal d´Ifac.
- Par Natural del Montgó: there are several variants and combinations of routes to climb the Montgó, both from Xàbia and from Dénia (see our post on Dénia). We propose the shortest and most direct route, we do not recommend it for all audiences, since the final part of the climb is a bit delicate. To follow any route through the park it is essential that you bring a sufficient amount of water and that you protect yourself from the sun, as well as being provided with good footwear. We will start at the Xàbia shooting range, from here it is almost 8 kilometres (round trip), with a vertical drop of 550 metres and about 3 hour - long trip. If you want, from this route and making a small deviation, you can visit the Cova del Camell.
- Hermitage of Santa Llucia: located on the slopes of Montgó, on one of the highest headlands, it offers good views of Xàbia, Montgó, the Sierra de Bérnia and Puig de la Llorença. There is no parking area at the beginning of the trail. However, a good place to park is near the Plaza de la Constitución. A round trip from here will take you approximately 1 hour, the walk is not difficult.
After all these outdoor activities, how about us taking a walk around the old town? In medieval times Xàbia was closed by a wall. Today it preserves its network of streets from this era with the facades of the white houses and coarse stone finishing touches. We highlight the following monuments:
- The church of San Bartolomé, the Palau dels Sapena and the Casa dels Bolufer.
- The Local Food Market and the Town Hall.
- The Chapel of Santa Anna, the Casa-Palacio de Antoni Banyuls.
- Soler Blasco Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum.
- Riurau dels Català d´Arnauda.
- Port area:
- Sotavent: it is very good value for money and offers a delicious menu of Mediterranean cuisine.
- Cala Bandida: European cuisine, with spectacular views, only worth it for the view.
- Andares Ibérico Tavern: for tapas and a beer.
- Tal Cual: more elaborate tapas.
- Buddha Palace: Nepalese food.
- Muntanyar Beach:
- La Mar de Tapas: Mediterranean cuisine, with local fish.
- La Siesta: open all day, right on the beach.
- L´Hellin: sandwich shop, speciality –breaded steaklets with special sauce.
- La Mezquida: the best rice dishes such as senyoret rice (a rice dish for The Lords with shelled sea food)
- Playa del Arenal:
- Atalaya: the best beer with the very best views in Arenal.
- Lungo Mare Pizzeria: the best pizzas.
- Santos Club: signature cuisine, medium high price, very good.
- Carnival: European cuisine.
- La Fontana: Mediterranean cuisine.
- Octopus: a classic for beers.
- La Jijonenca: to taste the best ice creams. In the one behind the promenade, ice cream is € 0.10 cheaper.
- La Perla: the best fish in Xàbia.
- Buddha Palace: Nepalese food.
- Cap Negre and Cap de la Nao:
- Casa Pepe: rice dishes, they have a pool, ideal to go with children.
Overnight stay: Unfortunately, there are no camper van sites in the area, but a couple of campsites:
- Camping el Naranjal.
- Camping Jávea.
We also suggest some parking spaces:
- Carpark at Cabo de San Antonio.
- Carpark on Avenida del Mediterráneo, 6.
- Cala Granadella Carpark.
- Parking spaces on the Primer Muntanyar beach.
As always, we ask you, please, to be respectful of the environment you visit, do not leave a trace and remember to take all the waste you generate.
We recommend you visit the official tourism website xabia.org. In it you have all further information, with downloadable PDF documents of the routes.
We wanted to summarize what we believe is essential in your visit to Xàbia, but obviously there is much more, so discover it and tell us about it on the way back! Cliffs, turquoise waters and coves, Xàbia is undoubtedly one of those places that must be discovered or rediscovered and what better way to do it than with your Vanyou.