Javea is a popular, pretty coastal town on the Costa Blanca in Spain. It is well-equipped for sun-seeking tourists, with beaches, restaurants, activities and sights to see. There are a few small hotels but most holiday accommodation in Javea is villas and apartments.

The best things to do in Javea:

1. Beaches

Arenal beach, Javea

The whole coastline around Javea is incredibly pretty. These are just some of the best beaches in and near Javea.

Arenal beach is considered one of the best beaches in the Costa Blanca – for one thing, because it’s sandy, unlike many of the others. The shore slopes gently into the shallow water so it’s a very safe beach for younger kids. It is a Blue Flag beach and has all the amenities you require – children’s play areas, showers, cafes, bars, lifeguards.

For pure beauty, head to Granedella beach, a pebbly cove hugged by pine trees. Its incredible clear water makes it a favourite place to come snorkelling. Parking is limited here so take advantage of the free shuttle bus which runs frequently throughout the day in the high season, and its best to go as early as possible to avoid the crowds.

Cala de Portixol beach, Javea

Cala Blanca is a calm, sheltered cove with crystal clear waters. It’s less busy than Arenal and great for rock pools. Cala de Portixol is also a small, pebbly beach with beautiful surroundings and just one restaurant overlooking the bay. Aqua shoes are recommended for all the pebbly beaches in this area.

2. Javea Old Town

Javea old town

Javea Pueblo, the old town, is full of cobbled, winding streets and wrought-iron clad windows, and is a must-see during your holiday to Javea. Admire the picturesque ancient buildings including the gothic church of San Bartolomé, built between the 14th and 16th centuries, and wander around the Plaza de la Iglesia (church square), where you’ll find the tourist information centre and a useful walking guide of the old town. Enjoy a meal at an al fresco café here, in the shade of the palm trees.

3. The Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum

This museum, located in the old town in Javea will give you a fantastic insight into the history of the town, as well as being a very attractive building in its own right – and it’s free to get in. It has excellent displays and is interesting for all ages. Be sure to make it up to the roof terrace to get one of the best views of the old town. Closed on Mondays.

4. Guadalest Fortress

Guadalest Fortress

The ancient village of Guadalest is well worth a visit, although it’s an hour’s drive from Javea. To get to the fortress, you must walk uphill until you reach a tunnel carved through the rock, and then access the Castle of Guadalest through the Casa Orduna (an impressive museum). This might sound like an energetic day out, and we’ll be honest with you, you’ll have climbed quite high by the time you reach the castle – but the views over the surrounding countryside and coast really are incredible. You’ll find bus tours from Javea if you don’t have your own car. Incidentally if you aren't hiring a car, you might like to read our guide to getting from Alicante airport to Javea.

5. Javea Golf club

Just a few minutes’ drive from the centre of Javea, the Club de Golf Javea offers a very attractive 9-hole course. Well maintained, sheltered and surrounded by orange trees and pine trees, the club also offers a restaurant and bar, and you can arrange to have golf lessons too.

If you are a keen golfer, there are several other courses to try in the area, including La Sella and Oliva Nova.

6. Javea Fishing Port

Javea Fishing Port

The working fishing port is thought to date back to Roman times. You can still sit today and watch fresh fish being hauled in and admire the pleasure boats in the marina from one of the many seafood restaurants that line the port. This area is considered to be the most authentic part of the town, as many locals live and work here, and it has a busy, lively atmosphere. There is also a small pebble beach here.

7. Aqualandia water park

This well-known saltwater aqua park is actually located in Benidorm, but that’s just a 45 minute drive from Javea and the aquatic thrill-seekers amongst you will love it. The bigger rides have names such as Verti-Go, Black Hole, Cyclone and Big Bang but there are slides and flumes for all ages. Be advised that the entrance fee doesn’t include extras such as locker and sunbed hire.

8. Montgo Natural Park

Montgo Natural Park near Javea

Montgo is a mountain that provides a stunning backdrop to the town (and from the town you can see why people refer to it as a sleeping elephant) but we’d recommend venturing into the national park itself, particularly if you enjoy hiking or cycling. It has an incredible wealth of flora and fauna and some amazing archaeological finds, including ancient hunter-gatherer cave paintings.

9. Promenade

Behind Arenal beach is a long, wide promenade lined with palm trees and shops, restaurants and bars, kept in pristine condition. Enjoy stunning sea views from here with a daytime stroll along this lively, bustling promenade; it’s also a great place to enjoy a cocktail and people-watch in the early evening.

For a longer coastal walk, you can go from the Arenal Promenade to the Avenue del Mediterraneo, and continue around the shore to Javea Marina.

10. Fisherman’s church

This church’s official name is Neustra Senora de Loreto, and was designed to look like the keel of a fishing boat – or more specifically, like the wooden hull of a boat crashing through the waves, hence its common name of the “Fisherman’s Church”. Built in the fisherman’s quarter of the town in 1967 it has become a familiar and important part of Javea life. The avant-garde building is surrounded by 12 buttresses representing the 12 disciples; the sparse but striking interior is worth taking in too.

11. Water sports

Boat on the water near Javea

Kayaking, jetskiing, parasailing, sailing, scuba diving – Javea offers it all and more. You’ll find centres and schools all along the coast line. From Javea harbour you can book a sunset cruise, or a day out at sea with dinner on the beach included. For the adventurous, join in a kayak and snorkel tour at Granadella beach taking you along the rugged coastline and through sea caves, or try a yoga class on a stand up paddle board (SUP).

12. Javea’s festivals

Javea’s main festival is at the end of August and start of September, honouring Our Lady of Loreto. The main spectacle is the Bous de la Mar (Bulls to the Sea) which involves trying to lure bulls into the sea (this rarely happens, but lots of local Spanish youths tend to throw themselves into the sea). Apart from the bull spectacle, the festival bring Sangria, lots of music and fresh sardines.

The last 2 weeks of June see the Fogueres de San Joan, during which papier mache sculptures (ninots) are made and then burnt. Expect music, bonfires, fireworks and all-night parties too.

At the end of July the Moros y Cristianos celebrations involve beautiful costumes, parades, play battles and again, fireworks and late-night partying.

13. Javea markets

Spanish pottery

Javea has a bustling weekly market on a Thursday in the Plaza de la Constitución in the old town, selling amazing fresh fruit and veg, fish and meat, as well as household goods, leatherwork, clothes, and the usual tourist accessories. In the Plaza Celestino Pons you’ll find the daily indoor food market, located in an attractive former monastery. In the summer evenings there’s a night market along the promenade, selling knick-knacks and souvenirs. There’s also a weekly arts and crafts market at Javea Port on Sundays in the high season, where everything is handmade by the person running the stall – knitted goods, pottery, jewellery and more.

14. Nightlife

Javea definitely has a family-friendly vibe, but there’s enough nightlife to keep most people happy (perfect in fact if you are travelling with a mixed-age family group). The bars, pubs and nightclubs are mostly to be found around the Arenal beach area and some favourites are Achill, Mintt and Atalaya.

If things in Javea aren’t wild enough for you, it’s only 45 minutes to the lively town of Benidorm, and trains run between the two towns all night.

15. Playgrounds

If you are taking young children on holiday, then you’ll be pleased to know that there are many small playgrounds dotted throughout Javea. Arenal beach has several activity zones and 3 play areas, and there are several parks within the town that have play areas, including Parque Reina Sofia and Parque Montaner. The Parque Pinosol playground has recently undergone a major revamp and children will love it.

16. Gata de Gorgos

Gata de Gorgos near Javea

Visit this very pretty village, about a half an hour drive from Javea, to see the traditional basket work in the craft shops and stalls in the street. Come away with a hat or a basket made by hand from locally grown grasses, wicker and palm, or just enjoy one of the many cafes or restaurants here. You can also visit the guitar factory, where third-generation craftsmen make these classic wooden instruments.

Think Javea might be perfect for your next holiday? Browse a selection of villas in Javea here!

Villa in Javea, Spain