An Area Guide to Denia
Situated at the far northern point of the Costa Blanca, Denia has a reputation as one of the coasts most beautiful towns which despite its popularity, maintains a distinctly traditional, rustic Spanish feel. Sitting equidistant between the airports of Valencia and Alicante, Denia is just over an hour drive from either and is therefore well served by year-round flights from destinations throughout Europe and beyond.
Denia’s 20km of fantastic beaches stretch along a spectacular coastline with views out across the Mediterranean towards the Balearic Islands in the distance. These Blue Flag awarded beaches are split into two distinct types by the central harbour and marina – to the north of which are the golden sandy beaches and shallow waters of Las Marinas, Les Bovetes, Les Deveses, LAlmadrava and els Palmars, whilst to the south are the more rocky beaches and coves of La Rotas which provide a popular spot for diving and snorkelling, as well as being a favourite with local fishermen.
The harbour itself is home to one of the largest fishing fleets on the Med and offers ferry crossings to the Balearic islands of Mallorca, Ibiza and Formentera just a few hours away whilst the Marina de Denia offers 546 moorings for watercraft of upto 60m as well as a good selection of bars, restaurants and nightlife.
A range of mountains provide a picturesque backdrop and also serve to protect the region from the colder north winds during the winter months. Nestled atop the hills in the centre of Denia is the impressive castle dating back to the 16th century which, together with the preserved walls and bastions offers panoramic views over the town, the surrounding countryside and across the Mediterranean.
Things to Do in Denia
AAs a thriving commercial town, Denia benefits from an abundance of amenities, shops bars and restaurants. The shopaholics amongst us will inevitably gravitate towards the Marquesa de Campo high street, which is lined with magnificent London Plane Trees and has a great selection of shops offering everything from clothing, shoes and handbags to jewellery, gifts and local crafts. Bars and restaurants are plentiful and whilst there are a great selection around the beach and marina areas, the main street of Carrer Loreto has a great reputation as the place to go to seek out your favourite cuisine from a superb selection of restaurants offering something for all tastes.
Close to Denia are the two high quality golf courses of La Sella and Oliva Nova, which was designed and built by the legendary Seve Ballesteros in 1995. Moving slightly further afield, the avid golfer will be spoilt for choice with more than 34 superb 18 hole golf courses situated along the Costa Blanca coastline.
The main market takes place each Friday and is situated portside towards the bottom of the main high street, whilst there is also a daily fish market which usually commences each afternoon and offers a superb selection of fresh fish and seafood straight from the mornings fishing.
The wide sandy, Blue Flag awarded beaches offer the perfect place to enjoy a choice of watersports including sailing, windsurfing, diving and fishing, whilst there are designated areas specifically set aside to safely enjoy a selection of sports such as kite surfing, paddle surfing, canoeing and kayaking. For those looking to spend a more relaxed time, there is kilometre after beautiful kilometre of golden stretches of sandy beaches offering the perfect spot to simply lay back, relax and enjoy the fabulous Costa Blanca sunshine.
The area of Los Rotes is actually a protected nature reserve along which all boating is prohibited. The extensive variety of marine life makes it a favourite area for scuba diving and snorkelling, whilst natural dunes, caves, wildlife and fauna create a wonderful coastal route for walkers. A footpath winds its way from the marina in Denia along a few scenic kilometres to the landmark lighthouse, with a variety of traditional restaurants and bars along the way offering the perfect opportunity to pause and enjoy the views.
The Montgo Natural Park forms a spectacular backdrop to the town of Denia and is renowned as home to more than 650 different species of flora. Covering some 2118 hectares, the mountain rises to a height of 753 meters and provides a number of walking routes giving magnificent views of the surrounding areas.
Other points of interest which are well worth a look include the 16th century castle in the centre of Denia, the 18th century church of the Asuncion, the 17th century dockyards (or Atarazanas), the neo-classical town hall dating to the 18th century and the church and cloisters of San Antonio.
Weather in Denia
Enjoying a Mediterranean climate, the Costa Blanca enjoys mild winters and long, hot and sunny summers. Whilst the climate in the northern Blanca is slightly more temperate than that of the southern region, it maintains a similarly pleasant year-round temperature.
Blessed with a climate that the World Health Organisation declare to be one of the very healthiest in the world, it is praised as having ‘as near perfect an environment as it is possible to obtain’. Year-round sunshine and low humidity are a perfect combination and with the Costa Blanca enjoying an average annual temperature of 19o, highs of 40o+ and more than 3000 hours of sunshine over 320+ days, few other regions can compete. With water temperatures averaging 25o even in the autumn, you can take a dip in the Med well into late October, and with daytime temperatures often still reaching well into the 20’s throughout December it offers the perfect destination to enjoy some much longed for winter sun.
History of Denia
Like many of Spanish coastal towns, Denia has a history strongly influenced by the early Roman occupation and the areas importance as a waypoint to North Africa. Indeed, the very name ‘Denia’ derives from the name originally given by the Romans to this area of the coast – ‘Dianum’. A variation was applied in circa 713 by the Islamic rulers of the time who re-named the area Deniya with the Spanish renaming it once again as Taifa de Deniya in 1036. The current version has stood the test of time, with the conquering Jaime I naming the town Denia in 1244.
Economically, Denia owes its historic success to its status as a major producer and manufacturer of raisins. This was Denia’s primary industry from the middle of the 19th century through to the mid-20th when decline began. Tourism has been the towns primary industry since the early 1960’s and continues to drive the economic wellbeing of the region to this day.
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