The resort has 20 kilometres of coastline, with a wide choice of beaches, like the sandy bay at El Arenal or heavenly coves such as La Granadella.
Away from the coast is an historic centre to wander through, and there are endless opportunities to escape to the wilderness all around: Jávea is bookended by two soaring headlands, and all the while the hulking mass of the Montgó Massif will catch the eye of anyone in need of adventure.
Lets have a look at the best things to do in Javea:
1. Arenal Beach
Many people arriving in Jávea will stop at this beach and go nowhere else for a few days.
Playa de Arenal wins the Blue Flag year after year, and is also the only completely sandy beach in the resort.
It’s almost half a kilometre in length and gains the award for its meticulous standards of cleanliness and possession almost every amenity you could wish for.
Lifeguards are here throughout the summer, there are sports facilities, children’s playgrounds and a host of places to eat at the promenade behind, which we’ll come to next.
2. Arenal Waterfront
Tracing the beachfront next to Avenida de la Libertad is an exceptional shopping and dining district.
The beachside is almost totally pedestrianised and very much a family place, with locals out jogging, walking their dogs and stopping by at ice cream parlours or cafes for a chat with friends.
In the evening there’s a real urban bustle here: You can call in at one of the many bars for pre-dinner drinks, and of course the selection of restaurants is part of the appeal.
Come for Spanish classics like tapas or paella, or American-style fast food, pizza or Chinese.
3. Historic Centre
The oldest area in Jávea was once enclosed by walls, and is set some way in from the coast, surrounding the Town Hall (Ayuntamiento). You can still spot remnants of these defences, such as at En Cairat.
Over time the population spilled out, and there was no need for any fortifications, but you’ll know you’re in the old part of the town because the streets will start to taper and follow an irregular layout that has survived since the middle ages.
The oldest houses and palaces are gorgeous, blending whitewashed walls with the local golden “tosca” sandstone.
One monument composed almost entirely of the distinctive local sandstone is this 16th-century church constructed in the Valencian gothic style.
This rock was quarried at Cabo San Antonio, the promontory just to the north of Jávea.
The church was constructed when Corsairs were a constant threat to coastal towns, which explains its tough, military appearance: There are battlements on top and you can even make out the loopholes for guns, as this was a place of refuge during attacks when people would often be captured as slaves.
5. Playa de la Granadella
Another Blue Flag beach is this cove, 130 metres long and hidden between two rugged headlands.
These help keep the sea currents and winds away, so the water could hardly be calmer and clearer.
The sea’s transparency attracts water sports enthusiasts, who use Grandella as the entry point for snorkelling and scuba diving.
There’s also a floating platform during peak season, great for youngsters who will have no difficulty swimming in these shallow and tranquil waters.
The beach itself is gravel, but fortunately sun loungers can be hired all through the summer.
6. Montgó Natural Park
This gargantuan rock has a constant presence in Jávea, rising to 753 metres just to the northwest of the town.
The summit is actually a lot more achievable than its fearsome grey limestone stone cliffs make it seem.
You can take the CV-736 road towards Dénia, parking by Les Planes Campo de Tiro.
You won’t need any climbing equipment, just a good pair of trail shoes, as the path zigzags quite gently for most of the slope.
It’s only when you get near the top that you may have to scrabble over some scree and gravel.
And once there you can take a seat and look down from the formidable landform at the bay and all its now tiny landmarks.
7. Cabo de la Nao
The southern edge of the bay is bounded by this colossal headland 120 metres above the water.
It’s the easternmost point in the Community of Valencia and there are a few vantage points where you can get photos and vistas that stretch out to the Balearic Islands.
There are also three restaurants on the cape, each with outdoor terraces blessed with these incredible panoramas.
On summer days you can pick up a snack or cold drink from the kiosk next to the lookout.
8. Archaeological and Ethnographic Museum
Jávea’s museum occupies one of its most significant civic buildings, La Casa-Palacio de Antoni Banyuls, built in the early-1600s.
Antoni Banyuls was the royal butler of King Felipe II and his residence has a captivating facade made from Jávea’s local sandstone.
The interior was renovated in the 1800s, but the original tiles remain, and are well worth your attention in Room VI. The top floor is an exciting exhibit of items recovered from the waters in the bay of Jávea including ancient amphorae and more recent cannonballs.
Below you can learn about the various old trades in the town, with a forge, farm equipment and traditional folk costume.
9. Cabo San Antonio
Marking the northern limit of the Bay of Jávea is this headland with one of the most complete views of the area, including Arenal Beach, back to the monumental Montgó and down to Cabo de la Nao.
If you’re visiting Jávea with kids you can drive up the CV-7362, which leads right up to the lighthouse where there’s a parking area.
Bring a picnic and bask in the scenery; on a clear day you can even see out to Ibiza.
If you’re an outdoorsy type then there’s nothing to stop you getting here on foot up the steep, scrubby hillsides from the port.
10. Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Loreto
Clashing with the white buildings in the portside Duanes de la Mar neighbourhood is this 1967 modern church built with concrete and designed to evoke seafaring.
It’s a piece of daring avant-garde design, relatively rare for religious buildings in Spain.
The church is without corners and has an oval floor, with bare walls that culminate in a ring of skylights.
Outside there are 12 concrete buttresses supporting the main structure, one for each of the apostles.
You have to go inside to feel the church’s ghostly beauty, where fishermen’s wives would pray for their husbands’ safe return.
Gaze up at the ceiling, which is made with strips of red pine and resembles the keel of a sailboat.
11. Cruz del Portixol
Portixol is a small island preserved as a natural park just up from Cabo de la Nao.
You’ll have the perfect panorama of this pine-topped outcrop from the Mirador de Cruz del Portixol, a viewing platform just back from a limestone headland, and also the nexus point for a number of walking trails.
You could stop for a moment to take a photo and contemplate the scenery before making your way to the edge of the headland or taking a walk through the coastal pine forests to any of a handful of sheltered coves close by.
The town is proud of its natural scenery, and if you visit the local tourist board’s website you can download pdfs of a range of hikes.
All have trailheads that are easy to get to, and the trails are carefully marked.
There’s a fabulous one, the SL CV 97, that leads you from the Crux del Portixol down through forest to the tranquil Cala Barraca.
You can also get hold of a calendar of guided walks, on which you’ll be given a local perspective on the nature and history of the area.
13. Water Sports
Jávea is a kind of Atlantis for water sports enthusiasts, to the point where it’s easier to list the activities that aren’t available! All along the 20 kilometre coastline are locally-run companies specialising in a different activity.
So in the Puerto Deportivo for instance you’ll have sailing charters and motor boat rentals.
Around the more sheltered coves like Granadellla you can get hold of snorkelling equipment, hire a kayak or give paddle surfing a go.
The more open beaches are great for windsurfing and kite-boarding and for these sports you’ve got the Wind Center right on Avenida del Mediterráneo.
14. Other Outdoor Activities
As you’ve seen, thanks to the steep terrain Jávea has a whole series of miradors (panoramic lookouts), and the most enjoyable way to get to them is on two wheels on the Miradores de Xàbia route.
Once again, the local tourist board can help you plot all sorts of other courses, and you’ll never have to spend a lot of time on the roads.
There’s also a nine-hole golf course, Club de Golf Jávea with very reasonable green fees of just €30 for a round.
And besides all this you’ve got mini-golf courses for kids and the go-karting track, Karting Laguna.
15. Local Food and Drink
You’re in the Valencian Community in Jávea, and the plump rice from this region is the basis for a lot of fantastic dishes.
Paella is obviously the most famous, but the interesting thing is that there are lots of little inflections depending on where you are.
Down here in Jávea the traditional way to make it is with beans or turnips, but of course more familiar seafood versions are prepared everywhere.
Nuts of all varieties are grown in the countryside, including tiger nuts, which are the main ingredient in the tasty and refreshing soft drink, horchata.
And when you order tapas, you’ll often get a side aioli for dipping: This delicious garlic sauce goes with pretty much anything.