Javea, or Xabia in Valenciano, is a small town, population just over 30,000, located on the shores of the Mediterranean on Spain’s Costa Blanca. The locals call Javea "Amanacer de Espana" or Dawn of Spain, because the area in which it is located is one of the most easterly in Spain and so catches the first light of dawn.
Javea is divided into three parts, all quite different. There’s the village of Javea, about three kilometres inland, retains much of its original narrow streets and where the locals speak Valenciano. The old town was originally walled to protect it from pirates and some parts of this remain. In the town centre stands the Church of Sant Bartolomé dating back to the 14th century.
During the Spanish Civil War the church was extensively damaged and bullet and shell holes can still be seen on its southern and western walls. Next there is the port of Javea, a working fishing port with its mix of fishing boats and luxury yachts. Finally there is the beach area, centred on Arenal Beach, a crescent shaped sandy beach with a promenade. This is the main summer tourist area where there are the usual bars, restaurants and souvenir shops.
Javea’s micro-climate was named by the World Health Organisation as one of the healthiest in the world. It is sheltered from the worst of the winter winds by the bulk of Mount Montgo and has more recorded hours of daily sunshine than any other destination in Spain. The four months from June to September inclusive have average maximum temperatures of 30°.
Partly because of the climate it has become a favoured place for people from colder parts of Europe to buy a home. This helps Javea to maintain a low key tourist profile.