My parents always take an extended break in Spain and last year Adam and I decided to join them for a week, having never visited the area before. We stayed with them at their rented apartment and it was great to have the chance to sit back and relax.
They stay in Moraira, a small coastal town that sits between Alicante and Valencia and is nestled in the middle of mountains. Moors settled in the area and there is an obvious influence of the culture on the local architecture.
In the 16th Century the area was raided by pirates and in 1742 the area was fortified with Castillo De Moraira, which you can still visit now as it sits in the middle of the town. The opening hours were quite minimal so the chances are you’re more likely to be able to view it from outside.
The perfect afternoon activity was to stroll along the lovely beach at Playa Del Portet and stop for a cold beer to enjoy the view. In the middle of Moraira you’ll find the street market where the smell of chicken being grilled wafts through the air and draws a queue.
I’m usually a bit of a restaurant planner but we let my parents decide on the itinerary and that usually meant just turning up to the odd place. Despite this we had some great meals, such friendly service and everything so affordable.
Throughout our time with my parents we took day trips out, visiting the selection of local villages that sat in the surrounding area.
One of these Altea, a hilltop town named the Santorini of Spain, and it’s easy to see why with its narrow white streets overlooking the turquoise blue waters.
There was a cute market selling local handmade items and there were other quaint shops around that you can meander in and out. Colourful doorways lined the streets, I couldn’t stop taking pictures!
Another village that offers beautiful hilltop views is Denia where an easy uphill walk takes you to an Ancient Moorish castle, where you’re rewarded with beautiful sea views.
Staying in the lower town means you can stroll along the marina, find little churches hidden in courtyards and eat pastries in cute cafes.
Javea, also referred to as Xabia, is another beautiful coastal town. The local history dates back to Roman times and the old town is filled with ruins of walls built in the 16th century to keep out pirates.
The back alleys of Javea
There are lots of places to eat, especially along the promenade overlooking the white beach. We stopped at a place called L’Almadrava where we all had the most amazing burgers.
I really enjoyed the trip and getting the opportunity to explore the area in a way that I wouldn’t have normally. Unless my parents had introduced to to this area I doubt we would ever have found our way there but it really is for anyone who loves a cute coastal town and some beautiful nature parks. My parents aren’t really physically up to it but there is lots of opportunity in the local area for hiking too.