Dénia

If you like to party, then Denia is the town for you. It is said to hold more festivals than any other town in Spain.

Denia, midway between Alicante and Valencia, is an interesting mix of old and new. Its sandy beaches stretch further than the eye can see and the town is a magnet for yachties and sunbathers. It is famous for its castle which looms over the town and for its food. With more than 300 restaurants, even the fussiest foodies will find something they love. The exquisite Denia prawn is a must and many restaurants serve this delicacy in season.

As well as being a firm favourite with northern European holidaymakers, Denia is a popular destination for Madrid residents escaping from the city in the hot summer months.

Denia is a delightful town with a rich history. The main tree-lined shopping street, Calle Marques de Campo, has many bars and restaurants while the nearby Old Town has bustling bars serving traditional fare. A few streets away is the old fishermen's quarter where you can be transported to another world of seafaring adventures. Cross the main road to the port to watch the fishermen auction off their catches with baskets filled with fish, squid and shellfish. Head two kilometres inland for a stroll up the Montgo mountain where you can see for miles up the coast towards Valencia. On a clear day you can see the island of Ibiza.

Denia is an attractive destination for sports lovers and it has two golf courses nearby as well as tennis, horse-riding, cycling, water sports including kitesurfing and snorkelling, and hiking.

The Old Town and Marina are popular areas for an evening stroll followed by a cool beer or wine. The restaurants serve fine cuisine including regional favourites, many varieties of paella, fideua (like paella but with noodles instead of rice), fresh fish, shellfish or rabbit. Top Spanish chef Quique Dacosta has a restaurant called Quique Dacosta Restaurante at El Poblet in Denia. He has won many awards, including the coveted Michelin stars.

Let Denia delight you with its many charms..... 

The Castle

Denia Castle, once an Arab fortress, overlooks the Old Town. It is worth the climb as the views over the marina and Old Town are fantastic. You also get a feel of Denia's history by wandering through the ruins and soaking up the atmosphere within the castle walls.

The old walls have recently been restored and there is now a lift leading to the entrance to save you from a climb up the narrow, cobbled streets. You can also take the tourist train.

MUSEUMS

Archaeological Museum

This museum takes visitors on a potted history of Denia stretching over 2,000 years. Its history is closely linked to the port and it was a thriving commercial town. The museum has treasures from Denia's varied history including Islamic bronzes, pottery and a fine bronze tribute to the god Mercury believed to date from the second century.

Toy Museum

In the 19th century Denia thrived on its raisin industry. However, this was wiped out by a disease and so enterprising businessmen set up a toy industry. The town continued to flourish under its new role as a fine purveyor of tinplate and wooden toys. The museum pays fitting tribute to the industry with many outstanding examples of the toys crafted in Denia. The toy museum is housed in the old railway station in Calle Calderon.

Ethnology Museum

In the 19th century Denia prospered thanks to the raisin trade. The tools of the raisin trade and its mark on Denia are displayed in this museum found in Calle Cavallers. You can also see fine examples of the clothes and accessories worn by the wealthier Denia residents during this era.

 Iglesia de la Asuncion

This charming Baroque church dates back to the 18th century. During the year, concerts of classical music and orchestras are presented here.

GUIDED VISITS

During the summer, the tourist information centre organises guided walks around Denia's Old Town and main streets. It is a great way to soak up the atmosphere while learning more about the history of this charming seaside resort.

The Montgo Natural Park information centre organises walks through the Montgo reserve. These can be from four to 12 kilometres. Some are easy walking and some are for hardier hikers. You can learn about the Montgo's flora, fauna and wildlife while enjoying fantastic views over the Mediterranean and Denia's coastline.

There are also several boat trips to enjoy, including sailing on a catamaran, a boat trip to nearby Javea or a day at sea. The boats set off from the port, where you can also catch a daily ferry to the Balearic islands of Ibiza and Mallorca.

LEISURE AND CULTURAL ACTIVITIES

Walking and Cycling

A stroll along the Promenade is a relaxing way to take a look at Denia's architecture and beachlife. Head north for a stroll along the sandy Las Marinas beach with outdoor gym equipment to keep you fit plus bars and restaurants where you can take a breather and let the world go by. In the other direction you can take a stroll along the Marineta Casiana beach towards the rocky Las Rotas and Cabo de San Antonio with its marvellous views.

Denia has also set up a cycleway along its old, disused railway track to El Vergel. A path has been laid so it is easy walking or cycling alongside orange groves with the Montgo flanking the path. It is also designed to be wheelchair-friendly.

Eating out

Denia is famous for its food and its 300 or more restaurants. The most exquisite delicacy is the Denia prawn, which many claim is the best in the world. Rice dishes including paella and arroz a banda (another rice-based dish) can be found on many menus. In winter, puchero (a hearty meat stew) finds its way on to the menu. Many restaurants offer a lunchtime menu del dia which is a set-price three-course lunch. Denia has restaurants to suit all tastes including Mediterranean cuisine, Italian, Mexican, English, Argentinean, Dutch, Chinese and Indian.

Many restaurants can be found in the Old Town, along the Marques de Campo street, the old fishermen's quarter, Las Marinas and the marina. Denia even boasts a two-Michelin star restaurant run by chef Quique DaCosta in El Poblet.

Nightlife

Once the sun goes down it's time to party. Nightlife starts late in Denia with some bars offering live music starting at midnight. Many bars and restaurants can be found in the main Marques de Campo street. The Old Town centring around Calle Loreto has more traditional bars where you can try local wines and beers, perhaps washed down with a tapas or two. Plenty of restaurants from Indian to traditional Valencian cuisine can be found in the fishermen's quarters and Las Marinas. At the other end of town, Las Rotas provides a perfect setting for the fish restaurants with terraces looking straight out to sea.

The marina has several chill-out bars and restaurants for a late, late night. In the summer beach bars called chiringuitos, are set up so you can sit on the beach and watch the sun set while sipping a cool cocktail or beer. Whatever your taste in music from chill-out to Cuban, laidback to Latino, you will find a bar to suit your soul.

Concerts are also put on in the castle during the summer while jazz concerts are held at the Torrecremada for several weekends during the balmy summer months.

Markets

People come from far and wide to visit the Monday market in the Torrecremada. Dozens of stalls are set up selling everything from leather handbags to fruit and veg.

Local Tips

The beaches along Las Marinas are large and sandy while the beach at Marineta Casiana, next to the marina, is smaller and generally quieter. The coves at Las Rotas are fabulous for snorkelling.

For fine dining with views over chic yachts and the Montgo, try one of the restaurants in the marina.

Denia has some amazing fiestas, especially fallas in March when giant statues are burnt in the streets. It's smaller and not as busy as the one in Valencia.

Denia also has bull-running through the streets during its fiestas in July.

For amazing views over Denia, head up to the castle or the Montgo.

Denia is home to the delicious Denia red prawn - a bit pricey but you could try them as a starter or as tapas for sharing.

Do try paella at a seafront restaurant or tapas in one of the bars in Calle Marques de Campo or Calle Loreto.

On Friday, by the indoor market is a fruit and veg market with local produce at good prices.

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