Dispelling the myths of Costa Blanca
What if you realise that your experience of the Costa Blanca seems nothing like the usual Costa Blanca trip? Could it be that you’ve found some hidden, unspoiled gem? Or is it perhaps that you’ve been misinformed about the Costa Blanca all along? Have you allowed hen parties with their matching t shirts and the stag lads in their fluorescent morphsuits to put you off this entire stretch of coastline? If so, you may have made a massive error in judgement. Here’s the story of how it took 2 days for me to learn costa Blanca had much more to offer than just Benidorm.
As I waited to for the gate to be announced for my flight to Alicante, I glanced around the airport and very quickly spotted a small group of lads that I felt certain were going to be on my flight. They were in fancy dress. They had matching Benidorm T-shirts and they were loud. The only thing they seemed to like more than enthusiastically drinking was spilling their drinks all over themselves, each other and the airport floor. Don’t get me wrong. None of us are perfect and we’ve all been that friend on a night out. It’s just that it wasn’t even 7AM yet and I was still rubbing the sleep from my eyes.
As it turned out, the stag Lads weren’t on my flight. I breathed a sigh of relief as I watched them taking their banter off to a different departure gate. Wherever they were going, they were going to have an amazing time, but I just wanted some coffee and a chance to wake up.
We board the plane. I nod off. I wake up in Alicante and am feeling much more ready for the day to begin. I start to think about what the resorts of Javea and Moraira might look like. Having lived and worked in Tenerife and Majorca for a few years, I’ve always wondered how the costa Blanca compares. It’s got that reputation for being a bit ‘past its best’, but I had an open mind and was ready to start exploring. The first day passed in a bit of a blur and it wasn’t until the next morning, my first full day, that I really started to explore.
Day 1 – Javea:
I get up bright and early to take a stroll along the beachfront. I see a few people jogging and it’s a bit overcast, but it’s stunning. Not stunning in comparison to what I’d imagined or stunning for what it was. It was just stunning. It was incredible. Ladies and Gentleman of the jury, I present you with exhibit A:
A bit stunned at the amazingly stormy skies, I head off for a coffee to take shelter from a short rain shower. Recharged and ready to go, it’s off to the Old Town of Javea to see if it’s a charming labyrinth of narrow streets as I’ve imagined and hoped. Yep. It was.
One of my favourite things about Old Town areas is heading for a market. It’s always a great chance to get elbow-to-elbow with the locals and to jostle for the freshest and best produce the region has to offer. Like this Spanish Easter Bread!
Later I head back towards the beachfront area to take in the sea air and the gigantic stretch of sandy beach. It wasn’t quite sunbathing weather that day, as I visited out of season, but I could quite happily see myself enjoying a longer stay here in Javea in the main season. A pretty old town with all the Spanish charm you’d expect, tapas restaurants and a beautiful beach to top it all off.
Day 2 – Moraira:
After the time I spent wandering around Javea yesterday, I had high expectation of Moraira. I arrive to find it’s going to be like comparing apples and oranges. Javea has the traditional Spanish feel which I absolutely love and Moraira has a sort of Ibiza chill-out café vibe going on. There’s a marina, another fab beach and great cafes and bars. The skies had even started to clear up, too.
There’s time to grab another coffee and I’m drawn to a little place with the chic sort of seating that you often imagine you could make for yourself out of a discarded pallet and some whitewash, but you just know you’d never strike the balance between effortlessly thrown together and something that’s actually sturdy enough bear weight.
To sum up Moraira, I’d have to say it exuded an effortlessly cool, laid-back feel. There were plenty of shopping opportunities too, if you’re keen to spend a few euros and test your luggage allowance. I would have been happy to sit in a chilled out café or bar and just take in the views for hours.
I wonder how many other visitors to Javea and Moraira will be similarly pleasantly surprised before the summer 2015 season draws to a close. As I finish my drink and gaze out to sea, I’m reminded that even though my brief visit is already coming to an end, the season here in costa Blanca is only just beginning.