Denia – The Unspoilt Costa Blanca

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Take an hour and half drive north of Alicante and you may notice a dramatic change. Suddenly the landscape changes from brown and arid to green and mountainous. The high-rise concrete hotels are replaced with small villas. You will find yourself immersed in lush valleys of almond, orange and lemon groves. There are very few places in the world where the northern part of a small coastline contrasts more with the south.

If you are expecting a landscape of mass tourism you may be disappointed. In the northern part of Costa Blanca, you will more than likely find quaint Spanish villages where English is spoken on a smaller scale. A part of Europe where life goes on the same way it has done for decades, where siestas are religiously adhered to and where local culture and customs are still an important part of everyday life. This part of Spain is without a doubt one of the wealthiest in the country. Tourism earns considerable returns for the locals and the property prices reflect the number of affluent Northern European’s who purchased a second home in this tempting area. The weather has a massive impact on this.

Denia is the region’s main town and is said to have sunshine 320 days a year. The 18th century Castillo de Denia dominates the skyline. A visit to this wonderful honey coloured fortress gives you can insight into the region’s long history.

The city has well preserved ancient walls and bastions. You can get an excellent view of Denia and the surrounding countryside from the hill top esplanade. Denia has almost 20 km’s of coastline. To the north of the town there are beautiful beaches of fine sand and shallow waters such as LAlmadrava, Les Deveses, Les Marines and els Palmars.

To the south lie a series of small coves along the rocky coast, a perfect paradise for fisherman and divers.

Denia offers a variety watersports. If you enjoy sailing, windsurfing, rowing and swimming you won’t be left disappointed. For those who prefer to be on land rather than in the sea there are an extensive range of activities to choose from including hang gliding, mountain climbing, mountain biking and hiking.

The local cuisine of Denia is typically that of the Costa Blanca, combining delicacies from both the Mediterranean Sea and inland. There have been many different civilisations who have lived in the area. There was the Celts, Iberians, Greeks, Romans and Muslims, all of which have left their own mark on the gastronomy. The Denia diet is a very healthy Mediterranean one, The Costa Blanca is very rich in vegetables, fish, olive oil, fruit, rice which are all used to prepare mouth-watering, healthy dishes such as Arroz Negro (black rice), Arroz a horno (oven baked rice), Paella Valenciane, Arroz a banda (fish and rice stew) and Arroz del senoret (Princes rice).

Apart from the seafood Denia’s typical dishes include rabbit in garlic, roast leg of lamb in garlic and fresh rosemary and homemade sausages and black pudding.

Whilst in Denia treat your sweet tooth to the local homemade pastries and desserts which the whole region is famous for. The Juona ice cream (Nougat) which is made with the almonds of the region is a particularly nice treat to try.

You can’t possibly visit the region without trying the local wine selection which on offer, The Jalom wine is of high quality with a beautiful bouquet.

As mentioned previously the climate is typically Mediterranean, with cool sea breezes in the summer and protection from the cold North winds in the winter time.

The area average temperatures exceed 20 degrees with nearly 3000 hours of sunshine each year. The climate is said to be one of the most balanced in the world. Not too cold in the winter or too hot in the summer, making it a perfect place to live in or visit.

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