Located on the Mediterranean coast of eastern Spain, the charming port city of Dénia is one of Spain’s hidden treasures. A quaint and picturesque fishing village, located halfway between Alicante and Valencia, Dénia is an interesting mix of old and new. Bursting with authentic culture, historical heritage and fine dining on the shores of the Costa Blanca, it is home to some of the most beautiful natural parks and nature reserves in the world.
Dénia’s historical centre is a fascinating mix of modern architecture and ancient neighbourhoods. Elegant buildings command stature and attention while the colourful and cosy streets and alleys are bursting with ancient flavour. Built on top of a cliff overlooking the coast, inhabited and fortified since Roman times, Dénia castle is the symbol of the city. A building with more than 2,000 years of fascinating history, which reflects the legacy of the different cultures that have passed through its territory, Dénia Castle overlooks the Old Town and offers the best views of the city. Every summer, the esplanade of Governador Dénia Castle, at the top of the enclosure, is home to two weeks of concerts of traditional and popular music in the concert series Music at the Castle. Admission to these concerts is free and represent one of the most important events of the summer cultural agenda in the city of Dénia.
With a surface area of 66 square kilometres, and more than 20km of sandy beaches, comprising of a coastline of fine sand to the north and rocky sand to the south, Dénia’s exceptional beaches are the main reason so many visits the resort. The port city is divided into four areas: Las Rotas with its rocky and beloved coastline, the nature reserve Montgo, Las Marinas with its long sandy beaches and the centre town of Dénia. 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 ideal for snorkelling and exploring.
Less than three miles from Dénia are the imposing and impressive Montgó Mountains, which was officially declared a natural park in 1987 for its beautiful views, plants and wildlife. The mountain has an altitude of 753 metres and is home to more than 600 plant species. Discover the caves Cova de Aigua or Cova del Camell, or you can walk to the top of the Montgó. Halfway between the sea and the mountains, surrounded by a quiet pine forest, is a beautiful hotel with a warm welcome and an invitation to relax. Hotel Palau Verd was our home away from home and it was just perfect. Located in Montgó Natural Park, a quiet setting in the heart of nature, next to the marine reserve of Cabo de San Antonio, the hotel was just a couple of miles from the centre of Dénia. An adults-only and pet-friendly hotel, our bright and airy room was a welcome haven from the sizzling summer sun. The hotel serves a delicious buffet breakfast each morning with traditional Mediterranean cuisine and homemade specials available.
We enjoyed a mini cruise from Dénia to Xàbia through the Marine Reserve of San Antonio Cape. On our return we enjoyed a spectacular lunch at Restaurant Primera Línea. Nestled in the first line of the beach, we feasted on paella, tapas and local delicacies, all washed down with the most exquisite Albarino wine. It was definitely our favourite place to eat during our stay in Dénia. Famous for its exceptional cuisine, Dénia boasts more than 300 restaurants to suit all tastes including Mediterranean cuisine, Italian, Mexican, English, Argentinean, Dutch, Chinese and Indian. The most exquisite delicacy is the Dénia red 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. Many restaurants offer a lunchtime menu del dia which is a set price three-course lunch.
Famous for its many festivals, Dénia is the region in Spain that celebrates the most festivals throughout the year. Spectacular parades, bull running, folkloric costumes and cultural ceremonies fascinate the people again and again, perhaps also because of the stubborn way they hold on to the old traditions of the region! Often the festivities start early in the morning and extend late into the night. All ages and generations are involved, on the streets and in front of the houses, they often place tables and neighbours and friends are invited to eat and drink. Usually, the celebrations end with a spectacular fireworks display.
If you like to party, then Dénia is the town for you! Nightlife starts late in Dénia 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. At the other end of town, Las Rotas provides a picturesque setting for the seafood restaurants with terraces overlooking the sea. The marina has several chill-out bars and restaurants if you fancy a late night. In the summer beach bars called chiringuitos, are set up so you can sit on the beach and watch the sunset while sipping a cool cocktail or beer. Whatever your taste in music from chill-out to Cuban, laid back 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.
With thanks to Valencia Region Tourist Board, Dénia Tourist Office, Hotel Palau Verd, Mundo Marino Excursions and Restaurant Primera Línea.