WHAT TO DO WHEN IN DÉNIA, SPAIN
Dénia is a small coastal city in the province of Alicante, Spain. Also known as the Costa Blanca. It is situated between Alicante and Valencia, both big cities with airports you can fly on to be able to get to Dénia. Depending on the period, two-way tickets to Valencia will range from 80 to 200 euro.
When you stay in Dénia, it is recommended to hire a car as the different sights are not far away, but quite hard to reach. In the following article I will list some sights you can visit by car or by walking.
Castillo de Denia
Castillo de Dénia is on top of the mountain that borders the center of Dénia. The mountain is 60 meters high and easy to climb due to the constructed road. The castle has a view over the whole center of Dénia, the sea, the harbor and the boat going to Ibiza. At the top of the mountain, a small restaurant, a museum and a small theater have been built at the castle. The inhabitants of Dénia have free entrance, while tourists and visitors have to pay a ticket of 3 euros. Children under the age of 8 are free, and visitors between the ages of 8 and 16 must pay 1 euro. The rate for students is 2 euros, as well as for groups of more than 10 people. It is advisable to check in advance whether the castle is open, because the opening hours vary per season.
Underneath the castle is a large tunnel that connects Plaza del Consell to Ronda de las Murallas. The tunnel is well visited and offers space to various street musicians.
Botanical garden: El Sueño
This botanical garden is located in Ondara, which is about 10 minutes away by car from Dénia. the garden is located amidst the orange groves and is divided into different plant species. In addition to all types of plants, there are also ponds, small caves and a shop where you can buy plants. You will get a guided tour of about 2 hours through this garden, which is given by the owners. The tour is in Spanish but is easy to follow for people who speak both Spanish and non-Spanish. A tip: install google translate on your phone, it has a function where it records and translates conversations.
Dénia Boulevard and center
The port of Dénia not only looks cozy, but also offers plenty of opportunities to entertain you every night. There are several restaurants located on the sea where you can have lunch and dinner, cocktail bars with nice music, a fair at the end of the boulevard, a market along the entire length of the boulevard where you can buy everything from jewellery, bags and clothing, to caricatures of yourself. In the evening the boulevard is mainly a place where people come to eat and drink quietly or stroll along the quay. When you walk from the boulevard more towards the center, there are countless small streets that give you the real Spanish feeling. although the streets are narrow, there are often several restaurants or bars on both sides. the further you walk, the deeper you end up in the center. Here you will often find food markets, street musicians, ice cream shops, small bars where Spaniards sit with friends, clothing stores, children playing on the street and this area generally is really amusing.
El Castell de Guadalest
In Guadalest is a very nice castle about an hour from Dénia. The castle is located biven on a mountain, in a small village. The village now mostly consists of souvenir shops or small restaurants for tourists that visit the castle. You can view the castle from the inside, where the old interior is displayed. It is a special experience and worth visiting. After visiting the castle, you can climb further to a viewpoint, from here you have a view of a beautiful blue reservoir.
Valencia is about an hour's drive from Dénia. This is the perfect place to go shopping, dine and admire beautiful Spanish architecture in the meantime. In addition to the large Western chain stores, there are large cathedrals, Spanish markets and delicious tapas restaurants.
A recommendation to get a taste of the Spanish culture is the central market of Valencia. There are all kinds of stalls with meat, wine, fruit, nuts, cheese and much more. Everything is fresh here and you will find many Spanish people here who do their shopping.
Another recommendation is to view the beautiful architecture Valencia has to offer. You can find these in a number of places:
- Parroquia de San Nicolás de Bari y San Pedro Mártir: a beautifully painted church where you can listen to an audio tour about all the details of the church for about 6 euros.
- Plaza del Ayuntamiento: this is the town hall square and is surrounded by beautiful old buildings. there is also a large fountain in the middle of the square.
- Valencia Cathedral: a beautiful cathedral inside, with an equally beautiful view from the church tower over de city of Valencia.
Oceanogràfic València is a nice place to visit when you are in Valencia and want to cool down after shopping and walking. The aquarium offers a spectacular view of various sea animals, culminating in the 40-meter underwater tunnel, where the most fascinating animals, including sharks, swim over you.
Fonts de l'Algar
Fonts de l'Algar are beautiful waterfalls in Callosa d'En Sarria, a 40 minute-drive from Dénia and it is on the route to Guadalest. Én route you will pass miles of orange plantations, small villages and high cliffs with the most beautiful views.
The waterfall is very touristy, so if you are looking for a quiet place, it is not recommended. Despite the many visitors, this is an ideal place to go to with your family. The falls are beautiful and a great place to take a dip when it is hot outside. You can walk for miles through the falls to the end, with meters in height difference. The water is very cold and has sharp stones, so bring water shoes. In addition, it is recommended to bring your own food and drinks, because the only restaurant in the park is very overpriced.
Cueva de las Calaveras
This is a nice place to visit in between, as it is a 15-minute drive. You can enter the caves, and find artefacts excavated in the caves. This involves bones, stones, pots and other relics. It is also a very beautiful environment and the end of the cave is quite special. You can see many meters down into the water here and realize how far underground it is.
There are several restaurants in Dénia I would recommend. Below a list of these restaurants: