Leah Explores … Denia

When a good friend got married in Spain in May, myself and one of my favourite travel buddies decided to make the most of being there. We not only celebrated their marriage, but also explored the beautiful Spanish town of Denia, as well as some of the surrounding areas. We didn’t stay for too long; we had two full days plus two half days, but managed to squeeze a lot into a little time.

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Stay:
We weighed our options and ultimately decided to rent an Air B&B. Whilst there were some beautiful hotels in the area, we felt like a Air B&B was the best option for us. Our apartment was located close to the Marina, not far from the Old Town and featured a stunning rooftop patio with views of the castle. One thing to keep in mind if you are staying in the area and renting a car is that parking in the area is pretty limited to street parking and the occasional car park, so be prepared for some narrow streets and parallel parking.
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Other options:
Hotel Nou Roma
A couple of people who attended the wedding stayed her and having seen some of the pictures it looks lovely. Right in the middle of the Old Town of Denia, and within walking distance of pretty much everything in town, this boutique hotel should be a contender if you’re looking for something more in the action.
Hotel Los Angeles
Located a little way out of the hustle and bustle of the town, but right on the beach with stunning views, this hotel is definitely worth considering if you want something more low key and relaxing.
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See and Do:
We had a day and a half for exploring, in which time we managed to fit in a decent amount, including venturing a little further afield to visit Guadalest and Fonts De L’Algar.
Denia Castle
There is no doubt that this is one of, if not the main attraction in Denia. The castle dominates the skyline and watches over the city. Built in the 11th and 12th centuries there is a lot of history and beautiful details to explore. We just looked around the grounds and took in the stunning views that they offer, but there is a museum you can visit too. One thing to keep in mind is that they only accept cash for the entrance fee, which is three euro’s, so make sure you have some on you.
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Marina and beaches
Denia is a port town with ferries that run to Ibiza as well as other destinations. This means that there are miles of beaches to check out as well as the marina to stroll around and daydream about boating in the Mediterranean.

Stroll around town
One of my favourite things to do whilst on vacation is to just wander around the local area, and get lost in a new place. Denia is the perfect city for this, especially around the Old Town where the streets are narrow and the buildings are beautiful.

Eat and Drink
If you don’t go to Spain and eat all the Paella and drink all the Sangria are you even really in Spain? Within thirty minutes of checking into our Air B&B we were on our first glass of Sangria. As for Paella we went to Tasca Les Monges in the the Old Town, which was recommended to us by the Bride and approved by her Spanish Husband, win win.

Have you been to Denia? What was your highlight? Let me know in the comments.
Happy exploring.

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Leah Explores … Guadalest

Guadalest is a tiny village located up in the mountains with stunning views of the valley below. Not too far outside of Benidorm, Alicante and Denia it is the perfect place for a quick day trip. There isn’t too much to do there, it is a village after all, but the views more than make up for a lack of activities.

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There was a restaurant located at the bottom of the mountain, which we stopped for lunch at, but it is worth keeping in mind that there were more choices once you to up to to the top. As well as restaurants and cafes there were also abundant souvenir and gift shops, in the village square. As well as plenty of places to stop in and get an ice cream to cool off and reward yourself for climbing up to the top.

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We decided to do the self guided tour of the castle which only cost a few euro’s, and provided some beautiful views of the surrounding valley, as well as an insight into the history of the area. Plus it didn’t take too long, and provided some cool shade from the blistering heat.

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simply stunning
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the castle
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taking in the views

 

There was a car park at the bottom of the mountain, pretty much opposite the entrance of the village, which was convenient. The cost of parking was cheap too, around two euro’s.  Whilst I wouldn’t hesitate to suggest a trip to Guadalest, it is worth remembering that the walk up to the top of the town (where the killer views are) involves cobblestones and stairs, making it a bit of a challenge for anyone who struggles walking, is in a wheelchair, or small children in strollers.

views from the top
views from the top

Leah Explores … Fonts De L’Algar

The Algar Waterfalls or Fonts De L’Algar, are a protected wetland area located between Denia and Alicante, close to Benidorm in the Costa Blanca region of Spain. And trust me when I say this place is like a slice of paradise. There are trails that you can follow that lead you to the waterfalls as well as pools that you can swim in, and if you are feeling brave there are even places where you can jump into the crystal clear but cold water. Whilst there are some restaurants dotted around the area, it is worth remembering that you are still pretty isolated. If you want to spend the day there I would suggest taking some snacks or a picnic along too. Rather than me babble on I’m going to let the photo’s do the rest of the work, in convincing you whilst you should make the Fonts De L’Algar part of your itinerary if you are in the area.

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Top Tips:
Drive until you can’t drive any further
My friend Sarah told us about this and I am so happy that she did. As you turn off the main road and follow the signs to the waterfalls there are loads of places to park, but if you park in one of these earlier ones you are going to have to walk quite a distance to get to the entrance of the waterfalls. So, drive along the road until you cannot drive any further and then park up, at which point you’ll have a two minute walk as opposed to a ten minute walk uphill.

Take waterproof shoes
If you want to go into the water, you need to take waterproof footwear with you. The pools are filled with rocks and stones, and without appropriate footwear you’re in for some very sore feet. I noticed that some of the small shops near the car parks sold waterproof shoes but I’m sure you can get them a lot cheaper.

Getting There:
We drove there pretty easily, and there are sign posts leading you to the waterfalls from the main road. The streets are quite narrow, but I’ve definitely driven down worse in parts of rural England and even around the town of Denia. Another option would be taking a bus or taxi from the centre of the closest town of Callosa d’en Sarrià.