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Denia

The picturesque town of Denia boasts more than 20 kilometres of beautiful beaches. This popular town has an impressive marina filled with prestigious yachts, a hilltop castle to enjoy far-reaching views and more than 300 restaurants to try local dishes including fish straight off the boats.

The beaches are the main attraction with rocky coves and secluded bays found in the Las Rotas area in the South as well as family-friendly sandy beaches along the Las Marinas and Deveses areas in the North.

Water sports enthusiasts can enjoy activities such as jet-skiing, windsurfing, stand up-paddle, kite-surfing or sailing.

The climate means people can enjoy sports all-year round including golf at La Sella or Oliva Nova, tennis, horse-riding, cycling or hiking. In the winter or spring months, professional cycling teams can be seen practising on the rural roads just a few kilometres from Denia.

A walk or cycle up the Montgo mountain, standing 753 metres tall between Denia and Javea, is rewarded with breathtaking views along the coast. On a clear day, it is possible to see the Balearic party island of Ibiza.

Shoppers can pick up a bargain at the large outdoor market held every Monday. Stalls sell a range of products such as leather bags, shoes, clothes, Spanish pottery and household goods.

There is also an indoor market open daily, except Sundays, selling fruit and vegetables, meat and local fish. Every Friday, stalls are set up outside this market to sell fruit, vegetables and fresh herbs.

The main shopping streets are in and around the Calle Marques de Campo, which is a lovely tree-lined street with pavement cafes and bars providing a great vantage point for watching the world go by.

The historic old town is home to traditional Spanish tapas bars and restaurants as well as boutique hotels and first-class restaurants.

Denia is rightly proud of its cuisine where local fish, shellfish and rice from nearby Pego take centre stage. The Denia red prawn is a popular, albeit expensive, delicacy. Each year, international chefs compete in a cookery competition held in Denia featuring the exquisite red prawn.

To get a fantastic overview of Denia, a climb up the narrow streets to the castle is highly recommended. This important landmark serves as a reminder of the town’s historic importance when the Moors ruled this part of Spain from the 8th to the 13th century.

The town was also once an important player in Spain’s toy industry in the early 20th century. Examples of vintage tin cars, wooden dolls’ houses and other old-fashioned toys are found in the Denia Toy Museum housed in the former railway station.

Denia’s fiestas are also a major attraction, particularly the fiery fallas held in March when giant satirical statues made of papier-mache are put up in the streets and burned.

Bous a la mar – bulls to the sea – is a controversial fiesta held in July when bulls run through the streets of Denia into a makeshift bullring where revelers try to entice them to jump into the sea.

The re-enactment of the Moors and Christians involving noisy running battles in the streets is held in August.

Denia’s fiestas, cuisine and attractive monuments have found favour with expats and holidaymakers from across Europe and South America but particularly with British, German, French and Dutch residents.

It has a population of about 44,000 residents, of whom 77% are Spanish.

The number of people in Denia more than doubles in the summer as it is a popular holiday destination. As well as tourists from abroad, many families from Madrid have second homes in Denia so they can escape from the scorching city heat during the school holidays.

The town is just off the AP7 toll road and N332 coastal road linking Denia to Valencia and Alicante, which are both about 90kms from the resort. Valencia and Alicante have international airports used by low-cost airlines including EasyJet and Ryanair.

There is also a slow train from Denia to Benidorm, where you can pick up another train to Alicante. Although it takes 70 minutes to get to Benidorm, passengers can enjoy great coastal and rural views along the journey.

Property for sale in Denia ranges from bargain-priced town centre apartments to millionaire’s villas. Popular homes include historic townhouses, apartments with communal pools on urbanisations close to the beach, front-line beach villas in Las Marinas or Las Rotas, or homes on the Montgo mountain, many of which enjoy fabulous coastal views.