Sun, Sea and ‘Desastre’.
I recently spent a week in Javea, Spain with a group of friends for some well needed R and R. Six of us flew out together with Jet2 and I could not fault them. Check in was speedy and efficient, we whizzed through security, probably due to it being late September and not peak season, and were soon seated at the bar for some pre-flight food and drinks. The flight itself was fairly uneventful and although leg room is not the best I was comfy enough on the short flight to Alicante.
On arrival in Alicante we collected our luggage and hire cars and started our journey to our villa in Javea. Javea itself is a Spanish town on the coast, north of Alicante. It has two sides to it, the modern, tourist focused ‘new’ town, and the quaint, colonial ‘old’ town.
Our villa was located just outside of Javea in the hills above the town. The hills surrounding the town are extremely steep and packed with an eclectic mix of Spanish looking villas and modern mansions, all of which seem to have incredible views across the Mediterranean Sea. Our villa was no exception, I could have spent hours just staring out at the view. Watching the changing lights as the sun moved across the sky, before settling below the horizon, in a golden orange blaze. We spent many nights observing the impressive storms. Fork lightning lit up the sky and the sea below with anger, followed by the thunderous rumble of the even angrier thunder. The storms were really quite something and made up for the fact the weather was, at times, less than desirable.
I spent my days lying by the pool, soaking up the sun when it decided to make an appearance, reading my kindle and sipping on the super cheap cava. On that note, alcohol is incredibly cheap in Spain. We filled two trollies worth with beer, wine, cava and spirits for a fraction of the cost of the same in England. I love Cava, champagne, Prosecco, any fizz to be honest and the discovery of 3 Euro Cava was possibly one of the best moments of the trip! Mimosa for breakfast, cava for lunch, cava, cava, cava!
We would usually head into Javea around 4/5pm as the sun dipped below the villa and plunged us into shade. One of my favourite places to go was the beach bars dotted along the front. They are shacks with a variety of seating set up along the beach front. The toilets are port-a-loos and the offerings are basic but being able to sit outside with a blanket wrapped around you (provided by the bar, as it is quite chilly this time of year at night) and a drink in hand watching the sun set is a priceless moment.
I enjoyed some amazing food whilst in Javea ranging from tapas to paella to an incredible salt baked sea bass dish. We found a gorgeous little Spanish restaurant in the back streets of Javea Old Town. It was tucked away along a narrow cobbled street and was packed to the rafters with locals enjoying a few drinks or some amazing food. We shared many incredible tapas dishes over some local red wine and good chat and finished off the meal with a round of Limoncello shots.
Cautionary Note: The old town and new town are VERY FAR apart and if you don’t fancy a 45 minute walk between the two up narrow, steep streets, you may want to consider getting a taxi. We walked and some of the group were not best pleased by this choice. No one wants to arrive at a restaurant sweaty and flustered and out of breath! (though I quite enjoyed the walk there, exploring the narrow cobbled streets winding across the town, I think I was in the minority!).
We spent a couple of nights in a Champagne Bar along the ‘tourist front’ in the new town. It is lined with bars and restaurants and it is clearly the main draw for tourists visiting Javea. The Champagne Bar did a selection of food, club sandwiches, burgers, pizzas etc along with a large selection of cocktails, beers and wines. They also show the sports so it is a bar for everyone really. The lads (and a couple of the girls) were happy as they could watch the Rugby World Cup and the rest of us were happy as there was food, music and a lively atmosphere. The bar offers a ‘famous’ cocktail, well, it is famous amongst those who have been and experienced it. I can’t say it is for good reason though.
The Desastre cocktail is aptly named for the disastrous results of consuming the same. You need a minimum of 2 people to be able to order the drink and it is a complete mystery as to what they actually put in it. It is served in a large bowl with some very long straws so you can drink right to the bottom. It is deceptively alcoholic and on drinking it, you will probably question what I was on about! However, not long after consuming the drink the effects will begin to show. Almost like a switch has been flipped between sober and disastrously drunk. Therefore, drink with caution (ie drink from the top to avoid the dense alcohol concoction at the bottom) and be near a bathroom a few hours after consumption. Your body will, in all likelihood, reject it shortly after drinking!
Overall, I had a great time in Javea, good company, amazing food and cheap cava makes for a perfect R and R holiday. Sometimes a chilled break in the sun is just what you need.