Jávea has a delightful historic centre which was once surrounded by high walls but is now ringed by modern apartment blocks. There’s more than 600 years of history to explore as well as a number of excellent bars and restaurants in which to enjoy some of the best Mediterranean hospitality and cuisine.
One of the most popular questions we get asked is when is the best time to visit the old town and our answer would depend on the time of year. During the morning it can be busy whatever the time of year since it is a working town whilst the afternoons are a lot quieter. During the winter months when the wind can whip through the narrow streets and across the squares, the town doesn’t really come alive in the evenings until the weekend with many bars and restaurants closed on selected days, especially Monday and Tuesday.
During the summer months the old town is much busier in the evenings, especially at the weekends, and reservation is absolutely essential, especially for families and groups. There are often special events such as shopping nights and musical festivals as well as the biggest party of the year in June, the famous Fogueres de Sant Joan with its fire-jumping and spectacular musical fireworks.
There are two large municipally-owned underground car-parks in Plaza de la Constitución (500 spaces) and Plaza del Portal del Clot (300 spaces), both of which are just a few minutes’ walk from the centre of the village. The rate for 2023 is 0.62 euros / hour but some restaurants and shops will offer vouchers for free or discounted parking. There is a third free car-park next to the bus station in Avenida Palmela which is about five-minute walk uphill to the centre.
The historic centre can be reached by public transport from the port and the Arenal. The best stop is the Plaza de la Marina Alta (Post Office) from where the heart of the old town is just a minutes’ walk way. There is a bus station in Avenida Palmela from which the centre of town is about five minutes’ walk uphill. Regional and national services to Valencia, Alicante, Madrid and beyond are also available from this location.
Tourist Information Office
Plaça de l’Església
Tel. 96 579 43 56
Sat-Sun: 10:00-13:00 (including selected fiesta days)
The Tourist Information Office is based in the church square right in the centre of the old town, next to the steps that drop down through the archway into the lower square known as Plaça del Baix. The office will be able to provide advice of what to do and see in Xàbia whilst it also offers maps and brochures. The staff speak many languages, including English. There are also QR codes on a board outside the door to access digital copies of many of the available brochures.
There is a weekly market on Thursday mornings which is spread across several locations throughout the old town. On the Plaza de la Constitución you’ll find fruit and vegetables as well as clothes, hats, decorations, kitchen utensils, bathrooms accessories and souvenirs. Down on Placeta del Convent one can buy olives and nuts, hams and eggs, flowers and other plants. There are also stalls in the Plaza de la Marina Alta (post office). The best time to visit is from around 10.00am; everyone starts packing down at around 2.00pm, earlier in the winter months. And if it’s raining? Well, it’s almost certainly cancelled.
Mercat Municipal (Indoor Market)
Mon-Fri: 08:00-14:00 / 17:00-20:00
The indoor market has almost a dozen positions inside the building next to the church of San Bartolomé, selling fruit and vegetables, seafood, cheeses and hams, olives and some fantastic cuts of meat as well as some bars offering coffee, beer, wine and some decent snacks made from local produce. Whilst it looks to have been in place for as long as the surrounding buildings, it was actually constructed in the 1940s after a former Convent was demolished by the local council during the Spanish Civil War to build a covered marketplace. Fortunately, the market was built to complement the historical feel of the centre of the village and is worth a visit for its vaulted ceiling alone.
Closed: Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays
The Local Police station is based in the basement of the tall town hall building in Portal del Clot at the bottom of the old town. There is a reception desk open to the public right inside the main doors which is manned 24 hours a day. The station can also be contacted on 965 79 00 81 but in the case of an emergency you should ring 112 which is available even from a mobile phone without a Spanish SIM card and the responder will speak a number of languages.
Centro de Salud (Health Centre)
The Health Centre [Centro de Salud] is located next to Plaza de la Constitución. The main entrance in Carrer Metge José Bover has the reception and access to the doctors and other medical staff for regular appointments or blood tests, pre-natal observation, etc.
The door facing the main square is the 24-hour A&E section – URGENCIAS – which is where you should head if you have an emergency or a condition that needs immediate attention. Access is gained by pushing the bell next to the door where someone will attend to your needs. Don’t forget your SIP card or, if you’re here on holiday, your EHIC card or other valid health insurance documentation.
Sightseeing in the Historic Centre
Xàbia’s long history means that there is plenty to discover amongst its narrow streets and around its outskirts from the ancient fortress-church of San Bartolomé to the glorious mansions reminding us of Xàbia’s wealth during the peak of the raisin industry.
We have developed a walking tour of the historic centre for visitors to get the most out of their visit to the heart of ancient Xàbia.
LINK: Walking Through History
Jan: San Sebastián – Patron of Xàbia
Apr: Easter in Xàbia
Apr/May: Festivities honouring the image of Jesús Nazareno
Jun: Fogueres de Sant Joan de Xàbia
Dec: Santa Llúcia – The Bringer of Light
Dec: Christmas in Xàbia