The area around Moraira has plenty of places to visit for a day out.
The local language is Valenciano and was brought to the region by the settlers from Catalonia in the 13th century who replaced the Moors on their expulsion. Following the prohibition of Valenciano under Franco, the language is now widely used around Moraira. Valenciano rather than Castilian, is used in Moraira school. You will see Castilian names sometimes defaced with black spray-paint on road signs. Recently the local nationalist movement has prevailed and many road signs bear ONLY the Valenciano version of the name.
This sometimes makes it difficult for visitors. Jalón is now Xaló and Javea is Xabia. Nevertheless, with a little imagination in the pronunciation of the written word, it is fairly easy to find your way around.
Places you might like to visit while staying in Moraira are:-
Calpe - (12 Kms south of Moraira) The Peñon de Ifach towers over Calpe, and is a smaller version of the rock of Gibraltar. Calpe has long soft sand beaches. Calpe also has a fishing harbour and fish market. The harbour is in the lee of the rock, and between the two main town beaches. There are many restaurants and bars along th beaches, overlooking the harbour, and in the town. Large shopping area.
Altea - (29 Kms south) An old Spanish town on the coast. It has a long promenade lined with bars/restaurants, which runs along the shingly beach. The old town is particularly interesting, with the streets ascending via a series of steps and houses with overhanging balconies, until you emerge into the town square at the top, right in front of the domed Basilica. Scattered along the winding streets are a number of charming restaurants, which have lovely courtyard gardens or splendid balconies stunning views at the rear. Altea also has a golf course and several marina developments just outside the town.
Javea - (12 Kms north) Another town popular with English residents. There are 3 distinct parts to Javea, each separated by 2 kilometers - an "old town", the port, and the Arenal or beach area. A fine promenade at both the port and at the Arenal. The beaches ace slightly east and so tend to lose the sun behind the mountains comparatively early in the evening.
Benissa - (12 Kms inland) Another old-style Spanish market town, strung along the main N332 Alicante to Valencia road. An imposing church and interesting squares and shops.
- (24 Kms north) Once a thriving commercial port, but today more
into tourism. It has big Yacht Marina and 'ex-pat' residents. .
A large shopping centre. The old castle dominates the town. Promenades, some fine beaches. A Hydrofoil runs from Denia to Ibiza (90 mins journey).
Gata de Gorgos - (13 Kms inland and north) An old Spanish town on the N332. Famous for its basket and cane products sold in some 30 or 40 specialist shops.
Guadalest - (32 Kms inland) An ancient fortified town at the head of a valley, high above the coast. A tourist mecca with interesting shops along the steep, winding, streets selling leather goods, local fabrics, and ceramics. There is a steep path up to the rocky castle which dominates the town, and a little open chapel at the top. If you take the route through Callosa d'en Sarria you will pass through some beautiful mountain country.
Jalón Valley - (Starts 22 kms inland) Famous for its groves of Citrus and Almond trees - it has a scattering of old Spanish villages where you can find the real Spanish restaurants, which still serve the genuine regional cuisine cooked over wood fires, and at incredibly low prices. Visit in early spring to see the almond blossom cover the whole valley.
- (40 kms south) Spain's biggest holiday resort with two long sandy beaches.
Hundreds of Bars, Restaurants, Night Club,, Slot-machine arcades. Benidorm offers
fun, entertainment and nightlife for 24 hours a day.
Alicante - (70 Kms south) The provincial capital, it has a splendid seafront with a fine promenade, and Paseo Maritimo paved with beautiful local marble and lined with Palm-trees. Although a major city, there are excellent beaches quite close to the centre. Alicante is good for shopping - with department stores open all day long (no siesta).
The Santa Barbara castle is on a hill, overlooking the city (a cliff railway runs up to castle). Many fine public buildings often set in squares with fountains , avenues lined with palm-trees and subtropical plants, a magnificent old cathedral, traditional bullring.
Valencia - (100 Kms north) Spain's third city, is located on a (usually dry) river estuary and so does not enjoy the seafront promenades of Alicante. Otherwise, all that is written of Alicante applies to Valencia. The old City centre contains many treasures of the historic past -including one of Spain's largest and oldest Cathedrals, and a truly superb bullring. The city centre is very large, with a great many stores and speciality shops. The Science Museum on the edge of the city is particularly striking.
The `Lemon train" has also to be experienced as it has been described as one of the great train journeys of Europe, running between Alicante and Denia, along the Costa Blanca. It offers a five-hours journey through Benidorm, Altea, Rock the Ifach and Teulada. The tourist train stops in Gata de Gorgos where passengers visit the guitar factory. On the way back, going South, passengers can enjoy the wonderful west Mediterranean landscape from heights of this coast while relaxing and enjoying a glass of sparkling wine.
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