Travel writer Tom Leaman writes about some of Exeter's lesser-known treasures.Written by Tom Leaman on 6th April 2018
Cheap Trips: Javea
Travel writer, Iesha, explains how you can visit the luxurious Javea whilst on a student budget
The town of Javea lies at the eastern most point of Spain on the Costa Blanca, situated an hour in-between cities Valencia and Alicante. The Costa Blanca is known primarily for its family holidays and tourism. However, don’t let these labels prevent you from a truly beautiful part of Spain. I can vouch that for a chilled, cheap holiday, Javea is by no means off limits to students, as the beach, sun and amazing food offers a haven away from the stress of deadlines.
While the nightlife may not be as bountiful as Broad Street, clubs Moli Blanc and Achill are amazing venues open ‘hasta la madrugada’ (early hours of the morning), plus cocktail bars such as Atalaya host some pretty spectacular views – and what better way to relax than sipping a margarita watching the sun go down. However, if your clubbing habit isn’t totally satisfied, you can catch the ferry from the next town Denia to Ibiza and return the same day (or the next) on just a four hour crossing for about 40 euros each. The cocktail bars in Spain are roughly the same price as you would expect in the UK – about 6 or 7 euros for a cocktail, so pre drinking (responsibly) is advised if you’re on a tight budget.
For those who don’t want to lay on the beach or by a pool all day, you can hike up the mountain Montgo, providing for some killer views or you can rent jet skis (but these are usually 60 euros to rent). Paddle boards or canoes are also available for about 20 euros on the Arenal Beach. Definitely take advantage of the clear waters and go snorkelling around the hidden coves up by Cap de la Nau.
Javea boasts all manner of accommodation types to suit every budget. AirBnbs are a fantastic way to stay in the area for the best prices, especially if travelling in groups. You can find gorgeous apartments in Javea with walking distance to the beach for less than £100 for a week if you split with friends, but a long weekend in Javea is also plenty of time for a trip. Despite Javea being a popular tourist destination in the past, the Spanish economy not being the best has seen the tripling population during the summer months decline, so you won’t be tripping over ‘brits abroad’. Also, being a student has the advantages of longer holidays so you can go in early June for a cheaper rate than in July for example.
Transport can be the place where Javea falls down. While the old town and the Arenal is all walkable, getting to and from the airport and visiting the surrounding areas is slightly more challenging. Flights to Javea if you go out of the school holidays are usually relatively cheap. You can get a £90 flight from Birmingham to Alicante in June which is pretty decent considering it’s a summer destination. I strongly recommend using sites such as Skyscanner to check the cheapest airlines, often if you use two different ones or sites such as eDreams you can cut your flight price in half!
If you are over 21, renting a car is definitely worth the investment if you want to explore the area of the Costa Blanca. Hidden towns nearby such as Guadalest are so breathtaking, and the waterfalls nearby are best accessed by car. Car rentals are usually about £110 for a week in June – so split between four friends that’s your transport covered for a whole week minus petrol. If you don’t have the liberty of being able to drive, airport shuttles are available at 13 euros. Some bus services are available from Javea to Benidorm from less than ten euros, but it does take about 3 hours instead of a 30 minute drive. While the bus services are by no means as frequent as what we may expect here in the UK, there are plenty of ways to navigate the Costa Blanca without breaking the bank.
My biggest piece of advice is supermarkets for any traveller on a budget. The food in the local area is incredible and definitely pay a visit to Acqua on the sea front for their mouth-watering grill or sample Paella at one of the quaint restaurants hidden among alleys in nearby Denia. Most restaurants along the Arenal will cost about 8 or 9 euros for dishes, and 15 at the most expensive. But cheap baguettes, fresh fruit and vegetables are available in an abundance and the food is really inexpensive to buy at supermarkets such as Mercadona.
“Javea Arenal is dotted with boutique shops and stalls line the boardwalk at night during the summer.
The tourist atrocity that is Benidorm lies a thirty minute drive away, and you can drive/bus or get on the train there if you crave a Malia style nightlife. I’d also consider in your budget to consider the theme park Terra Mitica or Aqualandia. You can get a full day of hilarious rides for about 35 euros each. This may sound expensive but it really is value for money – just bring a cool box for lunch because the food is pretty pricey. Look out for leaflets at the airports and shopping malls as they give out discounts which no student can afford to turn down!
The price of renting a car and slightly more expensive public transport is made up for in relatively cheap flights and food. Besides, lying on a towel at the beach all day is free and a perfect way to recharge your batteries. If you’re looking for a chilled getaway, some sun and beautiful scenery, Javea is definitely not to be overlooked.