The Marina Alta is the central coastal region of the Valencian Community of Spain, located within the province of Alicante.
Divided into 33 municipalites, the capital is Denia. Denia is also known as the Gateway to Ibiza, with Ibiza being visible on a clear day.
The Baleària Ferry leaves Denia daily for Ibiza on it’s 2 hour journey to the Balearic Island.
All the beaches in the Marina Alta are Blue Flag Beaches demonstrating the high quality of the water and cleanliness of the beach.
The long sandy beaches of Denia, Javea, Moraira and Calpe are spectacular.
If you prefer a quiet meander around cool medieval streets, or just to sit in an ancient plaza with a cold beer or cup of coffee; you are spoilt for choice. Try Javea old town, Jalón or the numerous villages of the Vall de la Gallinera. Unwind, relax, and enjoy a walk through time.
There are an incredible amount of restaurants to visit in the Marina Alta. Some traditional dishes you should try are Paella Valenciana, Arroz a Banda, Fideuà, Cocas and Sepia.
Denia was designated a UNESCO creative city of Gastronomy in 2015 and so is a great place to start your journey through the delicious local dishes – Calle Loreto is the Denia tapas route and should be visited to try the local cuisine.
There are a number of Michelin Star Restaurants around Denia and others that deserve stars.
Most restaurants offer “Menus” which include starters, main course and dessert; they can often also include salad, drinks and coffee – these menus can start from an amazing €10.
Fruits and Blossoms
The Jalon Valley is known for the it’s spectacular Almond Blossom, although there are almond trees throughout the Marina Alta, Jalon certainly takes some beating; late February and March is the time to enjoy this pink and white spectacle.
If you time your visit right, you will be in for an olfactic treat; air scented with azahar (orange blossom) is something you will never forget. Late April will give you the best experience, especially in the Orba valley.
The largest cherry harvest is from the Vall de la Gallinera and Vall de Laguart. Here you will find the biggest and sweetest cherries you have ever encountered during the month of June.
If wine is your thing, then Jalón(Xaló) is the place to visit for some serious wine tasting.
There are many spectacular mountains and ranges to visit in the Marina Alta. They all offer views that will have you reaching for your camera.
If you visit the Alta Life walking page you will find maps of the treks and walking groups you can join.
The mountains in the Marina Alta are riddled with caves, some have ancient paintings, others have magnificent rock formations all are worth a visit.
Cova de Rull is most spectacular; located just outside Vall de Ebo you have to enter with a guide – there are strict visiting times.
Cueva de las Calaveras is one of the oldest caves in the Marina Alta where human and animal remains have been found. The cave is in the village of Benidoleig, it has been made into quite an attraction with an onsite cafe and plenty of parking.
Cova Fosca is a Prehistoric Sanctuary where you can find the only cave paintings ever to be found in Alicante. There is a route from Vall de Ebo which will take you to the cave entrance. Access is only granted with a guide as to the rarity and importance of these paintings.
Peñon de Ifach - Calpe
The Peñon de Ifach is one of the smallest nature reserves in Europe, standing 332m high with an area of just 45 hectares. A huge calcareous rock which is joined to mainland Spain by a detritic isthmus, the Peñon attracts over 100k visitors each year.
During the 4th Centurary BC the Peñon was the location of an Iberian village, with ongoing excavations there is a small museum you can visit on your trek showing the incredible history, flora and fauna the Peñon de Ifach has to offer.
Well worth the climb to the top, but be prepared use sensible footware, take water and go early morning or evening to avoid the scortching sun.
El Montgó - Denia/Javea
The Montgó Mount was declared a natural park in 1987, a majestic mountain separating Denia and Javea it rises 753 metres above sea level. Boasting over 650 species of fauna and numerous resident mamals, reptiles and birds this magnificent mount is well worth a visit. View the Alta Life walking page for links to all the available pathways.
Marjal - Pego/Oliva
The Marjal is a very special Wetland Natural Park, and a listed Ramsar Site.
Remains of settlements have been found dating back to the middle paleolithic age (30,000 years ago), the Valencian Bronze Age (3,000 years), Roman and Islamic Periods.
The Marjal has one of the highest rainfall indices in the Valencian Community. This enables the water quality of the submerged meadows to be of such excellence that an incredible diversity of flora and forna are found here, a selection of species you are able to find here are listed below.
- Little Grebe
- Great Crested Grebe
- Little Bittern
- Purple Heron
- Marbled Teal
- Black-winged Stilt
- Whiskered Tern
- Western Swamphen
- Common Pond Turtle
- Mediterranean Pond Turtle (Mauremys Leprosa)
- Valencia Toothcarp / Samaruc (Valencia hispanica)
- Colmilleja (Cobitis paludica)
- Fresh Water Mussel
- Anodonta Cygnea
- Unio Mancus
- Palaemonetes Zariquiey
- Dugastella Valentina
- Atyaephyra Desmaresti