Denia Costa Blanca

Guide to the town and resort of Denia, Costa Blanca.

Costa Blanca Resorts - Denia

Located at the northern end of the Costa Blanca region of Spain is the busy and popular coastal resort of Denia. Renowned for its superb golden, sandy beaches, its eleventh century castle and its many celebrations and fiestas, Denia has long been a popular destination for holidaymakers, tourists and sun worshippers. Well known for its pretty harbour, Denia is an important ferry port with scheduled trips to the Balearic Islands (Ibiza is just a 2 hour ferry trip).

Up until the explosion of tourism in the 1960’s Denia was little more than a small fishing town, relying for its existence on fishing, agriculture and a small toy making industry. In recent decades the resort has expanded quickly to cater for the large number of incoming tourists and the increasing demand for seaside holiday homes by wealthy Spanish and North Europeans. Denia still has a sizeable fishing fleet and a busy fish market (La Lonja) is held daily in the port.

The history of Denia however goes back to the Neolithic Era when ancient settlers eked out an existence in the area. Thought to be the site of a Greek colony called Hemeroskopeion and of later Iberian and Roman settlements, Denia has a colourful and interesting past. There is some speculation as to the origin of the name “Denia”, some attributing it to Romans (claiming it is derived from the Roman goddess Diana) and some siding with the though that it comes from the Arabic “Daniah” (meaning low or near).

The recorded history of Denia doubtless begins with the Arab occupation (8th to 13th Centuries) and the famous castle in the heart of Denia was begun by the Moors in the eleventh century, although it has been added to, rebuilt and re-fortified many times since then. The Arab control of Denia lasted until 1244 when the occupying Moors were defeated by Pere Eiximen Carros under the reign of the Christian king, Jaime I (The Conquistador). Denia officially became a “town” during the reign of Phillip III, under the auspices of the Fifth Marquis, the Duke of Lerma (a favorite of the king).

During the War of Spanish Succession (1701-1714) Denia supported the pretender to the throne of Austria, Archduke Charles and was the first to proclaim Charles as the king of Spain (17th August 1705) however after 3 sieges the castle was taken in 1708 and Denia suffered a serious decline in its population and ecomomy as a result, it took almost 200 years for Denia to fully recover from this disaster.

The recovery of Denia was mostly helped by a booming raisin industry which developed in the area (and elsewhere on the Northern Costa Blanca). The economic wealth created by this raisin industry was used to fund various important projects in the area including the railway to Alicante, the telegraph links and the gas factory.

Denia however suffered another catastrophic setback in the early 20th Century when an outbreak of phylloxera wiped out the grape vines and the region was plunged once again into an economic decline. The fishing fleet, other agricultural activities and a small toy making industry kept Denia going during the following years - in fact right up until the arrival of tourism in the 1960’s when cheaper air transport and package holidays brought tourists from Northern Europe in particular. The opening of the new airport at Alicante in 1967 further increased the number of tourists arriving in Denia and the Costa Blanca in general.

Modern day Denia is a thriving town with plenty to offer the discerning tourist. The 1st place to visit is the castle (the best known landmark of Denia and located in the heart of the old town), with a history going back to the eleventh century, the castle now houses The Archaeological Museum where visitors can learn about the history of Denia from about 200 BC up until the present day. Other museums that are worth a look are The Ethnological Museum and The Toy Museum.

A visit to the port is a must as Denia still has a fine fishing fleet and fish auctions are held every day in the busy fish market (La Lonja). Sun lovers will no doubt want to visit the beaches of Denia of which there are many, in fact there is 20 km of coastline to discover, containing many beaches, rocky coves and hidden caves. The main beaches are located to the north of the town in an area called Las Marinas, the rocky coves, caves and bays are situated mostly to the south of the town in an area known as Las Rotas.

Denia town itself has an excellent shopping area and a huge number of bars and restaurants where diners can enjoy the local gastronomy along with dishes from all over the world.

Denia is located on the Northern Costa Blanca, Spain close to the AP-7 motorway and just off the N332 coast road between Gandia and Jávea (Xábia). Denia is around 60 km north of Benidorm.

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Denia Hotels: Port Denia Hotel

Nearby Places: Benidorm - Moraira - Calpe - Gandia - Oliva - Pego - Altea - Albir - Javea - Benitachell - Guadalest - Villajoyosa - Teulada - Benissa - Cumbre del Sol

Resort Guides: Moraira - Benidorm - Calpe

Golf Courses: Ifach Golf Club - Real Faula Golf - Spain Golf Courses

Related: Alicante - Murcia - Valencia - Alicante Weather - Alicante Airport Transfers

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