Marina Alta : Off the beaten track
There is so much more to Moraira and the Marina Alta than beautiful beaches.
The area’s history and culture is extremly rich and has a lot to offer to architecture and art enthusiasts. Today we want to take you on a little tour of 10 off the beaten track places on the Marina Alta. Follow the guide !
Art al Camp
Art al Camp
The Cova Tallada, Dénia
The Cova Tallada, The carved cave, is a must see if you are visiting the area. This semi-submerged cave is located in the Natural Reserve Park of San Antonio, between Javea and Denia. This cave was used as a stone quarry in the past centuries to build local churches ( The San Bartolomeu Church in Javea for example). The Cave was also used as a refuge during WWII. If you explore the caves, you will find some signs of past activities.
There are three options to reach the cave. The quickest way is through the path that starts in Las Rotas, Denia. You will need approx. 40 min to get to the cave. We do not recommend this hike to families with young children though, parts of the road are quite narrow and dangerous.
You can also leave from Javea on foot or by kayak ! The kayak option is by far our favorite and the view from the coast is fantastic. Cova Tallada is also a great place for snorkelling enthusiasts, the marine life is very rich.
Unfortunately Cova Tallada is now victim of its success and local authorities are now regulating the access during the summer months. To book your pass, head to the Denia Tourist Info Web. CLICK HERE
The Albarda Gardens , Dénia
One of our favorite places on this list.
The Albarda Garden is a beautiful little hidden gem located in the fields separating Pedreguer and Denia. This oasis was built in 1990 by Enrique Montoliu to recreate the mediterranean gardens of his childhood.Over the years the estate grew and currently spreads over 50.000 sqm with about 700 different species.
The family then decided to open the estate to the public to share their passion and help people rediscover the local flora. The estate’s philosophy relies on an eco-friendly and sustainable garden that protects and preserves local plants. The estate includes a palm grove, a rose garden and a beautiful terracota building.
We absolutely love this dreamy place and recommend it to all our guests. It’s such a nice break from the beach and you’ll definetly learn something new.
For more information: CLICK HERE
The Wall Art Open Air Museum, Senija
Senija is a small village of the Valle de Pop (near Benissa) that many people have never heard of. The town hall decided to boost local tourism by inviting 10 artists from all over Spain to decorate the village’s facades. You can check the location of the murals on the townhall website or try to spot them yourself while wandering the streets of Senija.
Santa Maria Magadalena Church, Noveda
Does the Santa Maria Magdalena Church of Novela remind you of the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona ?
Well you wouldn’t be wrong as its architect Jose Sala Sale was a great admirer of Gaudi and a prominent figure of the modernist architecture in Valencia. The construction started in 1918 and ended in 1946. It is truly a unique piece of architecture that is worth a visit.
The Muralla Roja , Calpe
If you search “Calpe” on Instagram you will probably find hundreds of pictures of this atypical building.
The “Muralla Roja” or Red Wall is an apartment complex designed and build by uber-famous architect Ricardo Bofill in 1968. The architect chose a constructivist approach to the architecture and was greatly inspired by the North-African Cashbahs ( you’ll find an intricate maze of alleys and stairs throughout the complex). Its bright red, pink and blue colors give the place an otherworldly feel that we love.
To see more pictures of the project : CLICK HERE
The Sierra Bernia Ruins, Bernia
These ruins are the only remains of the fortress build by King Felipe II in 1562 to protect the area against Moors and pirates. You’ll get a panoramic view of the coast and the local valleys. On clear days you can even spot Ibiza island in the distance.
The fortress was later destroyed by King Felipe to avoid Moorish invaders to use the castle against Spanish armies. Nowadays you can still spot the defense walls and the soldiers quarters. This is a great opportunity to put on your hiking shoes and enjoy one of the best views of the area.
For more hiking inspiration, check out our post HERE.
The orthodox temple , Altea
If you drive from Calpe to Altea you will see an unusual church on the right side of the road. This flamboyant building is the orthodox temple of Altea, the first temple built in Spain. Altea and Calpe are home to a large Russian diaspora who raised funds to build their own church. The construction started in 2002 and ended in 2017.
Fun fact : All the materials and worforce were brought from Russia.
(pictures par William Helsen)
The Calavera Caves, Benidoleig
We’ve already mentionned the Caves in our article ” Rainy days activities in Moraira “.
These pre-historical caves were inhabited more than 50.000 years ago and they are now open to the public. The name “Cueva de las Calaveras”, which translates to “Skulls Cave”, was apparently given to the place after Moorish King Ahli Moho tried to hide in the Caves with his 150 concubines and servants but got killed by the Spanish Army.
Their website : http://www.cuevadelascalaveras.com/
The Whale & Co, Javea
You’ve probably already seen some of Toni Mari’s sculptures in Moraira.
This prolific artist, born in Javea, has created pieces that are now shown in Moraira, Javea, Denia but also Valencia, Geneva and Berlin. His workshop is open to the public and is well worth a visit. The crown jewel of his collection is undoubtely the giant metal whale he created to honor his mother Antonia. The artist wanted to created a majestic piece while raising awarness about the danger of climate change.
Head to L’ART AL CAMP GARDEN CENTER to see his creations.
The pirate Playmobil, Denia
If you’ve visited Denia’s old town, chances are you’ve already met this little guy. Children and parents love posing next to him.
This sculpture by local artist Jose Luis Saldaña, commemorate the 50th anniversary of the making of “Captain Jones ” movie in Denia. This shooting has deeply infuenced the city : hundreds of extras were recruited from the local villages and several local business worked tiredlessly on the project. Relations between the production and the town were so good that the big Hollywood production donated large sums to the local fiestas and the hospital.
Did you know : Denia and the area was a popular set for shooting Cowboy movies on a budget. Logistics and workforce was much cheaper in Spain for big production companies.
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