The marine depths of Costa Blanca Norte: A paradise beneath its waters.

The marine depths of Costa Blanca Norte: A paradise beneath its waters.

Water comprises almost three quarters of the Earth. Water flows through different places, rivers, lakes, glaciers, seas, and oceans. Most of it in these last two bodies of water, and of those, we only know about 5% of their depths which harbour treasures in the deep just waiting to be discovered.

The Costa Blanca Norte is an unmissable destination for fans of scuba diving. The main reason is the beauty of the marine depths that are host to an enormous wealth of flora and fauna which will delight anyone seeking to explore the sea bed. Throughout this area you will find different routes for diving and there are several schools where you learn about this sport, such as La Galera or Dive & Dive. In this blog post we tell you about some really special ones.

 

Starting out at La Granadella

For real beginners, or those without much experience who want to get involved in this world, our first recommendation would be to follow one of the underwater routes that you can find at La Granadella beach.  It is well known for the beauty of its sea bed and admired by all divers. In fact, the route closest to the beach, from where it can be accessed directly, is an easy one with a maximum depth of around 10 metres.

 

El Vaporet

A few miles from the port of Denia, you can find “El Vaporet”, a former cargo vessel that sank in the late 19th century. If you dive there you will see several species that shelter in the wreck, as there are no rock formations in the vicinity, and you can find conger eel, lobster, spiny lobster, along with white seabream, gilt head bream and grouper. They are, however, found at a considerable depth, and given the currents  there, and possibly reduced visibility, it is advisable to undertake this particular route only when conditions are excellent, and if you are a really experienced diver.

 

El Freskito

You´ll find this place on the beach of las Rotas de Denia, some 4 km from the port. In the swimming pool created by natural rock and transparent sea water, this easy and beautiful route begins. It’s a good idea to explore the craggy rocks that make up the pool walls as there you may see octopus, European fan worm, spoon worm and perhaps a Moray eel.

 

Cap de Sant Antoni: La Cullerà and Primera Ensenada

The first of these caves can be found at the foot of the cliffs of the Marine Reserve of Cap de Sant Antoni.  If you want to dive in this cave, which penetrates up to 50 metres into the mountain, it is necessary to get permission from the Board of the Environment  to explore it.  Armed with this permit, you can explore the cave which is at a depth of 9 metres where you will find slipper lobster, meagre, and a conger eel here and there. Not to mention octopus, sea bream, grouper and plenty of meagre hiding in the myriad nooks and crannies in the rocks.

 

 

Another excellent route in this area is Primera Ensenada, which is just before you reach the lighthouse. This area is protected (you will need authorisation to enter) and lies at a depth of 16 metres where the sea bed is shaped by the large rocks scattered here and there in the sand, and it offers an exceptionally beautiful and lively environment, perfect for seeking out species that are difficult to spot in other places.

The area around the Cap de Sant Antoni lighthouse is also a place where you can contemplate the beauty of the Costa Blanca marine depths. Here the enormous rocks on the seabed are particularly striking, as they create passageways and a play of shadow and light, providing a spectacle that will charm underwater photographers. Throughout the route you will see the white gorgonian coral, and depending on how close to the rock wall you venture, you can dive down from 12 to 19 metres, a depth at which you can spot an even greater variety of interesting species of flora and fauna.

 

Doesn’t it make you want to get into your wetsuit? Whether you live close to Cumbre del Sol or you simply came upon this artícle when you were looking for things to do on the Costa Blanca Norte, we would encourage you to enter this marvellous world and discover the best waters that the Mediterranean sea  has to offer.

Rediscovering the Costa Blanca Norte in winter

Rediscovering the Costa Blanca Norte in winter

During the summer there are plenty of plans and things to do in the area and it is normal for the loveliest spots to be full of people, and so it is harder to enjoy them 100%. Due to its enviable climate, the Costa Blanca Norte is one of those destinations that can be rediscovered and also enjoyed during the colder months. In this blog post we suggest some activities and places close by Cumbre del Sol that will make you love the low season in one of the most charming and delightful areas of the Spanish Levant.

 

The Javea look out trail

 

There are 15 cliff tops, 15 scenarios, 15 different ways of looking at the sea. From Cap de Sant Antoni to Castell de la Granadella, you can take a trail that will captivate all your senses. You can enjoy views of Montgó, ancient 16th century windmills, look out points, islets, not to mention the local flora and fauna. You will find the complete list so you can map out your itinerary by clicking on this link.

 

Discover the “other side” of Altea

 

With its famous dome, its historic town centre, the seafront promenade, the Yacht Club, the beaches… Altea offers everything you can imagine so why not look at this amazing place from another perspective? A great plan for one of those sunny Saturday or Sunday winter mornings would be sailing around the bay of Altea. Not only that, there are a number of sailing schools in the town where you can learn all about this wonderful world.

 

Trails in Serra Gelada

Although we’d need a whole article to give you an in depth view, in this post we focus on an enjoyable route that begins in el Albir, which is at the end of the “Camí Vell del far”. This trail is two and a half kilometres long and takes you past ochre mines and little beaches culminating in a look out point with incredible views.

 

Climbing the Peñón de Ifach

 

This outing is a classic at any time, although it is better enjoyed when the temperature is lower and there are fewer people around. Two and a half hours is the time it takes to be rewarded once you’ve climbed the 332 metres: the most comprehensive views of Calpe and its bays, and on a clear day you can even see Ibiza. But don’t forget to wear the appropriate footwear!

 

 

Checking out the Michelin Stars in la Marina Alta

 

La Marina Alta is also a culinary benchmark in the Spanish Levant. In November 2022 the 7 restaurants awarded the highest accolade for gastronomy in Spain managed to renew their 10 stars which were awarded to the following restaurants:

Audrey’s de Calp, 1 Michelin Star.

Beat de Calp, 1 Michelin Star.

Quique Dacosta de Dénia, 3 Michelin Stars.

Peix & Brases de Dénia, 1 Michelin Star

Casa Pepa de Ondara, 1 Michelin Star.

BonAmb Restaurante de Xàbia, 2 Michelin Stars.

Tula Restaurante de Xàbia, 1 Michelin Star.

 

 

Other plans in and around the Costa Blanca Norte

 

interior costa blanca norte

 

Discover the caves of Canelobre

 

An extremely attractive option, just a few kilometres away from Alicante, is a trip to the caves of Canelobre. A huge variety of stalactites, stalagmites, and columns created by the waters around Busot. What’s more, in the interior you’ll find one of the highest vaults in Spain and a stalagmite that is over 100,000 years old.

 

Guadalest: inland is lovely too

 

El Castell de Guadalest is a remote village, nestling in the mountains in the shelter of the Xortà, Aitana and Serella mountain ranges, that has retained the Mediterranean essence with its whitewashed houses and their stone paved floors. This is an unmissable destination if you want to discover inland Costa Blanca.

 

Now that you know about some of the possibilities just a few kilometres from Residential Resort Cumbre del Sol, there’s no reason to stay home this weekend. For more plans and activities with destinations close to home, stay in touch and look out for our future blog posts.

La Marina Alta renews its Michelin Stars

La Marina Alta renews its Michelin Stars

La Marina Alta is so much more than a stroll by the seaside and warm temperatures, it is also the perfect place for enjoying delicious cuisine in the local restaurants, with menus that list the best rice dishes, seafood, and fish, not to mention other appealing specialities. As proof of this gastronomic wealth, 10 Michelin stars have been awarded to 7 Costa Blanca restaurants. Come with us on a culinary tour, where we tell you all about these restaurants, with their star dishes, and how to enjoy this great adventure for discerning palates, just a few minutes from your home in Residential Resort Cumbre del Sol.

 

Quique Dacosta Restaurant – 3 Stars

We have to start with the three starred Restaurant Quique Dacosta in Denia.  Can a taste actually be beautiful? Beyond the aesthetics of the dish, the award winning chef has revolutionised kitchens with his gastronomic venture.  That is, he endeavours to cook beauty, with the aim of promoting feelings and emotions in diners with every mouthful that they taste. As to the menu, the restaurant offers scant information, instead preferring to keep up the sense of intrigue until the end, in fact, they describe how the dishes are created based on the most iconic products and “other unknown” ones. Are you ready for the experience? To read more about the concept, and to make a booking , check out this link.  However, given that the restaurant is in high demand, you will probably have to add your name to the waiting list.

 

Bon Amb – 2 Stars

Another place that is an essential visit is Bon Amb in Jávea.  This restaurant, which has earned two Michelin stars, serves dishes based on a particular fishing practice namely, l’encesa, the ancient skill of fishing from the cliffs of the la Marina Alta. The menu follows the route of the encesers, and is divided into three different menus, each representing the path from the fields and market gardens to the Mediterranean sea: Cabàs, Canyís and Ham; all of which are accompanied by their aperitifs and desserts and with 8, 10 and 12 courses respectively.  The restaurant is currently closed for holidays and will reopen on 9 February 2023.

 

Casa Pepa – 1 Michelin Star

In the meantime, you can book a table at Casa Pepa in Ondara, the Michelin starred restaurant that recently joined forces with the Bon Amb family, aiming to continue the legacy of Pepa Romans, who was able to recreate the essence of local gastronomic tradition in an innovative manner and bring it to the dining table. If you want to try some of the most iconic and delicious local dishes, you can book a table here.

 

estrella michelin costa blanca

 

Peix & Brases –  1 Star

For another unmissable experience, check out Peix & Brases in Denia. Awarded a Michelin star, this restaurant is clear regarding its aims, namely, without tradition there is no vanguard, which is why it looks to the future with its dishes, yet retains all that we have learned from the past. With its Essence and Tasting menus, you can enjoy a variety of dishes, typical of la Marina Alta cuisine, from a different yet absolutely delicious perspective. Not only that, but at Peix & Brases,  you will find a completely different concept known as Mediterrasian,  a more laid back part of the restaurant, as its name implies, which provides fusion dishes combining our culture with oriental cuisine. Mediterranean philosophy and Asiatic influence of the purest kind. For bookings, visit this link.

 

Tula – 1 Star

Continuing our recommendations, Tula in Jávea offers what they call real seasonal cuisine with Mediterranean ingredients, selected and prepared with the warmth and care of traditional home cooked food. Their menu is a celebration of the Mediterranean sea, and a treat for seafood lovers. To enjoy the experience of this Michelin starred restaurant, you can book here.

 

Audreys’s by Rafa Soler – 1 Star

Beat – 1 Star

Finally, Calpe also boasts a Michelin star, in fact it has 2, both of which are run by the AR hotel group. Let’s start with Audreys’s by Rafa Soler, which aims primarily to surprise the palate of its diners, while retaining the culinary memory that is the legacy of Valencian cuisine, yet with the most elegant style. You can book your table here,  so don’t miss out on this experience.  Another starred restaurant is Beat, which, with its techniques and preparation, displays sophistication that places local produce at centre stage. Its three menus,: Inspiration, Taste and Nature will delight the palate, book  your table at  reservas@ar-hoteles.com or call 900 103 798.

 

Now that you know all about the best restaurants close to Residential Resort Cumbre del Sol, there’s no excuse not to start the year with a proper festive meal. And remember, we are always here with our blog posts to let you know what’s going on in the Costa Blanca Norte.

Enjoy Christmas in the Costa Blanca Norte

Enjoy Christmas in the Costa Blanca Norte

Although Mariah Carey announces it every 1 November, it isn’t until December that officially we can start talking about lights, turrón, or Christmas carols. The most magical time of the year is here, so make the most of the warm weather on the Costa Blanca Norte to get out and about and get into the Christmas spirit. Stay around and we’ll tell you all about the good things happening just a few minutes from your home in Cumbre del Sol, where you can make the most of the authentic Christmas atmosphere.

 

Altea: more special than ever at Christmas

Altea  is much more than a place to enjoy or the lights or to do a bit of Christmas shopping, it is also the perfect place to enjoy some  fun activities.  Have fun on agility tracks, games or gymkhanas in the Town Square, and the Christmas concert with the SFA Choir in the church at 7.15 pm on Saturday. Not only that, but every morning on the 22nd, 23rd  and 24th  December is a special time for children as Father Christmas will be waiting for them in the Town Hall Square to hear about the presents they’d like. Have you written him your Christmas wish list yet?

 

Father Christmas and the Lion King in Benitachell

These dates are also good for enjoying the Street parade with Father Christmas on 24th  December in Benitachell  accompanied by music from the Colla la Llebetjà Poble Nou de Benitatxell Orcherstra. Later, children can have their photos taken with Santa Claus in calle del Mercat and they can leave their wish lists with his helpers, the elves. This year there is also a really fun event for anyone who loves Disney when on Monday 2nd  January in the marquee in the Plaça de Les Pesqueres there will be a performance of the Lion King at 7.30 pm; can you think of a better way for an evening out with the family?

 

Christmas in every corner of the Costa Blanca Norte

Jávea  has also prepared some very special holiday events for residents and visitors alike. On 26th  December, the second day of the Christmas holiday, the Craft and Artisans’ Market will be held on the seafront promenade Xàbia Port, the perfect plan for rounding off the Christmas weekend. Not only that, but the Yacht Club and its rowing section will be there from 9 am as part of its activities. If you want to join in you will need to register with Nadal Jove Esportiu, on 28th  and 29th  December in the plaza de la Constitución.

 

 

Continuing with sporting events, 22nd December is the date chosen by Calpe to celebrate the San Silvestre Fun Run; don’t forget to wear fancy dress, as there will be 3 individual and 3 group prizes. And if you don’t have plans yet for New Year’s Eve, put Calpe in your diary: the town hall has prepared a fabulous party for the whole family from 5 to 8 pm, and if you want to carry on, don’t worry the night is still young: at 11.30 there will be another celebration to take leave of the outgoing year which is going to be a lot of fun.

Finally, last but certainly not least, all the municipalities have programmed their own Three Kings Parades on 5th January in the afternoon, a true spectacle of magic and excitement which all the little ones will love. Visit the website of your favourite town hall to find out times and the route that the procession will take and don’t forget to check out our upcoming blog posts to find out everything that will be going on near Residential Resort Cumbre del Sol.

The magic of the Costa Blanca Norte’s Christmas markets

The magic of the Costa Blanca Norte’s Christmas markets

December brings the official start of the Christmas season. The streets are festooned with Christmas lights, the shop windows brighter and more alluring than ever, the supermarkets well stocked with turrón, marzipan and other Christmas treats. And of course, the Christmas markets, filling  the streets and squares of Marina Alta’s villages with festive magic.

The blue and white of the villages of Costa Blanca Norte are enhanced during these festivities with the warm and welcoming atmosphere of Christmas. In this blog post we tell you about some of the Christmas markets that you can find in the villages around Cumbre del Sol where you can source some really original gifts.

 

Teulada Moraira Market

This traditional market is held in the Avenida Santa Catalina and Plaza de la Constitución in Teulada.

It is one of the Costa Blanca Norte’s classic markets. The area is full of Christmas figures as part of the market, along with fun photocalls, a children’s play area and stalls where you can buy everything you need for Christmas, including gifts of course. Not only that, but the market offers numerous and varied activities with jugglers, puppets and concerts, and you can find all the information you need about them here.

 

Jávea Christmas Charity Market and Fair

It is always important to remember those less fortunate than ourselves, and this is especially true at Christmas. The Xàbia Association of Belenistas (Christmas Cribs and Nativity Scenes) and some private individuals have got together to organise the 2nd Christmas Market in the historic town centre. The market will be selling decorations and Christmas products, and the Christmas Crib makers of the town will be selling their figurines for the crib and they will also be mounting a Nativity Scene. Proceeds from the products sold will be given to Cáritas in Xàbia.

 

navidad costa blanca

 

Calpe Fira de Nadal

After a 2 year break Calpe will once again be holding its Christmas Fair in the streets of the old town. This will be the 8th edition of this event and this year the main attraction will be the street entertainment and shows. There will be travelling shows, children’s workshops (tattoos, face painting, key rings, and blowing bubbles) conjuring tricks, and theatre. There will also be a wooden merry go round in the town square, traditional games and a moveable wooden hut featuring Father Christmas. And like all craft markets, there will be 35 stalls featuring businesses, hotel and catering establishments and several local associations selling all kinds of Christmas sweets and delicacies.

 

Benitachell Christmas Market

From 16 December you can visit the Mercat de Nadal de Benitatxell. This market has a wide range of stalls where you can find all kinds of Christmas products and sweets, jewellery, accessories, clothes, etc. There will also be a gymkhana, theatre, and activities for children.

 

Even if you only visit one of them, we hope that you have a really Happy Christmas at Cumbre del Sol. If you want to keep abreast of everything that’s going on in the Costa Blanca Norte, make sure you read our blog posts so that you don’t miss out!

VAPF in collaboration with Akira Animal Sanctuary

VAPF in collaboration with Akira Animal Sanctuary

One of the basic pillars of VAPF is to make an active contribution to improving the world we live in. Throughout the year, we collaborate with different associations, groups and NGOs to try and reduce the environmental impact of our activities and projects. As 2022 draws to a close, we thought it would be a good idea to end the year by helping one particular pet that makes millions of homes happy all over the world, namely dogs.

 

Akira Dog Sanctuary and VAPF Pet CostumeContest

There is nothing new about this collaboration.  VAPF has worked with AKIRA Benissa Dog Sanctuary on several occasions, providing the funds needed for the work of maintaining the shelter.  In short, above all we want to help to ensure that the dogs are protected and safe throughout their stay at the shelter. This year it was decided to hold a Pet Costume Contest for pets on 17 December with Christmas as the theme. The best outfits will be awarded prizes and a Christmas hamper will also be raffled. The profits will go 100% directly to the sanctuary.

 

 

A very special shelter

 

The Akira dog sanctuary is set in the woods. The shelter has night time kennels and areas for daytime play and caters for up to 60 dogs. The roofed entrance patio houses facilities for volunteers and dog walkers. The patio on the upper floor boasts a veterinary clinic, an isolation zone for recent arrivals and separate fenced off areas for puppies which can house two different litters of puppies at a time.

In addition, there are three specially marked dog walking trails around the shelter that lead into the surrounding countryside. They vary from a short 20 minute walk, to a longer and more picturesque route which takes 40 minutes.

 

Other ways of collaborating with Akira

Almost all the costs of operating our shelter and caring for the dogs in our charge are paid for with voluntary donations, sponsorship and fund raising activities. So if you are unable to attend the event on 17 of this month,  there are some other ways that you can help the shelter:

  • Buying on Amazon: Akira will receive 5% of the price of any article you buy on Amazon when you click on their web site
  • Akira Shop: you can find the shop at Avenido de Portet 19, Moraira and it is open from Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm. There is also a book stall at Moraira Market on the 2nd, 3rd and 4th Fridays of every month, along with a stall at the local Antiques and Collectors’ Fairs. The shop also acts as a ticket office for fund raising events, issues membership forms and deals with general enquiries.
  • Fashion show: twice a year we hold a fashion show to showcase quality items, often designer brands at extremely reasonable prices.
  • Donations: veterinary bills, buying food and medicines for dogs that arrive in poor health and need special care, also for puppies and dogs with special needs. Every donation, however small, makes a difference.
  • Become a volunteer: The AKIRA team has many volunteers; even so they are always looking for more helpers.

 

And, most importantly: do not buy a dog, adopt one instead. As you can see, as well as the Pet Costume contest on 17 December there are lots more ways to help, so that initiatives like the sanctuary can survive and prosper. Look out for our upcoming blog posts to keep up with everything going on close to home at Cumbre del Sol.