Dénia is a city south of Valencia, down the beautiful coast, towards Alicante. It makes for a great day trip from Valencia and the nearby city of Xàbia (Jávea) is also worth exploring on the same day, as it's only a half hour away, and there are fantastic roads through the mountains that separate them. We'll tell you more about Xàbia in the next post.
Dénia is about a 90 minute drive from Valencia, depending on whether you take the expensive toll roads or you are happy being cheaper and slightly slower. And I mean slightly, as there is about a 20 minute difference and the toll costs over €9. I always look at these things in terms of how much time I have to work to earn the money I'd spend and see how it balances out. At the moment, I am not being paid because I'm starting my business, so my default Google Maps setting is "avoid tolls" for the foreseeable. (Please support us on Kickstarter btw!)
The route to Dénia is not the most interesting, on or off the toll. There are a few places that are worth looking at along the way and we'll discuss these in later posts.
Dénia is an old city with the main sight being a castle that was built in the 11th and 12th centuries by the Arabic Muslims that once lived there. It costs a couple of euros to get inside the castle walls but it is definitely worth it. You get a fantastic panoramic view of the city and the old stone structures are simply gorgeous. Katie and I went with Shaz and Gaz (Katie's parents) and we had a great family friendly day out. It was lovely to get away from the carnival madness of Fallas that was happening in Valencia at the time.
Besides the castle, there are some boutique shops, interesting alleys, and open squares full of cafes and restaurants to fulfil your shopping and culinary needs. There's also a tunnel that goes under the castle, separating the old town from the new town. It was very cool, literally and figuratively, and it smelt a bit like wee but I can't guarantee that odour will still be there if you decide to visit.
On a separate trip to Dénia we went to see a tower on top of a hill and walked several miles along a hilltop/cliff edge area close to the city. There were some decent views of the coastline and it was an enjoyable way to spend a few hours.
We also saw the port in Dénia, full of fancy boats and restaurants, and it was a great place to hang out, chilling and eating. We watched the ferries that take passengers to/from various destinations, including Ibiza and Mallorca.
If you're not going to drive there, use this site to see your options but do check on easycar.com, as renting a car is VERY cheap in Spain. It's also one of the few transport options that is cheaper the closer to the time you look, as the rental companies' aim is to the shift cars.