Our Insider’s Take on What to Do in Denia on Spain’s Costa Blanca
Here are our recommendations for what to do in Denia. After living in this charming beach town for several years, we’ve gotten to experience a lot that is offered here. So when readers like you, and friends and family, visit here, we have plenty of great suggestions to share.
There are some things that we recommend as must-have experiences, but ultimately it comes down to your preferences. How do you want to enjoy Denia? Whatever it is, we hope you’ll enjoy our insight, ask your questions, and let us know what you like to do in Denia.
Table of Contents
The Top Things to Do in Denia
Gastronomy Experiences to Do in Denia
Museums to See in Denia
Other Things to Do in Denia
The Top Things to Do in Denia
Keep in mind that one of the best ways to experience Denia is by walking. So if you have a car with you, find a good place to park for a while and get your feet into some good shoes.
Above Image – Towards the top of the Denia Castle.
#1 Explore the Denia Castle
Visiting this historical castle is one of the key things to do in Denia. It’s located in the heart of the town and steps from the water’s edge. There is a small museum in the tower that is across from the ticket office. Here you can learn about the castle’s history which goes back to the 11th and 12th centuries.
At the top are magnificent 360-degree views and from various viewpoints, you can take in the town, the Mediterranean Sea, mountain of Montgo, both marinas, and the mountains inland. A small cafe is at the top, as well as the Archeological Museum of Denia, which is in the Governor’s Palace. If you love picnics, this is a great place to have one and there are picnic tables throughout the grounds.
Location: Carrer Sant Francesc, S/n, 03700 Dénia, Alicante
Website: Castle of Denia
Tips: Residents can enter for free. Be careful of the seagulls in the spring season when they’re eggs are hatching and they can be aggressive.
#2 Stroll and Eat Along the Calle Loreto
This historical street in Denia’s old town was turned into a pedestrian street many years ago. Today, it’s lined with various restaurants, some boutique shops, and colorful, charming residences in row home fashion. The Convento de los Agustines (dating back to 1604), is also located here and is still a functioning convent today.
The street starts at the Plaza de la Constitucion where the town hall stands. It is also very close to the castle entrance.
Above Image – The colorful and delicious, Calle Loreto.
#3 Be Like a Local in the Mercado Central
Even if you’re not planning on buying groceries, time in the Mercado Central is a great thing to do in Denia because it’s also about tasting. In the local language of Valenciano, it is referred to as the Mercat Municipal. You can take in the vibrant colors and fragrances of local produce, artisan products, and fresh flowers.
As you’ll see demonstrated by the locals, shopping here is not a chore. It’s a time to be social and enjoy tapas and drinks at one of several bars who have stalls here.
Location: Carrer Magallanes, 16, 03700 Dénia, Alicante
Website: Mercat Municipal
Hours: Monday – Saturday, 8am – 3pm
#4 Frequent Marques de Campo
The picturesque Marques de Campo in Denia is hard to miss since it is essentially the town’s main street. Towering Plane trees line the street creating a green canopy in the summer months. For many years, it was busy with vehicle traffic, until a couple of years ago when they permanently designated it for pedestrians.
One of the most popular things to do in Denia among locals and visitors alike, is to go shopping in the stores here. Then enjoy a drink or delicious lunch in one of the restaurant terraces. Most of the parades throughout the year also take place on this street. Because it’s at the heart of everything, it is likely that you will visit Marques de Campo more than once while in Denia.
#5 Wander Around the Fisherman’s Village of Baix la Mar
The old world row homes of the Baix a la Mar neighborhood are colorful and authentic. It’s a delightful place to wander the maze of pedestrian streets. There are plenty of restaurants and bars to discover for more gastronomic adventures.
A typical thing to do in Denia here is to get a picture with the Playmobil statue. This bronze statue commemorates the 50-year anniversary of the filming of the movie Captain Jones here in Denia.
#6 Experience Playa Las Rotas
Experiencing the Playa Las Rotas is one of the most important and special things to do in Denia. It is one of the two beaches here and on the opposite side of town from the Las Marinas sandy beach. It starts here and continues down to the Torre del Gerro, a roman watchtower.
Characterized by rocky coves and pebble beaches, Las Rotas (Les Rotes in Valenciano) has gorgeous views of the Mediterranean Sea. Some portions can be accessed by car, while many parts are pedestrian only. Spread out along this stretch are a handful of restaurants right on the water’s edge, most of which have been around for decades.
There are a variety of things to do in Las Rotas year-round, such as swimming and snorkeling in the summer months, walking, bike riding, and savoring a meal and/or drinks with a splendid seaside view. Many of the kayak tours in Denia set out from the end of Las Rotas.
The waters here are a natural marine reserve that prohibits fishing and boats from entering within a certain distance of the shore. This is to protect the Posidonia, vital seagrass beds that produce amazing amounts of oxygen for the environment.
Gastronomy Experiences to Do in Denia
Did you know that Denia is a UNESCO Creative City of Gastronomy? Yep, it’s a thing. So get ready to eat your heart out. Here are some great ideas on what to do in Denia for gastronomy.
Above Image – Spanish artisan vermouth and a tapa here in Denia.
#7 Spanish Vermouth & Flamenco Music at Bodega Casa Benjamin
A great local restaurant and bar with classy old world style and history, Bodega Casa Benjamin is the place to sip on vermút casero (homemade vermouth). On most Thursday nights, you can enjoy authentic Flamenco music here. Make sure to book a table in advance because the locals pack the place out.
#8 Taste Local Spanish Craft Beer at La Abadia
Finally! A few years after we moved to Denia, the Cerveceria de la Marina Alta opened up their on-site brewery, La Abadia. There’s a great selection of their locally crafted beers and artisan beers from around Europe. They also serve homemade tapas, pizzettes, and pastas.
#9 Tapas Hopping at Els Magazinos
Els Magazinos is a creative food court that has picturesque outdoor seating and 20 different food stalls and restaurants. It’s the ideal place to hop from food stall to food stall trying the mouthwatering tapas with a refreshing drink. There are three rooftops and a museum featuring the latest exhibition of local artists.
Above Image – A mouthwatering tapa at the La Pause Francaise stall in Els Magazinos.
#10 Eat Fideua
One of the best things to do in Denia gastronomy-wise, is to eat the local Valencian dish called Fideua. It’s typically cooked in a paella pan but instead of rice is made with short noodles. While it is originally known as a seafood dish, we particularly like the Fideua de pato, foie, y boletus (duck, foie, and mushrooms) at A La Fresca in Els Magazinos. Agua del Mar in the Marina de Denia is another restaurant that has wonderful Fideuas.
#11 Indulge in a Special Dinner
If you’re wanting a very special dinner experience in Denia, there are so many great choices. It’s almost hard to decide.
For amazing restaurants that are practically Michelin star, but without the actual designation or quite the high price, consider the following for amazing local cuisine. Each one brings plenty of creativity and fusion to the table.
- El Baret de Miquel for Valencian cuisine in an eclectic, down to earth environment.
- Samaruc for Mediterranean cuisine in a classy-meets-rustic Ibizan style environment.
- Aticcook for high end Valencian cuisine with a very modern flair and environment.
If you want that official Michelin star restaurant experience, then it’s right here in Denia at Quique Dacosta, which has three Michelin stars.
Above Image – The very unique, star-shaped take on Fideua at El Baret de Miquel.
#12 Wine Tasting in Denia
For a wine tasting right in Denia, stop in at the Bodegas Galiana. This wine shop plus bar plus deli can provide a tasting with advance notice.
And while it’s not technically in Denia, just on the outskirts and on the edge of the neighboring village Jesus Pobre, is Les Freses. This local winery, which specializes in the area’s moscatel grape variety, has their vineyards and charming winery facilities right here. Visit the Les Freses website to contact them about tours and tastings.
Museums to See in Denia
Denia has several great museums to see that will introduce you to its rich history and culture.
- Denia Ethnological Museum
- Denia Toy Museum
- Denia Archeological Museum (located in the Denia Castle)
- Denia Museum of the Sea
Other Things to Do in Denia
There are so many great things to do in Denia, that we could go on and on. But this article is already long enough. So we’ll list here the things that are more particular to certain interests. Which ones are of interest to you?
- Friday Local Outdoor Market (mercadillo de viernes) – takes place on Calle la Via every week.
- Torre del Gerro (Roman watchtower) at the end of Las Rotas.
- Paddle Boarding, surfing, or wing foil with Diego de Alzaa
- Kitesurfing in Las Marinas or Marineta Cassiana
- Scuba Diving
- Hike or kayak to Cova Tallada
- Hike the mountain Montgo to the summit or take the more leisurely trail called the Colonial Way, which is a primarily flat path along the lower half of the mountain.
- Via Verde, an old railroad line that is now a pleasant, paved walking and cycling path through orange and almond tree groves, with views of the mountains.
- Ferry to and from Javea – During off season months (fall through spring), tickets must be bought in person at the Mundo Marino ticket booth.
- Sunset Catamaran ride
- Take the Balearia Ferry to Ibiza for a day (or longer)
- Golf at the Marriott La Sella Golf Resort
- Tennis at the Denia Tennis Club
- Road Cycling and Mountain Biking
Want to learn more about Denia?
Enjoy our Denizens of Denia series to discover the great things about this Spanish Mediterranean beach town on the Costa Blanca.
Written by Amalia Maloney Del Riego
Certified Travel Consultant & Content Creator
I love living in Denia, Spain and traveling worldwide. My idea of a great time is ‘eating and drinking’ my way around a new place and meeting the people. As a certified Travel Consultant, I specialize in custom travel planning for trips throughout Europe, as well as scouting trips for moving to the Costa Blanca area of Spain. Here on MoveToTraveling.com you can enjoy our Europe travel resources to experience Europe and live in Spain.
I’m in Denia right now, mid January. Stumbled across your list and am excited to begin exploring tomorrow. So many great sounding adventures await!
Hi Thomas! Welcome to Denia! We’re glad that you get to be here and are enjoying our blog.
We really love Denia and continue to enjoy many adventures here. It doesn’t get old.
Please let us know of any questions and how you like the places that you visit.
Have a great time!
I lived in Denia for 6 months when I was 14. I worked as a man in the fields and gathered fish and sea weed from the sea. I swam in Las Rotas when the water was crystal clear and came back to visit relatives and their graves. (My dad was born there) Since then I have taken my family there at least 10 times. Last time was last year but the tourists had overwhelmed the city and it is beginning to get old.
Hi Jack. Wow! What a joy it is to hear your story and close-ties with Denia. That is so special and we appreciate you sharing it with us. We can imagine that seeing it so changed now must be a bit strange. When did you visit last? Was it in the summer? If you do visit again, perhaps try a different time of year than summer. We particularly love the end of September and into October. There are less people than in the summer and the weather is not as hot.
Again, thanks for sharing and we hope you continue to enjoy our blog, and especially to still enjoy Denia.