Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Changing Tides

Once upon a time, not so long ago, Denia was not a tourist destination. The roads were more like tracks, and the population consisted of local fishing and farming families. In the summer, it would grow by a few Spaniards and a handful of Germans, but it remained a sleepy little town. The water came up to the buildings along what is now the seafront promenade, and rather than go for a stroll you´d go for a row in a little boat.
denia, before my time!
Even since I started going there have been some major changes, including a modern ferry terminal and commercialized marina, and a promenade from one side of town out the other. The wild edge of Las Rotas is also more accessible, making it easy for everyone and their dogs, of course, to enjoy the unique nature reserve. 

At 10 to 12 kilometers one way, it´s a little more intense than a stroll for ice cream, but you can spread it over two days, parking in the middle and checking out one side at a time. The "town" walk is a palm-lined promenade filled with people, bars, ice cream and waffle shops, and souvenir stands, including my favourite, handmade ceramic jewelry. There´s an amusement zone, complete with bumper cars and bumper boats, lots of restaurants, the marina, and the ferry terminal. Leave the shore, and you can walk for hours, shopping till you drop.
las rotas, back in the day
The "beach" walk starts with a newly created promenade of about one kilometer, wide enough for walkers and bikers, lovely night or day. After that, it gets a bit patchier - some sidewalk, some dirt path, along the coast that gets rockier with each step. At the end, you can climb up to La Torre del Gerro, a renaissance watch tower, which offers stunning views of Denia, Xavea, and, on clear days, Ibiza. From the tower, you can take a path to the summit of Montgo, or down to a lovely swimming cove. The path to the cove is challenging and not baby friendly, as it is narrow, traverses the face of a cliff, and has some steep, slippery climbs. Tall Guy did it while Baby and I relaxed in the shade of a palm tree. His effort was rewarded with a refreshing dip in the sea.

toward las rotas, and torre gerro (source)
I like to walk each way at least once while we´re at the beach. It´s fun to be part of the hustle and bustle of town, and I usually can´t resist adding to my jewellery collection, but I also enjoy the wild quiet of Las Rotas. The crashing waves and strong sea air are reinvigurating, and on a fall or winter day, you can really sense the power of the sea.

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