Javea Festival – Festes del Portitxol

Portitxol is one of Javea’s hidden gems – and the same could be said of the Portitxol fiestas (Festes del Portitxol).

Festivities take place just in front of the emblematic Creu del Portitxol stone cross.

With greasy pole games, open-air dinners and bags of enthusiasm, the Portitxol festival is certainly one you won’t forget. 

Also read: Javea Festival

When is the Portitxol festival in Javea?

The Portitxol fesitval usually takes place in the second weekend of August.

Where is the Portitxol festival in Javea?

Festivities around the hut just opposite the Creu de Portitxol stone cross.

What’s the highlight of the Portitxol festival in Javea?

Watching youngsters take part in a game of cucaña – which involves climbing along a greasy pole to fetch a flag at the end, and usually above water.

Portitxol – a little port with a big history 

In comparison to the port of Javea and its Mare de Deu de Loreto festival, Portitxol is barely considered a fishing harbour by most in the town.

But it wasn’t always like this.

Portitxol comes from the Latin meaning ‘little port’ and an in-depth study by Alicante-based researchers in 2020 revealed it was home to the greatest concentration of ancient anchors in the entire Mediterranean – more than 100. 

In the summer of 2021, Portitxol was back in the headlines as two snorkelers chanced upon a haul of 53 golden Roman-era coins.

It too was one of the largest findings of Roman gold in the Mediterranean Sea.

While Portitxol today might be one of Javea’s most popular beaches – with the blue door on one of its fishing huts dubbed one the Med’s most Instagrammed spots by CondeNastTraveler – those white huts used to play a central role in the lives of Javea fishermen. 

Many Javea locals in their 50s and 60s can still remember their grandparents lugging baskets of freshly caught fish up the trails that still lead from the Creu de Portitxol down to the shore.

To them, the Portitxol festivals are a reminder of this special port’s long maritime history. 

The Festes del Portitxol – the Portitxol festivals 

The Festes del Portitxol was revived in 2009 by the Grup de Danses Portitxol after 50 years of inactivity.

At first, there was no budget. Local residents instead got together for parades, dances and tales of Portitxol’s maritime days. The Portitxol festivals were so popular that the Javea town hall as well as others helped to fund a budget of €5,000, which brought in popular Valencian-language singers and comedians.

Today, the Festes del Portitxol include open-air dinners with neighbours, sardines on the barbeque, games of cucaña (climbing across a greasy pole), a festival bar and other games for children.

The Portitxol festival takes place in the land opposite the Creu de Portitxol, where the owning Pastor family also offering up their ‘casita’ and covering the stone cross itself in flowers. 

Alongside the festival of Santa Llúcia, the Festes del Portitxol undoubtedly have the most spectacular views of any of Javea’s festivals.