There’s a good reason why pro cycling teams train in the hills surrounding Javea in winter.
And it’s this.
Javea is one of the warmest places to spend the winter in Spain. It enjoys daily highs of 16°C (61°F) – and the occasional 22°C (72°F) day. It very rarely freezes. Add to this two major international airports (Alicante and Valencia) nearby and you’ll understand why there are so many cycling camps and pro teams migrating to Javea for the winter months.
But what is Javea like in winter for people looking for a holiday or temporary relocation?
Find out more below.
Winter weather in Javea
Median winter temperatures (Dec-Feb) in Spain – Javea is roughly 12-16°C (54-61°F). Source.
Javea is in a tiny microclimate described as semi-arid, steppe, hot (BSh) by the Köppen-Geiger climate classification system.
In other words, Javea shares a humid subtropical climate with parts of Morocco, Senegal, Mali, Kenya, Brazil, Texas, India and the Australian Outback. Along with tiny pockets in Greece, Italy and Cyprus, Javea is one of the only places in Europe with this climate.
And Javea is under a two-hour flight from most major European airports!
Temperatures fall to an average of 6°C (43°F) at nighttime in January and February. But even in these coldest months of the year it’s common to have the odd 22°C (72°F) day and see people sitting on the beach in T-shirts.
A freak snowfall in Javea happened in January in 2016. This is a once-in-a-generation event. Snowfall is usually sporadic and above 600-700m in the hills and mountains towards the interior.
Overall there are about 325 sunny days each year in Javea.
NOTE: Javea can experience an extreme weather event known as the gota fría (‘cold drop’) in winter. The last gota fría – storm Gloria – hit in late January of 2020 and flooded parts of the port area and Arenal beachfront area of Javea. The storms are typically short and intense, with up to 100mm of rain falling within the space of an hour.
Winter activities in Javea
While you may spot people sunbathing on the beach in January it’s not common to swim in the Mediterranean in winter as the sea temperature falls to 14°C (57°F). (Unless you’re a cold water swimming aficionado of course!)
This doesn’t stop people taking a boat or jetski out to visit the dramatic coves and caves that fill Javea’s coastline. When the sea is calm you’ll often see people on paddle boards, and when it’s rough you can find surfers in wetsuits.
But Javea is much more than a beautiful bay.
Javea has a number of headlands with dramatic cliffs hanging over the sea. There’s also the imposing Montgo Massif at 753m. Warm days are perfect for hiking in winter and you should more or less have Javea’s most stunning beaches, headlands and viewpoints to yourself.
See our guide to 7 stunning walks for hiking in Javea.
NOTE: The Jalón Valley located 20 minutes inland from Javea car is one of the top-rated places in Spain to see almond trees in bloom. The blossom tends to come out in late February and the town of Alcalali holds an annual festival which is a popular tourist attraction.
Is Javea busy in winter?
Officially there are 27,983 residents in Javea according to the latest census.
But there’s also a large number of second homes, holiday homes and rental accommodation. In summer Javea can swell to over 100,000 people. But in winter the tourism falls sharply.
The beaches are typically empty. It’s easy to park in the port, the Arenal and the old town of Javea. You shouldn’t have trouble booking a restaurant.
But that said, Javea is a popular place for winter tourism or remote workers relocating for the colder months. There are many options for winter lets and accommodation – and these can be fully booked even in the low season.
If you’re looking to do the same, make sure to book your stay in advance.
Are restaurants open in Javea in winter?
The months of January and February are typically the time when restaurants and cafés will close down in Javea.
It’s the low season in winter. So don’t be surprised if you arrive at a restaurant only to see a message in the window apologising for the owners taking a month’s holiday. Local restaurants will often adjust their opening hours to close at 5:30pm rather than 11pm.
But you’ll never have trouble finding somewhere open even in the coldest weeks.
The year round Javea population is active and when it’s a warm day you can often have trouble parking or getting a seat at the most popular beachfront bars and restaurants.
Do I need a car to get around Javea in winter?
The public bus schedule changes in Javea for the winter season, between 5th September and 27th June. Instead of buses arriving every hour from 8am to 10pm, the schedule finishes at 8pm and skips two routes out at lunchtime (2-3pm).
But the public bus route is limited in Javea.
Unless you find accommodation that is within walking distance of supermarkets and restaurants, you will find that you need a car in Javea to get around. The old town of Javea is small and compact but it’s still a 40-minute walk from the old town to the Arenal beachfront area and vice versa.
You could consider renting a bicycle as most of built-up Javea (except for the centre of the old town) is on flat ground.