The lighthouses of Jávea: San Antonio and La Nao

Lights that guide sailors in the dark, reference points to reach a safe harbour and maritime constructions with an ancestral mission: lighthouses, still today wrapped in a halo of magic and romanticism, continue to attract our attention. Of the 28 lighthouses that exist on the coast of Alicante, we have two in Jávea: the San Antonio lighthouse and the La Nao lighthouse. These are places you should mark on the map for your next getaway. You can also discover them if you follow the route of the 15 viewpoints of Jávea.

La Nao’s lighthouse

This is the easternmost point of the Valencian coastline and also the closest point to Ibiza: it is just over 80 kilometres from the Balearic island. The Faro de la Nao lighthouse, located on the cape of the same name, is 122 metres high and its light has a range of 23 miles (some 37 kilometres). It is the most recent of our provincial lighthouses: it was ordered to be built in 1902, when wireless telegraphy tests were carried out between the mainland and Ibiza, but its light bulb was switched on in May 1928. The delay was caused by the creation of a new road, which was necessary to transport the materials and which connected the Aduanas neighbourhood with the lighthouse.

A curiosity… Did you know that it was brought from the Isla del Aire (Menorca) during the remodelling of its lighthouse? It consists of a 20-metre octagonal tower and an adjacent white house.

What to do at La Nao’s Lighthouse?

Sit down for a drink on the terrace of the Mirador de Jávea restaurant, which is very close to the lighthouse.

Go kayaking (guided excursions leave from Jávea) along the cliffy coastline just below Cabo de la Nao. Don’t miss the Cova dels Orguens: a natural cave surrounded by coves, caves and islets. Scuba diving and other water sports are also common in this area.

San Antonio’s lighthouse

At 175 metres above sea level, its bulb reaches 26 miles (approximately 42 kilometres) and consists of a white tower and an adjoining building. Its base is a demochada watchtower located on the cape of San Antonio, successor of previous defensive and religious constructions, due to the privileged location of this point, as Juan Díez Ortuño tells us in the book “Los faros y otras luces del mar de la provincia de Alicante” (Lighthouses and other lights of the sea in the province of Alicante). Previously, it was the hermits who built it to isolate themselves from worldly life, and it was here that the hermitage of San Antonio was erected in the 14th century, which eventually gave its name to this cape.

A curiosity… On days with clear skies you can see Ibiza from Cape San Antonio.

What to do at the San Antonio’s lighthouse?

Stroll around the Cabo de San Antonio Nature Reserve, where it is located in the heart of the Montgó Massif Nature Reserve. There are two plant micro-reserves here: one on the northern cliff and the other on l’Illot de la Mona, at the foot of the cape.

Admire (and photograph) the views of the entire bay of Jávea and the colour of the sky at sunset, especially in summer.

The viewpoints and picnic areas scattered around the cape are perfect settings for an impromptu picnic at sunset with views of the Mediterranean, although the wind is always blowing in this area, so it is advisable to bring warm clothes.

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