Javea or Xàbia is a coastal town in the comarca of Marina Alta, in the province of Alicante, Valencia, Spain, by the Mediterranean Sea. Situated on the back side of the Montgó, behind a wide bay and sheltered between two rocky headlands, the town has become a very popular small seaside resort and market town. Half of its resident population and over two-thirds of its annual visitors are foreigners.
The area was first inhabited in prehistoric times, 30,000 years ago by cave dwellers on Montgó.Subsequent residents have included Stone and Bronze-age peoples, Romans, Greeks, Phoenicians, Visigoths, Germanic, Carthaginians, and Moors. Roman fishing boats used the port, and there is evidence that dates the Roman occupation of Xàbia to the 2nd century BC, it makes Xàbia the oldest known Roman site on the coast with a commercial port for fish and minerals.
In the 6th century AD, Christian Visigoth monks came to Xàbia and founded the monastery of Sant Martí, which likely gave its name to the cape in the area named Cap San Martí. Hermenegild, son of the Visigoth king Leovigild of Toledo, sought refuge in the Monastery after angering his father by marrying a Christian girl. When his father’s troops arrived to arrest him all but one monk fled to Portichol; Hermenegild and the old monk were killed. Several people with Visigoth names still live in the area.
There is little left of the Moors and their culture, other than some inscribed gravestones and ceramics. They had controlled the area from about 714 AD until they (the Moriscos) were finally expelled from the Alicante region in 1609. The hermitage of Popol dates to the 14th century.
In the 16th and 17th centuries, pirate raids were prevalent, so a wall was built around the town for protection. The wall was later torn down, and today a replica exists in its place in certain sections.
Xàbia is situated in the north of the province, on the easternmost point of the Mediterranean coast. The island of Ibiza lies some 90 kilometers (56 mi) to the east, and it can be seen on clear days. Flat, fertile agricultural land stretches for miles inland, crisscrossed by small streams and used primarily for growing citrus and olive trees. The coastline of Xàbia features four capes; Cabo de San Antonio, Cap de la Nau (the largest), Cap Negre and Cap Martí.
The Montgó Massif, which shelters Xàbia, is the highest summit of the region standing at a height of over 750m. The Parque natural del Macizo del Montgó (es) was declared in 1987, stretching across the area of La Plana to the cape of Sant Antoni. Cape San Antonio is located nearby.