The Costa Blanca, Spain
The Costa Blanca, or White Coast, extends along the eastern coast of Spain and with its wonderful beaches attracts millions of tourists every year. The Costa Blanca has over 100 kms of sandy beaches and rocky coves and many of the beaches have the coveted European Blue Flag signifying cleanliness and safe bathing.
In the north the Costa Blanca starts with Denia and Javea two wonderful towns at the bottom of a mountain. In the south the costa blanca goes down to Guardamar and Torrevieja. With such wonderful cities like the Elche, the palm tree capital of the world. The northern Costa Blanca is typically mountainous with cliffs and coves, a mixture of pebble beaches and fine sandy beaches. North of Altea it is surprisingly very green and lush. The southern Costa Blanca is mostly flat with fine sandy beaches, palm trees and salt lakes. The south is much drier and more typical of what a person who had never visited Spain would expect to see.
You can basically travel along the Costa Blanca as the carretera national goes all way alongside the coast. The A7 motorway (with some toll sections) stretches from north to south along the coast. The N-332 also runs parallel yet is free from charges although much slower as it passes through the middle of many towns. There are huge amounts of flights into Alicante airport, especially from Northern Europe. Valencia airport to the north is also well serviced. Further to the south of the Costa Blanca is Murcia airport. With the advent of many low-cost airlines many people live in Spain and commute to work in England.
The Costa Blanca is not as cold or wet in the winter as the Costa Brava, north of Costa Blanca, nor is it as humid or hot in the summer as the Costa del Sol, in the south. The Costa Blanca has the best all year round temperatures. The climate is recognised as one of the best in the world by the World Health Organisation. Many people with arthritis come to the Costa Blanca and within days feel much better. In the winter months the Costa Blanca is lucky enough to have nearly as many sunny days as in the summertime.
There are many attractions alongside the Costa Blanca, some of them specially for tourists like the entertainment park Terra Mitica at Benidorm or the bays of Altea and Calpe. Others are smaller towns and villages like Villajoyosa just south of Benidorm, famous for its old town and its chocolate.
If you have chosen the Costa Blanca , Spain for your holiday travel, supposedly it is because it has been recommended to you by someone you trust, you have read about it and seems quite amazing and/or just love being in contact with nature, the natural environment that it offers, relaxation and fresh air. Wow! What a fantastic combination if you can get all that together. Just take out your map of the Iberian Peninsula which will show you Spain and Portugal, go to the Mediterranean Sea and look for Alicante. Now go down the coast to the south and find the villa of Pilar del Honradada, now start running your finger up to Torrevieja, going through Alicante city, to Benidorm, Altea, Calpe, Moraira and Javea with the last point in Denia. Well, all of this is yours to explore when you say that you want some Costa Blanca holidays.
Now that you have an idea of what villas you can visit, let’s start making plans. Firstly, the majority of the people choose summer for their vacation time, which is great, but you will need to book your flight in advance. There are a lot of scheduled economy flights when flying in from another European destination. England is one of the countries which has the most amount of flights in as much as frequency year round, airport availability with a lot of open timetables and very low prices. Between Alicante and Valencia, both serving the Costa Blanca as they are almost the same distance away, your travel options will be plentiful. As far as getting around, if your budget permits, a rent a car would be quite nice, if not, then there are many buses, trains or taxis making trips to and from the airports and major bus and train stations, connecting all the villas along the Costa Blanca.
Tradition, culture and landmarks is what differentiates one place from another even though they are neighbouring towns. Javea for example shares with Denia the Natural Park of Montgo, a solid massif right on the coastal line. Just the fact that the side facing the sea acts as a huge windshield, blocking the marine winds and humidity, it does not have the same vegetation as the west side which is treated with warmer and drier breezes. Therefore, in order to appreciate the more than 600 different kinds of flora, you must make a complete circle round it. On doing this, you will also come across different fauna like the yellowed-legged seagull, eagles and royal owls. If that were not enough, there are also archaeological remains which are under study and that is probably one of the main reasons for this area to have been declared a World Heritage.
But Javea is also curious because it has kept up many of its original tradition like the ball game, similar to tennis but played in a very primitive way. There are no courts, just the streets, the ball is made with cloth, compactly held together with string and more cloth, their hands are used as paddles and the spectators are the judges or referees. At the weekends there are usually a few games going on so feel free to sit on the curb and participate. And if that is not thrilling enough, then plan your holiday when Javea is celebrating its patron saint in the summer. This is usually a week long festivity which includes bullfighting in the streets.
After this stay, it would be relaxing to just lay around on the beaches in Moraira or Calpe, sip some sangria made with good Spanish wine and feast out on fresh seafood, most of which you have never seen so close up or have probably ever tried. In Calpe, there is another treat for the nature lover’s- the Rock of Ifach, a small rocky peninsula joined to land by an isthmus right in front of Calpe. Among the fauna you will see cormorants and hawks of all kinds and of course a completely different vegetation from other areas. The sea in Calpe is usually crystal clear, letting you see red corral, sea sponges and the sea anemone. Now onto Altea, an old fishing village which has grown considerably thanks to the amount of tourists and foreigners looking for a second residence. The villa of Altea is surrounded by various mountain ranges making the general view from almost anywhere nearby a special combination of a mountain backdrop and the sea. The waters are usually quite calm although the beaches are pebbly. They have a nice festive air when celebrating their Moorish tradition in April, a great firework display in early July and the local honouring of their patron Saint Ann in August.
Now your travel has taken you to Benidorm, which if we stretch our Spanish into English, it could mean ‘sleep well’. As that is what you will probably do after a long day of boat rides, skiing classes or theme park activities. You can go on all kinds of thrilling and daring rides, be they on dry land or going down long water shoots or hang out with the wildlife and then go for a splash in the same park or prefer completely dry land and smell the aromas in an area filled with exotic plants and birds. Alicante is just a stone’s throw away from Benidorm, and this city is where you can get a good dose of Spanish culture with its numerous museums, cathedrals and castles. If you choose late June, you eyes will be amazed with when seeing the huge carton figures that are set up in the streets, beautiful girls elegantly dressed in the typical Alicantinian dresses and the partying in the streets until late hours of the night. But then again, you can change atmospheres and sprawl out on the beaches in Torrevieja before ending you wonderful holiday in the Costa Blanca.