All it takes is one glimpse to understand why the Mediterranean coastline of Spain is called the "Costa Blanca", or "white coast". Stunning white sand beaches adorn the coastline and have made this region a popular tourist destination for sunbathers from across the globe. Each year around 5 million visitors choose Costa Blanca as the place to spend their holidays and book hotels or private apartments, and it is no wonder; the area is blessed with an impressive natural landscape and has developed a fantastic tourist infrastructure. The towns are full of cultural and historic sights alongside bars, pubs, discos, nightclubs, and restaurants to suit all palates. No matter what sort of holiday you are planning to enjoy- a relaxing beach getaway, a fun party weekend with friends, or a family vacation with the kids- there is definitely a spot along the Costa Blanca that is right for you.
With 2800 hours of sunshine each year, the Costa Blanca is a beach lover's paradise Crystal clear waters of turquoise and blue caress fine sand beaches of the whitest sand while the warm Spanish sun shines down. What more could a beach lover staying in hotels or apartments near the water desire? The 200-kilometre-long Costa Blanca is covered with fine swimming beaches, and Spain tops the list each year for the most ''Blue Flag'' certified beaches. Whether you prefer a bustling city beach or a secluded cove near a small fishing town, you are sure to find one (or more!) along the Costa Blanca to tickle your fancy. Here are a few of the most popular beaches:
-Playa de San Juan: This the one that has it all--showers, bars, paddle boat rental, water sport opportunities, a playground for the kids, parking, volleyball nets, and much more. The area extends over eight kilometres and is Blue Flag certified. The promenade is home to a multitude of restaurants, and the beach itself covered with beautiful, fine sand.
-La Cala or "Cala Blanca". This is a small cove near Benidorm that boasts fantastic views of Cape San Antonio and the bay. It is the perfect destination for those who want to get away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
-La Granadella: A secluded and small beach located just outside of Jávea near the municipality of La Grandella. The clear, turquoise waters are ideal for swimming and snorkelling. The sand is comprised of very fine white pebbles. The surrounding landscape, full of Aleppo pine trees, adds to the serenity. Jávea is easily reached by road from both Alicante and Valencia and has a charming old town, well worth a visit.
-El Paradis: Indulge in an entire kilometre of fine, white sand. El Paradis is located about 32 kilometres from the airport in Alicante, near the village of Villajoyosa. This Blue Flag certified beach is a great one to enjoy with children; it is fully equipped with lifeguards on duty, plenty of restrooms, several play areas, as well as bars and restaurants.
-Les Rotes: This sandy beach near the town of Dénia is perfect for snorkelling and scuba diving. The area is replete with small, secluded coves full of crystal clear water that offer a glimpse of the sea floor and underwater life. Les Rotes has a nudist area for those who prefer to go without the confines of a bathing suit. The beach is located between Alicante and Valencia and is also not too far from the island of Ibiza.
With so many fine beaches, it is impossible to list them all here! No matter where you choose to stay, there is certainly a beach nearby. Grab the sunscreen and get ready for a beach vacation of a lifetime!
The history surround the Costa Blanca is ancient and fascinating. In 711, the area was under Moorish rule, which lasted nearly four hundred years. During this time, the orange, peach, and almond groves for which the region is now famous were planted, and the gorgeous hillside terraces along the coast were developed. Around 1248 the Moors were forced out by James I of Aragon and over a century of piracy along the Mediterranean coast ensued. It wasn't until 1812 that the region of Alicante was officially established. After the Spanish civil war from 1936 to 1939, a period of peace ensued and it was then that tourism began to grow. The region had become a huge tourist attraction by the 1970s, and today Costa Blanca lures millions of visitors per year.
There are a multitude of options for visitors who wish to dive deeper into Costa Blanca's history. Those on the top of the list include:
-The Castle of Santa Bárbara: This beautiful castle is strategically situated atop the Monte Benacantil hill. In 1248, Prince (and later King) Alfonso reclaimed the fortress from Moorish rule on the feast day of Saint Barbara, explaining where the name of the castle derived. In 1963 the castle was renovated and opened to the public. The spectacular views of Alicante Bay lure tourists by the thousands year after year. Not only the views are intriguing; the attached museum houses artefacts from the Bronze Age, Roman ruins, and various remains from the fortress as it originally stood in the late ninth century. For those who would rather not walk their way up the hill, there are two lifts that spare a hike of one hundred and sixty six metres! A round trip fare costs approximately 2.50 Euros, and the castle is open year round. A great excursion for all kinds of travellers!
-The Archaeological Museum of Alicante or Marq: Explore Alicante's history. With exhibits and artefacts delving into over 100,000 years of history, this interactive museum is well worth a visit. A new and modern museum, the Marq was constructed out of an old hospital and was designated the European Museum of the Year in 2004. There are several galleries within the complex that have permanent exhibits dedicated to the prehistoric age, the Roman influence, Iberian culture, the Middle Ages, and modern Alicante. There are always rotating and temporary exhibits, making the Marq a destination for locals as well as tourists. The museum is open year round, and is also kid-friendly.
-Javea Old Town and San Bartolome Church: Spend a few hours strolling through the gorgeous old town in Javea. The city centre has stunning examples of Gothic architecture, including the church of San Bartolome. This 14th century church was designed by the Spanish architect Domingo Urteaga and was built just as much for worship as for protection. Be sure to venture to the bell tower for a breathtaking view. Explore the food market with loads of fresh fish as well as local fruits and vegetables. The original city walls were torn town around 1870, but parts have been replicated, adding to the charm and ancient feel of the city centre.
No matter which part of Costa Blanca you choose to stay in, a trip back in time is never far away.
Because Costa Blanca is a favoured place amongst tourists, there are a multitude of restaurants to choose from. Every town along the coast has a huge selection of international cuisine, ensuring that every traveller is sure to find just what he or she wants to eat. While visiting the region, though, it is a good idea to give the local food a try, and traditional tapas are a terrific way to get to know the region's specialities. Orange and almond groves are plentiful in the area, as are olive trees. Seafood is as fresh and plentiful as it gets. A definite must is a big plate of paella. This dish made of saffron-infused rice and fresh seafood is a staple along the Costa Blanca. Order it and try it from different restaurants in different cities; each place has their own take on this classic dish. Red wine and olive oil are delicious and plentiful. No matter what sort of budget you are on or whether you’re staying in hotels or in apartments where you can also prepare your own food, you are sure to eat and drink well in Spain!
Accommodations are plentiful in this hot tourist area. If you are on the hunt for a unique place to enjoy your stay, consider renting an apartment, private room, or entire house from HomeAway. Opting for an apartment or home ensures a more personalised and unique experience in Costa Blanca. Rent from locals, and experience the area from an insider's perspective. Search for your ideal holiday rental. Choosing an apartment or home means more privacy than in a hotel and also provides you with the option to completely personalise your trip. Whether you want to stay in Benidorm, Denia, or any of the other gorgeous towns along this stunning coast, you are sure to find just the right place to thoroughly unwind and enjoy.