Three words always tend to crop up when we start planning our summer holiday – sun, sea and sand.
As we endure a winter (and usually a spring) of wet, cold weather we are often caught daydreaming of spending the warmer months on a pristine white sand beach, soaking up the sun without a care in the world. That is why so many British holidaymakers flock to Spain every year.
The charming coastal region of Costa Blanca is set to be popular once again but while we all know about the delights of Benidorm, what other treats does this part of the world possess? We have got the lowdown on everything you need to see when visiting Costa Blanca.
The beauty of Alicante
For many holidaymakers, their experience of Alicante begins and ends at the airport as they venture on to nearby Benidorm and Torrevieja. It can be a shame because Alicante is arguably the most vibrant destinations on the Costa Blanca.
Sat in the shadow of the Castle of Santa Barbara (more about that later), this city in rich in culture and heritage. Stop by the Asegurada Museum of Modern Art to see works by Picasso and Georges Braque before learning about the history of the city at the Archaeological Museum of Alicante.
However, if that’s not quite your scene then you head to the popular Postiguet Beach to top up your tan. As night falls, choose from the many restaurants around Calle Castanos and Calle San Francisco which serve a host of classic Spanish dishes.
Snorkelling around Isla Tabarca
Holidays are meant for new experiences so take a day trip to the delightful Isla Tabarca. Lying just off the mainland the “flat island” is the much more relaxed version of its busier neighbours. While you can spend the day sampling the local cuisine – Isla Tabarca is perfect for snorkelling.
Strap on a pair of goggles and say hello to the array of sealife that populate the ocean. The island has its own marine reserve so don’t be surprised if you bump in a shoal of sardines, the odd octopus, sea bass and red mullet.
Exploring the Natural Park of Penyal d’Ifac
From the crystal waters around Isla Tabarca, our next stop is to see the outstanding beauty of the Natural Park of Penyal d’Ifac. Here you are at one of the few places on the bustling Costa Blanca where all you can hear is the wind on the trees and the lapping of the ocean in the distance.
Characterised by a huge limestone rock (similar to the Rock of Gibraltar), the park is home to wildlife and plantlife. Hike to the top of Penyal rock and you will be treated to a magnificent view where, on a good day, you will be able to see the edge of the Balearic Islands.
Sample the view from Santa Barbara Castle
We’re heading back to Alicante for our next Costa Blanca treat. Perched on Mount Benacantil is Santa Barbara Castle. This historic monument has watched over the city since the 9th century. It has been captured and recaptured numerous times and even served as a prison for a short time.
It has now taken on the mantle as an Alicante tourist attraction, thanks in no small part to the magnificent view visitors can enjoy when they reach the summit. Don’t worry if you don’t fancy a taxing hike as lifts have been installed in the mountain to take you straight to the top.
Take the family to Terra Mitica
Photo credit: Terra Mitica
If you’re enjoying a family holiday in Costa Blanca, you simply have to visit Terra Mitica. The regions premier theme park brings together myths and legends of ancient Mediterranean civilisations to create a hugely exciting day out.
Split into five distinct areas – Rome, Iberia, Greece, The Islands and Ocionia – each has their own character and exhiliarating rides. Dare you take on Magnus Colossus, the largest wooden rollercoaster in Europe, or maybe you reckon you can handle the Rapids of Argos? This theme park provides fun for every member of the family.
Basking in the shadow of the Penyal d’Ifach is one of Costa Blanca’s real jewels – Calpe. Blending the old with the new, this quaint provincial town is home to Gothic churches and Roman ruins as well as lively bars and restaurants.
It is all about the beach life here as Calpe is home to a pristine stretch of coastline where you can spend a pleasant afternoon. If you’re looking for something a little different to both Benidorm and Alicante then here is the place for you.
Experience the nightlife of Murcia
If you want to sample the coolest night out in Costa Blanca then Murcia is right up your street. Sip cocktails at the Plaza de los Apostoles and gaze upon the 14th century Murcia Cathedral before stopping by La Puerta Falsa for a spot of live jazz.
Looking to get your groove on – swing by Luminate Disco and dance into the early hours. However, if you just want to chill out with a couple of beers then opt for the rooftop terrace of La Parranda Taberna. You may just find that Murcia becomes new favourite holiday destination.
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