Tabarca Island was my favorite part of my trip to the southern part of the Alicante region of the Costa Blanca. The beaches in Alicante follow a general rule (in my opinion, at least): if you can reach them easily, they're not very good. In other words, the easy beaches are jam packed and overdeveloped, and the pristine hidden coves are on dirt roads outside the city. If you want that same virgen-beach feel but are traveling (like me) without a car, I'd recommend hopping one of the "Tabarquera" boats that leave from Santa Pola marina (15euros round trip) and heading to Isla de Tabarca.
Tabarca is a small island divided into two sections, a maritime village and a nature reserve, with a pleasant sandy beach and some restaurants occupying the middle part. This beach, while probably the most beautiful on the island, was packed when we went (as occurs in July and August). But, you can head to the natural side of the island and find some peaceful, uncrowded coves with sparkling emerald water, plenty of fish, and some neat little islands you can swim out to and explore. If you head towards the natural side of the island on the right side (the side towards the ocean, not the mainland), you'll find the most accessible coves about 50-100meters down. On the other side (the side that faces the mainland), the coves are rockier and more shallow, but also less crowded. In fact, there was only one other couple there with us, which says a lot considering that the main beach was crowded as hell.
The village side is gorgeous in a very crumbling and sun-bleached sort of way. It's kind of what I'd imagine Sicily looks like. Lots of stone buildings charmingly falling apart with intensely colored flowers shooting out of every nook and cranny. You can walk along the city walls and see the Llop Mari caves (an amazing grotto with cliffs that local youths jump off of into the water), the quarry at the end (nothing special), and the gorgeous cathedral jutting out over the sea. Just beautiful!
Definitely worth a whole day on the island! But, the sun can be intense, so make sure to be vigilant with the lotion. Also, the whole area is a marine reserve to make sure to bring snorkeling gear. You won't regret it!
In reality, the fountains or pools that have formed here are spectacular. You'll enjoy each and every one of them. The path they made is great and anyone can follow it up to the top, even the elderly. Many people come to see the waterfalls and enjoy a moment in nature, but now you have to pay for everything (parking, to see the sights, to enter in certain areas…). It’s a truly delightful walk, but a little expensive for my liking.
Once in Callosa d’en Sarria, just follow the signs to get to the falls. It should only be about a 5 minute car drive.
Altea is a town in Alicante with lots of charm, mountains, and sea, and the best part is the historic old town and its square. To reach the Plaza de Altea, the best bet is to head up the “cuesta de las narices,” a hard 25-minute hike or a rather stress-free five-minute car ride. Unsurprisingly, I recommend going up in car. You can park in the free parking lot in Palau, but the ascent is worth it.
You can access the plaza through different streets, all of which invariably lead to the square. You can see the church dome from a mile away. The charming part begins in the streets themselves: they’re pedestrian-only, cobblestoned, and have a selection of stores offering clothing, jewellery, art, and the “balconadas,” art exhibits put on by local students of the prestigious Altea Fine Arts School.
Once you’re in the plaza, you can enjoy the artisan booths, artists, and various viewpoints where you can see the entire town of Altea: the seawalk, the port, the Albir and Olla beaches, and above all enjoy a wonderful sunset which turns the entire sea spectacular colours. In other words, it’s amazing. Once you’ve seen the square, the best thing is to head down one of the streets on the other side of the church and end up eating in one of my many good restaurants you’ll find there
If you want to finish the day up right, you can also stop and have a drink in one of the bars on the square. During summer, the square is always full of life but I’d recommend going in June when it’s less full of people. It’s one of my favourite places in the entire Costa Blanca.
The town of Guadalest lies on both sides of a tremendous rock that looks like a knife sitting on top of the ground. The valley to the northern part of “the knife” is covered in spectacular vegetation. The “knife” serves as protection for the southern side, which is rugged, rocky, and even tropical in some places, where palm trees and cactuses grow.
Walking down the streets we enjoy a unique experience. The views are diverse depending on the direction you head: on one side there’s the lush forest, on the other there’s the sea, suddenly there’s a bell tower on top of the highest rock, the views of the valley, etc. Sometimes it looks like a medieval sight. Nature has been generous with man and has spread its infinite beauty all over the place.
Although there’s a good amount of tourist activity here, bars, restaurants, hostels, stores, and a large variety of museums, you can’t miss out on visiting one of the most beautiful places in Alicante.
The town of Guadalest is found on both sides of a tremendous and jagged rock which sticks out of the earth. The valley which forms to the north of the giant rock is filled with spectacular wildlife. The rock serves as protection and has created some semi-tropical areas full of palm trees and cactus.
As we walked through the streets, we enjoyed an unequaled panorama. The views are great, but depend on where you are: ferny forests, high rocks, the sea in the distance, valleys…it’s like being in a medieval epic! Here at least, mother nature has been generous with man and gifted him with beauty all around.
Although the beast of tourism is making itself felt in the form of bars, restaurants, hostels, and shops, you should definitely visit this beautiful town in the province of Alicante.
This heavenly beach isn’t easy to find, so, if you decide to come, make sure you have a GPS or asks the people in the area on your trip. You can get there in about 20 minutes by car if you leave from the beautiful town of Javea-Xabia, taking a curvy road with many inclines and declines. There aren’t many traffic indications to help you find your way, making it somewhat difficult to find the beach. However, the scenery along the road is breathtaking and is worth the trip itself as you’ll see a completely Mediterranean environment with colors and plants that any other place along the Mediterranean or Caribbean would envy.
There are some wooden stairs on the right side of the beach, marking the beginning of a path that will take you along the border of the aforementioned beach (about 30 minutes). The path lies between rocks and you’ll probably have to get your feet wet from time to time (or jump a little bit). Make sure to be careful, as there are some narrow stretches where you could trip or fall. That’s just a warning, as many people (children and senior citizens) go along the path all the time, it’s just important to be careful.
If you were to think of the most representative tourist spots in Benidorm, you'd think of the boardwalks on the beach, but the Benidorm lookout point would probably be the most representative of all. It’s in the old quarters, after going through the gate, at the Balcony of the Mediterranean.
It’s an old fortress located on the great rock that separates the two beaches, and was once used as a watch tower to look out for possible pirate attacks. Today, its white ruins and viewpoint have become the classic image of the town of Benidorm.
This lovely beach is located in the city of Alicante, specifically, just to the north of the Port of Alicante.
It is incomparable; it’s located right in the heart of Alicante in the shadow of the Castle of Santa Bárbara.
The beach is lined with palm trees and lots of vegetation and is basically an icon of the city.
At the east end of the beach near the Marina and the Sangueta neighborhood, you’ll find the Cocó beach. It’s a wonderful place because it’s where they set up the fire castles and the famous bonfires on the Night of St. John.
It’s an iconic place that you can’t miss if you’re in Alicante.
Alicante has always been known as a port city and for this reason its port has always been a key part of the city. The Port of Alicante is situated in the center of the city and, in some respects, is the city’s nerve center and heart of activity. Nowadays, it doesn’t just serve fishing purposes, but rather is home of many of Alicante’s main entertainment areas.
The entertainment area is in a part of the port and to get there you can take a lovely walk around the port. After all, the path is well-maintained and is more like a boardwalk in many respects. The most noticeable place is undoubtedly the huge casino covered in neon lights that you can see from a distance. Around the casino, there is a high concentration of bars and restaurants and that’s where the locals and tourists typically go.
Along the port, you can also see various sculptures; one of which that struck my attention was of a surfer leaving the water. It is gigantic and everyone usually takes photos with it. By the way, I know I’ve only spoken about the port as a leisure area, but it’s also the place to catch ferries which sail to various destinations like Oran, Algeria or Ibiza and Palma de Mallorca in the Balearic Islands.
One of the best things I’ve done in my life was climbing up this 332m-high rock. The climb was fun and exhilarating (and a bit tricky) and, in some parts, it can get pretty slippery.
If you have the chance to ascend the rock, I’d recommend it. The prize once you reach the top is the amazing view of the coast!!! I’d suggest bringing lunch and a LOT of water. After a strenuous but fun hike up, there’s nothing better than having lunch on top of the world.
Levante beach is 3 km long and the center of activity in Benidorm, ideal for spending a day on the beach without any worries. It starts at Loix and ends at the Mirador (viewpoint).
Poniente beach is 4 km long and is an extension of gold-colored sand. Thanks to their southern orientation, the two beaches remain clean. Year after year, they receive the prestigious Blue Flag from the European Union for the quality of services offered and the quality of the water. Poniente beach now has a boardwalk and several nice lookout points. It starts in Elche and ends at Tossal’s Virgin of the Sea Hermitage.
At dawn and sunset, the views from the beach are really nice and then the city lights up with its party atmosphere.
This beach is 3300 meters long and the wider of Benidorm’s two main beaches. On one end you have La Cala and the on the other, the marina. A few years back they opened a beachside promenade that’s designed to mimic the look of the waves with its white plaster and blue tiles.
This small neighborhood known locally as the Santa Cruz neighborhood, is, in my opinion, the best part of Alicante. It’s the only place where you can taste a part of Alicante’s past. The houses are all a bit ramshackle and bundled together on the side of the road, but up in the higher areas, the houses are well-maintained and better decorated.
The small neighborhood is found right next door to the historic areas shadowed by the castle higher up to the right. The path to and from the castle offers some beautiful panoramic views. Above everything, there are a few viewpoints where you can see the coast and the bay on both sides of the city.
This small neighborhood, known in the city as the Santa Cruz neighborhood, is my favorite in all of Alicante. It’s the only place where you can find the old flavor of the town. The small houses are pegged right next to each other. They're well cared for and decorated.
The small neighborhood is at the foot of the old quarters, with the castle to the right. The path to get there and back offer great panoramic views. At the top there are some lookout points where you can see the coast, the entire bay, and both sides of the city.
To find yourself in the middle of this neighborhood in Alicante is quite a pleasant surprise
This is the yellow route in the natural park situated only a few meters from El Pinet. This route through the salt grasses takes an hour and a half and you can stop at various observation decks along the way.
If you do the route in June, like us, everything is at its peak: the ponds are fully of water and are ready to be harvested. Everything is balanced in these salt lakes too; the red color indicates that there are brine shrimp present and this circle of life guarantees that the flamingos and other birds can live and eat at these salt lakes.
The salt lakes also have an exceptional dune system, pine forests, the Tabarca island there on the horizon, and, of course, the wonderful beach. It’s a cool place to bring binoculars at sunset.
Turning downwards at 100 km per hour is one of the experiences at this theme park that will send chills through your body. Tizona makes your adrenalin rush in just 35 seconds with its drops and peaks, 360 degree loops and corkscrew turns. Magnus Colossus is the longest Russian wooden mountain in Europe. In addition the attractions, it's one of the most beautiful parks I've ever seen. Everything is very original.
It’s a five minute drive from the town of Benitachel. Make sure to ask for “la cumbre del sol” and everyone will know which direction to point you towards. It’s another one of the many gorgeous coves that lie along the white coast in Alicante. The water is clean and always very pretty in color. There are parking lots, scuba diving zones, hiking paths, and food and drink stands. It’s definitely a heavenly place in Alicante that has been somewhat protected from mass tourism and urbanism, which has, unfortunately, been a problem throughout Alicante.
The adventure started in Benidorm, right at the port in Poniente…that’s where you embark on the boats to Benidorm island. You can take the trip during the morning or afternoon. You’ll feel like a fish in water, traveling at sea, as you lose yourself around the tiny island.
The experience is worth it!