The Costa Blanca or White Coast as it is known, is made up of two clearly different parts – the North, where mountains provide the backdrop to much greenery, orange groves, olive trees, vineyards, almonds and cherries – and the South, which is slightly hotter, flatter and drier and is famous for having the biggest palm gardens and salt flats in the whole of Europe.
The Costa Blanca therefore offers both varied temperatures and landscapes. Starting at its most northern point in Denia, you are able to travel it’s entire length via the ‘Autopista’ motorway which runs along the coast from Denia to Torrevieja at its southern point. Of course travelling inland is the most beautiful route and you will enjoy splendid mountain views, passing many small villages, caves, gothic churches, towns, castles and local landmarks.
In the North as well as the South, you will find many beautiful Mediterranean beaches (many with the European Blue Flag), sand dunes, watch towers and natural caves. Many of the towns are fishing ports and have harbours where many luxury yachts are moored.
Starting at Denia, with its famous castle, and harbour where you can catch a ferry to the Balearic Islands, you can travel over the Montgo mountain to Javea and then on to the old fishing port of Moraira. Further south is Calpe, with its nature park at Peñon de Ifach (which is a rock jutting out to sea), and then Altea which has a rural district and an ‘old Town’. Continuing along the coast, is the ‘entertainment capital’ of Benidorm, with its two famous beaches, skyscrapers, live shows, discos, Theme Park, Aqua Park and Marine World.
10km further south is the Spanish town of Villajoyosa, where you will find a large fishing fleet, then into El Campello, and San Juan, which are very popular with the British buying public.
Alicante city is at the heart of the Costa Blanca. It is a thriving cosmopolitan city and is a leading centre of commerce, culture and tourism. It’s seafront promenade, the Paseo de la Explanada along the 7 kms of sandy beaches, is the place to be seen with its many street cafes and palm trees, and the city itself has many excellent shops, restaurants, museums, monuments, cultural activities and regular fiestas.
Santa Pola, which is still basically a Spanish community, is only 18km from Alicante and is a fishing port known for its superb prawns. Guardamar, the next town along the coast, is surrounded by sand dunes covered with pines, eucalyptus and bushes.
Situated 25 miles South of Alicante is Torrevieja, a bustling, Spanish harbour town with 14 miles of uninterrupted sand and many beautiful Blue Flag beaches such as Cabo Roig, which provides a seafront walk to the beautiful marina, La Zenia, Mil Palmeras, Playa Flamenca and 3 outstanding golf courses to keep all golf fanatics happy. Supermarkets, shops, bars, bistros, sporting activities and restaurants catering for a variety of national cuisines are all to be found here. It is an all-year town, unlike the other communities along the same stretch of coast that are strictly holiday towns. Torrevieja has a very large Aqua Park, a nature park (The Parque Natural de las Lagunas de la Mata y Torrevieja), museums, theatre and one of the largest weekly outdoor markets in the region. In the nearby atmospheric Plaza at Villamartin you will find a wide range of restaurants & bars to suit everyone’s taste, shops, banks, taxi/car hire, and hairdressers.
Tabarca Island is one of the most unusual places on the Costa Blanca. It is linked to Alicante and Santa Pola by a ferry service but no accommodation is available so only a day trip is available. However, there are some excellent restaurants on the island.
The main language of the Costa Blanca is Valenciano. This is very different than the traditional Spanish language, Castellano, sounding more French in origin.
Of course we have not been able to cover the whole area, and have concentrated briefly on the coastal areas, but there is much to be seen inland.
If you want to stay in the Costa Blanca for a long period it would be great to open a bank account in Spain.