A-Z Guide to the Resorts of the Costa Blanca Region of Spain
The Costa Blanca is the region of coastline which stretches from Denia in the north to Torrevieja in the south.
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The Costa Blanca includes some of the most developed coastline in mainland Spain including Benidorm. The region is not just popular with holiday makers from all around Europe, but many British, Scandinavian, German and Eastern Europeans own property in the area. House prices are currently remarkably low in this region of Spain due to all the new buildings that were built during the housing boom over the last 10 years.
The Costa Blanca is served by 2 major airports, Alicante to the north, and Murcia to the south (although the coastal region near Murcia is actually the start of the Costa Calida. The Costa Blanca coastline is very developed, with popular resorts such as Benidorm and Torrevieja bringing in millions of tourists every year.
The scenery to the north around Denia and Javea is rugged and characterised by cliffs and beaches set in coves and bays, whereas to the south around Torrevieja the scenery is generally a little flatter with long sandy beaches.
Aside from tourism, the Costa Blanca region is one of the most fertile growing regions in Europe.
Below is our A-Z guide of the main Costa Blanca resorts and towns:
The town of Alicante is a resort which unlike Benidorm is very popular with Spanish tourists in the summer months. Alicante has a large sandy beach, but in summer the beach can be very crowded.
Alicante has a good selection of shops and bars, and is a good destination to visit in the spring and autumn when it is less busy. The climate in spring and autumn in Alicante is similar to a pleasant British summer day, but with a lot more sunshine. Alicante Airport is located around 12km from Alicante.
Located in the Northern corner of Costa Blanca, Altea has some wonderfully reserved Spanish architecture, and the narrow cobbled streets of the old town are testament to Altea's historical past when it was a small fishing village. The old town offers some great views over the Costa Blanca coastline.
Benissa on the Northern edge of the Costa Blanca has a large harbour and is set within several kilometres of rugged coastline which is ideal for walkers. The area is known for its octopus stew which should be tried for those who are adventurous with their cuisine.
Benidorm is the largest and best known resort in the Costa Blanca. Benidorm was once a small fishing village, but during the 60's and 70's it was developed into one of the busiest resorts in Spain. Benidorm's skyscaper skyline is more reminiscent of Manhattan than the Costa Blanca. The resort developed a tarnished reputation in the 80's and 90's with a "lager lout" culture exported from the UK during the summer months. However, today Benidorm is a thriving resort, although if you are looking for a peaceful retreat you would be advised to go elsewhere. Nowadays Benidorm is a popular destination for year round stag nights and hen nights due to the up all night culture.
To the north of Benidorm, the Costa Blanca resort of Calpe is dominated by a spectacular rock peninsular (Penon de Ifach) which stretches into the Mediterranean sea from the town. The rock is popular with walkers and climbers and offers spectacular views. Calpe has been heavily developed in recent years, and the sea front area is dominated by large tourist hotels and apartments. The Calpe beaches are ideal for children as the water level doesn't get deep too quickly.
Located to the north of the Costa Blanca region, Denia is a popular resort with the British and offers around 20 km of good bathing beaches. There is also daily ferry to the Balearics. Denia is overlooked by a historic castle which has an archaeological museum containing artifacts which have been uncovered in the grounds surrounding the castle. Denia also has some good boutique shopping that spreads out along the Calle de Marques de Campo road. Due to the wind that comes into the area from the sea, Denia is also a paradise for those who enjoy water sports although swimmers will enjoy the beaches as well.
Close enough to the city of Alicante that you could consider it a suburb, El Campello is divided into an old neighbourhood and modern resort area both of which are worth a visit and some of your time. While in El Campello make sure to pay a visit to the port where you will find a beach promenade and restuaurants selling freshly caught seafood.
Around a 20 minute drive from Alicante is the town of Elche (Elx in Spanish). Apart from being a busy industrial Costa Blanca town of over 200,000 inhabitants, Elche has the largest growing area of palms in Europe which date to Roman times. The area became a UNESCO world Heritage Site . The palm plantations are a legacy from when the Romans ruled the region, and was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 2000. Elche is located only 15km from the Mediterranean coastline, so is easily accessible to holidaymakers. The Municipal Park in the centre of Elche has a sub-tropical garden containing many species of palms and cactus, and a museum.
Guadalest is a small village which is probably best known for the castle which perches on the side of a cliff, and has been declared a "Historic-Artistic Monument". Throughout the town you will find plenty of museums which portray the local culture, history, and art of the Costa Blanca area.
Sitting in the top northern corner of the Costa Blanca region between Altea and Denia, the port town of Javea (or Xabia as it is known in Spain) is one of the most scenic areas in the Costa Blanca. The town is split into the village inland, the port, and the main sandy beach (Arenal). Arenal beach is the main tourist hub of Javea and has a large selection of cafes, bars, restaurants and tourist shops.
The area around Javea is perfect for coastal walks, and is not unlike parts of Wales in terms of scenery. It is best to avoid July/August for long excursions due to the heat. If you are an avid walker, a walk to the top of Cabo de Nao is recommended, and here you can find some spectacular coastal views.
Some of the beaches around Javea are stoney, so if you want a sandy beach it is worth checking before you book accommodation.
Located on the rugged northern Costa Blanca coastline to the east of Benissa is the popular and largely undeveloped resort of Moraira. Moraira has a main beach which is usually very busy in summer, but there are also a number of smaller beaches located towards Calpe which are accessible if you have a car.
As well as the usual bars and restaurants, Moraira offers a scuba diving centre, horse riding, sailing lessons and a bowling complex.
Found about twenty kilometres below Alicante, Santa Pola is a testament to Roman times with plenty of Roman ruins to view and the remarkable Renaissance Castle-Fortress that dates back to the 16th century and houses the Archaeological Museum inside of it. The city also sports a handful of different beaches as well as a ferry service that can run you out to the Island of Tabarca although it may be hard to tear yourself away from some of the most popular sandy beaches like Varadero.
Torrevieja is one of the fastest growing regions of Spain. It is located midway between Alicante and Murcia airports. The Torrevieja region is a popular location for ex-pats from northern and eastern Europe, with property prices that provide incredible value. Torrevieja has a number of resorts, including the very popular Villa Martin development, which has good beaches, an attractive shopping plaza and the excellent Villa Martin golf course.
One of the larger towns of Costa Blanca, La Villajouyosa is home to about 20,000, and is perhaps best known for its bright houses and vibrant town centre, making it a good choice for those who wish to avoid the busier neighbouring resort of Benidorm.
Costa Blanca Climate
As a general rule at any time during the year, the Costa Blanca temperature is around 10 degrees Centigrade higher than in London.
Summers are warm and sunny (and become very hot as you move inland), spring and autumn are similar temperatures to UK summertime (with much sunnier weather), and winter is typically like a warm spring day in the UK.
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