HIDDEN GEMS OF THE COSTA BLANCA
The Costa Blanca is a very popular area with both tourists and expats living in Spain, and for good reason. An abundance of beaches, tourist spots and glorious weather attract visitors in droves to the area.
However, if you want to see some of the quieter sites of the Costa Blanca popular with the locals and not over-saturated with tourists (yet!) then look no further than these hidden gems.
The Mar Menor
The Mar Menor is a large inland salt-water lagoon on the southern edge of the Costa Blanca, bordering the Costa Calida. Situated along the coast, it is separated from the Mediterranean by La Manga, a large sandbar, built up with shops, hotels, restaurants and other attractions. This area is popular with celebrities and locals alike, but not that well-known by those from the UK. If you are a fan of water sports, you are in the right place – the almost still waters of the lagoon make it perfect for everything from para-sailing to wind-surfing and everything in-between. We recommend staying on La Manga itself, or renting a car to explore – at 22km, it is a long walk from one end to the other.
Santa Barbara Castle
This hidden gem has the extra bonus of also being free to visit and explore. An old 16th century castle located on a hill above Alicante, it has bundles of history to discover and an-onsite café (unfortunately, not free). The castle is best enjoyed by hiking up the hill and taking in the beautiful views of Alicante and the surrounding area, and a sense of fulfilment when reaching the top. Enjoy a cold beer and refreshments in the café before catching the lift back down again.
Murcia tends to get overlooked by visitors to the Costa Blanca, as it is not quite on the coast, but 40km inland in the Segura Valley. A beautiful traditional Spanish city, Murcia has numerous sites to explore, including its central Cathedral Santa Maria, Paseo del Malecon, a popular public promenade, and several museums exploring the city’s history and culture. Another must-see is the Real Casino de Murcia – a beautiful building with gorgeous artwork and statues, and a stunning ballroom for those all-important social media images. The city itself has many narrow streets with hidden bars and restaurants to explore. We recommend taking a half-day or full-day walking tour with a local to get the full low-down on everything the city has to offer.
El Portet Beach
This small crescent shaped beach is found near the northern edge of the Costa Blanca and known for its crystal clear, calm, shallow waters. For this reason, it is very popular with families who have children, as well as snorkelers. A few small restaurants right by the shore ensure you can enjoy some refreshments between sunbathing and swimming, including fresh seafood. Although attracting more tourists every year, it is still relatively unknown, and more frequented by locals. It is best visited in off-peak season, so you can fully appreciate the beautiful bay, with traditional Mediterranean houses and villas lining its edges.
Elche Palm Groves
The Elche Palm Groves (local name - El Palmeral de Elche) are found in the city of Elche, right in the middle of the Costa Blanca, and nearby Alicante. These beautiful orchards are a series of public gardens lined with beautiful date palm trees and other local flora such as cacti and delicately arranged flowers. Some of these palm trees are hundreds of years old, whilst the groves themselves have history going back at least 1500 years. A pleasant stroll around the gardens is helped by the shade offered by the palms, invaluable in peak summer season. It is a literal urban oasis.
These are just some of the lesser known sights on the Costa Blanca worth a visit. If you’re tempted to explore some of them for yourself, why not look into buying a Spanish property and make your dream move a reality? We can even arrange subsidised viewing trips from as low as £99.