Top towns and villages in Costa Blanca
The coast of the Costa Blanca extends further than the eye can see. There’s no end of places to discover. And yet, certain towns are already making a name for themselves well beyond Spain’s borders.
Benidorm – Benidorm’s beaches are considered to be the most beautiful in Spain. Long and flat, they’re perfect for kids’ games and walks. The beach in Levante, to the north, extends over more than two kilometres of fine sand, and that in Poniente, to the south, overtakes it by one kilometre. Both are lined with promenades that remain lively well into the evening. The town is full of charm, in its old quarter, on its spur, in the many shops and hotels that line the streets of the city. The San Jaime church, built in the 18th century, displays its blue domes in the heart of a circuit of picturesque narrow streets, while a unique gazebo, the Balcon del Mediterraneo, opens onto an impressive panorama over the waves.
Alicante – Alicante preciously preserves the memory of its years as a port city. For a long time, this town was the crossroads for several civilisations in the Mediterranean, and it shows. Its architecture features an Arabic castle, the Santa Barbara fortress, a gothic church (Santa Maria), and a town hall with a baroque facade (the Casa Consistorial). Today, locals and visitors continue to cross paths on the Explanada de Espana, for a walk through history. Further out from the town centre, are the many nearby golf courses that the area is known for.
Elche – Elche is a great place to get a deeper understanding of the region’s history. The relics of the past are everywhere; an archaeological site allows you to discover the oldest traces of history and part of the town is classified as a historical site. The palm grove which surrounds the outskirts of the town is a classified world heritage site, the Huerto del Cura is a historic national garden, and even its festivals, in particular the Festa d’Elx are renowned (it was classified as a masterpiece of oral and intangible heritage of humanity by UNESCO).
Javéa – Javéa has both an immense coastline (20 km of beaches and coves) and an old town with magnificent examples of architecture. In the middle of the town is San Bartolomé’s church, which was a fortress used to fend off pirates. Another church, Nuestra Senora de Loreto, is a reminder of the town’s maritime past, with its shape resembling a boat.
Altéa – Altéa is located on a hill and offers a beautiful panorama of the whole region. It’s a picturesque town which has preserved its cobbled, staircase streets dotted with watchtowers, where several artist workshops are hosted. Heading down to the sea, you’ll find shingle beaches and cliffs, which add even more charm to the region.
Tabarca island – Flee the crowds and head over to this small island, with only a few dozen inhabitants. Its waters are home to such a diversity of species that it was declared a Mediterranean natural marine wildlife reserve.