The Spanish Southern Costa Blanca is blessed by a climate that escapes both the chilly, damp winters of its northern neighbour the Costa Brava, and the excessive summer heat and humidity of the Costa del Sol, closer to Africa.
With a steady sunshine record all year round, it’s heaven if you have health problems such as arthritis, and paradise for everyone.
Until the 1960s, the Costa Blanca South (“Costa Blanca Sur” in Spanish) was an stretch of pretty little fishing villages. Our continuing love affair with Spain has changed all that, but you can still seek out traditional districts that retain their charm, and the chilled life-style remains (of course).
With over 60 miles of sand, numerous European Blue Flag beaches, and rocky inlets, the Costa Blanca South really does live up to the region’s Spanish name of the White Coast.
(San Juan, Alicante)
If you want more (and why not?) venture inland, and you’ll discover valleys full of orange and almond groves, backed by pine-clad mountains, in ideal walking country.
The terrain becomes drier here, and with its palm trees, salt lakes and fine sand, the southern Costa Blanca is just how we imagine Spain.
You can drop in on resorts like Villajoyosa, El Montiboli and El Campello, with the nearby caves of Canelobre. After San Juan comes Alicante, and you are truly in the heart of the Costa Blanca of the south.
This area is well served by Alicante Airport, from where you can drive off into your dream. It would be a shame, though, not to stop for a look around Alicante, with its beaches, marina and castle.
You could even head inland to the towns and hilltop towns of the region, or marvel at the cave houses of Rojales.
Carry on southwards for resorts such as Urbanova, Los Arenales del Sol and Casa del Cap. Take a ferry ride from the fishing town of Santa Pola to the island of Tabarca, where pirates have long since been replaced by snorkellers, or try out kite surfing.
(Sunset in Torrevieja)
After passing the huge salt lake at Salinas de Santa Pola, you’ll come to the pine trees and sand dunes of La Marina, close to other resorts like Pinomar and La Mata.
Golfers regard the whole of the south of the Costa Blanca as their playground, and they’re certainly spoilt for choice.
Head away from the coast, too, for historic Orihuela, the shady palms of Elche, and Crevillente with its carpet-making, while Albatera is an excellent base for touring the Spanish South Costa Blanca.
(Sierra de Orihuela)
Bustling Torrevieja, with its free sports facilities and its cultural activities, boasts attractive beaches. Feast your eyes on the local markets here and at most other towns. More resorts follow, including Punta Prima, Playa Flamenca, Cabo Roig and Mil Palmeras.
Travelling into Murcia, you’ll find larger towns like San Pedro del Pinatar, Los Alcazares and San Javier, eventually reaching the Mar Menor lagoon and La Manga coastal area, but we must stop our journey here before we stray into another costa!
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