Costa Blanca is in the province of Alicante. It consists of around 200 km of Mediterranean coastline though its borders aren’t strictly defined. To the north it includes the popular resorts of Gandia, Javea and Denia and to the south it extends to the rather ugly development of Torrevieja. Around here marks the beginning of the Costa Calida. A number of other smallish resorts such as Moraira, Altea and Calpe are particularly popular with Spanish tourists. In contrast the high rise resort of Benidorm is one of the world’s most popular package holiday destinations.
Main Resorts of the Costa Blanca
Altea – Altea is one of the most beautiful towns on the Costa Blanca. The beach is pebbly unlike most of the resorts but this has prevented mass tourism and it has a charm that makes it well worth a visit.
Benidorm – Until the 1960s Benidorm was a sleepy fishing village yet today it is Europe’s largest holiday resort which attracts around 5 million annual visitors.
Calpe – Dominated by the huge rock called the Peñon de Ifach, Calpe is probably the most built up resort on the Costa Blanca other than Benidrom. It has some Roman ruins and salt flats that attract a wide range of birds.
Denia – Denia is located between Gandia and Javea on the northern Costa Blanca. Just outside the town it has a long, golden sandy beach which is remarkably underdeveloped. Regular ferry services connect Denia with Ibiza in around 2½ hours.
Gandia – Gandia is the most northerly resort on the Costa Blanca. It caters for predominantly Spanish tourists but the beaches are fantastic and well worth a visit.
Javea – Javea is one of the most popular resorts of the Costa Blanca. It has an interesting old town, a busy marina area and the lovely, sandy beach of El Arenal. If you visit in summer look out for the Javea Festivals.
Moraira – Moraira is a real jewel of the Costa Blanca. Located just south of Javea it has stylish cafes and restaurants and a small, sandy beach just next to its very small “castle”.
Things to Do on the Costa Blanca
Benidorm is by far the biggest resort on the Costa Blanca which attracts visitors of all ages. The resort boasts three blue flag beaches, lively nightlife to suit everyone and some very good restaurants. On the outskirts of town are some world class Benidorm theme parks which can easily be reached from the ‘Autopista AP-7′ which runs the full length of the Costa Blanca.
There are Costa Blanca Markets which take place on different days along the coast and from most resorts you’ll be able to book boat trips that take you along the Costa Blanca. Another novelty is to take a trip on the tram which runs up and down the coast between Alicante and Denia with many stops in between.
If you have a rental car and fancy escaping from the beach for a day then there’s a treat waiting for you in the beautiful countryside inland from the Costa Blanca. Here you’ll find one of Spain’s great undiscovered gems which is growing in popularity with walkers, cyclists, birdwatchers and nature lovers in general. In the off season it’s well worth stopping off at the lovely town of Guadalest though the place is overrun with tourists during the peak season. A lovely spot for lunch is at one of the seafront restaurants in the quaint fishing community of Villajoyosa just south of Benidorm.
Costa Blanca Boat Trips
It is possible to take boat trips from many of the resorts on the Costa Blanca. You can take a “mini cruise” between the harbours of Denia, Javea, Calpe and Altea either for the pleasure of being on a boat or to avoid the traffic on the roads between these resorts which can be fairly heavy in the summer months.
The view of the Costa Blanca from the sea is spectacular and gives you a different perspective than being on land, especially of the church at the top of the hill in Altea, the castle in Denia, the Peñon de Ifach (large Gibraltaresque rock) in Calpe and the Parador in Javea.
You can also take a sailing trip along the coast on a catamaran viewing the rugged landscape of the Costa Blanca and have time for swimming, snorkelling and sunbathing along the way. There are trips to watch the sunset from the sea, beach party cruises and trips in glass bottom boats.
There are a few companies offering a selection of these types of boat trips. One company that we liked is Mundo Marino. For more information on what they have to offer take a look at there website: www.mundomarino.es which does have an English version although some of it is not yet translated.
See the Costa Blanca by Tram
There’s a narrow gauge rail network which runs along the Costa Blanca from Alicante to Denia It is officially known as the FGV (Ferrocarril de la Generalitat Valenciana). There are stops at Terra Mitica in Benidorm, Altea, Calpe and Teulada (near Moraira) along the way. It also stops at many other stations meaning that it takes quite a long time to cover the route. There are trains departing from Alicante-Luceros station every hour. It’s probably not the best method of travelling the whole way from Alicante to Denia but it could be used between Benidorm and Denia or any of the stations in between as a short excursion. For more information and an up to date timetable and prices take a look at the TRAM website.