Whilst on holiday in Torrevieja, many people who have hired a car enjoy visiting some of the other lovely towns and villages along the Costa Blanca and Costa Calida. Just a 30 minute drive north of Torrevieja, along the coastal road is the pretty fishing town of Santa Pola. The town also has an thriving salt industry, and the Natural Park of Salinas de Santa Pola where the salt comes from, is an important RAMSAR site that is home to an interesting array of flora & fauna. For hikers and birdwatchers there is also a nature reserve in the nearby Carabasi area, further enhancing the wonderful variety of landscapes that make up the areas around Santa Pola.
Daily Fish Market
Santa Pola is only a small town, but the importance of its fishing industry is evident in the fact that it has one of the largest fleets of fishing boats on the Mediterranean. The quality and taste of the fish and seafood these boats bring in is superb, and if you visit early you can choose from an excellent selection on offer at the daily fish market. Those that are just on a short visit can sample some of these delights in the town’s good selection of restaurants and tapas bars. The area is also known for its excellent rice dishes, and visitors can sign up for rice cooking lessons that include some of the famous dishes of the region.
Along its 13 kilometres of coastline there is a choice of secluded coves and bays as well as 4 kilometres of idyllic sandy beaches. Playa Lisa is popular with families that have young children as the sea is relatively calm and shallow for quite some way out. A favourite destination for water sports, Santa Pola’s population more than doubles during the summer months, with thrill seekers taking to the skies and sea, making for a colourful skyline.
Throughout the town there are parks and plazas surrounded by a great choice of bars, cafes and restaurants. The charming fisherman’s quarter is steeped in history and offers a number of interesting plazas and buildings to explore, as well as a quaint little Moorish chapel. Built in the 16th century, the impressive Santa Pola Castle houses the Maritime Museum and exhibition centre. Tabarca Island lies just off the coast of Santa Pola, and its crystal clear waters are a protected marine conservation reserve, fantastic for snorkelling. There are daily boat trips to the island, and visitors can choose to bring along a picnic, or enjoy a meal in one of the superb seafood restaurants.