Albatera & San Isidro

Albatera is a medium sized town in the Vega Baja region of the Costa Blanca in the Alicante province. It has a population of around 9,000 and its inhabitants speak mostly Spanish with a smattering of Catalan.

Albatera lies north of Cox on the N-340 and is within easy reach of both Alicante and Murcia airports (41 km and 37 km respectively). Albatera sits on the banks of the River Segura, a beautiful spot with spectacular views of the surrounding Sierra de Crevillent mountains - though the town itself has a very level aspect. The area has a wonderful Mediterranean climate with the Segura river basin having the lowest rainfall in the whole of Spain. The average temperature ranges from 11 degrees centigrade in January to 28 degrees in August.

Artefacts found in the area give testimony to its being inhabited in pre-historic times. The Romans invaded in the 3rd century BC and left their mark with a system of irrigation channels. The Arabs invaded in the 5th century and held control until it was re-conquered by Alfonso the Wise (Alfonso X) in 1266. In 1296 Jaime II King of Aragon integrated Albatera along with Cox and Crevillente into the kingdom of Aragon and granted the Moors of these 3 villages safe conduct to return to their former places of residence.

The agreement of Elche 1305 set the boundaries of Castilla and Aragon as north and south of the Segura river - the southern area including Albatera and Crevillente going to Aragon and Cox going to Castilla. In 1609 the Moors were finally expelled and the language and writings of the region became exclusively Castillan. In 1833 Albatera became part of the province of Alicante. From these early days the economy of the area was dependant almost entirely on agriculture, irrigated by the waters of the River Segura, and formerly dry land was brought into use by the irrigation channels. Pig farming also constituted a large part of the area’s economy up until recent times, when industry and commerce became of equal importance to that of agriculture and farming.

Modern Albatera consists of wide, palm tree lined streets with attractive white-walled houses. At the centre in the plaza is a beautiful parochial church, dedicated to the apostle Santiago and built in 1729. The church is famed for its elaborate baroque doorway, intricately carved in stone. Also in the plaza is the town hall and the old casino.

Albatera is surrounded by natural areas of plains, wetlands and mountains. One of the most impressive of these areas being the municipal park - Parque de la Huerta (Park of the Orchards) consisting of 30,000m2 of gardens, with a lake, a fountain and a variety of marked out walking routes. Some musical events also take place here.

Albatera has an intricate network of canals and irrigation channels, many dating from Roman times, these support the areas agricultural needs where the main produce is fruit (mostly lemons and dates) and vegetables.

The historic city of Orihuela is just 12 km away with its countless fine churches. Albatera is just 30 minutes away from some of the best beaches in the area. Close to Albatera is the small village of San Isidro which was only founded in 1959 after a law was passed to encourage settlement of the marshy areas. It’s white houses are built in a grid system of identical streets. To the east lies the agricultural town of Catral, also the Hondo Reservoir with its enjoyable trails and walks through interesting and scenic countryside.

One of Albatera’s best known festivals is in July and honours Saint James the Apostle - a whole week is given over to the celebrations which includes novilladas where novice bullfighters challenge young bulls. Another major celebration is the Moors and Christians festival.

Just 6 km north of Albatera town is the Albatera Golf and Country Club - one of the top golf courses in the area. Apart from golf, a range of other activities are available including tennis, shooting and riding.

Albatera has good Spanish schools and good motorway access. Albatera can be easily reached by motorway via exit 78 (both north and south) of the A-7. Albatera is a truly traditional Spanish town with good Spanish values.

Algorfa

Algorfa is a small town in the Costa Blanca area of Spain.

Algorfa lies on the banks of the River Segura and is approximately 30 minutes' drive away from Alicante Airport and Murcia-San Javier Airport. It is a 15 minute drive inland from the resort of Guardamar del Segura.

As one of Vega Baja del Segura’s citrus farming villages, with a population rapidly approaching 3000, Algorfa is situated amongst lush and fertile countryside.

Just outside the town is an unusual neo-gothic church that was built at the beginning of the nineteenth century and is worth visiting. Algorfa holds a market on Sundays.

It is also home to the La Finca Golf Club.

• You will see from this website that the people of Algorfa have a natural lust for life and much of this will be spent outdoors as they socialize and generally take things at a slower pace. We have all heard the term 'manana' (leave until tomorrow) but this is often exaggerated. The Spanish day is long and they will gladly work at a gentler pace into the evening rather than be dominated by the hustle and bustle 9-5 factor.

• The people of Algorfa love to eat in big groups with families the focal point of most evening meals when they can all get together to mull over the days events. This love of the outdoors has resulted in more bars and restaurants per person than any other Country in the World.

• Our Fiestas in the village are a very spectacular and colourful event that generally happens in July, the people of Algorfa still love to attend the bullfighting, football is one of their other passions as bars are packed full of supporters on Saturday and Sunday evening. Leisure time is normally taken up by walking, cycling and golf, Musical stage shows and a love of the arts such as Operas are very popular.

• In fact the Spanish love of life is still very prominent and can be heard in its earnest at the tables of bars in the paseo, Children are adored in Algorfa so don't be surprised if they take an instant liking to yours with a 'hola' (hello) or maybe a guapa (beautiful) comment.

• Development, quality of life, tradition, well Being and progress all come together to make Algorfa an unforgettable destination

Alicante

Alicante in Spain is located in the bay naturally formed by the Cabo de las Huertas and the Cabo de Santa Pola, against the backdrop of the Monte Benacanti. It has a view out to sea and has become not only a major port but also a centre for tourism from which the city derives its main source of income. It is the second largest city in Valencia and due to the tourism enjoys a booming economy and all the modern conveniences of a major tourist city sit side by side with the tradition and history of the city itself.

Certainly there is much to see and enjoy for the visitor to Alicante and because of its wonderful shopping centres and wide streets and its strategic position close to the airport Alicante is one of the best known towns within the Costa Blanca and is often the starting point for holiday makers even if they are not staying in the City itself. Arguably Alicante has one of the most recognisable and beautiful seafront promenades in Spain, the Paseo de la Explanada. An extremely pleasant and enjoyable place to enjoy a stroll before or after dinner, the promenade is lined by four rows of palms standing guard along the route and the walkway itself is of inlaid marble coloured in red, cream and black and the pattern has been so designed to imitate the rolling waves of the nearby Mediterranean Sea.

Alicante had to endure the same historic fate as many of the towns and villages of the Costa Blanca and was ruled by various different governments and has seen its fair share of wars and conflicts throughout its history and because of its coastal position, so profitable in times of peace, all attacks have been made from the sea. During the Spanish war of Succession it sided with the Bourbons and suffered dreadful bombardment and the castle of Santa Barbara was destroyed by English troops. However, during the War of Independence (1801 – 1814) it was the provincial capital of the Kingdom of Valencia. It was during the 17th and 18th centuries that the City began to flourish and made determined progress, it was granted licences to trade with the Americas and a Sea and Land Council was formed to promote navigation and agriculture. In the 19th century the City walls were demolished, new districts created and the railway arrived. The 20th century saw Alicante’s transformation into a service centre and the tourist industry was encouraged and developed to create the City as it is today.

Perhaps the place to start your visit to Alicante is the old town centre with its narrow streets and white houses and the historical district is located in the area around the Calle Labradores and the Rambla de Mendez Nuñnez – a street that a river used to pass through.

There are also museums, historical buildings and wonderful parks, beaches and water sports to enjoy in this most diverse of cities. There is the Musea Aequeologico Provincial (The provincial Archaeology Museum) which was created in 1932 located in the basement of what was The Provincial Council building and it houses valuable displays of Iberian art and a collection of ceramics and artifacts found throughout the centuries.

The Col-leccio Capa has the largest contemporary collection of Spanish sculpture in the world and this can be found among the halls of the castle of Santa Barbara. There is also the La Asegurada displaying a contemporary art collection, the most important in Spain and was derived from a donation by the Alicante painter and sculptor Eusebio Sempere.
Historic buildings include the castle of Santa Barbara, one of the largest in the Mediterranean, reached either by a somewhat tiring climb up through the paths of the cliffs or alternatively there is a lift which will provide a much easier route for anyone wishing to see the castle and its collections and to appreciate the views.

The local gastronomy has much to offer, with rice being the unchallenged King of Alicante’s gastronomy. Also, not unnaturally from a seaport there is an abundance of fresh fish and shellfish dishes and for dessert Alicante’s most famous turrón, or nougat and not be forgotten are the Alicante Denomination of origin wines and worthy of a special mention is El Fondillón which is very similar to a tawny port but is a gem among wines.

Almoradi

Almoradí is a town and municipality located in the comarca of Vega Baja del Segura, in the province of Alicante, Spain, close to the mouth of the river Segura. Almoradí has an area of 42.7 km² and, according to the 2006 census, a total population of 17,494 inhabitants. The economy of Almoradí is mainly based on agriculture (vegetables, fruits and lemons). The most important monuments in the city are the Ancient Hospital and the mill of Alfeitamí.

The town of Almoradi is located on the northern side of the Segura River, on the southern Costa Blanca, and is approximately 25 minutes drive from the coastal towns of Torrevieja and Guardamar. With a population of 13,000 this is a well established community, and as a result there are a good selection of shops, restaurants and other facilities in place; in addition to government managed amenities such as schools, doctors etc.

In recent times there has been increased interest in the town. This has mainly come from residential tourists who are attracted by the relatively low prices (for the region), or ex-pats looking for a taste of real Spain. It has to be said Almoradi does offer something a little different from that of many of coastal towns; it is quieter, and has retained much of its inherent culture and tradition. This is demonstrated in the example of the water tribunal. The tribunal is a historical institution held in the town every year, and is tasked with settling disputes over irrigation; fines are still doled out in Vellon Reals (old Spanish coins).

Sporting enthusiasts are still well catered for here, with the town boasting a good municipal swimming pool and other facilities. Almoradi is no more than a 20 minute drive from a good selection of golf courses; with La Finca and la Marquesa clubs significantly closer.

There are many fiestas (festivals) throughout Almoradi's calendar, some of which are a real spectacle and well worth a look. The cuisine is another major bonus though made up of mainly traditional Spanish fare; although international tastes are also catered for.

Almoradi is also well known for its mild climate and the entire region enjoys sunshine for in excess of 320 days per year. The sun is at its hottest during the summer months, with temperatures rarely falling below 30°C (86°F). Winters are typically very mild with averages hovering around 18°C (64°F).

Callosa de Segura

The town of Callosa de Segura is located north-west of Orihuela on the CV900, it is a municipality of Valencia (Spain) in the Alicante province and another of the Vega Baja (low fertile valley) towns. The 2005 census attributes Callosa de Segura with a population of just under 17,000 and an area of 25 km2,

The town is dominated by the huge Callosa de Segura mountains standing behind it, and some of the houses of the town creep up the side of the mountain together with various crops high up on terraced slopes.

A super vantage point to view the town is from the Sant Roque Hermitage which stands high above the town as if guarding it, and again way above the hermitage is the castle of Callosa in a seemingly inaccessible place which challenges the imagination - why and how could a castle be built in such a difficult place (it would certainly have been an easy place to defend!).

The hermitage was built (1579 - 1798) in honour of the patron saint of Callosa de Segura - Saint Roque, it is said that Saint Roque appeared on the spot where the hermitage is built.

Looking down from the Saint Roque Hermitage it is easy to spot the blue domed roof of the impressive Saint Martin’s Church, dating from the 16th - 18th Centuries. The chapel of the church contains some important pieces of gold work by Miguel de Vera (16th Century).

The original Town Slaughterhouse built in 1929 is now renovated and houses a History Museum of the Town.

The old part of the town, just below the hermitage is best seen by walking as the streets are very narrow and difficult to negotiate by car.

Callosa de Segura can be easily reached via the A-7 (E15) motorway, junction 79, or from the AP-7 motorway, junction 733.

Catral

Catral is a small town located in the Vega Baja district of the province of Alicante, Spain, its municiple disrict covers and area of about 20 km2 and it has a population of 6,642 (2005 Census).

Catral is situated on the CV-905 just north of the town of Almoradi, it can easily be reached from the AP-7 motorway and is within about 20 minutes drive of Alicante airport and around 40 minutes from Murcia (San Javier) airport. Catral is about 10 km from the beaches of Guardamar del Segura..

The name of the town is said to be derived from the Moorish 'Al-Quatrullat', other theories suggest that it comes from the latin for 'fortified villa' (Castrum Altum) or maybe even from the Iberian meaning 'Karl Turl' (Double Summit) referring to the Cabezos de Albatera. Either way the history of Catral certainly goes back to the Arab occupation (8th to 13th centuries) and when the Moors were subsequently defeated by Alphonso of Castille in 1255, it came under the Kingdom of Castille. Later the same century in 1296 control changed once again and control of Catral passed to the Kingdom of Aragon under the auspices of Orihuela.

Over the centuries Catral has been primarily an agricultural area, with important crops being citrus fruits, olives, artichokes and cereals, there was also some cattle farming and some light industry.

There are times when a visit to a town or village in the Vega Baja takes you completely by surprise by producing exactly what you did not expect, such a village is Cox.

Set at the foot of the Sierra de Callosa mountains between Callosa de Segura and Granja de Rocamora, it was like so many of the neighbouring villages, once a Moorish farmstead it was conquered with the rest of the area in the 13th Century. Following the victory the village was given to the Kings of Crevillente, but in 1450 Juan Ruiz Dávalos succeeded in buying it from Roca Togores. He then sought permission from Juan II of Aragon to construct a palace on top of a ridge. The palace is known as the Castilla de Santa Barbara and has recently been restored. In 1995 whilst this work was being carried out, many ancient artefacts were found within the castle. The castle has no battlements and is an imposing if somewhat plain structure on the outside. Access up the hill to the castle has been made easy by the provision of a footpath but it is not an easy walk, and several stops may be necessary on your ascent to the top. Once at the top however the views are spectacular, with many of the villages of the Vega Baja laid out before you. There are also wonderful rooftop views of the village of Cox itself. Standing adjacent to the castle is a small structure housing a cross, known as 'The Way of the Cross', this structure was built on the remains of the original Arabic mosque. Entrance into the castle is by special permission only, although there are occasional organised tours. To gain permission to enter you must present yourself at the local police station with your passport.

The village offers many places of interest and plenty of wonderful photo opportunities for visitors. In the Town Square there is the Ayumtamiento (Town Hall) and a most distinctive fountain. The square is ringed with trees, flowers and shrubs some of which have been shaped by topiary into animal formations. Standing proudly in the square is the statue of the Virgen del Carmen who is the Patrona of the village. Next door to the Ayuntamiento is the Sanctuary of the Convent of the Virgen del Carmen. This convent opened its doors to the Carmelite Order on the 25th October 1611, but in the 19th Century this building became redundant as a convent and is now a museum housing the icons of the Semana Santa and other village treasures.

The Church of San Juan is neo-classical baroque and was constructed between the years of 1744 and 1788 , such is the solidity of this church, that there was not even minor damage during the devastating earthquake of 1829, the church stands guard opposite the Plaza de San Juan. As a typical Spanish village Cox has its share of fiestas and festivals including the Moors and Christians, the Semana Santa and its celebrations for its patron saint San Isidro which is held in mid-May. The fiesta to celebrate the Virgen del Carmen is held in July.

In 2004 the townspeople celebrated the 500th anniversary of Cox becoming a village in its own right and there are many commemorative plaques and statues. The village if famous for its bread, pastries and confectionary which is said to be the best in the province.

Crevillente

A town and municipality in the Alicante province of Spain, Crevillente is well known for the production of carpets and esparto grass mats, the town has a population of around 26,000 (2003) and a municipal area of 103.30 square kilometres. Located to the west of Elche (the city of palms), Crevillente is sandwiched between the El Hondo Nature Reserve and the Sierra de Crevillente mountains.

These days a busy industrial town, Crevillente was settled as long ago as the Paleolithic Era. Later settlements by the Iberians were further extended and improved by the Romans, when they arrived in Spain. During the Arab conquest of the Iberian Peninsular, the town was known as Qirbilyan, and the occupying Moors improved the irrigation of the area using techniques brought from the deserts of North Africa, enabling crops to be grown and formerly unusable land to be cultivated.

Reconquered by the Christian forces of Jaime I in 1244, Crevillente was subject to numerous skirmishes and exchanges over its control. Many of its former Muslim occupants, stayed on in the town after the reconquest until they were finally expelled in 1609, resulting in a serious decline in the town’s population.

The carpet industry began in the 18th century, early carpets were made from esparto grass and called Spanish Carpets, many of these were exported for use abroad, even from these early days.

Close to Crevillente you will find the El Hondo nature reserve and reservoir, an important wetland area which is used by a variety of migratory birds, among the species that can be seen are flamingos and imperial herons. In the waters you may find carp, eel, mosquitofish, toothcarp and grey mullet.

Apart from carpets, the area produces almonds, olives and citrus fruit.

Crevillente is located on the N-340 near to the A-7 motorway, it is about 25 kilometres from Alicante

Daya Nueva

The small village of Daya Nueva is located just inland from the Costa Blanca coastline between the towns of San Fulgencio and Almoradi, the nearest coastal town is Guardamar del Segura and it is here that you will find miles of beautiful sandy beaches to enjoy the sunshine and the warm clear waters of the Mediterranean.

Daya Nueva is a small rural village lying in the Vega Baja region (Low Fertile Valley) surrounded by orange and lemon groves and is a quiet peaceful place ideally located for visiting the many attractions of the Costa Blanca coastline and hinterland.

For golf enthusiasts there are a couple of fine courses nearby at La Finca (Algorfa) and La Marquesa at Rojales (Ciudad Quesada).

Daya Nueva hold its weekly street market on Tuesdays and this is a great place to stock up on fresh locally grown produce. Daya Nueva has its own medical centre and a school and also some lovely little shops for buying everyday products, the nearby town of Almoradi has even more on offer and is worth a visit if you are in the area.

For those seeking re-location or just a peaceful holiday home, there are a number of new developments in Daya Nueva, these include Pinada Gardens Daya Nueva and Luna Mar Daya Nueva and there is no doubt that it is a growing area.

The weather in Daya Nueva is mostly warm and sunny all year round and the village enjoys a fabulous temperate Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild pleasant winters, making it an ideal location for a vacation or for re-location to sunnier climes. There is a good selection of homes to buy or rent in Daya Nueva and you should have no problem finding a property which suits your needs.

Daya Nueva is located just inland of the Costa Blanca coastline between the towns of Almoradi and San Fulgencio about 20 minutes drive from Alicante.

Dolores

Located in the country side and farming areas of the Costa Blanca Region of Spain.

It is with in close proximity of two other towns Catral and Almoradi.

Largely unspoiled by the British invasion of the Costa Blanca region Of Spain, the town offers a peaceful, tranquil area to live. Well away from the hustle and bustle of what you would find in an equal village in England

With many people now looking at the moving to area or similar areas to avoid the sprawling coastal towns that are becoming little Britain's.

Location And Facilities

Dolores lies about about fifteen minutes inland from the coastal region airport is about a thirty minute drive and about the same distance to Murcia airport

Benidorm is about a half hour further out than Alicante airport if you need you fix of British holiday destination or a trip to a theme park, which is where you will find Terra Mitica and a market known for its cheaply priced goods

Guardamar and La Marina beaches are within about an easy fifteen minute drive. With La Marina beach being surrounded by a public nature park and my personal favourite beach to visit

Catral is less than a ten minute drive from Dolores along with Almoradi being just a short distance away.

Golf courses. Dolores plans to open a new golf course in the next two years. But there are plenty of golf courses within easy driving distance of Catral.

Markets

They say that there is a market held every day of the week in the surrounding villages and towns. You will be spoilt for choice.

Dolores Friday market. Is a small market, but very good with the choice of stalls selling every thing from local grown produce to clothes and electrical items.

Almoradi market is held on a Saturday morning around the town square. Here you will find one of the largest and most popular markets in the area. Again with anything from home grown produce to clothes and electrical items

Sunday markets are another way to spend your money, with a very big one being held near Guardamar.

Here you will find a market in its own dedicated area. The market offers not only stalls full of things to buy, but also an extensive food court, where you can sample every thing from a traditional English fry up to traditional Spanish meals. Well worth making a day trip here. A morning shopping with a meal, followed by an afternoon on Guardamar beach.

Elche

Elche (in Spanish) or Elx (in Valencian)[1] is a city located in the comarca of Baix Vinalopó, in the Alicante province which, in turn, is a part of the Valencian Community, Spain.

Part of the municipality is coastal but the main city is some 15 km (9.5 miles) from the Mediterranean Sea. According to the 2006 census, Elche/Elx has a population of approximately 220,000 inhabitants (called il·licitans in Valencian and ilicitanos in Spanish), ranking as the third most populated city in the Valencian Community and the second within the Alicante province. A small creek called Vinalopó flows through the city splitting it in two parts.

Economy

The economy of Elche/Elx is based, in large part, on the footwear industry, with over 1,000 shoe factories, being one of the most important footwear industries in Spain and the rest of Europe. There are other economic activities in Elche/Elx: agriculture (dates, olives, cereals and pomegranates), although it has lost importance in the last years; rubber industry; trade, which employs 20% of the workforce, and tourism. Elche/Elx has a conference centre (called Ciutat d'Elx), an international airport (Aeropuerto de Alicante) a public University, (Universidad Miguel Hernández), and a private University,(Universidad Cardenal Herrera - CEU) .

History

Frontal view of the Lady of Elx.

La Alcudia is 10 km from the current city's location and the immediate predecessor of current day Elche/Elx. This original location was settled by the Iberians and then occupied by Carthaginians and Romans. The latter called the city Ilici and granted it the status of colonia; after a brief Byzantine rule, the Goths took over, establishing an episcopal see.

Elche/Elx lost importance during the period of Moorish occupation, when it was moved slightly north to its present location. James II of Aragon took the city from the Moors in the 13th century, during the Reconquista. The city grew throughout the 18th century and became more important during the 19th century with the arrival of the railway and a booming industrial development of what used to be the traditional footwear industry.

Many archeological remains have been found in Elche/Elx, with the stone bust of the Lady of Elx (Dama de Elche/Dama d'Elx) being the most important. This may date from the Iberian period (4th century BC). The original is in the National Archaeological Museum of Madrid

Being a large city, Elche offers a wide variety of places to shop including boutiques and large shopping centres such as LÁljub and el corte ingles.

Formentera & los palacios

Formentera del Segura is a small village close to Benijofar and Rojales in the Vega Baja (low fertile valley) region of the southern Costa Blanca, Spain, in the Alicante province. Formentera del Segura sits on the banks of the River Segura and the river has been very important in the survival of the village.

Formentera del Segura is named after the former Lord of Formentera, one Don Nicholás Pérez de Sarrió who controlled the village from 1731 and settled eight families there.

The history of the village however goes back much further than this as it was originally a Moorish village during the times of the Arab conquest (8th - 13th Centuries) until it was finally re-conquered by Jaime I (King of Aragon) in 1242.

As with many other villages in the region Formentera del Segura was almost completely destroyed by the earthquake of 1829 and though a re-building program was begun, it was not until 1840 that it was finished, culminating in the construction of the parochial church.

Over the centuries Formentera del Segura has relied mostly on farming and agriculture for its economic survival, as it still does today despite the modern invasion of tourism. Laying as it does on the banks of the River Segura it has benefited greatly from the regular supply of water in an area of very low annual rainfall (the Segura river basin having the lowest rainfall in the whole of Spain). The major products of the village are citrus fruits (mostly oranges and lemons), cereals and vegetables. It is also a producer of honey.

As with all Spanish villages Formentera del Segura has its share of fiestas and celebrations, however there is one unique to Formentera - “The Day of the Bicycle”, in which many of the villagers take part in a race to celebrate the past and present “brotherhood of the people of the village”. The Day of the Bicycle takes place in May. In Formentera del Segura May is known as “The Month of Flowers” and there are many celebrations including a grand procession in honour of the Virgin of the Immaculate Conception.

A major celebration takes place in August (the last week of the month), to pay tribute to the patron saints of the village San Miguel (Saint Michael) and San Roque, culminating in “The Day of the Sardine and Wine”.

Formentera del Segura has a good selection of bars, restaurants and shops and a pleasant village square (plaza) where the Town Hall (Ayuntamiento) can be found along with the traditional fountain.

Separated from the main village is another more modern area known as “Los Palacios” (the palaces).

Formentera del Segura is also close to the Parque Natural de La Mata y Torrevieja, a huge natural park area with many scenic walks and a wide variety of flora and fauna. Also nearby are the cave dwellings at Rojales and the famous Shell House - both worth a visit if you are in the area.

Formentera del Segura sits in a triangle of roads - the AP-7 motorway, the CV-91 and the CV-940. It can be easily accessed by one of these roads, junctions 740, 743 and 745 of the AP-7 are all within a short drive of the village.

Guardamar , Alicante

Located next to the mouth of the River Segura, Guardamar overlooks a long beach bordered by a large expanse of sand dunes covered with pines and eucalyptus. The setting is one of the most unique scenes in the Land of Valencia, with an original combination of extensive coastal dunes protected by a verdant forest, fertile fields and orchards and the omnipresent beach and the Mediterranean sea. The forest parkland of the Dunas de Guardamar, with over 800 hectares running parallel to the coast, is a wonder in a class of its own.

Picture Festivities are an important part of life in Guardamar. And the enthusiasm of the locals will make you want to participate and be more than a mere spectator. Carnival (February), with costumes and outdoor parties.
Holy Week (March/April), with processions and scenes from the Passion. First and second Monday of Easter (March/April). Moors and Christians (2nd fortnight of July), in honour of Saint James, with parades of comparsas (mock warrior companies), sieges of the castle, fireworks and the re-enactment of the legend of L 'Encantà. Feast in honour of the Virgin of Fátima (September) in the country side outside Guardamar. Feast in honour of the Virgin of the Rosary (7th October).

Hondón de los Frailes and Hondón de las Nieves

With a name that literally means ‘Gorge of the Friars’ the charming village of Hondón de los Frailes is located in the beautiful Hondón valley about 45 km from Alicante and the Costa Blanca coastline. The municipality of Hondón de los Frailes covers an area of about 12 km2 and has a population of just over 1,000 (2006 figures), it is bounded by the picturesque Sierra de lo Frailes (which reach a height of 718 metres above sea level).

The name of the village originates due to the fact that it was owned by an order of Dominican Friars during the 17th Century and was controlled by the Corregimiento de Orihuela until 1833. In 1840 along with the village of Redován, Hondón de los Frailes became part of the municipality of Hondón de las Nieves and remained so until it gained its independence in 1926.

There is evidence of settlements in the area going back to ancient times and there was a Roman site there during their occupation of the Iberian Peninsular. Later settlements by the Moors established Hondón as an agricultural area, producing crops such as almonds, olives and grapes.

The present day village has mostly grown up around the 19th Century church, the Iglesia de la Virgen de la Salud, which was built by the Dominican Friars.

Hondón de las Nieves (‘Gorge of the Snows’) with its population of 2,300 is named for the ‘Virgin of the Snow’ and the village church was built in her honour. Hondón de las Nieves is a peaceful agricultural village with a traditional Spanish feel and both villages have a warm and welcoming community. Hondón de las Nieves and Hondón de los Frailes are renowned for their fine table wines.

Hondón de los Frailes is situated on the CV- 845 between Aspe and Barbarroja, Hondón de las Nieves is also on the CV-845 a little closer to Aspe.

La Cala de Finestrat

It's a 'village' of good quality apartments with a small selection of restaurants, plenty of cafes & bars, some with entertainment and a small variety of shops. Benidorm is only 3 km away with a good bus service and plenty of taxis it is easily accessible.

And you can also drop into La Cala just around the corner for good restaurants and a very quiet beach.

In the summer there's an art and crafts market in the afternoon along the seafront and a large weekly market away from the beach all year-round.

Terra Mittica and Terra Natura are within easy reach by car or taxi as are the extremely popular shopping complex 'La Marina' and Carrefour & Lidl hipermarkets.

By night, if you are looking for some excitement, you can try the Casino just up the road, watch the sun go down over a bottle of wine or just enjoy the lively scene and entertainment around the beach. But then again, you do have Benidorm just down the road, the best nightlife in Europe!

Two more golf courses, the Real Faula, one professional, one executive, designed by the famous golfer Jack Nicklaus, attract golfers all year round.

La Marina Urb, Alicante

La Marina on the Costa Blanca is located 20 minutes drive south of Alicante Airport. There is a large urbanisation and everything that you could possibly need to make your stay here enjoyable is within reach at a nearby location. The Blue Flag La Marina beach is just down the road with its natural sand dunes and there is always space to spread out on 11 miles of golden sandy beaches. Market day in La Marina is Thursday and there is also a Sunday Market on the dedicated site at the same location on calle Justo Quesada. La Marina urbanisation is situated within the local council area of San Fulgencio.

In 1729 Cardinal Belluga received 40,000 tahúllas of poor and marshy land in the area around the delta of the Segura River from Orihuela and Guardamar del Segura, and founded San Fulgencio. He was to drain the wetlands and make them fertile and productive and then use rents obtained from the land for good works, ie.orphanages and hospitals in Murcia. In fact, San Fulgencio owes its name to the patron saint of Murcia, the town which was Cardinal Belluga's diocesan seat.

The Archaeological Museum in San Fulgencio represents, through the different materials that were found, the different aspects of everyday life of the ancient Iberian people, from the utensils they used, and, who they bartered with, to the way that they buried their dead.

The Costa Blanca enjoys more than 2,800 hours of sunshine throughout the year and an average annual temperature of 19.3° C, the perfect microclimate for ideal year-round living conditions. The high number of days of clear skies and sunshine means that this area is the perfect place to be to enjoy the outdoors just about every day of the year. For the latest weather forecast click here: Weather forecast

The Spanish town of Guardamar is on the coast just a 10 minute car journey from La Marina. The bustling seaside town of Torrevieja is a 20 minute drive south. There are day trips on boats from Santa Pola and Alicante to the small offshore island of Tabarca, the only inhabited island in the region of Valencia, with it's underwater reserve. Benidorm and the Terra Mitica theme park are just a 45 minute drive away. Car rental on the Costa Blanca is very economical. A small car can be rented for as little as 99 Euros for one week.

La Siesta

La Siesta is an established residential area on the outskirts of Torreveija. Typical properties in La Siesta are villas with their own private grounds. La Siesta has its own selection of restaurants, cafes and bars, supermarket, shops, banks etc.

There is a good bus service into Torreveija town centre. Easy access to Alicante (45 min) and Murica (30 min) Airports.

The nearest town Torrevieja is situated next to the sea in the south of the Valencian Community. It is surrounded by two large natural saltwater lagoons that form the well-known 'Salterns of Torrevieja', which are considered to be the biggest in Europe. Alicante, the provincial capital is about 47 Kms away, and the international airports of El Altet and San Javier are about 35 Kms away. In recent years Torrevieja has become a first-class tourist location, it boasts 360 days of sun a year and an average temperature of 18°C. There are many beautiful beaches, squares, walks, parks, gardens and other natural beauty spots (Ferriz). One of the main attractions to Torrevieja are the variety of festivals which take place every month. Some of the most popular events in Spain are the Carnavals in which thousands of people join in, forming a light show of colour, satir and good humour. Within 40 mins drive is Benidorm to the north with its theme and water parks and to the south is La Manga the famous golf resort.

Los Montesinos

Lying just north of the Torrevieja salt lake, Los Montesinos is one of the Vega Baja villages of the Southern Costa Blanca, Spain. Located in the Alicante province within the Communidad de Valencia, it is a village with a more modern feel than many of the surrounding villages.

Although Los Montesinos seems more up to date, its history goes back to Roman times, remains of a Roman village have been found and this links conveniently to the important ancient Roman road which runs through the village. The Via Augusta would have been the most important road in Spain during the Roman occupation although it is somewhat uninspiring today, looking much like any other road.

Over many centuries Los Montesinos has depended mostly on agriculture for its survival, but in recent years the modern invasion of tourism and property development seems to have taken over in importance. The village is still, however surrounded by mile upon mile of orange and lemon groves. New development of properties has brought more wealth and status to Los Montesinos and has resulted in a sizeable expat community in the village. Even so the old Spanish traditions have not been lost and the old mingles nicely with the new giving Los Montesinos a warm and friendly feel.

Part of the new feel of the village is created by the new Town Hall (Ayuntamiento), an impressive building close to the Town Square.

Orihuela Costa

Orihuela Costa - Despite its name the Orihuela Costa is some distance from the city of Orihuela, in fact some 20 kilometres away. It comprises approximately 16 km of fine sandy beaches, rocky coves and clear sparkling waters stretching from Punta Prima (just south of Torrevieja) to Mil Palmeras.

It is now one of the most popular destinations in the region for a summer holiday, attracting visitors from all over Europe, the people of Spain themselves also love this part of the coast particularly those from the city of Murcia who flock to the Orihuela Costa in August. Holidaymakers are attracted by the wonderful, safe "blue flag" beaches, the fine climate and the abundance of facilities and entertainment.

The Orihuela Costa boasts some well known and popular resorts including Cabo Roig, Playa Flamenca, La Zenia, Punta Prima and Campoamor. These resorts are all dotted along the N332 coastal road between Torrevieja and Pilar de la Horadada and are easily accessed from this road and from the AP-7 motorway.

Orihuela Costa Resorts

Cabo Roig - Located between Campoamor and La Zenia, accessed from the N-332.

One of the most exclusive and popular of the Orihuela Costa resorts is Cabo Roig, very busy during the summer months but quiet in the winter time, Cabo Roig has everything to offer the discerning tourist.

It has 2 fine beaches (Cala Caleta and Cala Capitan), a superb marina which has recently undergone a 2 million euro facelift, a spectacular and picturesque cliff walk to La Zenia, and a great choice of shops, bars and restaurants along the popular Cabo Roig strip, and a wide range of holiday rental accommodation for your stay in the resort ...... more here: Cabo Roig.

Playa Flamenca - Located between Punta Prima and La Zenia, accessed from the N-332.

Another popular area along the Orihuela Costa is Playa Flamenca, also with an excellent beach, the seafront of Playa Flamenca has recently undergone some major changes with the coastal path and promenade being modernised and improved.

Though this work has caused some problems over the last 2 years (2005-06) the work is now largely finished and Playa Flamenca will surely once again become one of the Orihuela Costa's most popular locations...... more here: Playa Flamenca.

La Zenia - Located between Cabo Roig and Playa Flamenca, accessed from the N-332 or the AP-7 motorway.

Best known for its excellent hotel (La Zenia Hotel), La Zenia is another well loved resort on the Orihuela Costa. La Zenia also boasts a fine beach and some great facilities.

Popular with the Irish La Zenia is the location of the famous Paddy's Point bar one of the best known bars along the Costa Blanca.

A huge new commercial centre has been built close to the motorway junction, further improving the range of facilities in the resort....... more here: La Zenia.

Situated at the northern end of the Orihuela Costa, Punta Prima is another excellent resort. Recognisable by the obtrusive water tower along the N332 it is well known for its Go-Kart track.

The new 'Eroski' commercial centre has added a McDonalds and a wider range of shops, bars and restaurants to the area.

Punta Prima also has some nice beaches....... more here: Punta Prima.

Campoamor - Located between Mil Palmeras and Cabo Roig, Campoamor can be accessed from the N-332, there is also a turning off the AP-7 motorway signposted 'Dehesa de Campoamor'.

Campoamor has two super beaches and some excellent facilities, it is also within easy reach of the fabulous Cabo Roig strip with its great choice of bars and restaurants.

Slightly inland is the famous Campoamor Golf Club, one of the 3 local golf courses...... more here: Campoamor.

Orihuela Costa Golf - There are 3 excellent golf courses in the Orihuela Costa region and these are located together at Villamartin, Campoamor and Las Ramblas, making the Orihuela Costa a perfect location for a golfing holiday (links to golf course information below).

Orihuela Costa Weather - The Orihuela Costa resorts enjoy a fantastic warm Mediterranean climate with plenty of sunshine and little rainfall. The area has a unique micro-climate created by the salt lakes at Torrevieja and La Mata and boasts some of the best weather in the whole of Spain with over 300 days of sunshine each year.

Quesada

The southern Costa Blanca town of Quesada has a history unlike any other in the area. You will not find stories of Bronze Age settlements, Roman invasions, Moorish occupation or Christian re-conquests, for Ciudad Quesada is a new town, built from nothing by a man with a childhood dream.

That man was Justo Quesada Samper and his childhood dream was to build his own city where people could live together in harmony, prosper and enjoy life to the full. His dream started to become a reality in 1972 when building began in what would become the town of Ciudad Quesada - named of course after the man himself, by 1999 the dream had become a reality when Quesada opened its own Town Hall.

Rising up on a hillside, close to the older town of Rojales, Ciudad Quesada now stands as a shining monument to what can be achieved by one man with a dream and an awful lot of patience and perseverance. The white villas and houses of the town look down on the surrounding countryside from their lofty position on the hillside, and can be seen for miles around.

Rojales

Rojales - The beautiful town of Rojales, just inland from Guardamar del Segura on the southern Costa Blanca, Spain, is a traditional farming village. Lying as it does on the banks of the Segura River, water has played an important part in its past and present history. Present day Rojales has been able to combine its tradition and culture with a more modern lifestyle. Now a popular location for both holiday homes and for people settling permanently in the area, some 4,000 families have chosen to make Rojales their home. Its current population is around 8,000 people, though this rises to 30,000 during the holiday period.

The history of Rojales can be traced back to the Neolithic Era and the Bronze Age when small groups of huts were gathered close to the River Segura.

The town itself appears to have been founded by the Moors during the Arab conquest (8th - 13th Centuries) and they were responsible for a complex irrigation system, traces of which still remain today.

Torrevieja

The Torrevieja area is named by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as one of the healthiest climates in the world. With well over 300 days of sunshine every year and an average temperature of around 24° C it is an obvious choice for holiday and retirement homes and a huge number of British people have chosen to make their permanent homes here over the past few years. For those just visiting there are plenty of hotels in and around the town, plus thousands of apartments, houses and villas for rent.

The whole area has grown massively around the property business and there is an enormous choice of properties - both re-sales and new build. Most of the development is close to the sea with the majority of properties either walking distance or a short drive from the nearest beach.

There is a large network of British shops, bars, restaurants and services and also plenty of sports and interest clubs catering for Brits and of course for people of all nationalities. Golf in particular is a sport well catered for in the area and there are 3 golf courses close by, at Villa Martin, Las Ramblas and Campoamor offering challenges to players of all capabilities, Villamartin is a championship course.

Torrevieja itself lies around 50km south west of Alicante. The area (including La Mata) is famous for its salt lakes, and salt, along with fishing, was the major industry in the area before the arrival of tourism which has caused the town to grow hugely over the last few years. The name Torrevieja derives from the Spanish for "old tower". Torrevieja has a huge harbour which is due for major refurbishment and development.

Torrevieja boasts a superb promenade with a lively craft market and funfair and a huge number of bars, restaurants and ice-cream parlours. It is also very popular with sand modellers who astound bypassers with their skill and artistry. There are dozens of fabulous beaches in the area - some of the best being in the Cabo Roig, La Zenia and Campoamor areas and Torrevieja itself has many beaches. If you are looking to locate here or simply to take a holiday or buy a holiday home, you will not be disappointed - many thousands have chosen to make this their home.

One of the best known landmarks in Torrevieja is the Park of the Nations (Parque de las Naciones), some views are shown in the pictures above - the islands and lakes form a replica of a map of Europe and each country is represented by its national flag. There is also a stage within the park where many local events are held. The park is a favourite haunt of the spanish people of Torrevieja especially on a sunday when the place is really buzzing, with the parents enjoying the sunshine and the children enjoying the play park. There is a variety of birdlife in the park including a couple of particularly striking peacocks. There is also a small reptile house where you can see some huge iguanas.

Torrevieja is well known for it's beaches, one of the most popular is Los Locos beach.

Villamartin

Villamartin is the name of both an urbanisation and a golf course in the Costa Blanca area of eastern Spain. It lies in the municipality of Orihuela, in the province of Alicante in the Valencian Community .

Villamartin is one of the many new developments in the past decade in this area of Costa Blanca. The place is very popular with the tourists and most of the population consists of Western European expatriate communities who have settled there in the last 10 years, virtually transforming the village into a modern-looking town. There are also other golf courses nearby and numerous beaches. The nearest beach is the La Zenia beach.

Situated within the urbanisation is the Villamartin Plaza (Square) which houses numerous shops, bars, cafes and restaurants to suit all tastes. Huge palm trees grow centrally within the Plaza being home to several parrots. These are a cause of great interest and enjoyment to the watching hoards of locals and tourists alike and have taken on somewhat of a celebrity status; their squawking and flying exploits being a central part of the Plaza's popularity.

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