Costa Blanca Information

The Costa Blanca, situated on the South East coast of Spain, is known as the “White Coast”, and is a favourite holiday destination for the Spanish themselves. The area from Alicante in the North, and then Southwards to the Mar Menor is a region of contrasting gentle landscapes and rugged coastline covering every aspect of Spanish life from bustling cosmopolitan towns to traditional Spanish villages.

costa-blancaIt has a superb climate with over 300 days of sunshine a year, and an average temperature of 20 degrees, which enables the farmers to produce four harvests of fruit and vegetables per year. It is also a very healthy, dry climate as there is no heavy industry in the area, and the salt lagoons situated 2 kms from Torrevieja draw the moisture from the air, making the climate ideal for people suffering from arthritis, psoriasis and asthma. The benefits are almost immediate, and is the reason why the WorId Health Organisation recommend it as one of the healthiest places to live. 80 beaches in the Valencia region of the Costa Blanca fly the “Blue Flag”. This is only awarded to beaches which meet the stringent requirements for cleanliness and facilities. Most have a beach bar open in the summer season and they vary from secluded sand dunes to long flat sandy beaches.

Nature lovers will be enthralled by the region’s wildlife in the many protected reserves and parks and only a few minutes drive from the coast will take you into the open, glorious unspoilt countryside. The nature reserve of the lagoons at La Mata and Torrevieja, are one of the most important marshlands in Valencia and serves as a habitat for numerous protected species of bird such as the greater Flamingo, and Montagu’s harrier. These two beautiful lagoons, known as Las Salinas, the salt flats date back to the 12th century and are currently one of the most important in the whole of Europe.

Spanish cuisine has it’s own individual character, which is expressed by a range of pleasantly surprising delicacies. Tapas, jamon de Serrano, chorizo, gazpacho, conejo (rabbit) and pastel de carne are just some of the many specialties. Together with the various regional and local specialities, such as the famous paella and numerous local fish and shellfish dishes, delicious food can always be guaranteed in this part of Spain. Dining out is inexpensive with innumerable excellent restaurants to choose from, with many restaurants being renowned for their speciality dishes such as roasted lamb, piglet or ostrich, to the fish and seafood restaurants specialising in lobster, fish baked in salt, and seafood platters. The selection of quality wines is superb with prices much lower than the UK and a diverse range to suit all palates and pockets. Wine tasting is possible at many co-operatives and independent wine growers in the region, who sell directly by the bottle, by the 5 litre barrel or by the cask, at extremely reasonable prices.

Health care facilities are excellent on the Costa Blanca, and there are many doctors, dentists and opticians who speak English. EU citizens are entitled to health care services in Spain and there are numerous clinics in the area including Centro de Salud in Santa Pola and Hospital Universitaria in Elche. Torrevieja has two hospitals as well as numerous clinics and medical centres. San Jaime is a private hospital in Torrevieja with state of the art facilities. There are also excellent hospitals within a very short distance at Alicante and Orihuela. Private health insurance is widely available with costs dependent on age, sex and level of cover required. Numerous pharmacies can be found throughout the area, and are easily identified with a green cross. At least one pharmacy remains open at weekends/overnight for emergencies in every area.

Education in Spain is of a very high standard, and there are schools and colleges in every area. For younger children the state schools are free and children adapt very quickly to the Spanish language. For older children there are fee paying International schools which follow the English curriculum and where the students can be taught in English. The Alicante area also boasts of having two of Spain’s premier Universities.