Spain in its total is a place to behold! It’s amazing beaches, rich culture, cuisine and activities as well as friendly weather all year round make up for one of the best countries to visit. As such, Costa Blanca or ‘White Coast’ is home to some of the best sceneries, life and resorts that Spain has to offer. Each year huge numbers of tourists flock on its shores in order to enjoy a sunny getaway from the busy and sometimes mundane life back home. The options of resorts on offer are vast so if you are looking for your next holidays in Costa Blanca, here is the place to look in order to get a brief taste of what those sunny shores can provide you!
Costa Blanca or the White Coast refers to over 125 miles of sunny beaches and places to visit on the Mediterranean coastline of Spain. Where shall we start from? The activities? The places? The people? In all, the Costa Blanca is a place that deserves a visit, or many! We fought hard to keep this article relatively short as the views around Costa Blanca are numerous and certainly breathtaking.
With three times the number of EU Blue Flags (highly sought after ratings that show the beaches are clean and safe) than any of the other Costas, the Costa Blanca, or white coast as it translates to in English, boasts 170 miles of unforgettable sandy beach. Sit back, and enjoy our guide to the best Costa Blanca beaches.
There are an enormous variety of coastal resorts to choose from – Javea, Calpe, Benidorm, Valencia and the capital, Alicante, to name but a few – and it’s important to notice that every year many of their beaches receive the prestigious European blue flag, setting the standard for the entire area. However, if you’re a real sunbathing expert, then now is the time to listen up. We’ve narrowed down the endless list of beautiful beaches to the best of the best.
El Carabassí (near santa Pola)
First is El Carabassí, a vast virgin beach of pale, golden sand, bordered by wetlands, salt pans and enormous dunes. Mostly attended by multi-generational Spanish families (equipped with a mind-boggling array of chairs, tables, loungers and windshields) the beach is thankfully quieter towards its southern end – an officially designated nudist zone. The beach slopes very gently, so the water is shallow for quite a way from the shore, deeming it extremely safe for children. However for those choosing to venture a little further out, rewards are waiting in abundance. Here you will find excellent conditions for windsurfing, snorkelling and swimming and some glorious reefs. A quick tip – the beach is lined with shacks serving locally-caught fish, paellas, snacks, ice-cream and ice-cold beers, but it’s preferable to make like the Spanish and take a picnic of wine and fresh fruits.
Poniente Beach (Benidorm)
Poniente Beach, just west of Levante, is a mammoth golden curl of excellent fine sand. Slightly less crowded than Levante, but with plenty of facilities close at hand, Poniente boasts a more relaxed and laid back feel – and a bit more space. Cafes, bars and shops make up the promenade and there’s a wide choice of hotel and apartment accommodation in the surrounding area if you’re looking to extend your stay.
Playa de El Saler (Valencia)
El Saler is a 30-minute bus trip from the centre of Valencia, but well worth the journey. It is a blue flag beach with amazing quality sand and the cleanest of water. Unfortunately this also makes it one of the busiest beaches during the summer months, but it is picturesque nonetheless.
Read more: Best beaches in the Algarve
Cala Pope Tango (Javea)
A wonderfully unique cove, this rustic beach is comprised of both sand and small pebbles, which are great for exploring. Although fairly unspoilt, you can still enjoy a spot of diving and the cove has safety flags and buoys to advise on swimming conditions. There are also ample facilities nearby, including some great restaurants and a bar for when all that swimming works up an appetite.
Cala Grandella (Javea)
No list of beaches in the Costa Blanca would be complete without some mention of the horseshoe-shaped, Blue Flag awarded cove of Grandella. Small at just 160m, but full of character, the beautiful cove consists of shingle, pebbles and rocks, complemented by clear waters that are perfect for swimming. The beach has ample facilities to enrich your day: a lifeguard is present at all times with safety flags to indicating swimming conditions; canoeing is available; sunbeds and parasols are up for hire; diving and snorkelling are also popular; shower and toilet facilities are present and a great bar and restaurant overlook the bay. Expect calm, sapphire water, flanked by a dense forest of emerald Aleppo pine trees. Perfection.
Les Rotes (Denia)
Just south of the centre of Denia, Les Rotes is five little bays, each set against the backdrop of the Montgó nature reserve. Marineta Cassiana at the beginning is a sandy beach, whilst the following beaches of El Trampoli, Punta Negra, Arenetes and La Cala are a string of rocky coves with clear turquoise waters. The main sandy beach near the harbour attracts mostly families with small children, but if you’re looking to avoid the tourist heave and hive, or don’t like getting sand in your sandwiches, then the rocky coves are a stunning alternative, La Cala, a nudist beach, offers fabulous conditions for snorkelling and scuba diving with plenty of fish and plant life to discover.
Benidorm holidays are a firm favourite with British holiday makers and have been for years. It’s easy to see why, with fantastic beaches, plenty of nightlife and activities for anyone from two to 92, it’s one of our absolute favourites.
Smack, bang, right on the Med, holidays in Benidorm holidays have grown a lot since humble beginnings in the 60s. Its miles of coastline are packed full of beaches, cafes, a promenade and restaurants and it’s one of the top tourist destinations on the whole of the Costa Blanca. Although it’s developed a bit of a reputation, in the last few years the focus has shifted to a more family friendly approach. There are still plenty of clubs and bars, but you’ll also find lots of cultural walks, theme parks, water sports and great food and nightlife. Whether it’s a day at theme parks like Terra Miticia, a night on the tiles or long, lazy days of relaxing on the beach, Benidorm holidays have it all.
Originally built between two beaches, Benidorm was once a little fishing village, standing in the shade of a church called San Jaime. Now everything you’ll find is geared towards giving you a great holiday. Its growing skyline means it’s often referred to as the “Manhattan of Spain”, or, our personal favourite “Beniyork.” (The Gran Hotel Bali found downtown, stands at a whopping 186 metres high and is the tallest hotel in Europe.) It’s made up of tree lined avenues and is one of the best served cities from the UK, with over 30 low cost and scheduled airlines flying there direct every day. Because there are so many seats, there are plenty of competitive prices to suit every budget.
Places to go: Benidorm’s beaches are one of the top draws, with long, fine soft sandy stretches and crystal clear waters. Of course, it is home to outstanding weather year round. A perfect urban beach to kick off your holiday is Levante Beach. It is right in the town, so it’s packed full of facilities and is so handy if you fancy going straight out in the evening. In the south Poniente beach is another great choice, while the relaxing Mal Pas cove is a quieter option.
Take the boat trip to the Island of Benidorm, where you’ll find spectacular diving opportunities. The seabed is packed full of colourful fish. The island is also home to the Benidorm Wildlife Sanctuary. After a dip, you can take the time to hear about the legend of the island’s origins. It’s told that the brave warrior Roland cut off a piece of the nearby Puig Campana Rock with his sword, during a raid by Charlemagne and from there the island grew.
There are plenty of natural attractions to see on the mainland too, like cliffs, mountains and paths towards the sea. The nature reserve of Serra Gelada is picture perfect and ideal for hiking. The small town of Calpe up the road is lovely for a day’s stroll and maybe a lunch out, for a change from the beach. While the beautiful old town of Altea with its historic domed churches is just a few miles away by bus.
Things to do: As holidays in Benidorm are fully geared up for escape there are tonnes of activities for all ages. For the kids, the 4kwatro, Aqualandia and Terra Mitica will keep them busy for hours on end, with rollercoasters, water slides, picnic areas, playgrounds and live shows. There are regular buses from the town and it makes a nice change from the beach too.
For a proper holiday bit of fun, the Benidorm Palace is a 2,000 seater theatre, with live shows everyday which range from movie glamour to disco glam to flamenco fusion. It’s the best place to go for a laugh, before moving on for an evening out. Its latest addition is the Benidorm circus, with clowns and acrobats that will impress all the family.
Of course, in Benidorm, it’s hard not to get caught up in the party spirit. With a heap of bars and clubs, you could almost go to a different spot every night of your holiday. Club Manssion opens its doors to 5000 clubbers from all over Europe every Saturday night. It hosts the best in Hardcore if that’s what you’re into. If you’re looking to party, you could always start there! KU Benidorm is a little more laidback, but you’ll have an equally awesome night out there. The whole city centre comes alive at night and the cabaret acts start around 9. You can almost guarantee a night out in Benidorm won’t end until the early hours.
There are plenty of alternatives to nightclubbing too. Try the Benidorm International Song Fest every summer which draws plenty of celebrities like Julio Iglesias (Enrique’s dad!) There’s also the Benidorm Low Cost Festival, which makes our pockets very happy. 2012’s line up includes Kasabian, Suede and Placebo.
Food: You won’t go hungry in Benidorm, there are over 1,000 places to eat! Our top choices are always delicious Spanish cuisine and tapas dishes are a top tip. Tapas are little dishes of finger food that can be almost anything. You’ll usually see olives, little meatballs, omelettes or patatas bravas, potatoes with spicy tomato sauce.
Of course, being a holidaymakers hot spot, Benidorm is home to restaurants from every corner of the world, from French and Dutch to Chinese and of course if you’re missing a fry or a cuppa, there are plenty of English breakfasts to be had throughout the resort.
Drink: Happy hour doesn’t get any better than in Benidorm. With tonnes of bars, we counted around 800, you’ll surely find some tip top tipples. There are themed bars, late bars, clubs, and promotions like two for one, cocktails and other deals to get you in the door. Because of the competition, there tends to be plenty of good offers to find and take advantage of. Choose from small, local Spanish bars that sell bottles at €1 each, or head for the reliable British pubs. There are also Dutch and Irish bars and most show football on large screens. Plenty offer karaoke and nightly entertainment too.