The Costa Blanca is the tourist name given to the Mediterranean coast that bathes the province of Alicante, in southeastern Spain. It ranges from the municipality of Denia in the north, to that of Pilar de la Horadada, in the south. It is made up of 244 km of beaches, coves and cliffs. It limits to the north with the Costa de Valencia and to the south with the Costa Cálida (Region of Murcia).
The towns located on the Costa Blanca (from north to south) are: Denia, Jávea, Benitachell, Teulada-Moraira, Benisa, Calp, Altea, Alfaz del Pi, Benidorm, Finestrat, Villajoyosa, Campello, Alicante, Elche, Santa Pola, Guardamar del Segura, Torrevieja, Orihuela Costa and Pilar de la Horadada.
Its capitals par excellence are the cities of Benidorm and Torrevieja, since these municipalities are the great tourist focus of the Costa Blanca and the entire Levantine coastline.
Transport and how to get to?
The transport of the Costa Blanca is articulated in two ways. The first, the AP-7 motorway, is a high-use toll road that connects Valencia and Alicante with the towns of La Marina Baja, especially Benidorm. This motorway receives the European code of E-15 and communicates the coast with France and the United Kingdom. Along with this, the national highway N-332 runs parallel to that of the AP-7. Starting from Alicante, the AP-7 becomes the A-7 motorway and goes to Elche, Murcia and Andalusia. Meanwhile, the N-332 continues along the coast to Pilar de la Horadada.
The second route of transport is the Trenet de la Marina, a historic railway line that runs along the Alicante coast in Denia and is currently operated as a long-distance tram. The other train lines run through the interior, through the Vinalopó valley and the Hoya de Elche.
El Altet Airport (Alicante and Elche) is the main entrance for the millions of tourists who visit from outside Spain.
The Costa Blanca has a contrast of landscapes such as the steep cliffs of the Marina Alta, the beaches of the Vega Baja del Segura, the mountains (Montgó, Sierra Helada, etc.), the lagoons and the salt flats. The ecological variety means that we can find up to four natural parks: El Montgó, El Marjal Oliva-Pego, the Peñón de Ifach and the Lagunas de la Mata and Torrevieja.
There is no shortage of ecological enclaves and a large presence of migratory birds and typical Mediterranean species.
The holm oak, the Aleppo pine and the palm heart are the trees that predominate in the coastal mountains of Alicante. In the flat lands the date palm grows, very important in some municipalities such as Orihuela and Elche. The natural vegetation coexists with species for agricultural use such as olive, carob, pomegranate, lemon, medlar and almond trees.
In the sea, the animal and plant richness of the Posidonia meadows is remarkable, very well preserved off the coast of Cabo Roig and the island of Tabarca, where there is a marine reserve.
The Costa Blanca is one of the most visited by people from outside of Spain. The states of origin are: the United Kingdom (4,500,000), Germany (700,000), the Netherlands (370,000), and Norway (270,000). A large number of French also spend the summer. Every year, Alicante Airport has a turnover of around 10 million (9 106 445 in 2019) arrivals.
The quality of life, political stability and good weather attract tourists in summer. Along with other coasts such as the Costa del Sol, a “residential tourism” has developed, that is, inter-European immigration. There are important colonies of English, Germans and other northern European peoples along the coast, reaching or exceeding the native population in some municipalities.
In a more moderate way, people from Madrid and other points in the center of the peninsula have second homes. This kind of “immigration of the rich” has brought improvements in the coastal economy but also problems derived from the increase in urban density on the coast. Also noteworthy is the number of immigrants from Morocco, Romania and Latin America, generally in a somewhat more precarious situation.
The British population is the largest foreign colony on the Costa Blanca. They are known as ex-pats (or ex-patriots) which means outside the country, and they have established a network of their own cultural tools including radio stations, four newspapers and their own associations. There are even foreign elected officials in a few municipalities.
The musical description of this coastline can be found in the well-known paso doble ‘Costa Blanca’ by Maestro Manuel Lillo Torregrosa.
The Costa Blanca and its own name have traditionally been related to a very specific tourist product: the so-called sun and beach tourism, that is, the vacation linked to the weather (more than 300 days of full sun and an average temperature of 20ºC).
At present, the evolution of the tourist destination and its resources are configuring an increasingly complete offer in the province of Alicante, whose proposals can also be consumed in its interior (Alicante is one of the most mountainous provinces in Spain) and beyond the summer season, aligning with the increasingly sophisticated preferences of the tourist.
The Costa Blanca boasts 78 beaches and coves, 54 of which are awarded the Blue Flag quality mark.
Main resorts (from north to south):