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11·APR·2014

Drop Anchor in Tabarca

Beautiful Tabarca Island, just 11 miles off the coast of Alicante, is a mini archipelago and a favourite destination of the local boating community for spring and summer mini breaks. The tiny island group includes La Cantera, La Galera and La Nao – and of course Tabarca itself, only 1,800 metres in length and 400 metres wide. Tabarca was once a haven for Berber pirates until King Carlos III put a stop to their wickedness and had the island fortified in the 18th Century. The walls are officially an area of ‘Historical and Artistic Interest’. Marine Life Nowadays Tabarca is a magnet for keen snorkelers and divers with its vast array of marine life – as much to see under the water as above! The island attracts around 4,000 visitors daily at the height of the summer, yet most coastal residents still welcome the opportunity to jump on a boat with a picnic and head off to Tabarca for the day. The island and surrounding waters were given the status of a protected marina in 1986. The shortest route to Tabarca is by boat from Santa Pola Marina around 20 minutes south of the Drivalia Car Rental depot at Alicante Airport. Tabarca is only three miles and 20 minutes away by water-taxi and the fare is around 15€. You can also sail from Torrevieja, Alicante, Benidorm and Guardamar. There is also a glass-bottomed boat experience available which is worth trying, with outstanding glimpses of the spectacular marine life around the island. For enquiries contact www.islatabarca.com For Alicante crossings (taking around 45 minutes – one hour) phone 0034 965 216 396 or 0034 686 994 538. Museum Nueva Tabarca The Museum is in the Almadraba Building and is open throughout the summer from Wednesday to Sunday from 11am to 2pm and again from 4pm until 6.30pm. In winter opening times are from Wednesday to Sunday from 11am to 2pm and again from 3.30pm to 4.30pm. Entry is 2€, reduced to 1€ by arrangement for specialist groups and students. For more information call 0034 965 960 175. Tabarca offers souvenir shops, the ancient square, a ruined fort, a lighthouse and plenty of interesting walks. And of course the excellent water sports. While away an hour or two in a sleepy harbour restaurant - on a sunshine-filled day what else could you want! The beaches are varied; some with pebble and one with sand, and the locals lay on some excellent seafood dishes. The most outstanding feature of this little paradise is the water: crystal clear and bright blue! The last boats back to the mainland tend to leave before dark but there are plenty available.