Torrevieja lies on the Costa Blanca, around 30 miles south of Alicante city. The town is home to two large salt marshes, ‘Las Salinas’, and extends over 20 km of coastline comprising six beaches.
The name Torrevieja means ‘old tower’ after the ancient watchtower around which a small fishing village was built. In 1803, salt production was moved from nearby La Mata to the town itself and the population grew. Today it is one of the fastest growing cities in Spain due to its popularity with holidaymakers, both Spanish and foreign, and as a spot for a holiday home. Around half of the 100,000 residents of Torrevieja are from abroad, particularly Britain, Germany and Scandinavia.
Its popularity is no mystery. With 320 days of sunshine per year and a pleasant micro-climate created by the sea and salt marshes, it’s an idyllic destination year-round. The town has even been recognised by the World Health Organisation as having one of the healthiest climates in Europe.
There are six large beaches along Torrevieja’s coastline: La Mata, Los Locos, El Cura, El Acequión and Los Náufragos. La Mata, to the north, is the largest of the beaches and made up of rocky coves and sand dunes. La Mata is also home to La Torre del Morro, a recreation of the old watchtower from which Torrevieja gets its name, offering fantastic views over the coastline.
The beaches closer to the city centre are, as you might expect, the most popular with calm waters and sandy shores. The closest beach to the centre of town is El Cura, with a recently redeveloped seafront, the beach lined with bars, restaurants, ice cream parlours and souvenir shops. All the beaches hold the coveted Blue Flag status for cleanliness and facilities.
Fifteen kilometres from the city are the two huge salt marshes of La Mata and Torrevieja. The two lakes make up a nature reserve of over 9000 acres that’s home to many species of bird, including hundreds of flamingos. The paths around the marshes are suitable for walking or cycling, and there are plenty of spots for picnics and bird watching. There are also designated areas for mud baths, said to be an effective treatment of skin conditions, arthritis, rheumatism and respiratory conditions.
Torrevieja is around 40 minutes’ drive from Alicante Airport and Drivalia Car Rental. For more information on the town, visit the Torrevieja City website.