Conveniently placed just a few kilometres up the coast by car rental from Alicante, El Campello is a seaside town with everything you could wish from a Mediterranean destination in a neat little package. Blue Flag beaches are on the waterfront, there’s history and culture to be discovered, golf courses a few minutes away and a backcountry of rocky mountains a brief drive inland.

Waterfront

Despite being a small and unassuming town, El Campello is blessed with two spectacular Blue Flag beaches. These are classed as urban beaches, so you can be sure that everything you need for your day by the Mediterranean, be it food and drink, sports facilities, playgrounds for children, shops selling beach paraphernalia and all the essentials, is all close at hand. Beginning in the south, Muchavista is a straight strip of golden sand more than three kilometres in length. It is 80 metres wide, so you’ll have no trouble finding a bit of room, and the beach is lapped by moderate waves. Muchavista is traced by intermittent palm trees, and a promenade runs along the length of the beach.

, El Campello
On the other side of a breakwater, just down from the town’s harbour, is Playa Carrer la Mar, which is El Campello’s central beach, bordering the old fishing district. It has recently been regenerated and, like its neighbour, boasts fine golden sands. This beach is smaller, at just under two kilometres-long, but the waters are a bit calmer on Carrer la Mar, which means it’s great for families with younger children. To continue the child-friendly theme, kids’ entertainment is also provided on the beach in summer.

, El Campello
Heritage

North of the beaches are El Campello’s main historical sites. The most remarkable has to be the archaeological site at La Isleta. This is on a small, narrow headland that stretches out into the sea for a couple of hundred metres. There is evidence here of human activity dating back to the Bronze Age, around five thousand years ago, and successive civilisations have left their mark. So in this one site you can see Iberian tombs alongside Roman fish nurseries. The site is maintained by the Alicante Archaeological Museum and guided visits are available.

, El Campello
Where La Isleta connects with the mainland is the tower of La Isleta. The entire Spanish Mediterranean coast is dotted with these watchtowers, dating from a time when the shoreline was rich pickings for pirates from North Africa. Yet few are in as good a state of preservation as the example in La Isleta, which was constructed between 1554 and 1557 and stands tall next to the marina. This tower is part of a local system of coastal defences erected by the Viceroy of Valencia, Don Bernardino Cardenas. Each tower was manned by four soldiers. When a pirate ship was spotted two men were charged with speeding away to alert inland towns, while two had to man the fires to create smoke signals for towers along the coast.

Other activities

The town has created an artificial reef, seven kilometres in length along the waterfront, to help maintain the underwater ecology. The local dive school, Atlantida offers courses for all levels and takes trips to this site, as well as wrecks and wildlife reserves further along the coast.

With a rental car you’ll have the freedom to see what’s around the town and get to attractions such as the theme parks in Benidorm if you have the family with you, or down to Alicante and the impressive castle of Santa Barbara.

North of El Campello, 700 metres up in the mountains, are the Caves of Canelobre. They contain one of the highest vaults in Spain, creating a cathedral-like atmosphere, which is why concerts are occasionally held here.

, El Campello
Finally, it might be that you just want easy access to the local golf courses. Bonalba Golf Resort is moments away and sits on raised ground with gorgeous views of the azure Mediterranean. The course is an 18-hole par-72, while non-golfers could make the most of the recently-opened pool complex. A little more upmarket is Alicante Golf, designed by Seve Ballesteros, and located a few kilometres south of El Campello. The green fees are pricier, but it’s one of the region’s top courses for serious golfers with handicaps of 36 or less.

You can get to El Campello within 20 minutes of the Drivalia car rental depot at Alicante Airport (ALC).