Santa Pola Costa Blanca Spain Travel Guide: Everything You Need to Know.
Santa Pola, located on the southern Costa Blanca in the province of Alicante, is a charming fishing town that has become a popular tourist destination for its stunning beaches, rich history, and ideal climate. The town is situated just a short distance from Alicante airport, making it easily accessible for travelers.
The town’s history dates back to ancient times, and visitors can explore the remains of the Roman settlement of Portus Ilicitanus, which was once an important port for the salt trade. Today, Santa Pola is a bustling town with a thriving fishing port and marina, offering visitors a range of amenities, including bars, restaurants, and shops.
With its miles of golden sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea, Santa Pola is a paradise for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts. The town is also home to a marine reserve and salt lakes, which provide a unique habitat for a variety of wildlife. Whether you’re looking for relaxation or adventure, Santa Pola is the perfect destination for your next Costa Blanca tour.
- Getting to Santa Pola
- Santa Pola’s History and Culture
- Accommodation in Santa Pola
- Beaches and Natural Reserves
- Fishing and Nautical Sports
- Tabarca Island
- Amenities and Nightlife
- Nearby Attractions
- Food and Drink
- Practical Information
Getting to Santa Pola
Santa Pola is located approximately 20 kilometers south of Alicante Airport (ALC), which is the main airport serving the Costa Blanca region. From the airport, visitors can take a taxi or hire a car to reach Santa Pola. The journey takes around 20-25 minutes by car. Alternatively, there is a bus service that runs from the airport to Santa Pola.
Santa Pola is well connected to the rest of the Costa Blanca by road. The main motorway that runs along the coast is the AP-7 toll road, which connects Santa Pola to Alicante, Benidorm, and Valencia. Visitors can also take the N-332 national road, which runs parallel to the coast and passes through many of the towns and villages along the way.
There is no train station in Santa Pola, but visitors can take a train to the nearby city of Alicante and then transfer to a bus or taxi to reach Santa Pola. The train journey from Madrid to Alicante takes around 2.5 hours, and there are also trains from Valencia, Barcelona, and other major cities in Spain. Overall, Santa Pola is easily accessible by air, road, and train, making it a convenient destination for travelers from all over the world. The distance from Alicante Airport to Santa Pola is around 20 kilometers, and the journey takes approximately 20-25 minutes by car.
Santa Pola’s History and Culture
Santa Pola is a town with a rich history and culture. The town has been inhabited since ancient times and has seen the rise and fall of various civilizations. The town’s strategic location on the coast of the Mediterranean has made it an important center for trade and commerce.
One of the most prominent landmarks in Santa Pola is the Castle of Santa Pola. The castle was built in the 16th century and served as a fortress to protect the town from pirates and other invaders. Today, the castle is a popular tourist attraction and houses a museum that showcases the town’s history and culture.
The castle is located on a hill overlooking the town and the sea. Visitors can climb to the top of the castle and enjoy panoramic views of the town and the surrounding countryside. The castle is also home to a number of events and festivals throughout the year, including the Medieval Market and the International Puppet Festival.
Torre de Tamarit
Another important historical landmark in Santa Pola is the Torre de Tamarit. The tower was built in the 16th century and served as a watchtower to protect the town from invaders. Today, the tower is a popular tourist attraction and offers stunning views of the sea and the surrounding countryside.
The tower is located on a hill overlooking the sea and the town. Visitors can climb to the top of the tower and enjoy panoramic views of the town and the surrounding countryside. The tower is also home to a number of events and festivals throughout the year, including the Medieval Market and the International Puppet Festival.
Overall, Santa Pola’s history and culture are an important part of the town’s identity. The town’s rich history and cultural heritage are evident in its many landmarks and attractions, including the Castle of Santa Pola and the Torre de Tamarit. Visitors to the town can explore these landmarks and learn more about the town’s fascinating history and culture.
Accommodation in Santa Pola
Santa Pola is a popular tourist destination in Costa Blanca, Spain, known for its beautiful beaches, historical sites, and stunning views. When it comes to accommodation, there are plenty of options to choose from, ranging from luxurious hotels to budget-friendly hostels. Here are some of the top choices for accommodation in Santa Pola:
There are several hotels in Santa Pola that offer comfortable, luxurious stays for travelers. Some popular options include:
|Hotel Name||Price Range||Rating|
|Hotel Gran Playa||$80-$150||8.5/10|
These hotels offer amenities such as swimming pools, on-site restaurants, and easy access to the beach. Prices may vary depending on the season and availability, so it’s best to book in advance.
Villas and Apartments
For those who prefer a more private and independent stay, villas and apartments are a great option. Here are some top choices:
- Villa Alejandra – a luxurious villa with a private pool and stunning sea views
- Apartment Santa Pola – a cozy apartment located in the heart of the town
- Villa Vista Mar – a spacious villa with a large terrace and panoramic views of the Mediterranean
These villas and apartments offer fully equipped kitchens, comfortable living spaces, and easy access to the beach and other attractions. Prices may vary depending on the size, location, and amenities of the property.
For budget-conscious travelers, hostels are a great option for affordable accommodation. Here are some popular choices:
- Hostal Pensimar – a cozy hostel located in the town center
- Hostal Meseguer – a simple but comfortable hostel near the beach
- Hostal La Mar – a budget-friendly hostel with a communal kitchen and terrace
These hostels offer basic amenities such as shared bathrooms and communal areas, but provide a comfortable and affordable stay for travelers. Prices may vary depending on the season and availability.
Beaches and Natural Reserves
Golden Sandy Beaches
Santa Pola boasts a number of stunning beaches, including Gran Playa, Pinet Beach, La Gola Beach, Playa Lisa Beach, and Tamarit Beach. These beaches are known for their wide stretches of golden sand, perfect for sunbathing and swimming. Most of the beaches are very spacious, so even in the height of summer, visitors can always find a bit of space to relax.
The waters surrounding Santa Pola are home to an incredible variety of marine life, making it a popular destination for snorkeling and diving enthusiasts. The Santa Pola Marine Reserve is a protected area that covers over 14,000 hectares of sea and coastline, making it one of the largest marine reserves in Spain. Visitors can take guided tours of the reserve to learn more about the fascinating underwater world.
The salt lakes near Santa Pola are another natural wonder worth exploring. These lakes are home to a variety of bird species, including flamingos, making them a popular destination for bird watchers. Visitors can take a guided tour of the salt flats to learn more about the history and importance of salt production in the region. Many of the beaches in Santa Pola have been awarded the coveted Blue Flag status, which signifies cleanliness and safe bathing. The area’s natural reserves offer a unique opportunity to explore and learn about the local flora and fauna. Whether you’re looking to soak up the sun on a golden sandy beach or explore the underwater world, Santa Pola has something for everyone.
Fishing and Nautical Sports
For those who love the sea and all the activities it offers, Santa Pola is an ideal destination. The town is famous for its nautical sports and fishing opportunities.
Fishing is one of the most popular activities in Santa Pola. The town has a long history of fishing and is still a major fishing port. Visitors can take part in fishing excursions with local fishermen or rent their own fishing boats. The waters around Santa Pola are home to a variety of fish species, including tuna, sea bass, and red snapper.
One of the most popular fishing spots in Santa Pola is the Tabarca Island Marine Reserve. The reserve is home to a wide range of marine life, including large schools of fish. Visitors can take a boat trip to the island and fish from the shore or from a boat.
Santa Pola is also a popular destination for nautical sports enthusiasts. The town has a range of water sports facilities, including windsurfing, jet skiing, sailing, swimming, and paragliding. The waters around Santa Pola are perfect for these activities, with calm waters and good wind conditions.
Visitors can rent equipment and take lessons from local instructors. The Santa Pola Nautical Club is a great place to start, offering a range of courses and activities for all levels of experience.
For those who prefer a more relaxed nautical experience, Santa Pola also offers boat trips and yacht charters. Visitors can take a leisurely cruise along the coast or explore the nearby islands.
Overall, Santa Pola is a great destination for fishing and nautical sports enthusiasts. With its long history of fishing and range of water sports facilities, there is something for everyone.
Santa Pola is not only famous for its beaches and salt flats but also for its proximity to the island of Tabarca. The island is located in front of the cape of Santa Pola and is the only inhabited archipelago of the Valencian Community.
The Island of Tabarca
The island of Tabarca is roughly 1800 meters long and about 400 wide. Many years ago, Tabarca was a haven for pirates and later fishing became the main source of income for the islanders. Today, the island is a popular tourist destination due to its clear waters and marine life. Visitors can enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and diving in the waters surrounding the island.
There are also several restaurants on the island that serve fresh seafood and traditional Spanish cuisine. The island is a great place to spend a day and explore the winding streets, old buildings, and the historic church.
The harbour of Santa Pola is the main point of departure for boats to Tabarca Island. Visitors can take a glass-bottomed boat from the port of Santa Pola to the island. The boat ride takes around 20 minutes and offers great views of the Mediterranean Sea and the island itself.
There are also several other options for getting to Tabarca Island, including private boat tours and water taxis. Visitors can also choose to spend the night on the island and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and beautiful scenery.
Overall, Tabarca Island is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Santa Pola. With its rich history, beautiful beaches, and delicious food, it’s easy to see why this island has become such a popular tourist spot.
Amenities and Nightlife
Santa Pola is a great destination for those who want to experience the vibrant nightlife of Costa Blanca. The town offers a range of amenities and activities that cater to all tastes and preferences.
Bars and Restaurants
There are numerous bars and restaurants in Santa Pola that offer a wide variety of food and drinks. For those who want to try local cuisine, there are many seafood restaurants that serve fresh fish and seafood dishes. One of the most popular seafood restaurants in Santa Pola is Restaurante Varadero, which is located in the marina area.
For those who prefer international cuisine, there are many restaurants that serve Italian, Indian, Chinese, and other types of food. One of the most popular Italian restaurants in Santa Pola is Pizzeria Ristorante La Traviata, which is located in the town center.
As for bars, there are many options to choose from, ranging from traditional Spanish bars to modern cocktail bars. One of the most popular bars in Santa Pola is Barloko 22, which is located in the Cabo de las Huertas area. The bar offers a great selection of cocktails and has a lively atmosphere.
Marina and Port
The marina and port area of Santa Pola is a great place to visit during the day or night. The marina is home to many restaurants and bars, as well as a yacht club. The port is also a popular spot for fishing and boating.
One of the main attractions in the marina area is the Castle of Santa Pola, which was built in the 16th century to defend the town from pirate attacks. The castle now serves as a museum and cultural center.
Another popular attraction in the port area is the Fishermen’s Association Museum, which showcases the history and culture of the local fishing industry. Visitors can learn about the different types of fish that are caught in the area and see traditional fishing boats.
In conclusion, Santa Pola offers a great range of amenities and nightlife options for visitors to enjoy. Whether you are looking for a lively night out or a relaxing day by the sea, Santa Pola has something for everyone.
Elche is a city located 20 minutes north of Santa Pola. It is famous for its palm groves and the Palmeral of Elche, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visitors can take a tour of the palm groves, visit the Huerto del Cura botanical garden, or explore the city’s historical center. Elche is also known for its shoe industry, and visitors can shop for high-quality leather shoes at affordable prices.
Torrevieja is a coastal city located 30 minutes south of Santa Pola. It is known for its salt lakes, which produce over 700,000 tons of salt per year. Visitors can take a tour of the salt lakes, visit the Torrevieja Museum of Sea and Salt, or relax on one of the city’s many beaches. Torrevieja is also home to a large marina, where visitors can rent boats or take a sailing lesson.
Benidorm is a popular tourist destination located 1 hour north of Santa Pola. It is known for its high-rise hotels, lively nightlife, and beautiful beaches. Visitors can take a stroll along the Levante beach promenade, visit the Terra Mitica theme park, or take a day trip to the nearby Algar waterfalls. Benidorm is also a great place to shop, with many stores selling clothes, jewelry, and souvenirs.
Murcia is a city located 1.5 hours northwest of Santa Pola. It is known for its beautiful cathedral, historic center, and delicious cuisine. Visitors can take a tour of the cathedral, visit the Salzillo Museum, or try some of the city’s famous tapas. Murcia is also a great place to shop for handicrafts, such as pottery and textiles.
Costa Blanca tour is a great way to explore all the nearby attractions. Visitors can book a guided tour or rent a car and explore on their own. With so many beautiful cities and towns nearby, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Food and Drink
Santa Pola is a coastal town in the Alicante province of Spain, and as such, seafood is a staple of the local cuisine. Visitors can try traditional dishes like paella, arroz a banda (rice cooked in fish broth), and caldero (a fish stew). The town is also known for its salted fish, especially mojama, which is tuna that has been salt-cured and air-dried.
The cuisine of Santa Pola reflects its coastal location, with seafood being the star of many dishes. Visitors can sample local seafood at restaurants throughout the town, and can also try traditional dishes like gazpacho (a cold soup made with tomatoes, peppers, and bread), and arroz con costra (a rice dish with a crispy crust on top).
Santa Pola has a wide variety of restaurants to choose from, ranging from casual beachside cafes to upscale dining establishments. Some popular options include Living Bakkali, which serves Mediterranean and fusion cuisine, and Sapori d’Italia, an Italian restaurant with a wide range of pasta dishes and pizzas. For a more traditional Spanish dining experience, visitors can try Restaurante El Pescador, which specializes in seafood.
There are many bars and cafes in Santa Pola where visitors can enjoy a drink and relax. Some popular options include Bar El Puerto, which has a large outdoor terrace overlooking the marina, and Bar Alba, which is known for its cocktails and live music. For a more traditional Spanish bar experience, visitors can try Bar El Rincón, which serves tapas and has a cozy, welcoming atmosphere.
Currency and Language
The currency used in Santa Pola is the Euro (EUR). ATMs are widely available and credit cards are accepted in most establishments. Spanish is the official language, but English is widely spoken in tourist areas.
Climate and Weather
Santa Pola enjoys a Mediterranean climate with mild winters and hot summers. The best time to visit is from May to October when temperatures are warm and rainfall is low. July and August are the hottest months with average temperatures of 30°C (86°F). Visitors should be aware of the risk of sunburn and heatstroke and should take appropriate precautions.
Safety and Health
Santa Pola is a safe destination, but visitors should take normal precautions against pickpocketing and other petty crimes. The emergency number in Spain is 112. There are several medical centers and hospitals in the area, and visitors from EU countries can receive free or reduced-cost medical treatment with a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
Visitors should also be aware of the risk of jellyfish stings during the summer months. If stung, rinse the affected area with vinegar and seek medical attention if symptoms persist.
Santa Pola is a beautiful coastal town located in the southern part of the Costa Blanca. With its stunning beaches, rich history, and diverse natural surroundings, it is no wonder that it has become a popular tourist destination for travelers from all over the world.
Whether you are interested in exploring the town’s rich history, soaking up the sun on its beautiful beaches, or enjoying the many outdoor activities that are available in the area, Santa Pola has something to offer everyone.
From the picturesque fishing port to the bustling town center, visitors can experience the best of both worlds in Santa Pola. With a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury hotels to budget-friendly apartments, visitors can find the perfect place to stay to suit their needs and budget.
Overall, Santa Pola is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to the Costa Blanca. With its stunning natural beauty, rich history, and warm, welcoming locals, it is sure to be a memorable experience for all who visit.
What is the best time to visit Santa Pola?
The best time to visit Santa Pola is from May to September when the weather is warm and sunny.
How do I get to Santa Pola?
You can get to Santa Pola by flying into Alicante Airport and then taking a bus or taxi to Santa Pola.
What are the top attractions in Santa Pola?
The top attractions in Santa Pola include the Castle of Santa Pola, the Salt Museum, and the Santa Pola lighthouse.
Is Santa Pola a family-friendly destination?
Yes, Santa Pola is a family-friendly destination with plenty of activities for all ages, including beaches, parks, and water sports.
What are the best beaches in Santa Pola?
The best beaches in Santa Pola are Playa del Tamarit, Playa de Levante, and Playa de Varadero.
What is the local cuisine in Santa Pola?
The local cuisine in Santa Pola is based on seafood, with dishes such as arroz a banda (rice with seafood) and caldero (fish stew).
Are there any hiking trails near Santa Pola?
Yes, there are several hiking trails near Santa Pola, including the Santa Pola Cliffs Trail and the Santa Pola Salt Flats Trail.
What is the nightlife like in Santa Pola?
The nightlife in Santa Pola is relatively quiet, with a few bars and restaurants open late.
What is the weather like in Santa Pola?
The weather in Santa Pola is warm and sunny throughout the year, with temperatures ranging from 15°C in winter to 30°C in summer.
Can I take a day trip to nearby towns from Santa Pola?
Yes, you can take a day trip to nearby towns such as Elche, Alicante, and Torrevieja, all of which are within a short drive from Santa Pola.