May in the Real de la Feria, Sevillanas are danced, the finest Sherries from the south are tasted, and there are horseback
The Costa Blanca, situated on the South East coast of Spain is know as the "White Coast" and is a favorite holiday destination for the Spanish people. It is also the most popular destination for the British, and although most of them head for Benidorm, the rest of the Costa Blanca is thriving in the property market. New Horizons covers from Alicante to the Mar Menor, the southern Costa Blanca, but also has connections all over Spain and the surrounding Islands.
Health care facilities are excellent on the Costa Blanca Spain and there are many doctors, dentists and opticians who speak English. EU citizens are entitled to health care services in Spain and there are numerous clinics in the area including Centro de Salud in Santa Pola and Hospital Universitaria in Elche. Torrevieja has two hospitals as well as numerous clinics and medical centres. Quiron is a private hospital in Torrevieja with state of the art facilities. There are also excellent hospitals within a very short distance at Alicante and Orihuela and Torrevieja . Hospital Torrevieja is one of the best universitair hospitals in Europe. Private health insurance is widely available with costs dependent on age, sex and level of cover required. Numerous pharmacies can be found throughout the area of Orihuela Costa, and are easily identified with a green cross. At least one pharmacy remains open at weekends / overnight for emergencies in every area.
Education in Spain is of a very high standard, and there are schools and colleges in every area. For younger children the state schools are free and children adapt very quickly to the Spanish language. For older children there are fee paying International schools which follow the English curriculum and where the students can be taught in English. The Alicante area also boasts of having two of Spain´s premier Universities.
Spanish Cuisine has its own individual character, which is expressed by a range of pleasantly surprising delicacies. Tapas, jamon de serrano, chorizo, gazpacho, conejo (rabbit) and pastel de carne are just some of the many specialties. Together with the various regional and local specialties, such as the famous paella and numerous local fish and shellfish dishes, delicious food can always be guaranteed in this part of Spain. Dining out is inexpensive with innumerable excellent restaurants to choose from, many restaurants being renowned for their specialty dishes such as roasted lamb, piglet or ostrich to the fish and seafood restaurants specializing in lobster, fish baked in salt(specialty), and seafood platters. The selection of quality wines is superb with prices much lower than the UK and a diverse range to suit all palates and pockets. Wine tasting is possible at many co-operatives and independent winegrowers in the region who sell direct by the bottle, by 5 litre barrels or by the cask, all at extremely reasonable prices.
For Golfers, the southern Costa Blanca is a veritable paradise. There are numerous 18 hole championship golf courses located throughout the area with many more planned. For those wanting to take up the sport or to improve, there are also several driving ranges, and 18 hole courses to choose from. From La Marquesa and La Finca close to Guardamar, through to Las Ramblas, Villamartin and Campoamor and Las Colinas golf & country club at Orihuela Costa, and southwards to the courses in the Mar Menor and Murcia regions such as the Sucina Golf & Country Club, The Mar Menor Golf Resort and La Manga Club there is a course to suit every golfer whether professional standard or novice. The facilities available on most courses are second to none with excellent pro-shops, bars and commercial centres.
The area from Alicante in the North of Costa Blanca southwards to the Mar Menor in murcia Spain is a region of contrasting gentle landscapes and rugged coastline covering every aspect of Spanish life, from bustling cosmopolitan towns to traditional Spanish villages. It has a superb climate with over 300 days of sunshine a year and an average temperature of 20c, which enables the farmers to produce four harvests of fruit and vegetables per year. It is also a very healthy, dry climate VA Jack White - Love Is Blindness mp3 as there is no heavy industry in the area and the salt lagoons situated 2 kms from Torrevieja draw the moisture from the air, making the climate ideal for people with arthritis, psoriasis and asthma. The benefits are almost immediate and is the reason why the WorldHealth Organisation recommend it as one of the healthiest places to live.
80 beaches in the Valencia region of the Costa Blanca and Orihuela Costa fly the "Blue Flag". This is only awarded to beaches which meet the stringent requirement for cleanliness and facilities. Most have a beach bar open in the summer season and they vary from secluded sand dunes to long flat sandy beaches.
Nature lovers will be enthralled by the region’s wildlife in the many protected reserves and parks. Just a few minutes drive inland from the coast will take you into the glorious unspoilt countryside. The nature reserve of the lagoons of La Mata and Torrevieja, one of the most important marshlands in Valencia, serves as a habitat for numerous protected species of bird such as the greater Flamingo, and Montagu´s Harrier. These two beautiful lagoons, know as Las Salinas, the salt flats, date back to the 12th century and are currently one of the most important in the whole of Europe.
For the boating enthusiasts there are numerous beautiful marinas from Alicante through to La Manga varying in size and facilities offered. There are also endless opportunities for water sports activities including windsurfing, yachting, snorkeling, diving, jetski-ing, kite surfing, waterskiing and wakeboarding to name but a few.
For those who enjoy a more relaxing experience in luxurious surroundings, there are two excellent spa and health resorts within a short drive in the Murcia region offering a wide range of beauty and health treatments. The medicinal mineral waters of these spas are acknowledged by doctors.
Just over 3 hours away, the foothills of the Sierra Nevada gradually turn into high mountains. Several ski resorts can be found here and in some places there is enough snow on the higher slopes to ski in spring and autumn.
|The Inland Spain - info
Castalla is an old fortress town, set in picturesque mountain surroundings only 30 minutes (by car) inland from Alicante. It is in a rural setting and has excellent views with greenery as far as the eye can see. The town of Castalla is quaint and old with narrow streets and a traditional Spanish feel about it , and has an historic medieval castle at its
highest point. Castalla is very well serviced with the motorway to Madrid, and Alicante and its airport via the new road, A-36. The nearest towns are Onil, Tibi, Ibi and Biar, all of them within ten kilometers. Ideal area for horse riding, walking and other sporting activities. The town has all the modern facilities that you would expect whilst retaining all of its charm. This area offers an exquisite location for those wanting to own a Spanish property who wants to live in country surroundings but within easy reach of the sea.
Pinoso is situated North West of Alicante. It has 6000 inhabitants and is the third richest town in Spain. This is because it owns Marble, Salt, Almonds, Vineyards and other natural resources that it sells throughout the world. The towns wealth is reflected in the quality of the social services, first class amenities and low taxes paid by local people. Pinoso is between the Sub Meseta, beginning of the mountain areas and the Sierra Del Carche. The area is surrounded by the Salinas la Pila and El Coto nature reserve. It is 450m above sea level with a mild climate in winter and hot dry days in summer. The pine forests and mountains are wonderful for walks, with the scents of wild Rosemary and Camomile in the air. Some of the amenities in Pinoso include:- medical centre, music college, sports centre, swimming pools, football ground, excellent restaurants, bars and street cafes. The fiestas take place most weekends from May till September in the surrounding villages and other small towns. Pinoso´s own fiesta is the first week in August for 10 days, people come from miles around to join the parades and dance until dawn. Alicante and the airport are only about 35 minutes away, 60km to Torrevieja and 60kms to Benidorm.
Albatera is situated on the N340, within easy reach of Alicante (41km), Murcia (37km) and Orihuela (12km). It has a population of 9,000 and has a good infrastructure. North of Cox, the wide streets of Albatera, lined with palm trees and its white-washed houses make the town a pleasant place to visit. On the town square there is a church with a splendid baroque door, intricately crafted in stone. In July, the town honors St James the Apostle with a week of open air celebrations including novillada, when novice bullfighters challenge young bulls. Close to Albatera, the village of San Isidro was established in 1959, after a law was passed to encourage settlements in marshy areas. San Isidro is clearly the work of town planners, its white houses are built on a grid of identical streets.
Rojales used to be a traditional farming village. The demands of the tourist industry on the coast have caused it to expand and it is now a town with a large sports hall, a theatre and large residential areas for people working in the service sector. A couple of kms from Rojales is the village of Benijofar. Both towns have attracted a large expatriate community but they are quieter than nearby Torrevieja and Guardamar. There are plenty of shops and supermarkets catering to the needs of expatriates. Amenities include a 24hour filling station, an internet cafe and an international pub. Rojales holds a market every Thursday. La Finca Algorfa and La Marquesa Golf Clubs are a few minutes drive away. The towns are within easy reach of airports, Alicante's being 29km away and Murcia's 35km. Main roads ensure that Benijofar and Rojales are easily accessible, well connected with both the coastal towns of the Costa Blanca as well as inland Vega Baja.
On the northern side of the Segura River, the town of Almoradi contains some interesting architecture including the Church of San Andres and the casino. If drama interests you, excellent Spanish plays can be enjoyed at the Cortes Theatre. A water tribunal operates in Almoradi to settle disputes over irrigation. The tribunal is an historic institution, reflected in the fact that it imposes fines not in euros or even pesetas but in Vellon reals - old Spanish coins. Almoradi has 13,000 inhabitants, its inland location makes it a quieter alternative to the coastal towns. An excellent market is held there every Saturday. It is a 25min drive to the tourist centre of Torrevieja. Alicante airport is less than 40km away, San Javier airport less than 50km.
Fortuna itself is located a short drive from the capital - Murcia. The town of Fortuna is renowned for its spring waters. Numerous natural springs such as La Higuera, La Cueva Negra or Los Banos famous for their content of hot mineral water since the Roman times have now become important spa resorts. The thermal waters with the mild climate have converted a traditionally farming town into one of the objectives of the so called inland tourism (some foreign visitors have settled in the town). It is endowed with schools, health services and culture. The landscape of Fortuna, sometimes reminding you of a desert, is nourished by the natural flows of water from the hot springs. You can enjoy the view of Cortao de las Penas, a mountain split by an earthquake, or the natural parks of Humedal del Ajauque and Rambla Salada. The economy is mainly based on agriculture, above all the collection and export of fruit. To a minor extent it is remarkable the manufacturing of shoes, construction, and exploitation of marble quarries and arid lands.
Calasparra is set in the tranquility of the mountains alongside the Rio Segura, with excellent road access making it an easy place to visit, and to travel to main resorts such as Murcia, Cartagena and Alicante. Calasparra has much to offer for holidaymakers and those who are wishing to take up permanent residence. One of the most amazing sites, and popular destinations for tourists in the Sanctuary de la Virgin de la Esperanza. The church is built into the mountainside with stone from the excavation. During the holiday times and on weekends, locals gather alongside the riverbank to socialise and eat as the Sanctuary has numerous communal BBQ's for all to use. For the more adventurous there is river rafting, which includes some white water, there is mountaineering, mountain walks, excellent fishing and hunting. Caves with cave drawings can be found locally with stalactites and stalagmites and beautiful underground divers.
Caravaca de la Cruz, the main town in the extensive area in the northwest of the Autonomous Region of Murcia, has 23,362 inhabitants. It has an area of 858.3km2, where fourteen villages are located. It is situated 625m above sea level, which provides a dry climate with an average temperature of 30 degrees C in July and 5 degrees C in January. The town has a unique and ancient history. This can be attested by the numerous archaeological sites found in the local area (Aeneolithic, Argaric, Iberian and Roman). However, the first plan of the town was laid out in the Middle Ages. At that time, the city was confined to the area within the Castle walls. It was precisely in this historical context, as Christianity was becoming more widespread, that, according to tradition, the Cross appeared in an area which was then a frontier town. Nowadays, Caravaca is a modern town with many facilities: District Hospital, Official School of Languages, MOT Centre, Open University, Area Agricultural Office, Chamber of Commerce. These, together with the agricultural and cattle breeding activities, and the industrial and service sector make Caravaca de la Cruz a dynamic and welcoming town.
Sucina village in the Murcia region, with its quaint street market and traditional spanish lifestyle, is in an area of stunning scenery, and yet is just 12km from the superb beaches of the Mediterranean coast and Mar Menor. The peaceful village has a rich historical and artistic heritage. It lies in an area of olive groves, vines, orchid fields, mountains, rivers, and a bird protection park, and is renowned for its ideal climate all through the year.
There are many facilities in Torrevieja and the surrounding areas - not least the countless superb restaurants, tapas bars and shops. Near to the marina and port are superb fish restaurants specializing in catch of the day. There is also a wonderful indoor market, which offers a tremendous selection of fish, fruit, meat and vegetables throughout the year.
There have been many superb improvements to the town in the last couple of years. Underground car parks have been built, beautiful fountains have been constructed, and the promenade pedestrianized. To this, have been added wooden benches and lighting along the coastline with man-made lagoons for swimming in the summer months. Disabled visitors have also been well catered for, with specially constructed ramps and platforms. A causeway between the sea Pink Try download mp3 for free and the harbor has proved immensely popular with residents and visitors alike. There are 3 excellent hospitals in Torrevieja, the newest and biggest being San Jaime, with state of the art facilities. There are private and national health clinics as well as many doctors and dentists of all nationalities.
Many beautiful plazas and historic churches can be found throughout the town to provide cultural interest. Torrevieja is served by a frequent, highly efficient bus service, both locally and to all parts of Spain and Europe. There are two aqua parks, and a large indoor sports centre with an Olympic size swimming pool to cater for the more energetic. As well as the many water sports activities and fitness centres available there is something here for every sports enthusiast. For those who desire more leisurely activities, there is a multi-screen cinema complex together with an excellent ten-pin bowling alley alongside numerous bars and restaurants.
San Miguel is a short distance inland from Torrevieja and is a typical Spanish market town with a small square at its centre overlooked by the town’s main church. It has excellent access to the motorways and the numerous beaches and golf courses along the coastline. Wednesday is market day in the town and the town centre has plenty of small bars and restaurants
|Orihuela-Costa - Info
Located to the south of Torrevieja, Orihuela Costa has some of the most superb beaches along the coastline, all of which are blue flag. There are well established residential areas from Punta Prima, Los Altos to Playa Flamenca and through to Campoamor on the Costa Blanca offering residents and visitors a plethora of restaurants, bars and many other facilities within the many commercial
Many superb championship golf courses are also in close proximity on the Costa Blanca. The main four courses in this area are those at Villamartin golf course, Las Ramblas golf course Campoamor golf course and La Finca golf course. Villamartin is an 18 hole course designed by P.Puttman and is open to everyone.
Nearby is Villamartin Plaza, which is on two levels and has a superb selection of bars and restaurants. Next to Villamartin are the superb18 hole courses of Las Ramblas and Campoamor. These are also open to residents and visitors.With in a ten minute drive you have the fantastic new La Finca course with a brand new hotel being built
Campoamor golf has at its centre a new superb clubhouse and Four Star Hotel. The clubhouse has a wonderful bar and restaurant with a terrace from which to enjoy the magnificent panoramic views. There is a well stocked pro-shop and for the non-golfer there is a fabulous swimming pool area.
For the more energetic there is a riding centre in the area and both Cabo Roig and Campoamor Costa Blanca have lovely marinas for the boating and water sports enthusiast. In addition, at Cabo Roig between Villamartin and Campoamor, is the Maritime Walk which follows the peninsular coastline and takes you to some of the finest sandy beaches on the Costa Blanca.
For nature lovers, this area is home to many species of wildlife, among them varieties of lizard such as the Iberian Lizard, red-tailed lizard, and ocellated lizard. Rabbits are found in large quantities, and other mammals such as hares, foxes, hedgehogs, small weasels and field mice can also be found on the Costa Blanca Spain
Any twitchers among you will find numerous species of birds such as, Linnet, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Cuckoo, Green Woodpecker, and Crested Lark to name but a few around the area of the Costa Blanca Spain
Unique and beautiful the Mar Menor (little sea) is Europe’s largest saltwater lagoon, divided from the Mediterranean by a natural breakwater known as La Manga Strip, incorporating the town of La Manga; the ‘Strip’ is a popular tourist centre with 22km of double beaches, the Mediterranean on one side and the Mar Menor on the other.
Dotted along the 73 kilometres of Mar Menor coastline are numerous small towns and villages, San Pedro del Pinatar, Los Alcazares, Los Narejos, Islas Menores, Mar de Cristal and Playa Honda, offering mile after mile of gentle promenade beaches with numerous bars and restaurants to suit every taste and budget.
Thanks to its 320 days of sunshine a year and shallow, mirror-calm waters, the lagoon with its ‘Blue Flag’ beaches and white sands make it ideal for family holidays and those interested in sailing, diving and water skiing.
Even in the height of the season, the beaches never get ‘packed’ or claustrophobic. The Mar Menor bay is also famed for its natural mud bath which is reputed to have special healing properties for people with rheumatic or arthritic problems. Almond trees, palms and windmills complete the picture, adding to the beauty of the landscape of this area.
Travelling time by car from:
La Manga Club - 10 minutes
Mar Menor Golf Resort - 10 minutes
Nueva Ribera - On the beach
La Torre - 15 minutes
El Valle - 15 minutes
Hacienda Riquelme - 15 minutes
Roda Golf & Beach Resort - 2-3 minutes
La Loma - 15 minutes
Condado de Alhama - 30 minutes
Founded almost 2,300 years ago, Cartagena has a heritage to rival that of any European city. The last Moorish stronghold in Spain, the area is brimming with fascinating history and architecture, including a 13th century church whose remains stand on the steps of a Roman Theatre which dates from the 1st century BC and is one of the most important archaeological sites in Spain.
It was from Cartagena that Hannibal departed with his elephants to cross the Alps an event celebrated each September with a huge Roman festival spanning two weeks.
Still a significant naval port, it was here that the world's first submarine was born in 1884 and now displayed on the city front for all to see. Apart from its historic treasures, Cartagena offers an active commercial life, rich culture, a wide range of leisure activities and superb cuisine characterised by locally caught seafood and excellent fruit and vegetables.
Travelling time by car from:
La Manga Club - 10-15 minutes
Mar Menor Golf Resort - 15-20 minutes
Nueva Ribera - 15 minutes
La Torre - 15-20 minutes
El Valle - 15-20 minutes
Hacienda Riquelme - 15-20 minutes
Roda Golf & Beach Resort - 15 minutes
La Loma - 15 minutes
Condado de Alhama - 35-40 minutes
The perfect place to gain a real insight to everyday Spanish life, Murcia is blessed with a rich legacy of art and contrasting cultures. Carthaginians, Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, and Moors have all left their mark on the stunning local scenery. Founded in around 831 AD by the moors in the centre of the River Segura Valley, the importance of the city over the years can be seen in the many beautiful cathedrals, palaces and other public buildings around its many narrow streets. Murcia is a great destination for those interested in extreme sports, too, with potholing, white-water canoeing, cave-diving, deep-sea diving, paragliding and hang gliding all readily available.
|As well as great shopping, food lovers will enjoy the huge selection of tapas bars to be found in Murcia’s sleepy squares as well as the city’s more formal restaurants.
Travelling time by car from Orihuela costa:
La Manga Club - 30 minutes
Mar Menor Golf Resort - 20 minutes
Nueva Ribera - 25
La Torre - 15 minutes
El Valle - 10 minutes
Hacienda Riquelme - 15 minutes
Roda Golf & Beach Resort - 25 minutes
La Loma - 15 minutes
Condado de Alhama - 10 minutes