Spain’s “White Coast”, or Costa Blanca, boasts over 200 kilometers of glittering coastline. Situated on the southeastern Mediterranean shore of Spain, this fabulous strip of white radiates a dynamic spirit and promises all the makings for a perfect family vacation, beach holiday, romantic getaway, or city break. What makes the Costa Blanca so special is its wide variety of setting and atmosphere; from exquisite cathedrals to flashy clubs, from locals-only establishments to international melting pots. Find your perfect hotel right on one of the lively beaches, within one of the bustling cities, or tucked back in the tranquil countryside.
Where to stay on Costa Blanca? Important regions & locations at a glance:
Valencia: Architecture & Blue Flag beaches
Spain’s third-largest city, Valencia, provides plenty of opportunity for recreation and cultural fulfillment. Admirers of contemporary architecture shouldn’t miss the City of Arts and Sciences, designed by architect Santiago Calavatra. The complex, deemed one of the 12 Treasures of Spain, consists of an opera house, an interactive science museum, a planetarium, and much more. Valencia is modern and lively; a trip here is best spent sampling authentic paella in stylish restaurants, meandering through the beautiful market halls, or bouncing around between shops in the UNESCO Lonja de la Seda, Silk Exchange. And after all that’s taken care of, just a 10-minute walk from the Old Town and you can be on one of the Blue-Flag-winning beaches — the most popular being La Malvarrosa for a city beach with plenty of space, and the El Saler Beach, which is a more unspoiled, natural iteration of the Costa Blanca beaches.
Altea & Dénia: Altea’s pretty Old Town & museums
The beautiful town of Altea, situated between Valencia and Alicante on the coast, is dominated by white houses, under the facades of which are well-equipped hotels, studios, and art galleries. Paved roads and cliffs lead to a lively fishing port, where you can sample freshly-caught fish in authentic restaurants. Wandering through the whitewashed buildings of the Old Town is a destination in and of itself; sure to transport you back in time to an era long passed. In Dénia, find an archaeology museum as well as a suite of Renaissance and Baroque buildings and an ancient castle perched on a cliff. Rather than high-rise hotel complexes, white finca-like buildings with red roofs are characteristic of this region. Diving is quite popular in the area because of the rich collection of flora and fauna and crystal-clear water. Through the archways of the city, head toward the Cape San Antonio, home to an iconic lighthouse and romantic fishing port. On clear days, you may even be able to spot Ibiza across the sea from this point.
Benidorm & Calp: Beach vacation & family-friendly holiday
A classic beach holiday is waiting for you at the seaside resorts in Benidorm and Calp. Calp’s landscape is dominated by mountains and vineyards; here the numerous hotels of different standards sit right on the 11-kilometer sandy coastline, which is lined with beaches of unparalleled quality. Even beyond the beautiful Calp Playa De La Fossa Public Beach and Ifach Rock Natural Park, Calp is a great stop for archaeology and history buffs as well as those looking for a romantic getaway spent exploring everything from ancient ruins to trendy bars. Families prefer Benidorm, which is home to a long list of action-packed attractions, including those found in the Terra Mitica Theme Park. Here the streets are wide and primed for shopping and strolling. Modern hotels and cafes dot the coast, making it the perfect place for a fun-filled, kid-friendly holiday.
Elche & Alicante: Natural landscapes & sightseeing
The city of Elche is a special destination for lovers of nature, proud home to the only palm forest in Europe and part of a UNESCO World Heritage Natural Site. Surrounded by magnificent Moorish architecture and baroque buildings, soak up the romantic energy of this Spanish paradise. Make sure to check out the famous blue-capped Basilica of Santa Maria and the largest shoe outlet mall in Europe, the Elche Business Park. In Alicante, settle in under imposing views of the lively Old Town, world renowned for its unrivaled charm, blocks of colorful houses, and delicious sweets. The city is imbued with a luxurious flair, the port dotted with yachts, cruise liners, and well-kept golf courses. Looming above is the majestic Castle of Santa Barbara, a fortress with medieval Arab origins. Also worth is a visit is the Explanada de España: a sprawling boulevard lined with a marble-tiled mosaic piece, creating the illusion of a waves as you walk down it.
Good to know
Getting there: The easiest way to get to the Costa Blanca is to take a direct flight into the central Airport of Alicante (MJV). After around 2.5 hours from London, arrive in Alicante and take a bus to any of the resort towns or even a boat along the coast. Alicante is also a hub for train lines that connect different cities on the coast, so it’s a good bet making the city a home-base for your vacation. You can also, of course, rent a car from the airport making travel along the coast more simple and more fun.