The most admired coves on the Costa Blanca
The most admired coves on the Costa Blanca
When you mention that you’re visiting the ‘Costa Blanca’ most people imagine extensive sandy beaches, water sports and lively hospitality venues. And it’s true that many towns on this popular coastline boast just that. However, it’s not the full story. Alongside the bustling towns and cities and lively beaches with their chiringuitos, you’ll also find tucked away, the most delightful range of calas with their combination of crystal clear waters and natural fauna.
A ‘cala’ means cove in English and this conjures an image of a tranquil spot on the seashore with perhaps a few rocks, pools and plenty of vegetation. You might have to leave your car a little further away than you would do normally or even navigate a rocky path or two, but the effort will be worth it. There is nothing quite like snorkeling in a clear blue sea and watching the shoals of fish and other sea life bobbing through the sea grass.
If you do plan on visiting a cala it’s important to be equipped. If it’s going to be difficult to access make sure you are wearing sturdy shoes and for pebbly beaches and rocky terrain you will need some appropriate water shoes to protect the soles of your feet. Then, with your snorkel, a towel and perhaps a picnic for later, you can set off to your chosen cala.
Spain is riddled with coves and trying to identify the ‘most admired’ is a task not be envied. Where do you start? So, this selection begins with an apology. It’s bound to leave out the coves that you have personally come across in your exploration of Spain. It will leave out some of those most celebrated on other web pages and sites. Such a selection must always be subjective, but here we go.
Baños de la Reina – El Campello
Literally translated, this means ‘The Queen’s baths’ a name it earned due to the outdoor archaeological site that resembles a series of pools where it is rumoured that a Muslim Queen ordered her baths to be built. In fact the site is 5,000 years old and does not owe its origins to royalty but to Roman fishing hatcheries. It’s certainly worth a visit for its historical connections alone and there even remain objects here from the Bronze Age.
But more important than the history, for many its visitors, is the beauty of the cove itself and the clear water. The transparent nature of the sea means that it is a very popular area for both snorkeling and diving. There is even an official snorkel route if you prefer a little help in finding the best vantage points.
Whether you want to go snorkeling or not, there is plenty that’s attractive about this area. The water is an incredible blue and it is shallow across a significant area. Even if you don’t want to immerse your head in water you will still have sight of the seabed and the variety of marine species that live there.
It’s also a popular area for diving and rocks are dotted around the cove. However, you are unlikely to be on your own here and if you are looking for an isolated spot then you should look elsewhere. The attractiveness of this cala along with its unique history means that it is a popular location. This said, it’s an ideal place to spend the day, or even better, perhaps you can loiter a little longer and enjoy a fabulous and atmospheric sunset.
Cala del Racó del Corb – Calpe
If you are looking for a very special cove that isn’t going to be swamped by tourists then you might be interested in taking the time to visit the Cove El Collao or Racó del Corb in Calpe.
This perfect little cala is well off the beaten track and easiest access is by sea. If you do want to reach it by land you must navigate a rather steep path from the Mascarat urbanization.
The path appears to be a dead end and although the descent will only take you five minutes it is very steep. You should wear shoes with a good grip and avoid trying to take too much down with you to the beach.
It’s not a sandy beach, consisting of pebbles and rocks, but the water is calm, translucent and a blue that will take your breath away. As you would expect, it’s ideal for diving and snorkeling but it’s also popular with paddle-surfers and those who enjoy a spot of fishing. You needn’t worry about being disturbed by any surprise encounters. It may be a small world but you’re unlikely to bump into anyone you know here.
The cove is only 200 metres long and 10 metres wide and the Morro de Toix cliffs protect this charming little bay snuggling between Altea and Calpe.
The water is actually protected as the cove is part of the Serra Gelada Natural Park. Underwater fields of sea grass are partly responsible for its crystal clear water and also provide the shelter for countless fish and other marine life.
Cala del Tio Ximo – Benidorm
Benidorm isn’t all about skyscrapers and package holidays. Far from it. A visit to the Cala del Tio Ximo reminds us that it once was a fishing village and has many unspoilt and surprising treats for those ready to seek them out.
This cala is set in wild and natural surroundings at the base of the Sierra Helada. It is circled by steep cliffs and although it is accessible for everyone it is quieter than other popular Benidorm beaches.
The beach is a mixture of sand and pebble and is relatively small with the cove extending to about 70 metres. There are no bars or restaurants here so it’s ideal for bringing your own packed lunch – but remember to take your litter back with you!
Although you can reach the beach by car, there is no car park so you will have to access the cove itself on foot. In spite of this, Cala del Tio Ximo is well worth the effort, just don’t bring the kitchen sink.
The nature of this cove means that it is ideal for snorkeling or diving and is a very popular escape for those wanting something a little more private than you’d experience on Benidorm’s famous Levante and Poniente beaches. However, in summer you can still expect it to be quite a busy little bay so do take that into account when planning your day out.
The good news is that during the summer it is attended by a lifeguard. Although it doesn’t appear to be officially classes as a nudist beach, it is a popular area for nudists – so be aware.
Cala Ferris – Torrevieja
Now to our very own local cove – Cala Ferris. If you are travelling along the N332 between Torrevieja and Orihuela Costa you can spot this oasis from the road. Venture down there towards the sea and you enter a different world to the apartments towns and cities of the developed costas.
This natural haven has stoically resisted the attempts to grasp prime sea front building land. It’s surrounded by palm trees and with its clear water and sand dunes, it has a tropical feel to it. Diving and snorkeling are recommended here and fish are plentiful so it’s a popular spot for anglers.
The N332 may only be a stone throw away but you would never guess it from the peace and tranquility of this little Costa Blanca paradise.
There are no bars or services as such but it’s the ideal place to bring a picnic and swim in the crystal clear waters before returning to the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The beach is around 200 metres in length and for those living either side, it provides a very popular morning walk.
Like some of our other calas, you’ll find posidonia meadows here. These are more commonly known as sea grass and have a key role in the ecosystem as they provide shelter for many species of fish and produce oxygen on a daily basis.
Seagrass meadows help to maintain the coastline and protect beaches from erosion. Its presence here is one of the factors that makes Cala Ferris such a special place to visit and enjoy.