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The Costa Blanca, Spain
Welcome to one of the most diverse and fun Regions in Spain, the Costa Blanca!
The Costa Blanca extends from Cartagena in the South to Javea in the North. The entire coast is bordering the Mediterranean Sea. This is, among other things, the reason that it's a lot warmer than for example in Western Spain. Important towns on the Costa Blanca are: Alicante (the capital), Elche (on the second place. Also known as the city of the palm trees), Denia and Javea. Benidorm is probably best known by the Dutch, Belgium and English people.
From London (England) to Alicante it’s approximately 2000 kilometers, with the car it's a 21-hour drive roughly. With the plane to Alicante you'll get there in about 2 hours and 30 minutes and the connection to Alicante is usually a direct flight. The Costa Blanca is famous for its beautiful sandy beaches and the pleasant climate (more information about this subject is written on the climate information page). The local population is often very open and friendly even if you don´t speak their language.
On the Costa Blanca there are a lot of different places where you could live. There are many places around the coast, but there are also properties more inland or even in the mountain areas if you prefer so. The closer to the coast, the more expensive the properties get. The amount of people living at certain areas naturally differs as well of course! Coastal areas are often busier. Especially during the holiday seasons. There are also so-called urbanizations in Spain. These are areas where often many foreigners live together. Like English, Belgium and Dutch.
In Spain they still have siesta which is their long break during lunchtime. In the morning they do have a simple breakfast, then at lunch usually what we have during the evening and at night time it is often a simple meal as well! Note for example, they usually have dinner around 9 – 10 pm. During the siesta time between 2 – 5 pm almost all shops are closed.
Also, there are plenty of sports activities on the Costa Blanca. This area has the most beautiful golf courses in Europe, you can be hiking, walking, cycling, mountain biking, swimming, playing tennis, playing soccer, paragliding you name it. In combination with the 300 days of sunshine a year, the chance is very small that your day will be ruined by bad weather. That's usually a little different in the north of Europe.
With the wedding of Ferdinand V of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile in 1469 Spain was politically united. In 1492 Granada was conquered and came an end to 800 years presence of Muslims on the Iberian Peninsula. After this conquest, Spain was considered as one of the most powerful countries in the world until the sixteenth century. Partly due to the considerable expansion on the American continent. The Spanish Succession war resulted in a centralized State, controlled by the Royal House of Bourbon. In the second half of the nineteenth century the Spanish-American war led to the loss of the last Spanish colonies in the Western Hemisphere, namely Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines.
In the first world war Spain was neutral and that gave an economic prosperity. In 1931 King Alfonso XIII was forced to resign under pressure from the people of Spain and became a Republic. Political instability eventually led to the Spanish civil war. The nationalists, under the leadership of General Francisco Franco came to power and continued to led the country until his death in 1975. During the second world war Spain maintained its neutrality, whereby Franco was able to strengthen his position. After the second World War, Spain was initially boycotted by the international community, but under the influence of the cold war from the mid-1950s relations with the international community where restored. Also, the monarchy was restored after the death of Franco. Juan Carlos, the grandson of Alfonso XIII, became the new King. Free elections followed in 1977, in 1978 came a democratic Constitution which granted limited autonomy to the Basque country, Catalonia and Galicia. In 1981 the coup failed. Spain joined NATO in 1982 and in 1986 to join the EEC.
Culture : Castles, cathedrals and other historic buildings, typical villages and towns, archaeological finds, museums of old and new art, open-air performances, old customs and traditional festivals. A visitor who is interested to admire the entire beautiful cultural heritage need to take his time. For lovers of art, music, film or theatre, there are a lot of reasons to go to the Costa Blanca. There are lots of museums and the cultural year agenda is long. some examples: The Film festival in Alfaz del Pi and Elche, the vocal festival in Benidorm, the theatre and music festival season in Alicante.
Events : Spain is full of fiestas (festivals) and traditions. Each village, however small, has a very rich cultural and religious tradition. With markets, processions, Moorish - Christian church events. The two most celebrated festivals are the Moorish / Christians and San Juan. Thousands of people do come here at different times of the year, these traditions are kept alive and the people take part in the events wrapped in luxurious costumes.
Events: The event (Spanish fiesta) of the Moorish and Christians where the historical past of the region is experienced again and again, the celebration is especially for the inhabitants of the province of Alicante and of course also for the tourists. It’s celebrated at different times in each village, but all events are characterised by processions, dancing in the streets, parades, music, Fireworks, the impressive processions of the arrival of the Moors, the (fake) fighting in the streets and the final expulsion of the Moors by the Christians. So around mid-June, the streets will be filled with bonfires, dancing, Fireworks and works of art of paper mache. This is the Festival of Les Fogueres de San Juan. At the end of the festivities, on the night of San Juan, all works of art will be set on fire. Other fire rituals, such as the Fallas in March, are mainly held in Valencia, although these are also be celebrated in Denia and Benidorm. Information on local events you can get at the local TOURIST OFFICE or through us.
Nightlife: The Costa Blanca is absolutely the right place for a lovely night out. There are several places you could go to every single night of the year. For example: the restaurants are open till late night (roughly 1 am), there are many different boulevards, evenings markets, shops (which are usually also open till late during the summer months) and of course not to forget the typical Spanish nightlife. The last thing mentioned even goes on till 8 am in the morning.
Harbors / ports: The Costa Blanca has many different ports, bigger and smaller ones. Almost any place on the coast has its own small Marina as the Spanish will call it. You can visit any of those marinas and enjoy the beautiful structures, boulevards, yachts and often restaurants. The Marina of Alicante also has great deal of shops and restaurants. During the evening it can be very busy over there. Another one worth mentioning is the port of Denia. Which is like a small village on its own. Also, smaller places on the coast have their own ports. El Campello, Santa Pola, Guardamar del Segura, Torrevieja and many more! It is always a lovely place to visit.
Shops: There is a great variety of shops on the Costa Blanca, the largest range of shops can be found in Benidorm with mainly tourists, souvenirs, clothing and leather goods/shoes stores. Furthermore, there are various perfume and jewelry stores all over the city. The other places have a more varied selection of shops, which aim at the local population and tourists. On the outskirts of all these places there are big super-and hypermarkets. Just always look out for the opening hours due the siesta times. Often, they are closed between 2pm and 5 pm.
If you have questions about the region and especially the area of the Costa Blanca south, feel free to contact us anytime. After more than 10 years to have lived and worked here, we can tell you lot of information regarding the region.
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