Tabarca Island

Interesting article about Tabarca Island, located off Santa Pola.

Costa Blanca Destinations - Tabarca Island

Tabarca - In Search of An Island Hideaway: Just a few kilometres off the Costa Blanca mainland near Santa Pola lies the small and tranquil island of Tabarca. Once used as a hideaway by Barbary pirates and by the Spanish to house Genoese prisoners, the island has a chequered history, but today it is used by locals and tourists alike for its recreational facilities.

The surrounding waters of the 2km long island were declared a national marine park in 1986 and are a snorkeller’s paradise, with the abundance of marine life in the clear waters. Water sports rule the island with pedalo boats along side windsailers and dinghies moored in the harbour next to large private yachts. Everyone is in search of that small secluded bit of paradise and whilst you can see the mainland from Tabarca there is a feeling that an undiscovered treasure has been found, the only problem is that hundreds of other people have also discovered it and with several daily ferries from Santa Pola and Alicante, that long lost private desert island is no longer private or deserted.

Walking through one of the three monumental gateways built in the 18th Century, along with a walled settlement that was constructed to discourage pirates landing, is the village. The traditional Spanish settlement remains largely unspoilt and unaffected by the growing number of visitors during the summer months. The only signs are the two souvenir shops and the large amount of restaurants scattered along the hilltops overlooking the sea and situated down quiet cobbled side streets. Fish is the dish of the day in most of the restaurants with it being freshly caught, and on admiring the view it is easy to understand why people travel across purely for a special meal overlooking the rocky coastline.

Through another gate to the tip of the island and people battle the slippery rocks and pebbles to scramble across the shallow water to a tiny little island for peaceful picnics and to watch the seagulls nesting by the shoreline. In certain parts the water is clear enough to see the marine life, almost close enough to touch.

The latest addition to the island is a museum, which opened on the 24th May. The modern slimline building overlooks the harbour to the back and the beach to the front. Among the exhibitions are audiovisual shows that play several times throughout the day, giving visitors a welcome break from the sun and sea.

Factfile. There are hourly ferries across from the mainland ports of both Santa Pola and Alicante to Isla de Tabarca. Trips are also available from Torrevieja. We went from Santa Pola where the 25 minute crossing cost €11 return.

Other places to visit:- Santa Barbara Castle Alicante - Guardamar del Segura - Los Arenales - El Campello

Article provided by kind permission of The Leader Newspaper.

Nearby Places: Gran Alacant - Rojales - Algorfa - Almoradi - La Marina - San Fulgencio - Ciudad Quesada - La Mata

Golf Courses: La Finca - La Marquesa Golf - Spain Golf Courses

Related: Orihuela Costa - Alicante - Murcia - Orihuela - Cabo Roig - Playa Flamenca - Builders