June – August
LCY → ALC
Freedom of movement
Taxi: 35 £GBP (40 min)
Bus: 3 £GBP (50 min)
The White Coast, better known as the Costa Blanca is one of Europe’s most heavily visited areas. Costa Blanca holidays are one of the most attractive for tourists.
If you’re after a secluded midsummer beach, stay away – the Costa Blanca is best known Benidorm – or head inland to enjoy traditional villages and towns that have scarcely heard the word tourism.
Then again, if you’re looking for a lively social scene, good beaches and a suntan.
It's easy to write Benidorm off as the worst example of the ugly side of mass tourism. Benidorm sold its soul to mass package tourism a long time ago. It is populated by drunken northern Europeans and Spanish culture has been drowned in a wave of English bars and British fried breakfasts.
It is also hard to say the endless tower-block hotels are attractive, but Benidorm has something many other Costa Blanca beach resorts lack. It has character in spades. It just might not be the sort of character you visit Spain for!
Still, if you don’t visit Benidorm, you can't honestly say you’ve been to the Spanish Mediterranean.
Oh, Benidorm has another plus – a magnificent foreshore which is made up of the twin sweeps of Playa del Levante and the longer Playa del Poniente meet under Plaza del Castillo, where the land juts into the bay.
In winter Benidorm resembles a retirement village, 50% of visitors are more than 60, mostly from northern Europe. During summer holidays to Costa Blanca are for all ages.
But the Costa Blanca isn’t all concrete and package deals.
Although the original fishing villages have long been engulfed by the sprawl of resorts, a few Old Town kernels, such as those of Xàbia and Altea, still survive.
Xàbia (Jávea in Spanish) isn’t the best place to meet the locals on Costa Blanca holidays. That said, it’s a gentle, family-oriented place that has largely (but not totally!) resisted the high-rise tourist developments that blight so much of the Costa Blanca’s coast. In fact, early in the season, when the sun shines but tourists have yet to arrive, we’d say that Xàbia is the most pleasant of the area’s beach resorts by far.
Altea, separated from Benidorm only by the Sierra Helada, could be a different planet. Quieter, its beaches are mostly pebbles. The modern part, extending along the coast, is a common coastal resort for holidays to Costa Blanca. In contrast, the whitewashed Old Town, perched on a hill looking down on the sea, is just about the prettiest pueblo in all of the Comunidad Valenciana.
In July and August it can be tough finding accommodation if you haven’t booked.
Out of season, those places remaining open for Costa Blanca holidays usually charge far less than in high summer.
Booked.net lists a comprehensive range of hotels in the Costa Blanca region, and is constantly negotiating with accommodation providers for the best prices, discounts and free nights.
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