21 September 2017
Guardamar beaches are classed amongst the most beautiful and unique on the Spanish Mediterranean Coast. We boast about our 11 km. of fine golden sand beaches bordering the coastal pinewoods. Of these, 2 km. are located to the north of the River Segura and 9 km to the south. The Guardamar Sand Dunes Forest is a total of 800 hectares (almost 2,000 acres), with a maximum width of 1.400 metres, meaning almost a mile. Vegetation consists basically of eucalyptus and palm trees and other Mediterranean and introduced exotic species.
North of the River Segura you will find Els Tossals Beach, a naturist or nudist beach 1661 meters long, with access from the N-332 coastal Alicante-Cartagena Road at the height of the Top Class Marjal Camping Resort.
South of the River Segura there are 7 different beaches summing up about 10 km, some absolutely natural and others fully urban at the town’s shoreline itself. From north to south they are named: Els Vivers, La Babilònia, Centre, La Roqueta, El Montcaio, El Camp and Les Ortigues. The urban town beaches are known as: Centre and La Roqueta.
Along the right bank of the mouth of the River Segura there is the Fish Exchange (Llotja de Peix) with fish auctions Monday to Friday mornings and the Nautical Sports’ Marina, located 2 km from Guardamar’s town centre.
Guardamar offer beaches of high ecological value, with 4 Blue European quality flags in ones of the most beautiful environments on the Spanish coasts.
Guardamar is at the far south of the Costa Blanca, a 30 minutes drive from Alicante Airport. It has the warmest sea waters in Spain. The average water temperature is 27 °C in August, dropping to around 20 ° C in the mild winter months. It is not unusual to see swimmers in winter, especially those coming from northern Europe. You can also sunbathe on our golden sands the year round.
This forest space has 800 hectares bordering the Mediterranean coast. Originally, it was a set of moving sand dunes that were fixed planting different species such as pine, palm, cypresses and eucalyptus trees in a huge reforestation project. Starting in the late nineteenth century, the project was led by Forestry Expert Mr. Francisco Mira i Botella. Over the following three decades, more than 600.000 trees were introduced. He created an attractive ecological and cultural landscape of high touristic value.
The Reina Sofia Park is part of the huge pine forest, a very short walk from the Town Hall Square. It has ponds with fish and birdlife, spacious children playground areas under the shade of the pines. The squirrels have become a symbol of the park and of Guardamar. It is a favourite meeting point for families with children. There are several popular “petanque” bowling pitches widely used by our senior residents. On summer evenings, the Auditorium of the Park hosts shows and music entertainment in what is known as “les Nits d’Estiu.” (The Summer Nights)
The final stretch of the River Segura and its estuary (or Gola) is a unique natural environment. The existing vegetation provides resting places for nesting waterfowl such as herons, egrets, stilts, herons, gulls, grebes, moorhens and others. A noteworthy area is known as “les Voltes del Riu Vell” (The Old River’s Meanders). It is now a protected stretch of the old river bed since a new Segura river channel flows straight to the sea since the late 1980s Flood Plan. This ancient protected stretch has been replanted with native river bank vegetation and shrubs. There is a bird observation tower near the river’s mouth. Walking and cycling excursions known as “Green Routes” have been arranged on both river banks. They connect Guardamar with towns upstream all the way to Orihuela (29 km) and Murcia (69 km.). You can also choose to discover the farmland country paths.
“L’Horta de Guardamar” is the name given to the traditional farmland irrigation countryside of Guardamar. It is located on both sides of the final stretch of the River Segura. It is irrigated by a medieval system of canals, ditches and draining ditches. It is made up of small properties where citrus trees and vegetables are grown, the most famous product being the unique “Nyora de Guardamar” (a small sweet red bell pepper), which is subsequently dried in the dunes and widely popular in regional Valencian cuisine.
The hills surrounding Guardamar were reforested in the 1940s and 1950s, especially with pines. An abundant Mediterranean flora and fauna now grows there. The highest points are never 200 metres above sea level. The hills are known as: “El Montcaio”, “ Les Raboses”, “El Palleret”, “ l'Estany and El Molar”. At the foot of these hills the ancient, now dried up, marshlands are all at sea level. This means the views are spectacular from these small heights. You will be able to gaze at all the coast from the Bay of Santa Pola, the small island of Tabarca with its village, the mouth of the River Segura and the 11 km. long stretch of beaches bordering the pinewoods all the way down to the salt lakes at the south. Orihuela –the historic capital of the district– can be seen to the west, explaining the defensive role played by Guardamar in past centuries: literally, “the Guardian of the Sea.”
To the south, behind the “Montcaio” hill, we find some ancient dry lands and livestock. In the 1920s the area received irrigation water due to the elevation of water surplus on the right bank near the river’s mouth. This was carried out by the Levante Segura River Irrigation Company. Despite the presence of new, mainly foreign residents ‘urbanisations or “country residential developments”, it remains largely intact. It is a rural landscape of lemon and orange trees with vegetables and garden farming served by small irrigation ponds. The dry lands are represented by vineyards and grain fields. In the higher areas and hills looking south there are some fantastic views of the La Mata Salt Lakes and the Mediterranean Sea, very near to the east
The “La Mata and Torrevieja Salt Lakes” were historically known as the Guardamar Salt Lakes since they were a part of our district. They are a natural park of great ecological value for its flora and fauna. It is a resting place of great importance for migratory birds on route to Africa or back. Amongst other species, we must mention the necked grebe and the flamingo, as well as other nesting birds such as the marsh harrier and the avocet. The park covers a surface of 3,700 hectares, with much of the north shore still belonging to Guardamar’s district. There is an Information and Interpretation Centre on the coastal N-332 Road, at the height of La Mata, which can be reached by bike from Guardamar. Within the park, there is a route that can also be done on foot or by bike.
(source : guardamarturismo.com)