25 July 2013
Published 25 July 2013 | By David Healy
Spain needs no introduction to beaches. The Costa Blanca and Costa Calida offer miles and miles of beautiful natural beaches as well as the stereotypical Benidorm image of parasols, cheap drinks and lobster red bodies. Torrevieja too has its reputation for health, relaxation and easy living. Once we start to hit the mid 30 degree mark however, sometimes the hustle and bustle of busy beaches can encourage us to stay in the pool and remain calm and collected. Failing that a huge number of people go in search of a tranquil secluded beach where shade is plentiful and the views offer something a little different. We went in search of such a beach!
We started off looking at Tabarca off the coast of Guardamar and Torrevieja in the hope that we may find some much needed relaxation and coastal breezes. After researching my wife and I realised that Tabarca was renowned for its wildlife and aquatic activities – namely snorkelling!
It is worth mentioning at this point that whilst I am a keen surfer and mountain walker, I have never combined rocks and the sea to gain any form of enjoyment! In winter time you will find me slowly scaling the mountains of Callosa de Segura or Orihuela in the hope of losing all the weight I put on in the hot summer where a cool beer is usually the easiest way to stay cool. However in summer walking up mountains or walking anywhere for that matter just isn’t practical. If you speak to the Spanish, they will all tell you that the place to be is at the beach. Furthermore we didn’t select Tabarca but for a very good reason.
After researching some snorkelling destinations up and down the Costa, I stumbled across a guide written by Torrevieja Tourism Office which revealed 6 snorkelling routes within a stone’s throw of Torrevieja. http://turismodetorrevieja.com/web/?page_id=1359&lang=en Each route was completely different and offered sights and experiences never before available to me in the UK. I made it my personal mission to buy two snorkelling kits from Decathlon in La Zenia Boulevard (15€ each including fins, a mask and a snorkel) and we planned the next morning to visit the second route on the Torrevieja guide (Cala de la Higuera). For good measure we invited our Spanish friends to join us as it had been many years since they themselves had bathed in the cove and as they say there is safety in numbers. We made our way down to the cove!
At this point it is pertinent to mention that if you are going to visit any of the “Calas” or “Coves”, it is important that you should ensure you take adequate footwear for the rocks both in and out of the water. It is very easy to get cut if you do not ensure your feet are protected. It can also get quite slippery so it’s advisable to pick a place where there is not an abundance of seaweed on the rock surfaces. La Cala de la Higuera is a very popular but not over populated beach to spend relaxing time in. There is a ladder for bathers on the edge of the water and the access is easy via a stone stairway which should not be difficult for more elderly people. There is ample parking and it is rarely overcrowded. If you are a solo swimmer it is advisable to arrive after 9am where more people are in the vicinity.
Snorkelling or even swimming with goggles will yield exceptional views of many fish, sea grass and wonderfully coloured rocks. The water is incredibly salty so staying afloat is a dream. If you are a snorkeler you could literally lay on the surface for hours just staring at the beautiful views below. To look at the cove you would never know what wonders are below and despite the crystal clear there is an abundance to things to see and experience. If snorkelling isn’t your cup of tea then just bathing in this wonderful area is an absolute pleasure and will definitely keep those late July and August temperatures at bay!
Torrevieja’s Cala’s exemplify for me exactly what makes Spain special in the summer. Warm clear water and the relaxing sound of waves brushing the rocks with their gentle spray. If you normally visit La Marina or Guardamar for your beach experience, then definitely give the Calas de Torrevieja a try. You definitely won’t be disappointed!
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