If red sunsets over blue water, sailboats, and rustic castles appeal to you, so does Santa Pola, one of my favourite fishing villages on the Mediterranean Coast. It’s about 80km south of Alicante City, near the southern tip of the Costa Blanca. Not far offshore is the island of Tabarca.
I’ve always found the people of Santa Pola to be friendly and humble. Even though there’s a lot of tradition and the remainder of old-fashioned ways,
Santa Pola is not to be outdone by the castles of many of the small Costa Blanca towns. It has the Castle of Santa Pola, a lovely stone edifice with a stately bell tower and accompanying clock. This is one of the town’s biggest draws. The other favourite is Tamarit Tower, a fascinating, curvy stone edifice. It sits between the main castle and the Torre del Pinet, and dates back to 1552, when it was built by King Philip II.
Like so many municipalities in the Costa Blanca, Santa Pola began as a big fortress, then grew into a fishing village, and now exists as a mix of a fishing town and tourist mecca, In Santa Pola the population doubles in Summer, and apartments for those who’d prefer not to have to arrange to rent every holiday.
Santa Pola has a nice cultural mix, with Spanish and Valencian speakers, with Valencian being the official language. And speaking of culture, as a resident and native of the Costa Blanca, there’s nothing I’m more proud of about my home region than its restaurants. To find such gourmet fare in a humble fishing village is remarkable. The two best restaurants are probably Varadero and Batiste, both with high-end Spanish fare. In addition to seafood and paella, you can get steak and other sumptuous entrees. In addition to great restaurants, the town has a few good bars and other night spots for your entertainment needs.
Since the town has not only a tourist economy, but also a fishing and agricultural niche. Come to Santa Pola and soak in the atmosphere.