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Torrevieja on the sunny Costa Blanca is a resort that is growing in popularity with tourists and welcomes more and more visitors each year. A typical Spanish town, it is particularly popular with English speakers, and a strong ex-pat community has sprung up in surrounding areas.
Lying 50km south of Alicante and the area's main airport, Torrevieja is the language border between the Valencian and Catalan regions of this area of Spain. South of this resort you will find villages where only Spanish is spoken so this makes the town a good resort for an excursion into "real" Spain.
The entire area around the town, and also its neighbour Oriheula is famous for the giant salt lakes and the salt production that they are home to. The road from Alicante is lined with these lakes and the accompanying salt mountains account for half a million tons of the product each year. The town even gets its name from an old tower that became the centre of administration for the salt industry in 1802.
The town also has an active harbour, keeping local industry alive and this is home to 300 fishing boats and 900 private vessels. One of the best ways to experience the sunset is to watch it setting over the gently bobbing masts. The harbour forms a good starting point for any explorations on foot as there are a number of churches to explore and also the Sea and Salt Museum. As with many harbour towns Torrevieja also has an active fish market, and a traditional market on a Friday morning. The harbour is also surrounded by many of the Torrevieja hotels.
Most hotels are located close to or right alongside the beach. Over 10,000 hotel beds means there is seldom a shortage of room even in high summer, allowing the independent traveller the option to stay as part of a tour of the area. There are also a great number of private apartments for rent.
The towns beaches run right along the front of the resort and whilst they are safe to swim off at most times, there can be strong undercurrents. Swimmers are notified by flag of the tidal conditions each day - but remember in Spain a yellow flag means don't swim! Flags should be obeyed as failing to observe them means a fine in this area. South of the town you will find the excellent beaches of Cabo Roig and La Zenia (also home to one of the area's best hotels), both win the Blue Flag award every year for cleanliness and safety.
If you fancy a day away from the beach then try the Waterpark. One of the biggest on the Costa Blanca the Torrevieja Aquopolis is open until 7pm in high summer and will make a fun day with its numerous slides and pools. Golf also provides an alternative way to relax in the resort and there are five courses around the area.
Because of the large ex-pat community Torrevieja has more than its fair share of bars and clubs catering for British and European tastes. Most of the nightlife centres around these and there is a street full of such options for the holidaymaker. British bars offer such favourites as karaoke and Pub Quizzes, most have some form of musical entertainment. Nightclubs and tapas bars offer an alternative to the more traditional bar and there is a funfair to keep the younger family members occupied.
Before you begin your evenings entertainment take a stroll through the harbour and stop off at the nightly street market. Torrevieja also hosts a casino; combine that with the nine fiestas that take place in the town throughout the year and there is plenty to keep you entertained until the small hours.
Finding somewhere to eat before you begin should not be a problem here. Hundreds of establishments line the seafront serving everything from traditional Spanish fair to English pub food.
Getting to Torrevieja takes a bit more management if travelling independently. There are no direct bus links from the major airport of Alicante, you have to go into Alicante town itself and then get a connection. The bus journey takes approximately one hour. Some UK airports also fly into Murcia Airport and car hire is a good option if travelling independently from there. If you are staying in Torrevieja as an independent traveller then car hire is almost essential, cars can be picked up and dropped off at the airport and takes the hassle out of getting around the area during your stay.
The weather in Torrevieja is excellent all year round, the summers can reach 40 degrees whilst winter temperatures very rarely drop below 18 degrees making it an ideal year round destination.