Torrevieja is a seaside city located on the Costa Blanca in the province of Alicante, in the south of the Valencia Community.
Torrevieja was originally a salt-mining and fishing village. It is encircled by two large natural salt water lakes- Salinas de Torrevieja, which give Torrevieja a healthy micro climate and are considered the most productive in Europe.
|Salinas de Torrevieja|
|Salinas de La Mata|
29 miles (47km) from Alicante, capital of the province, and 22 miles (35km) from the airports at El Altet (Alicante) and San Javier (Murcia), it has distinguished itself in the last few years as a first-class tourist centre in the Mediterranean.
Until 1802, Torrevieja existed only as an ancient guard tower, which gave the town its name (Torre Vieja means Old Tower), and some labourers' cottages. But in 1803 moved the salt production offices from La Mata to the town itself and allowed the construction of dwellings there. In 1829, the town was totally destroyed by an earthquake, but the basins were soon reconstructed and re-opened. In 1931 Alfonso XIII gave Torrevieja city status by special grant.
In the 19th century, the salt was mainly shipped from the town by Swedish and Dutch ships. At the time, there was only limited demand from other regions of Spain, mainly Galicia and to a lesser extent, Valencia. Although by the dawn of the 20th century, a quarter of all the salt harvested from the lagoon in Torrevieja was sold in Spain itself, and the rest exported was to foreign markets. Today, it is still an important industry in Torrevieja and a major employer.
In recent years the local economy has hugely expanded due to the tourist industry. This includes both a strong contingent of British, Irish, Germans and Scandinavians, many of whom live there all the year round, and Spanish tourists who have a holiday home in the city.
Along with its very dry climate, stable throughout the year, 360 days of sunshine, and an average of 18ºC (64˚F), are such welcoming and attractive features as its magnificent beaches of fine sand, main squares, promenades, parks, gardens, nature reserves, and major historical and artistic monuments. All of these are surrounded by numerous services dedicated to tourism, in a hospitable society that is relaxed and open to all cultures of the world, thanks to its outstanding marine traditions of shipping, fishing and sports.
Parque de las Naciones
|Parque de las Naciones|
|Parque de las Naciones|
|Parque de las Naciones|
This park in Torrevieja is well worth a visit. In the centre of the park is a large lake (on which boats can be hired at certain times), a footpath runs all the way around the lake, and the park also has a children's play area and refreshment kiosk.
Parque del Molino de agua
The Parque Molino del Aqua adjoins the long beach of La Mata and its name is derived from a no longer used aquifer. The park consists of a large, well conserved dune system with many pine trees planted to stabilize the sand. There is also a variety of other plants. In the park are many footpaths and a stroll here can be linked with a walk along the seaside promenade.
Torre del Moro
The circular Moor`s Tower is a landmark on the Cape Cerva headland. It was built in the 14th Century as a look out for possible invaders, raiders and pirates. Around it is a park called the Mirador Turistico de la Torre del Moro and in it are many footpaths from where there are fine views of the coastline and Tabarca Island. In the park are restored buildings and a children`s playground.
In summer there is an all day trip from the port to the beautiful, Isla Tabarca. Also there are "coastline" boat trips if you just want to get a view of Torrevieja from the sea. Both trips are on large catamarans, with windows in each hull, so that you can view the under-sea world of the Mediterranean.
The La Mata and the Torrevieja Lagoons
|Natural Park of La Mata|
|Salt Lagoon of Torrevieja|
|Salt Lagoon of Torrevieja|
|Salt Lagoon of Torrevieja|
|Salt Lagoon of Torrevieja|
The La Mata and the Torreviega Lagoons comprise a nature reserve of mainly water whilst the remainder is reedbeds, marsh grassland and scrub. The lagoons are in a depression with an artificial channel from the sea to the La Mata Lagoon, from where it is linked to the Torrevieja Lagoon, where salt is extracted. Many birds are attracted to the lagoons including flamingo, avocet and black-winged stilt. Beside La Mata Lagon are paths and observation towers. There is also an information centre with an interactive exhibition.
Plaza de la Constitución with the Town Hall and the Church of the Immaculate Conceptión
The Church of the Immaculate Conceptión was built in the late 18th Century, then rebuilt in the mid 19th Century from blocks of stone rescued from an old tower. It is in the Neo-classical style and has a plain facade, with two belltowers topped with pyramidical features. Inside, the building is in the shape of a Latin cross, with barrel vaults and lunettes above the main nave. There is a beautiful image of the Immaculate Conception in the altarpiece.
Plaza de Oriente
This urban redevelopment Project was inaugurated in June 2009 and includes the new public square, the ‘Plaza de Oriente’ and its spectacular centrepiece, the parrish church of the “Sacred Heart of Jesus”.
The church, with capacity for around 1,000 worshippers, offers a sense of space and length with a principal entrance at its front and two other access points at each side. The nave boasts a width of 16 metres and a height of 19 metres and includes various side chapels. The principal alter, which is illuminated by a large ornamental window, is situated at the far end of the nave.
Built in 1896, it is part of what is aesthetically known as “end of century” architecture. Its luxurious main lounge and magnificent coffered ceiling must be seen and enjoyed, as well as the beautifully Arab style hall or the lounge known as the “98 Generation”; one can find many portraits of artists from that movement. Today, this private building opens its doors to the general public and holds exhibitions and several other cultural activities.
Eras de la sal
The first jetty of the town and the old salt deposit were constructed in 1777. The valuable mineral was transported from the Torrevieja Lagoon and then stored for its shipment. Today this area has a very different function as it is the base for the International Habaneras and Polyphony Contest.
The old walls of the premises allow for a perfect setting of this famous event in the choir world.
Several sculptures dedicated to the Habaneras and the Contest are situated here, as well as an old reconstructed wooden rocking horse and a barge that was used to transport the salt to waiting ships anchored around the bay and would later make their way to the four corners of the world.
Museum of Sea and Salt
The purpose of the museum is to show how the town grew through its link with the sea and the production of salt. It was inaugurated in its present provisional headquarters in February 1995 and exhibits a selection of objects that constitute a reflection of Torrevieja's historic roots, such as a display of handicrafts made of salt, a collection of photographs of the time. model boats, archaeological material, articles for fishing and navigation and others.
We could also say that the Sea and Salt Museum has a “floating” extension also, as anchored in the Torrevieja Port we find the S-61 “Delfin” Submarine and the Patrol Boat “Albatros”, which is also part of the options that the sea and Salt Museum offers visitors.
The submarine `S61 Delfin` went out of service in December 1974 and the town of Torrevieja was given the last battle flag of the submarine. Since 2004 the Museum of Sea and Salt has displayed the submarine as part of the floating museum, allowing visitors the oportunity to discover the inside of a submarine.
Next to the `Delfin` is the `Albatros 111` which belonged to the Customs Vigilante Service and it patrolled the coastline for over 30 years.
Ricardo Lafuente Museum de la Habanera
A small museum detailing the works of Ricardo Lafuente Aguado musical genius and writer of the modern day Torrevieja anthem the "Habeneros" which is derived from the olden days when salt was transported by boat to the Caribbean.
Museum of Easter
Information about the great traditional Easter festivities of Torrevieja.
Vista Alegre Avenue
|The Choir Monument|
“Vista Alegre Avenue” is the most emblematic street, which lends its name to the weekly local magazine. The “Vista Alegre Paseo” was in the past the very soul of the city where people would gather round the today disappeared bandstand. Nowadays, the music band is paid tribute through a set of bronze statues that include a director and five other musicians that stand along the walkway. “The Choir Monument”, which stands where the first stage was and is dedicated to everyone who throughout history has made the International Habaneras and Polyphony Contest a reality and a success.
La Libertad Avenue
The “La Libertad Avenue”, which is also known as the “hippy street” due to its numerous handcraft market stalls and is of course an ideal place to find your holiday gifts.
The Eastern Dock Promenade
Otherwise known as the Paseo de Dique de Levante, is an overhanging construction on the eastern breakwater. It is over 1,300 metres long and stretches out to a lighthouse, and all the way are superb views of Torrevieja, the harbour and coastline. Several pergolas have been placed in the widest plazas of the esplanade. In one of those there is the statue of 'the woman saying goodbye to the Torrevieja sailor', a sculpture that is a must for a photograph. It is built of steel and wood and along it are five small attractive squares. Beneath the promenade is a lane for cyclists.
Juan Aparicio's Esplanade
The Esplanade Juan Aparicio is a central feature which is locally referred to as the Esplanade de Las Rocas as it's built on rocks. It has a nice seafront full of bars, souvenir shops, ice-cream parlours and restaurants.
Along this wonderful pedestrian street there is a bronze statue of a woman “The Beautiful Lola” who is sitting on a bench staring at the sea. Her look hides the yearning for her love that is out at sea far away. This statue is one of the most photographed in the city as visitors and tourist can sit right besides her and take a picture with her.
The Juan Aparicio promenade pays another tribute but this time to the Torrevieja sailors with a huge statue in honour of the “Man of the Sea”, whose immortal look is directed to the far-away horizon in search of that boat that will allow him once again to sail the seven seas.
Torrevieja counts on nice and sandy beaches, several coves and natural swimmingpools all along its 14km large coast.
All along the coast of Torrevieja, we can find beautiful sandy beaches, all of them count on services such as numerous restaurants, bars, cafés, gift shops. The main beaches also offer many services for tourists, as for instance different refreshment stalls, kiosks, restaurants, ice-cream parlors and have playful areas, emergency services, information desks, flags indicating the sea conditions and access for disabled people.
Their waters and sand are inspected throughout the year. The European Union has granted the Blue Flag prize to their good preservation conditions, their services and tidiness.
All beaches in Torrevieja have been certified under the ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 quality and environmental management standards.
This is the Torrevieja’s longest beach with an extension of 2.3 km.
La Mata, a 2300 metres long and over 40 metres wide beach, is located at the Torrevieja’s district of Torrelamata. To the south it adjoins the Cape Cervera, and to the north it delimits the area of La Mata Tower, which has given its name to this district.
It has a really long esplanade which runs all along the beach, where you can visit many chiringuitos and restaurants.
The Playa del Cura beach is the most famous one, as it is located in the city centre.
This beach is 325 metres long and 27 metres wide, and it is the nearest beach to the centre of the town. To the south it adjoins the Juan Aparicio Esplanade as well as the restaurant El Tintero, and to the north it adjoins the Monument to the Mediterranean Cultures, also known as "the Columns".
It is worth mentioning it has many services to offer for all tourists, such as chiringuitos, kiosks, restaurants, ice-cream parlours to have something to eat or drink among swings, and many things more.
The Los Locos Beach, which owes its name to an old mental hospital which was located in the past next to this beach, is a long beach with fine and golden sand and quiet waters with an extension of 760 metres and a width of 25 meters.
It is one of the beaches where you can find a platform in the sea as well as one of the famous climbing pyramids made of robes.
It is situated at the north of the town, just after the Palangre cove and curve.
Right at the centre of Torrevieja, between El Cura Beach and the Dique de Levante –the eastern dike-, bordering the Juan Aparicio Esplanade, we can find the natural pools –in Spanish Piscinas Naturales. These pools are interlocked with small beaches and you can get to them through metallic stairs located among the rocks to come in and out of the sea.
These natural pools were artificially created to when the Juan Aparicio Esplanade was redesigned by building artificial stone jetties which create quite swimming areas with no waves.
To the north it delimits El Cura Beach and to the south the eastern dike, where the monument to the Man of the Sea is located.
Los Naufragos Beach is located at the San Roque neighbourhood, in the southern side of Torrevieja, and it is 325 metres long and 77 metres wide.
During the summer time, it receives an average of 7000 visitors per day.
It has 3 surveillance towers, 3 lifeguards right on the seafront, a disabled-adapted bathing chair and a first aid station.
To the north, the beach adjoins the salt conveyor belt, and to the south you can see the rocky neighbourhood of San Roque. It is located within an urban area, and has got an esplanade and a delimited car park. It has a handicap access.
|Salt conveyor belt|
El Acequión Beach is a small beach located just after the Torrevieja Marina.
Urban beach mainly composed of golden sand. Its area is 900 meters long and 25 meters wide. The usual state of the sea is calm water. Access for disabled people.
Between beaches there are several coves where you can enjoy a more relaxes swimming experience or practice scuba diving.
The Ferris Cove on the south most extreme, just before Punta Prima.
Its area is 200 meters long and 20 meters wide. Most characteristic of this cove is its tranquility, crystal clear waters, sand dunes and palm trees.
The Mojón Cove
The Palangre Cove
The parade of the 3 Kings (Cabalgata de los Reyes).
= Spanish Christmas, the Spanish people do not celebrate Christmas as we know it, they celebrate the three kings giving gifts to Jesus when he was born. This is the first carnival of the year. This is a long time awaited event for all people who have spent long hours over the year in making a costume dress to show proudly during these carnival days.
Holy week (Semana Santa)
The week before Easter, lots of religious brotherhoods carry the sculptures of Christ through the streets. The streets of the town get crowded during the religious processions celebrated every evening, and the beating of the drums marks the rhythm to the men who carry the religious images on their shoulders during the processions.
May Festival (Feria de Mayo) held at the beginning of the month, a week of festivities Andalusian style. In the harbour between the many stands of food people gather in traditional Andalusian dance costumes, or Sevillianas and dance. And to complete the atmosphere there are horses, carriages and lots of Andalusian wine.
The crowning of the Queen of the Holy Heart of Jesus. in May/June
The Fiesta's of the Holy Heart, in June, have fireworks displays for the children, markets and live music.
The burning of San Juan in June.
"Hogueras de San Juan" is a celebration with a very high artistic value. Huge sculptures made of a special type of cardboard that represent in an ironic way some generally known personalities as a kind of criticism- that are burnt at night to symbolize the destruction of evil.
Virgen del Carmen, patron saint of fishermen and sailors, in July with the tasting of large paellas and watersports competitions, ending in a sea parade in which the religious image is carried on a ship along the coast. And again the Eras de la Sal precinct holds one of the most relevant events of TORREVIEJA, the election and presentation of the Queen of the Salt and her dames. She represents the woman of TORREVIEJA and many young girls dream of achieving this distinction.
The parade of the Salt Queen is on the 15the of August.
The streets of Torrevieja blend like rivers of people searching for the best spot to watch the Queen of Salt parade. Practically all the towns of the Vega Baja area take part in this parade with the presentation of their most typical products.
The celebrations for the Holy Virgen, Immaculate Conception "Fiestas Patronales" (Patron Saints Days) are held form the1st - 17th of December. The highlight of these celebrations is the procession on the night of the 8th of December.