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If you thought you knew the Costa Blanca – think again, there’s so much more to discover

Bienvenido to Spain’s beautiful Costa Blanca! Here you will find traditional fishing and mountain villages, historic old towns, endless white sandy beaches, pretty secluded coves, elegant yachting marinas, boutique shops and spectacular scenery – all of which may surprise you. If you thought you knew the Costa Blanca, think again. 

If you are looking for an authentic experience of Spain and want to experience the scenic, quiet side of this beautiful part of the country, we have a choice of great holidays, which represent exceptional value for money. 

Holiday with us and you can fly from your local airport and enjoy a range of included activities and excursions. There really is so much more to discover on Spain’s White Coast.

Culture and history

Roman Catholicism is the main religious denomination in Spain, but other religions practised here include Islam, Protestantism, Judaism and Hinduism. Catholicism is particularly important in Spain, and it’s a key theme in the country’s famous fiestas. The biggest festivities take place over Easter week when processions take place across the country. Everywhere in Costa Blanca puts its own spin on the celebrations, and in major cities like Benidorm the processions will stretch for miles and go on until the early hours of the morning.

Costa Blanca’s food is as vibrant and colourful as the fiestas. Traditional Spanish offerings such as paella, tapas and chorizo are all in plentiful supply, as well as local specialities like arròs a banda. Especially typical of Alicante, this dish is made with rice cooked in fish stock and served with calamari, chicken or pork and a sizable dollop of aioli, a garlic mayonnaise. For dessert, why not try one of the many local gelato shops to satisfy your sweet craving? Another tantalising option is to try crema catalana, which is best described as the Spanish version of a crème brûlée. Traditionally, this Catalan custard dessert is served in a shallow clay dish and topped with caramelised sugar, but today you can even get crema-catalana-flavoured ice creams and liqueurs!

Things to do

With Saga, you can go on a walking tour around the Costa Blanca. On our tours, you can discover the best of Costa Blanca’s gorgeous coastlines and hilltop views. For a more chilled out holiday, choose a relaxing holiday package in one of the sublime towns or cities of the Costa Blanca.

Benidorm

Benidorm is a long-time favourite holiday destination for British travellers. The city has established a solid reputation for itself, thanks to its many relaxing resorts and hotels. When you wish to laze by the pool or on the beach all afternoon, Benidorm is just the place. Whether you’re visiting the city for the first or the tenth time, you’ll love Benidorm’s commitment to enjoyment and relaxation.

Once you’ve topped up your tan, you can venture further into the city and pass the evening in the locally named ‘Tapas Alley’. Here you’ll find loads of small Spanish bars that serve up the most delicious tapas and fruity sangria to wash them down. Eating tapas with your fingers is the norm here, so go ahead and get stuck in! 

Calpe

A peaceful one hour boat trip will take you from Benidorm to Calpe. The moment you arrive at the marina, it’s time to explore this ancient fishing town to its fullest. Walk the streets of the old town, snap photos of murals that are painted onto the sides of buildings and pop into a local café to recharge your batteries.

Calpe also has some of Costa Blanca’s most beautiful sandy beaches, with several beachside cafes and restaurants to complement them. Why not take a seat beside the sea and try 'la mumba'? This chocolate milk and brandy drink, served hot or cold, is a Spanish favourite and is a refreshing accompaniment on a beach holiday.

Alicante

To find out a little more about the Costa Blanca, visit some of Alicante’s many museums. At the Museum of Archaeology, you’ll see artefacts from over 100,000 years ago, and the museum’s interactive exhibits which will make the past come to life before your eyes. For art lovers, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MACA) should be at the top of your list.

Interestingly, the old granary building that the museum is set in is the oldest in Alicante. The contrast between old and new makes this museum particularly interesting, and you’ll get to see works from some of the world’s most respected painters, including Salvador Dalí.

Flight time

It takes around 2 hours and 30 minutes to fly from London to the Costa Blanca. That’s no time at all when you have a magazine or a few chapters of a good book to read.

Currency

Euro - As part of Spain, Costa Blanca uses the euro.

Passports and visas

If you’re a British citizen, then all you’ll need for your Costa Blanca holidays is a passport. No visa required!

Visit GOV.UK for more advice on passports and visas.

Phrases

¡Hola! – Hello

Buenos días – Good morning

¡Perdón! – Excuse me

Por favor – Please

Gracias – Thank you

¿Cuánto cuesta? – How much is this?

Me gustaría – I would like

¿Habla inglés? – Do you speak English?

¡Salud! – Cheers!

Timezone

Costa Blanca is on Central European Time (CET) which is a mere 1 hour ahead of the UK, and in summer time the clock also goes forward one hour.

Electricity

Costa Blanca uses two-pin sockets which are suitable for use with a European adaptor. You can pick up a European adaptor cheaply online or in a supermarket before you jet off on your Costa Blanca holidays.

Language

Spanish; Castilian -

Costa Blanca’s main language is Spanish, although you may well come across speakers of autonomous community languages like Valencian or Catalan. Due to the popularity of the region with British and European tourists, many resort staff will also speak English.

Tipping

As Costa Blanca is a tourist destination, most staff will expect to receive tips from travellers. If you’re eating out at a restaurant, then a tip of 5 to 10% is reasonable for good service, especially when there’s a service charge already included. For larger groups of more than four people, you may want to consider leaving a larger tip of approximately 15% if there isn’t a service charge included in your bill

To tip bar staff, leave a euro or two on the bar or in the tip jar after you’ve finished your drinks. For hotel and cleaning staff you can leave some money in an envelope in your room, €1 or €2 per night of your stay is a fair amount. Alternatively, if you’ve received excellent service, you can also show your gratitude by leaving a small gift, like a box of chocolates, in your room for the staff.

Climate

Costa Blanca’s weather has made it a favourite holiday destination of Brits, particularly as a summer break. Between June and September, the Costa Blanca’s average temperatures range between 24 and 29°C and in July and August the area is blessed with an almost greedy 11 hours of sunshine on average! Warm weather is the order of the day for most of the year in the Costa Blanca. Even in winter, from December to February, the temperatures can still hit 13°C.

Health

As health information can change at any time, we’d advise you to consult your GP at least 12 weeks before departure.

Country-specific information and advice on possible health risks is also published by the National Travel Health Network and Centre, and The British Foreign and Commonwealth Travel Advice Unit provides important health and safety information for British nationals travelling abroad.

Population and size

Costa Blanca is an area of the Mediterranean coastline in the Alicante province which stretches over 200 kilometres. Benidorm is one of the largest cities in the Costa Blanca and has a permanent population of around 70,000 people.

Smoking

Spain’s ban on smoking indoors began in 2011 and is still enforced. Smokers can smoke outside in designated smoking areas, but inside areas in restaurants and bars remain smoke-free.



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