TAKE A DAY TRIP TO the gorgeous Island of Tabarca, one of the Costa Blanca’s top tourist attractions and summer destinations.
The historic Island of Tabarca is a 40-minute boat trip from Torrevieja and after the cosmopolitan and vibrant modern ambience of Torrevieja city, you will feel like you have stepped back in time.
Enjoy your journey over to the island from Torrevieja’s port on a glass-bottomed boat allowing you to view the amazing creatures and fauna of the Mediterranean Sea.
In 1986 the Island of Tabarca and the surrounding inshore seawater’s were declared a protected marina and bird reserve, the first of it’s kind in Spain.
Just 4km’s away from Santa Pola’s bleached white sandy beaches, the Island of Tabarca has an interesting history which is today reflected in the historic and weathered architecture.
During the 18th century, the island became a refuge for Barbary pirates until the Spanish king, King Charles III, decreed the fortification of Tabarca to protect against the pirates.
The remains of the wall and the fortress are still visible, and they are one of the first sights you will see as you arrive at the island.
The Costa Blanca’s favourite island destination
In the heat of a Spanish summer, the milder climate of Tabarca will be a welcome relief for the day. The island is renowned for its fabulous clear waters, the sandy beaches, and it’s coves and cliffs which surround the island.
You will definitely need to remember to pack your swimwear, as Tabarca is perfect for watersports, snorkelling, and swimming in the beautiful clear Mediterranean seawater.
The village, which occupies the western-most tip of the island, is laid out in a square pattern, with narrow streets lined with old fishing houses.
Take a visit to the lighthouse, observe the many rare species of birds which live on the Island of Tabarca, and look at the amazing natural panoramic views on offer.
Find the historic buildings: the Baroque church of St Peter and Paul, the Casa del Gobernador (the old Governor’s house), and explore the old fort and gatehouses. The museum is well worth a visit.
Whilst wandering around the village stop at one of the many Barbary pirate-themed cafes, bars and restaurants to sample the traditional Spanish seafood on offer.
The Island of Tabarca: great restaurants or take a picnic
Local specialities include paellas and caldero (a type of Spanish fish stew). The cost of an average Menu del Dia is around €20.00 per person, slightly more expensive than you´ll find on the mainland.
Another option is to take a picnic and enjoy al-fresco dining alongside nature. And as the island is nearly 2km’s long, you’ll always find a quiet location to lay down a blanket and open the cool box.
Boats depart from Torrevieja’s port at 11.00am and return to the port at 5.00pm. Departures occur Tuesday, Thursday, and on Saturdays.
Tickets can be purchased from the port 30 minutes prior to the boat’s departure, and cost €24.00 per adult, €17.00 for children aged 3-10 years, and children 2 years old and under are free. Pets are accepted on board.
Get more information by calling (+34) 966.702.122 or 669.412.233, or visit the official Torrevieja tourist information website by clicking here.
Visiting Spain this summer? Find holiday ideas and travel inspiration with our favourite recommended things to do on the Costa Blanca this summer 2019.
Page updated for 2019: This page was first published on 30th April 2018 and updated on 9th April 2019 for the current summer season.
Photo credit: Torrevieja tourist board