SPEND AN AFTERNOON in Torrevieja's Parque del Molino del Agua. This hidden gem offers an opportunity to take a walk through a majestic pine forest, enjoy a picnic in the shade of mature trees, and stroll through the spectacular sand dunes that fringe La Mata's Blue Flag golden sandy beach.
Torrevieja is home to some of the most exquisite and well preserved natural spaces in this part of Spain, and the Parque del Molino del Agua is one of our favourite places to visit.
Located within Torrevieja's northern enclave, the park encompasses the better part of 43 acres (172,000 square metres) of beautifully conserved natural woodland.
Literally translated as “Watermill Park”, the beauty spot has been attentively cared for by the local council, who should be recognised for their outstanding efforts in keeping such an extensive area in pristine condition year-round.
Parque del Molino del Agua: a serene and tranquil experience
At first glance, Parque del Molino del Agua isn't something that raises expectations, but that soon changes once you spend a few minutes exploring the interior and appreciate the sheer scale of the location.
The main entrance to the park is located in its south-western corner, adjacent to the American themed and steamboat-inspired Restaurante Queen Mississippi (worth a visit in its own right).
A spectacular water feature at this highest point in the park sends water cascading down the hillside, through a system of interconnected viaducts that weave through the forest into freshwater pools, ending the journey in a lake with a central fountain and inhabited by geese, ducks, and turtles.
The viaducts can be crossed via paths and pretty bridges that span the waterway, with waterfalls along the near quarter kilometre route. The elevated location and the close proximity to the sea mean that the Mediterranean can be glimpsed through the treetops throughout the park.
Picnic tables and seating along the route offer one of the most peaceful and memorable places to enjoy a picnic, with plenty of space for children to enjoy the natural environment.
The Parque del Molino del Agua is home to thousands of mature pine trees that extend and merge with the sand dunes on the nearby beachfront, and a faithful replica of the old water mill at the entrance pays homage to the extensive subterranean aquifers that lie beneath the sandy soil.
Closer to the beachfront, the Aleppo pine trees grow in unusual squatted forms with the trunks lying in the direction of the prevailing winds due to the high salinity.
The park is rich in both flora and fauna, and our pictures cannot portray the natural soundtrack that accompanies visitors throughout the locality.
A natural wonder: one of our favourite things to do in Torrevieja
Thousands of birds inhabit the Parque del Molino del Agua year-round, particularly woodlarks and barn swallows; and the abundant foliage provides a natural habitat for Mediterranean red-tailed geckos, field mice, Pipistrellus bats, and red squirrels that thrive in the environment.
The paths throughout the park wind through the pine trees creating a natural maze that leads to the sand dunes. Taking the most direct route, La Mata beach is approximately 450 m from the park entrance, and the paths connect to the coastal path that runs between Torrevieja to the south and Guardamar to the north.
The size of the park means that even in peak season, you will always find an idyllic spot to enjoy the serenity that the park offers, and the welcome shade and cooling sea breezes make this attraction suitable even in the height of summer.
The park is open to the public completely free of charge, offering a small children's playground and picnic seating throughout the park.
Plentiful streetside parking is available year-round, and the park is wheelchair friendly, family-friendly, and suited to persons with limited mobility. There are some steps between the wooded area and the coastal path.
One of the south Costa Blanca's best-kept secrets, the Parque del Molino del Agua is one of our favourite things to do and worth a visit at any time of year. You'll leave feeling completely stress free.
Looking for holiday ideas and travel inspiration? Find out more about our favourite recommended things to do on the Orihuela Costa or join the La Zenia community Facebook group and find out what's going on in the local area.
Photo credit: LaZenia.com.