PLAYA DE CALA CAPITÁN beach in Cabo Roig is a spectacular oasis of fine golden sand at the very heart of the Orihuela Costa. Undoubtedly one of the highlights of the South Costa Blanca coastline, countless thousands of residents and visitors flock to this elegant slice of holiday heaven each year.
Orihuela Costa's beautiful beaches entice visitors from across Europe and the world beyond. Each one is special and undeniably spectacular, but if we had to pick a personal favourite, it would be Cala Capitán beach.
Okay, we lied, it would be Aguamarina beach, but that´s not to say that there isn't something genuinely magical about Cala Capitán, and in all honesty, we would be hard pressed to choose between the two.
You see, of all 11 beaches in our part of the South Costa Blanca, Playa Cala Capitán is unique in several notable ways. Firstly, this is the only beach in Orihuela Costa to feature its own island. More specifically, it's an islet with a typically romantic Spanish name – Isla del Carmen.
Barely 50m long and half that wide, this rugged, craggy, low-lying barren piece of marine rock might not seem particularly impressive, but it is unique in our part of Spain and forms a natural lagoon at the beach's northernmost face.
Playa de Cala Capitán beach in Cabo Roig, Orihuela Costa
Sparsely covered in wild shrubbery, Isla del Carmen can be reached without entering the water most of the year – dependent on the tide. The islet also contributes to the safety of the bathing waters further south along the beach's leading edge.
And that's one of the other unique features of Playa de Cala Capitán – a large proportion of the beach is hidden from view. Unlike other coves in the local area, the sands stretch out into the sea forming a diamond-like shape. It's the view most people are used to as they enter the beach, with a wide expanse of sand ahead.
But look around the corner to the right and this diamond has a tail, a long, thin spit of sand that runs north to south, overshadowed by tall cliffs along the western edge, and culminating in a rocky headland accompanied by another unexpected islet – the tiny Isla del Escullano.
These islets and the volcanic nature of the seabed along this stretch of coastline make Cala Capitán ideal for snorkelling, and the Mediterranean Sea waters here are rich in exotic marine life.
The beach itself is formed from fine lightly-coloured golden sandy, with an official size of 6.992 m2 and a length of 152 m measured at the waterline. Mainly facing eastward, Cala Capitán benefits from most of its sunshine hours in the earlier hours of the day, and those cliffs cast a shadow over the southern part of the beach later in the afternoon.
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Cala Capitán forms part of the Orihuela Costa coastal promenade that extends 16 km around the coast, and a wide paved ornate pathway connects the beach with Cala Bosque in La Zenia to the north.
Headed south from the beach, the “Sendero Azul Cabo Roig” is a 2 km-long walkway that leads directly to Playa Cala la Caleta further south in Cabo Roig. This magnificent Blue Trail winds around the cape, treating visitors to unparalleled views of the Mediterranean Sea and spectacular vistas toward La Manga del Mar Menor.
Depending on your physical ability, the journey from Cala Capitán to La Caleta beach takes around 25 minutes on foot. The path is illuminated at night, there are safety railings along the entire length, and benches are provided at intervals along the promenade. However, there are no facilities en route, so remember to take a bottle of water with you.
Cala Capitán offers a host of quality facilities. The beach has received Blue Flag accreditation every year since 2003, recognised for its ease of access, excellent water quality, and services for people with mobility issues.
Lifeguards are present on the beach throughout the summer and popular times such as Easter, and a traditional Spanish Chiringuito beach bar provides a full bar service and light bites directly on the sand each day throughout the spring, summer, and early autumn months.
Is Cala Capitán beach safe for children and families?
The beach is ideally suited to families with young children, with relatively calm bathing waters and a shallow depth that extends some way out. The only notable exception is the area to the left of Isla de Carmen, and it's not unusual for lifeguards to prohibit bathing in the lagoon if conditions are less than perfect.
Playa de Cala Capitán is meticulously maintained by the Town Hall, and the beach benefits from a sports area, toilets, foot showers, and beach bed and parasol hire. Beach House Bar and Grill adjacent to the beach provides alternative dining choices, with a menu served until 23:00 six days a week.
This beach is understandably popular year-round, but accessibility is first-class and parking is thankfully abundant. The main car park on Calle Cala Capitán is ideally located closest to the beach – if a little small.
The good news is that there is an additional car park with generous on-street parking in Calle Mar Gruesa, and four further small car parks south of the beach along Avenida del Cabo. Each car park has direct access to the coastal promenade and parking is provided free of charge.
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