IT'S OFTEN AGREED that La Zenia and Playa Flamenca have many things in common – an excellent variety of bars and restaurants, beautifully manicured coastal areas, a shared Mediterranean coastal pathway, and two equally breathtaking beaches. But La Zenia's northern neighbour has been hiding a secret.
The Blue Flag accredited beaches in Playa Flamenca of Cala las Estacas and Cala Mosca offer pure white sands and a cove-shaped structure that offers bathers calm and safe swimming waters.
Both beaches are exceptionally popular throughout the year and undeniably striking, separated by a grand promenade built across an area of naturally weathered exposed ancient volcanic rock, and peppered with Mexican fan palm trees.
For most visitors to this part of the Orihuela Costa, that´s where the beach experience ends. But for local residents, knowledgeable visitors, and those of us who choose to spend our time poring over Google Maps, there is a third beach at Playa Flamenca – hidden off the beaten track.
Cala Cabo Peñas, the hidden beach of Playa Flamenca
And hidden Cala Cabo Peñas certainly is. There is no path to the beach, no well-worn track, and no signage to indicate its presence, but this natural beauty spot lies just 90 metres northeast of Cala Mosca separated from view by the undulating terrain of a heavily bouldered hill.
With a crescent-shaped beachfront measuring just shy of 100 metres at the waterline, Cala Cabo Peñas is some 10 metres larger than Cala Mosca but not as deep or large in terms of surface area.
Flanked on three sides by a rocky outcrop, the rear elevation overhangs the beach whilst the land slopes down to the white sandy beach on either side close to the shoreline.
Largely unadopted by Orihuela Town Hall except for the provision of several refuse collection points, the beach is unspoilt, secluded, and natural. You won't find bathroom facilities here, nor will you find a chiringuito – the popular beach bars that provide refreshments to Orihuela Costa's other beaches.
Unlike neighbouring beaches, Cala Cabo Peñas is bereft of lifeguard service, even at the height of the summer months, but it provides a popular alternative to the more prominent beaches during peak season.
Orihuela Costa's approved and official pet-friendly dog beach
In May 2021, Orihuela Town Hall signed an order designating the natural cove of Cabo Peñas in Playa Flamenca as the official dog beach for the municipal Orihuela area.
Cala Cabo Peñas offers plenty of space for man's (and woman's) best friends to enjoy the surf, feel the sand under their paws, and enjoy running in the surf and spending time with their owner.
A special “doggie-shower” is provided to help playful pooches rinse away the sand and seawater before they leave the cove.
For those looking for peace and tranquillity away from the madding crowds over the winter (or even this coming summer), Playa Flamenca´s hidden beach is well worth a visit. Find Cala Cabo Peñas on Google Maps.
Looking for holiday ideas and 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