THINGS TO DO IN TORREVIEJA Last month we told you about all the great things you can do and see on the Orihuela Costa, but today we're in the Costa Blanca's favourite beachside city destination to discover the local attractions and all the things to do in Torrevieja.
If you're coming to Spain on holiday this summer, these are our favourite recommendations for local attractions and things to do while you're enjoying this cosmopolitan Spanish city.
Torrevieja beach promenade, the best of both worlds
Located immediately adjacent to Torrevieja’s port, you’ll find a palm tree-lined promenade that winds along the Mediterranean coastline.
It’s the perfect place to spend any time of day, with local shops, restaurants, and cafe bars along the route, all providing refreshments throughout your journey.
The route is flat and wide from beginning to end, suited to all ages and levels of physical ability, and wheelchair friendly for persons with limited mobility.
The coastline is spectacular and naturally rocky, providing plenty of opportunities for children to explore Mediterranean wildlife in the rock pools.
Three small sandy beaches line the route, but be warned, they’re exceptionally popular and rather crowded during the height of the summer months.
There’s ample overground paid parking provided at Parque de Atracciones de Paseo at the southwestern end of the promenade, and with prices from just €1.20 per hour, it’s a cheap way to fill a day.
Unspoilt natural beauty, the salt lakes of Torrevieja
Torrevieja is home to two majestic salt lakes, one a vibrant azure blue in colour, and the other a surreal and vivid pink.
The bubblegum pink colour of the water in the salt lake has been attributed to a rare type of micro-algae that thrives in exceptionally salty conditions, called Dunaliella Salina.
Home to 2,000 flamingos during migratory seasons, the local town hall ensures that this wild habitat remains protected during critical periods to ensure that the magnificent wading birds can enjoy their fleeting season in the sun in complete safety.
The wetland is revered locally for its undoubted sheer beauty and botanical value and over the years the council has established a nature reserve to protect the precious ecosystem, the Parque Natural de las Lagunas de La Mata y Torrevieja.
A network of walkways and trails wind around the lakes, and the park offers viewing towers and picnic areas for nature lovers looking for solitude off the beaten track. But don´t be tempted to venture into the idyllic waters, the lakes are reserved for wildlife exclusively.
Splashing around in Torrevieja at Aquopolis waterpark
With 14 water rides and dedicated facilities for children, Torrevieja’s Aquopolis should certainly be on the top of your list of things to do.
Splashing about and having fun in the sun whilst enjoying the cooling effects of the water, can help to provide some relief from even the hottest of summer days in Spain.
In addition to the high adrenaline faster rides like Boomerang, Speed, and Kamikaze; you’ll find family favourites such as a lazy river and a large swimming pool equipped with a wave machine.
The tourist attraction features six on-site casual eateries, with a bar, an ice cream parlour, and a pizzeria.
Ticket prices start at a very reasonable €15.90 when booked online, and the waterpark opens its doors this year on 8th June.
Miles of white sand and calm waters, La Mata beach
The tourist attractions and things to do around Torrevieja get plentiful positive reviews, but La Mata beach is by far the most reviewed local attraction on TripAdvisor, with more than 1,000 reviews by visitors to the area.
And it’s no surprise either. An outstanding 2,300 metres of pure unspoilt natural beach, the sandy strip stands an average of 40 metres wide alongside a traditional promenade that’s wide enough to accommodate wheelchair and mobility scooter users.
That means that even in the height of summer you’ll always find a space on La Mata beach.
The town hall provides lifeguards during peak season, and the beach is well served by beachside bars, restaurants, and bistros providing a wide variety of food and refreshments.
For many, La Mata beach represents the epitome of what a typical Mediterranean beach should be, and for more active sunseekers there are several volleyball nets, a football pitch (yes, on the beach), and pedal boats for hire during the summer months.
Torrevieja floating museum, the S-61 Delfín Submarine
The S-61 Delfín is a French-built Daphné class diesel-electric patrol submarine that entered service with the Spanish Navy in late 1974.
The formidable war machine displaces more than 1,000 tonnes and packed a complement of 50 servicemen inside her 58 metres (190 feet) length.
Capable of staying on station for a 30-day endurance, and with a range of 18,400 km (10,000 miles) she employed cutting-edge maritime technology, with torpedo tubes fore and aft.
Decommissioned in 2003, today she serves as a museum ship in Torrevieja’s harbour becoming Spain’s first floating museum.
One of only four surviving examples of her class, the S-61 Delfín offers a rare opportunity to climb inside a real submarine and imagine how claustrophobic it must have been for 50 crew deep below the waves.
The historic military attraction is exceptionally popular, having received more than 1,300,000 visitors since opening in May 2004.
The submarine is open to visitors each evening from 18:00 throughout the summer. Just don’t visit on rainy days – the metal stairs and walkways can get slippery when wet, so the attraction is closed for safety reasons.
Hours of fun whatever the weather, Ozone Bowling
Contrary to the name, Ozone Bowling is a comprehensive sports and leisure Centre in the heart of Torrevieja city.
It’s a fantastic choice for the whole family as there is something fun to suit all ages, and it should be on your list of things to do just in case the weather isn’t as good as we would prefer.
And even when the weather is fine, more than 6,000 m² of boulevard and terraces ensure that you can still enjoy the Mediterranean sunshine.
The bowling facilities themselves feature a modern arcade with 16 lanes and prices from €3.90 per game, with shoe hire costing an additional €1.00. Prices are a little higher on evenings and weekends, but there are discount tickets on offer.
Tire out your little ones in the kid's playground, bouncy castles and trampolines, or visit the Virtual Zone Arcade for video gaming fun.
The attraction also offers an indoor soft play area and a mini-golf course outside too, so your children can burn off some of that seemingly endless energy.
There are a variety of restaurants to choose from with the option to eat indoors or outdoors if you want to make the most of the wonderful weather Torrevieja has to offer.
Torrevieja Port, extreme sports or leisurely enjoyment
As the city’s dependence on fishing declines, the Port of Torrevieja has become a haven for landlubbers keen to stretch their sea legs.
But even today, head down to Torrevieja Port and you’ll find leisure boats, motor yachts and cruisers, alongside fishing trawlers returning with the catch of the day.
There’s a beautiful crescent-shaped beach to enjoy (of course), replete with the usual variety of beachside eateries and casual cafes. But there is a wilder side to the port.
A wire-pull water-ski operates to one side of the harbour while the port also offers jet-ski hire. Thrill-seekers can experience the full-throttle experience of a class-A powerboat on the inshore open waters of the Mediterranean Sea.
For the ultimate thrill, give the Flyboard a try. Strap one to your feet and the powerful surge of water from the jet-ski impeller instantly turns you into Iron Man, propelling you skyward above the waves.
Torrevieja Auditorium, a taste of Spanish culture and music
If you’re looking for an authentic taste of Spain, visit Torrevieja’s superb auditorium.
Located beside the N-332 adjacent to the Quiron Salud private hospital, Torrevieja’s auditorium building is a majestic oval-shaped building and a work of fine Spanish design and should be on your list of things to do if you're a lover of beautiful architecture.
Formally known as the International Conservatory of Music Auditorium, the venue hosts live music events throughout the year including popular Spanish artists, ballet performances, and classical music from the Mediterranean Symphony Orchestra.
Events during the summer months tend to be infrequent but special, attracting big-name Spanish stars of music, and large audiences.
Torrevieja’s urban garden, The Park of Nations
Set within the heart of the City, you'll find an unexpected surprise. The Park of Nations is a little slice of tranquillity in an otherwise bustling Spanish metropolis.
Occupying 20,000m² of central cityscape, the park features a large lake – home to swans, ducks, geese, and many other exotic waterfowl, in addition to approximately 3,000 coloured carp, and hundreds of European pond turtles.
The lake itself surrounds an artificial cape in the shape of mainland Europe, with individual flags representing each nation-state.
The lake is surrounded on all sides by beautifully manicured gardens, a large dedicated play area for children, and tree-covered walkways and paths that provide welcome relief from the relentless Spanish summer sun.
The Mediterranean plants and trees provide a home for chickens, cockerels, and peacocks that roam the park grounds freely.
Our favourite things to do in Torrevieja this summer
What’s your favourite thing to do or local tourist attraction in Torrevieja? Add yours in the comments section below.
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: Auditorio de Torrevieja / Aquopolis Waterpark / Ozone Bowling / Wikipedia / La Zenia.Com