Santa Pola

Santa PolaA?s past has always been intimately linked to the sea, and the sea has determined its economy, culture, gastronomy and the identity of its people. In ancient times it was ElcheA?s port and managed to build up one of the biggest fishing fleets of the entire Mediterranean. The Salinas (salt-flats) are another interesting aspect of Santa Pola.

Exploitation of the salt-flats began at the end of the 19th century and they extended over an 880 hectare area that produced 100,000 tons of salt per year. The area is now a Nature Reserve where many migratory birds pass the winter. The reserve is also the natural habitat of several aquatic species such as albatrosses and herons. The reserve can be visited: call the information centre on 96.692.04.04. In addition to the marine nature, the municipality also includes a variety of beautiful beaches where you can practise naturism, including the Playa del Tamarit. On other beaches you can play beach volleyball and beach football or do step aerobics.

The Sierra de Santa Pola protects the bay from the strong Eastern wind and ensures that the city enjoys a mild climate with an annual average temperature of 17A? C. Salinas is located to the west of the city, whilst to the east is the Sierra de Santa Pola which is mainly covered by pine trees, though at the beginning of the 18th century the sierra was on the verge of being deforested as the wood was used to build the village on Tabarca Island. One of the areaA?s prime examples of a watchtower is located on the Sierra: the Torre y Pep.

Within the old city centre there are various leisure areas including the Palm Grove Park and the Glorieta. There are also grand buildings such as the renaissance castle/fortress and the former Ayuntamiento, located in the area of Santa PolaA?s known for its nightlife.

Rice dishes and Caldero (fish stew) are local dishes of this locality situated near the sea. The most well-known rice dish is Arroz a banda (rice in fish broth), though Arroz negro (rice with squid ink) and Arroz con costra (rice with an egg crust) are also delicious. Another local dish is gazpacho manchego, which is made with slices of brill and shrimps. The locality has many places to eat; if you require any information please contact the tourist office (96.669.22-76), or let you nose direct you to the appropriate place.

There is a street market In the Avenida de Albacete on Mondays and Saturdays together with a handicraft market in the port from where the boats to Tabarca leave. It is also traditional to buy fresh fish from the fishmongers near the Fish Market.

Fortified castle, watchtower, Roman house in El Palmeral Park and ruins of the Roman port. The port and market.

Cultural Attractions:
The Castle-Fortress houses the Sea Museum Tel. 669 27 72, with Iberian and Roman objects as well as models of fishing tackle and boats tel. 669 13 52. The Aquanum situated in the Fdez OrdoA�ez Square showing some of the fauna of the Bay of Santa Pola.

Festivals and Events:
Major fiestas devoted to the Virgin of Loreto are held from the 1-8 of September, with Moors and Christians parades on the 3rd, a floral offering on the 7th and procession on the 8th. On the 16th of July, the feast day of the Virgin of the Carmen is celebrated with a procession through the port accompanied by a choir singing the Salve Marinera.

Situation: Santa Pola is located in the Bajo VinalopA? region and is reached via the N-332 that runs along the coast. Santa Pola is located 20 km from Alicante and 61 km from Benidorm.

Tour of the town: Another excursion explores the Las Salinas Paraje Natural (interesting landscape) (96.692.04.04) and the Sierra de Santa Pola where you can visit the lighthouse, which was built over an ancient watchtower. You can also visit the eastern beaches.

Sports: Hang-gliding and paragliding are available in the vicinity of the lighthouse. There is also a mountain-bike circuit. Water sports such as scuba diving, sailing, rowing and windsurfing are also on offer. Information is available at the Yacht Club (96.541.16.47) and the Municipal Tourist Office (96,669.22.76).

Information source:

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