Torrevieja is situated 41 kilometers south of Alicante city and becoming an increasingly popular resort on the Costa Blanca.
Previously a fishing village, it has an active salt industry and is home to a large expat community who enjoy the mild climate, expansive beaches and varied shopping.
The city has a large Friday market where you can pick up souvenirs or traditional handicrafts and the many bars and restaurants mean there is a buzzing night life especially during summer months.
Torrevieja is surrounded by 2 salt lakes (one blue; one pink) that are official natural reserves where you can walk or cycle. The lakes are particularly nice to visit in the early morning or dusk when the pink lake glows in the light. You can see examples of salt marshes, reeds and there are lookouts for bird watchers which are well used when the lakes are inhabited by flamingos during breeding season. Tourists can visit the Salt and Sea Museum to learn about the history of the salt industry to the town.
Make sure you spend some time at one of Torrevieja’s unique museums that are sure to appease anybody’s interest including the Museos Flotantes Delfin S-61 (a floating museum on a submarine) and the Museo de Historia Natural (with skeletons of marine mammals, coral specimens and models related to seafaring).
Find a quiet spot at one of Torrevieja’s many green areas such as the Parque de Las Nacions with well-maintained walkways, a children’s playground, lakes with pedalos for hire and lots of bird life such as ducks, peacocks and chickens.
Head to the Marina Internaçional where there are plenty of fishing boat tours to choose from and join a fishing excursion for your chance to land the day’s catch of fresh sea bream, mackerel or snapper.
As with most Spanish towns and cities, Torrevieja holds many varied events and fiestas annually. Immerse yourself in a local fiesta such as the Habaneras festival in July (with international choral groups singing Cuban melodies) or visit the impressive Belén (nativity display) before Christmas with small-scale models of an ancient town that take over the main square.
After dinner, take a paseo (evening stroll) along the illuminated Dique de Levante Breakwater popular with locals and tourists where you can watch the salt boats in the harbour.
Escape the heat of warmer months and the tourist crush on the coast, and take a day trip to the village of Callosa de’n Sarria where you can stop off at the Fuentes del Algar (Algar Waterfalls). This picturesque natural area is perfect for a picnic and a swim in a crystal-clear natural pool or waterfall. But be warned the water is cold even in summer!
Drive half an hour from Torrevieja to the family-friendly Rio Safari Park located near Elche. An animal and theme park, pass the time as you can board the little train around the park, watch animal shows, visit a reptile cave or enjoy an ice cream at the onsite restaurant.
A pleasant drive 70 kilometres west, the city of Murcia has many attractions. Your first stop should be the Cathedral des Santa Maria and then browse the exhibits at the Museo Salzillo, a small museum with religious statues and works from local sculptor Francisco Salzillo. To feel rejuvenated after sightseeing, take a mud bath at San Pedro del Pinatar where the mud is reputed to have therapeutic qualities especially beneficial for skin ailments and rheumatism.