Category Archives: Nature

Terra Natura, a zoo in Benidorm

Terra Natura is one  the many family attraction in Benidorm.
To sum up : Terra Natura, Aqua Natura , Aqualandia, Terra Mitica, Mundomar….

The city of Benidorm is a very popular place for many tourists at the beautiful, sunny Costa Blanca.

Benidorm

Benidorm

 

 

 

 

Terra Natura

The best , in this theme park you sure can spend an all day with the family.
If you like nature and wildlife , it is the place to be.

Terra Natura

Terra Naturait is the place to be.

In other words, you learn more about all the different animals in the zoo, their habitat, their life style.
To start, Terra Natura is divided in different continents to explore . To sum up : Europe, Africa, America and Asia.

Terra Natura

Terra Natura

So, you can walk from one continent to the other. Explore the  different animals and wild life.
Furthermore, if that is not enough there are also all sort of shows and activities .
Naturally , it up to you to decide how to spend your day.

Some say, that Terra Natura in Benidorm  and Murcia are the next generation zoo’s.

Indeed, with it large collection of wild life, the shows, the  architecture and the amazing landscape it is the worth the visit.
It is an absolute must when you are staying in Benidorm or nearby at the Costa Blanca.

Terra Natura

Terra Natura

In particular, make sure with children to plan your day . So they have enough time to explore the whole zoo.
To sum up : Elephants , pythons, water buffalo, scorpions, monkeys, black panthers,…

 

 

How to get there

By air
The airport of Alicante- Al Altet .

By car
Follow the high way AP 7. Or the old main road N 332.
Then, exit Terra Mitica.
Side by side is “Terra Natura” and ” Aqua Natura“.
More about Aqua Natura ?

Aqua Natura Slide

Aqua Natura Slide

 

By Taxi
After all, they know the way.

By bus
Take Line 1

Tickets price

Now, the prices are  :Adults = 30 euro. Children and senior = 25 euro

In addition, you can combined with tickets of the other water park nearby  “Aqua Natura” . Then the price are:  Adult =39 euro and Children = 31 euro.

Opening hours

Also check the hours before going to Terra Natura.
They change according the seasons.

In fact, the park is open the all year round.
From 10:30 till 17:00. In summer season till 20:00.

Terra Natura

Terra Natura

Nice to see en enjoy other family attraction

First, Mundomar : the meeting place with sea lions and dolphins. A nice nature park with even a parrot show.

Mundomar Dolphins

Mundomar Dolphins

Then, Aqualandia  One of the oldest water parks.

Next, Aqua Natura : splashy water fun on the slides for every one.

At last not at least = Terra Mitica .
An adventure and theme park, where you can discover the old civilizations of Rome and  Egypt .

 

To conclude

In brief, it is up to you decide where you are going to. We think it depends on your age and the age of the children.
But they are all worth a visits and the money.

Aqua Natura La Cresta

Aqua Natura La Cresta

 

Sierra Helada

Sierra Helada

Sierra Helada

 

Sierra Helada is a national park located in Albir Spain, Sierra Helada means Ice mountain in Spanish .
The park is situated in the region of  ValenciaIt is a natural protect area for Benidorm and Alfaz Albir.

Therefore both cities and councils have joined their forces to protect but also to promote the Sierra Helada park.

The councils of several cities will be introducing it at first  to visitors and locals, through a series of guided tours.

Spain Watchtowers

Throughout the whole coast of Spain there are  coastal watchtowers.
During centuries these watchtowers have been used along the coast of Spain, here more specific the coast of Valencia. The watchtowers on the top of the coastline where the light points where the locals stands looking for invaders and pirates.
As high on the coast the light or smoke signals were passed between these watchtowers at the first sign of danger .

Guided Tours through the Sierra Helada

The guide explains guides you throughout  the parc and will show you the different kinds of vegetation. Beside this you will also get a historic introduction about the region.
The Guides are made possible by the culture department of both councils  in order to put “The Ruta de los Atajadores” more in the picture.

The guides inform the visitor as well of the history of the Sierra Helada, they also give attention to the flora, the plants and the fossilized dunes which are unique to the Sierra Helada .

In fact, geological the Sierra Helada is a part of the so-called Bendidorm syncline. This is a limestone of million years old .
For example, in this area it is no wonder that you find old fossils on the slopes of the Sierra Helada

In fact the walk is very nice and is a must for the nature lover.
The Natural park of Sierra Helada is very unspoiled and there are roads which are semi asphalted so the road is accessible for all kind of hikers.

The lighthouse of Faro.

On the top the Albir lighthouse or Faro is a nice point of view. You can reach it by going into the direction of Albir and then take the path to the lighthouse.
During the walk the views are really are exceptional and some say that with a little luck you can spot dolphins.
Off the coast of Albir, there are lots of fish farms which attract dolphins. These Fish farms help repopulate the fish in the Mediterranean sea by allowing the fisherman to only catch fish from the farms.

Nature park near and under the sea.

The Sierra Helada is a protected nature park with a wide range of fauna and flora.
The coastline is one of the most beautiful in the Valencian region.
This natures park is protect dry land and sea areas .
The Sierra Helada is a high area with a total surface of 5 564 hectares of which 4920 hectares are a marine reserve. A real natural park.
The underwater areas are some of the most interesting of the Spanish coast with an exceptional biological diversity. Therefore for lovers of snorkeling and diving a must

At Punta Bombarda, on the top of the rock,  at the Albir lighthouse in Alfaz del Pi there is a new telescope in operation.
The best is that the telescope allow the people to spot dolphins in the Sierra Helada Natural park .
And the telescope is free to use and will help the  public not only to see the dolphins but also to identify what kind of dolphins they are. The telescope was paid with public donations.

Sierra Helada dolplfins

Sierra Helada dolplfins

People see dolphins often nearby the Punta Bombarda, especially in the area of the fish farms.
Also check out our guide to the Top 5 Cities to visit in Spain.

 

In short the Sierra Helada is Albir Nature Park and is a wonderful park. To combine Mediterranean Sea and the splendid mountains has never been so easier.

Sierra Helada means frozen mountains. The name comes from the way the cliffs look from the sea on a moon lighted nights. Fisherman on the Mediterranean Sea  found that the rocks looked like an iceberg.

When you walk the paths on the mountain it is better to wear sunscreen and often you wish there was a little bit of ice around in a bar or cafe to cool your body or to drink a cool refreshment.
Indeed, there are various organised routes. For instance  to the summit or to the secrets lovely coves. As a result that flora and fauna is everywhere around you.

Sierra Helada

Sierra Helada

The summit of the Sierra Helada is 439 meters above the Mediterranean Sea and more than 5600 hectares of nature.
Once you get there , the point of view is really breath-taking . On the top  you  can see Moraira and to the south Benidorm.

One walking path leads to the top, another path is less steep but have also very beautiful views
On the summit there is a lighthouse or ” El Faro”.
On the path to the summit there are several picnic areas some with shaded tables.
This is really the best place to relax or to take your picnic and enjoy the very impressing views below.
The view of the bay of Calpe and the “Roch of Ifach” are impressing. And with a little bit of luck, you can spot the dolphins. What do you want more on an unforgettable holiday day !  Calpe see our page on our website

Most important the average walker can make  the journey without danger. More specificcaly, railing prevent the walker to the deep of the below Mediterranean Sea .
So a nice day in the Sierra is accessible for everyone.

 

Sierra Helada cycle path.

By practicing healthy activities as cycling and walking , you will enjoy incredible beautiful views.
First of all from the sea below when you are on the top. But also when you are in the middle of the splendid nature that surrounds the Sierra Helada.

Naturally, thanks to the warm weather of the Alicante  region, you can enjoy these activities almost any time of year, during all seasons.

Albir, Alfaz del Pi and Benidorm councils are coordinating together a project to design a cycling path along the Sierra Helada . This cycling path would connect Benidorm with Albir.

Why now ? Due to the increase in more active residents and tourist who are demanding more cycling routes.
The planned routes will go along the nearly already hard-surfaced public roads.
On the cycling path there will of course be  a few gradients . As a result that they will be suitable for all cyclist. In the first place for trained cyclist but also for amateur cyclist.
The new cycling path will include several point of interest . One of this stays the before mentioned  the lighthouse. several picnic area’s and different overlooking low down to Benidorm.

Till now , the only available route  for cyclist and cars  is the busy CV 753 road.
The cycling routes  are marked according to their degree of difficulty.  Besides the difficulty also the length and the steepness.

Visit the Sierra Helada, you will be awarded with some impressive views.

How to get there ?

First, by taxi from Albir .
Then, by bus from Benidorm a 15 minutes drive.
at last, by car follow the N 332 direction Sierra Helada.

Tip :
First: wear proper shoes.
Second: take something to drink.
At last:  use sunscreen.

 

Mar Menor

First of all the Mar Menor or the little sea, is situated in the community of Murcia, near the city of Cartagena.
And it is a part of the Costa Calida. Now the Mar Menor is a unique sea lagoon and well worth a visit.
Alongside the Mar Menor there are lots of little villages.
In fact, if you hire a bicycle you can make stops as often as you want. But to be honest, we loved the charm of the Mar Menor so much that we spend often the whole day at one place ( in Santiago de la Ribera, in Lo Pagan ).

meanwhile soak up the amazing vistas from its viewpoint across the lagoon towards the Strip and behind to the mountains of the Sierra Mineras. Then head to La Manga and explore all that the Strip has to offer.

Between La Manga  and  San Pedro del Pinitar, it creates a small channel out and in the Mar Menor.

In the past , the Moorish kings in the 9th century chose this lovely place for their summer residences.
In the middle of  the 20th century is became famous by the Hollywood stars who made Western films in Andalusia: Lawrence of Arabia,Cleopatra, A fistful of dollars…..
Indeed, the movie stars called it the largest swimming pool in the world. In fact the Mar Menor has a maximum depth of 7 m.
While  we were on holiday , we did like to go swimming in the lagoon because off  the very salty warm water. Because the salt level helps us floating, and this was a lovely experience.

Santiago de la Ribera.

Side by side with San Javier is Santiago de la Ribera, a small village near the airport of San Javier.
Close to the city center , there is a boat crossing to the “La Manga strip” and back.
Although, be aware that if you miss the boat, it is a long drive back around the sea to the village.

San Javier.

More important is the town of San Javier on the shores of the Mar Menor.
In the past San Javier has grown in size since the 20th century. Presently, the town is famous for the San Javier jazz festival and it is also the base of the Spanish Air Force.
Specifically , the museum of San Javier contains information about the airplane. There are several exhibition rooms and lots of information as books, displays relating  to the airplane.

In addition , San Javier is since 1998 known for its Jazz Festival held during the month of July.
Furthermore ,there is a weekly street market on Tuesday morning.
Near San Javier is a modern shopping mall, called Dos Mares. Till 2013 is was the largest in the area. There is a very large “Eroski”, a famous supermarket. in particular it is located in the mall of “Dos Mares”. The shopping mall  got a cinema with films in Spanish. Even though ,look for the English subtitles.
Naturally ,  “Dos Mares” can be an option when it rains, but it nearly never rains in southern Costa Blanca.

Los Alcazares.

Another town is Los Alcazares, it is also one of the  charming seaside towns around the shores of the Mar Menor.
First, Los Alcazares has a kilometers long nice promenade to stroll along with a splendid view on the “little sea”.
then ,the beach is sandy and perfect for families.
When we visited in September and December the Los Alcazares area, was very quiet and ideal to relax. We did make a great walk along the beachfront. And hired a bike to do the bike ride round the salty inside sea.
Next, there are many little Spanish bars and restaurants to eat a little snack ( tapas) or a drink.  at last do not miss the local great seafood coming from here  “ a la plancha” or “asado “ , grilled or baked.
We went to the restaurant “La encarnacion Los Alcazares “ in Hotel Balneario and to the beach bar ” San Antonio”.

Menu

After all, the Mar Menor famous dish is the “caldero” .The caldero is a sea food dish made with good fish, rice and a special ingredient ” noras”:  red peppers .
As a appetizers, you can choose the different salted fish. We did like very much the Hueva ( eggs of a fish) and mojama: salted tuna. Naturaly ,we really enjoyed the mojama as a tapa mixed with tomatoes and olives.
as a result, we even bought the” mojama” as a souvenir, so when we were back home we tasted once again the Mar Menor.

Mar Menor Mojama

Mar Menor Mojama

Another specialty of the Mar Menor are the langoustines, famous of their exquisite taste.

 

 

 

 

Finaly, as a dessert we did like the ” Tocino de cielo “: touch of heaven. It is a sweet dessert.

Weekly market on Tuesday morning in Los Alcazares

Lo Pagan.

 
Lo Pagan  is very Spanish and very few of the friendly locals speak English.
Lo Pagan is also well-known  for the mineral mud baths  . In the mud baths  you can have a healthy beauty treatment for the skin. Read our article about the Mud Baths.

Mar Menor mud bath

Mar Menor mud bath

 

Punta Brava.

 
Once again a nice little town with long sandy beaches and a beach promenade.
Things to do: a lovely walk around the hill to the top for an amazing point of view of the Mar Menor and the environment.

Cabo de Palos.

 
This coastline is more rocky with cliffs and coves. Take a walk to the lighthouse.
The beach is sandy.
The harbor offers local fresh fish in a lots of nice restaurants.

Mar Menor Cabo de Palos

Mar Menor Cabo de Palos

 

Nautical sports Mar Menor.

The place is well-known by the Spanish people for the watersports : from sailing, to windsurfing, to dive, to jet skiing….
Thanks to its warm waters and its mild temperature you can enjoy the possibilities of the Mar Menor 365 days a year. There is not always sunshine, but the weather is excellent.
The Spanish people appreciated the Mar Menor for the possibility of the race courses.
In the little towns around the Mar Menor there are several Nautical schools.
If you are a water lover no matter the age of level you find something you like. The possibilities are : canoeing, sailing, windsurfing, kitesurfing, SUP paddle…

But also families do like it, because  the Mar Menor is probably one of the safest places for children. You can go 50 m into the Mar Menor and you are still waist deep.

There are two natural parks (Salt lakes)  or “ Salinas”. And nearly always you can see the flamingos.

Mar Menor Flamingo

Mar Menor Flamingo

If you want to relax: avoid the Saturday and Sundays and the summer holidays.
The locals descend on the lovely beaches, leaving them crowded. In the summer the sea temperature rises to 27 degrees.
We are going back to this little piece of heaven. We are in love , we are “enamorada”.

 

 

The windmills of the Mar Menor

The cultural and folk association has asked at the regional goverment to restore old windmills around the Mar Menor.
Because, there are still more than 150 windmills , some of then more than 200 years old.
Although they are protected, they are falling into ruins. Due to the neglect of the owners and the authority.

windmills

windmills

 

in fact, we have seen many of the ruins of windmills from the Ap 7 motorway to Cartagena.
In spite of the cultural heritage , from some mills  where only left the walls, others the wooden wheel, some times the blades of the rooftop.

In the past  the windmills were very important for the economy.. Indeed, there were used  to pup the water  to irrigate the vegetables, to grind the cereals and to make flour.

Windmills are very popular in Spain. We think at Don Quixote an d his war against the windmills.

At the Mar Menor, they can become a sort of Bed and Breakfast .So is is time to restore them.

 

 

 

 

Orihuela Costa

First, Orihuela Costa is located in the south of Costa Blanca.
Specifically,  in the most southern stretch on the east of this beautiful region.
In fact, the south of the Costa Blanca runs from Alicante to “Pilar de Horadada” on the border with the Murcia region.

Situation airports.

In fact, Alicante airport is 45 minutes drive.
And the airport of Murcia /San-Javier is 30 minutes drive.

The Costa of Orihuela.

Presently, Orihuela Costa is a suburb of Orihuela .
The Costa includes  La Zenia, Cabo Roig, Dehese de Campoamor, San miguel de Salinas, Villamartin, Pilar de Campoverder, Los Dolses, La fuente and Los Montesinos.
This grouping of urbanization south-west of Torrevieja makes a lovely seaside and golfing area.
The town of Orihuela is nearly 20 kilometers from the actual coast.

The Costa of Orihuela is the perfect place for every one  looking for a beach for the whole family.
At the countryside  there is also a great choice for golfing, in fact  Orihuela Costa is well equipped for all needs and demands. With lots of facilities and leisure attractions.

So the Costa has some beautiful sandy  beaches, which stretches over 16 km.
In this article we will mention some of the prettiest and most popular beaches in Orihuela Costa.
This coast is a mix of European and Spanish culture and people.

To sum, the urbanization of Orihuela Costa are: Punta Prima, Playa Flamenca, La Zenia, Cabo Roig, Campoamor and finally Mil Palmeras.
Because there are all little jewels. Therefore we write about each urbanization.

First of all the  Orihuela Costa is become a very popular as holiday destination.

Beaches Orihuela

Beaches Orihuela

 

In fact, since the opening of  La Zenia Boulevard  Orihuela Costa has been busier than usual.

Climate.

Again, the weather in the Costa Blanca is excellent.
Indeed, warm summers and nice winters. Also more than 320 days of sun.

beaches Orihuela Costa

beaches Orihuela Costa

in fact, the climate zone is considered by the Wealth Health Organisation as one of the most recommended of the world.
The weather is nearly almost sunny, a blue heaven, a mostly calm sea, nearly no wind and this thanks to the protected location.

Beaches.

The best, the beaches got a Blue Flag. So it means they are safe and clean. Therefore there are popular by families with children.
In the summer, the beaches of Orihuela Costa can be very busy and this due to the lovely sea temperature up to 25 degrees in the summer.
But also in the winter we went to the beach in a T-shirt and it was  still perfectly possible.
On  Christmas day, mostly the tourist , come to the beach dressed as Santa Claus and start a BBQ on the beach.
And on New Year day the beaches are crowded but almost with Spanish people going for a walk.

During the low season for instance its lovely to walk from Orihuela Costa to Torrevieja and back while enjoying the sun .

Trips.

During you holiday stay you can make nice trips to Cartagena, Mar Menor, Murcia, Alicante, Torrevieja or Orihuela town.

Office of Tourism of  Orihuela Costa

The tourist information center is located at Playa Flamenca, in the same building as the town hall.
The office of tourism is open from 8.30 till 14.30 and most of all  open every workday.

 

What to do in Orihuela Costa ?

 

Orihuela Costa Vieuw

Orihuela Beach

Orihuela Costa Bicycle Lane : Campoamor -Cabo Roig – La Zenia route 

The tourist information offices have a new map of the possible bicycle lanes of their Costa Orihuela.
The bicycle lanes are divided in three routes.

Number 1 is a tour Dehesa de Campoamor, two is the Cabo Roig route  and number 3 is the La Zenia Route.

Bicycle Lane: Dehesa de Campoamor Route .

The length of the Dehesa de Campoamor route is 1140 meters. This cycle route connects de N 332 as it passes trough the Orihuela coast and the Urbanization of the Campoamor.  It crosses the passage way next to the Health center and the place of the nice Thursday market. The route follows the Calle de Mar and the Calle the fuego with an independent bicycle lane. There you have a splendid panoramic view on the Mar Menor and the Mediterranean sea below.
If you want you can go further to the Cabo Roig bicycle route  or return to the Avenida el Cabo.

Bicycle Lane: The Cabo Roig Route .

orihuela dehesa de campoamor

orihuela dehesa de campoamor

The Cabo Roig route is 2820 meters. This route connects once again the N332 which first passes trough the Orihuela coast but now to the Cabo roig  development following the Avenida del Cabo.
This route is very nice because you are passing the Cabo Roig Marina  with a nice view and pleasant bars. The “Caleta” beach is a very nice beach. Even in the middle of the winter you can take a sun bath.

Indeed, this route offers connections with the different sunny beaches, by taking the little streets to the sea.
Then in the Avenida del Cabo, the lane is shared with cars in both directions and therefore is not reserved for bicycles.
Once again you can make your bicycle tour longer, by going to the  next route the” La Zenia Route ” or return now to your start point.

Bicycle Lane: La Zenia Route .

Orihuela Costa Cabo Roig

Orihuela Costa Cabo Roig

The “La Zenia Route” measures 2420 meters and this route connects the N332 to the La Zenia Urbanization. The independent bicycle lane takes you over the Calle Colon via an bi-directional lane until the paseo del mar. On the paseo del Mar you can make a stop and enjoy below the beach of Cala Bosque and the beach  of La Zenia .
Then you can take the Calle San Antoinio and go up to the Zenia Boulevard. This lane is shared with cars and in the summer street is rather very busy. Therefore  you can return  on the  bicycle lane next to the N 332 back to Dehesa de Campoamor.

Tips for bicycling.

First of all the maximum speed at which a bicycle may travel is 30 km/h. Also be aware that  children  are also cycling or are playing on the boulevards. The cycling tourist must always respect the speed limit.

bicycling Costa Orihuela

bicycling Costa Orihuela

To increase the visibility  the bicycle must have safety reflectors. Furthermore at night the use of a front lights and a back light is obligatory. It is commendable to wear at night a reflecting armband or some clothes which are reflecting. Helmets are not obligated in Spain.
Finally the use of mobile devices and headphones are not allowed .
To conclude do not think:  I can drive a bicycle and can drink my favorite cocktails . In fact also in Spain it is prohibited.

Playa Flamenca at Orihuela Costa.

First of all, at Playa Flamenca you will find everything for a nice holiday on the coast .
As we already mentioned, Playa Flamenca is a part of the Orihuela Costa.

Second, Playa Flamenca  is located between the airports of Alicante and Murcia.
Alicante airport is 45 minutes drive from Playa  Flamenca and the Murcia-San Javier airport is 20 minutes drive.
Third, Playa Flamenca lays on the coast close to  the  road the N332 and the Motorway.

And the  Playa Flamenca got  good climate with 300 day of sun. Sunny beaches, good local and international food .
Playa Flamenca is not only beaches and bars. There is so much more to see and do.
So it  can be good start-point for a nice trip to Orihuela, Cartagena, Torrevieja, Murcia, or Alicante.

The beaches .

The beaches are ” La Flamenca” and  “La Mosca”. Both beaches have the Blue Flag and so they are clean and safe for the all family.

If you are staying in  Playa Flamenca,  there is a nice walk to “La Zenia” with nice views on the Mediterranean Sea.
It takes a half hour on this sunny road to arrive in ” La Zenia” with nice beach bars and restaurants. If you are fit, you can also walk to Cabo Roig Marina and beaches. This walk take you an hour. During your stop you can take a relaxing  rest  with a tapa or a refreshment.

Meanwhile you can also beautiful walk on the other side of the Playa Flamenca, direction Torrevieja and Punta Prima.
In Punta Prima you will find more restaurants and bars.

In the countryside, behind the Playa Flamenca , direction Las Salinas, there are plenty orange and lemon trees.

The restaurants.

The food is very varied. Almost any type of food local or international is available. There are many cafes, bars and restaurants with a large choice to please everyone.
Also check our guide dedicated to Playa Flamenca restaurants.

Golf courses
There are famous golf courses nearby: Campoamor, Las Ramblas and Villa Martin.

Market
On Saturday there is a large street market in Playa Flamenca. It is located along the Calle Nicolas de Bussi.
The street market starts at about 9.00 and stops around 14.00.
do you love markets , than read more about the markets on our page .

In Playa Flamenca  there is good range of bars, restaurants, pharmacy’s, bank, supermarkets ( Carrefour, Consum, Lidl, Mercadona) and souvenir shops.

Good to know is that the local post office Correos” , the town hall “Ayuntamiento” and the tourist information center for Orihuela Costa is situated in Playa Flamenca.

Changing huts on the beaches.

Changing huts are making their come back at the Orihuela Costa this summer.

The regional tourism department plans for the summer season.
Over two millions euros are being spent on the improvements and new facilities on the beaches throughout the Orihuela region. And we can assure you , it is visible on the beaches , the beach bar is larger , cleaner, more protected against sun and wind.
The investment has not only focused on the beach bars but also on the foot bath, the water fountains , the cardio equipment, the sport facilities, the facilities for invalid people.
 Now the next step is  the comeback of the changing huts  which have disappeared from the beaches in the recent years.
So the tourist do not longer change their clothes in the toilets of the beach bars or do complex maneuvers on the beach in front of others.

The 1.50 x 1.50 retro style huts will allow the bathers to change when arriving or before leaving the beach.
However there will no lockers to store the clothes or other value  thing.