One of the most important things to say about visiting the Costa Blanca – or anywhere else in Spain for that matter – is, if possible, avoid Easter week and August. Those are the two main national holidays, and the Spanish head like lemmings to the coast, jamming hotels, restaurants and beaches and causing havoc on the roads. If you can’t avoid those dates, make sure you book well in advance and expect queues.
Most, although not all, museums will be closed on Mondays. Most of them are free, if not every day then usually on Sundays. There are some stunning churches in Spain, and most of them still fulfil their religious functions. Some of the smaller ones are open only during the hours of mass, so if you want to visit please respect them and go either a little before or a little after the service.
The beaches in the Costa Blanca are generally excellent, and are cleaned regularly. Everyone seems to crowd right by the water’s edge, so you can spread yourself out by simply setting up camp a few metres back from the crowds. The Spanish tend to make a whole day of it on the beach, even bringing tables and chairs and all they can eat and drink, as well as the inevitable parasols – it gets crowded and noisy.
Almost all the town halls or local tourism authorities organise events during the summer; concerts, sports, food events, street markets, a kids programme etc, a lot of which are free, so it’s worth getting a programme from either the town hall or tourist office as they aren’t usually well publicised.
For almost anything you do in the Costa Blanca you will need to adapt your personal clock, not only for eating but also for going anywhere. Apart from in Benidorm, almost everywhere closes between 2-5pm, sometimes later during summer months, but that is compensated for by them closing later.
How I’ve picked my things to do:
For decades the concentration on the Costa Blanca has been on the sun, sea and sand style of holiday, and while this is still very much the case, there is a lot to do and see to take a break from the beach.
I have, in the main, tried to suggest places that almost anyone can enjoy, bearing in mind that, quite frankly, ‘culture’ in its higher forms isn’t why most people go there, although it does exist and I’ve included some suggestions.
I make no apology for the fact that I have included more things to do in Benidorm than in other destinations, for two reasons;
a. being one of Europe’s most popular and long-standing holiday destinations it has a much larger selection than elsewhere, and
b. a surprisingly large number of people take the small train that travels up and down the coast between Dénia and Alicante (an enjoyable ‘thing to do’ in its own right) for a day out in the resort.