May 17, 2023 | Activities/Services
Once again this year the quality of the Costa Blanca North is evident, on this occasion the quality of its beaches, coves and marinas.
The Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) through Adeac (Association for Environmental and Consumer Education) internationally recognises the high quality of the water of a beach or cove, but also values and rewards the accessibility, the sanitary measures it is equipped with, and the actions carried out to promote environmental education, without forgetting cleanliness and safety.
Here are the beaches, coves and marinas awarded with the blue flag 2023:
Altea: Cap Blanc, La Roda, L’Espigó and Altea Nautic club
Calpe: Cantal Roig, La Fossa, L’Arenal Bol and the Real Club Nautic of Calpe
Benissa: Cala Baladrar, Cala Fustera and Les Bassetes Sailing Club
Teulada-Moraira: El Portet, L’Ampolla, Platgetes and Moraira Nautic Club
El Poble Nou in Benitachell: Cala del Moraig
Xàbia: Granadella, La Grava and the Jávea Nautic Club
Denia: Les Bovetes, Les Marines, Marineta Casiana, Molins, Punta del Rasset, Marina Denia and the Real Club Nautic of Denia.
20 beaches and coves and 7 marinas within a radius of 30 kilometres with blue flag 2023, one more reason to choose Costa Blanca North, to come and discover a unique paradise, enjoy a holiday, and why not, to create a new home. If, like us, you have fallen in love with the Costa Blanca North, we invite you to visit www.vapf.com, a unique home to live in a unique location.
Apr 4, 2023 | Activities/Services, Cumbre del Sol, Other towns
The Costa Blanca Norte is a paradise on earth. Not just because of its incredible climate but also for its many different landscapes and scenarios. Grab your mobile phone or camera, make sure you have plenty of battery, and get ready to take some stunning photos!
The Red Wall in Calpe
If you are a fan of Instagram you will be well aware that the above photo pictures the Muralla Roja or Red Wall. This construction is located in the Manzanera development and was designed and built by Ricardo Bofill. Moreover, this just happens to be the 50th anniversary of its construction. It was inspired by African adobe towers and it is striking for its characteristic range of colours and its straight lines. The building has been declared a cultural heritage site. The stairs actually inspired those that feature in the famous Squid Game series. And given its rather peculiar beauty it has been used as the scenario for numerous commercial videos for brands such as Zara. It is certainly one of the coolest places on the Costa Blanca Norte!
Cala Barraca in Jávea
This rocky cove is also known as Portitxol as it looks out onto the island of that name, which is some 300 metres across. You can get to the island by canoe or Jet Ski. You could also swim there but be careful if it is windy. This little beach is also striking for its white fishermen’s huts and the well-known blue door. One interesting activity in this area is scuba diving. And other sports include canoeing. Make the most of the dawn light for a truly memorable photo!
Forat de Bernia in Benissa
If you have ever been looking for photos of the beaches in Costa Blanca Norte, you will certainly have come across a picture of this place. It is actually an aperture in the rocks that affords a fantastic view of the bay of Altea. To get there first you must walk along a little hiking trail. It is an easy enough, however as the path can be a bit stony it is best to wear appropriate footwear. It is also gets quite busy along the trail so if you want a photo without lots of people, make sure you set out early.
Altea old town centre
Altea is a charming little town ideal for taking a stroll with your camera. The narrow streets of the old town are a well-known scenario. In fact, the place is often referred to as the “Balcony of the Mediterranean”. It has several iconic spots such as the Glorieta del Maño lookout point. Although if you are looking for something a little bit different, just go for a wander around. However, be ready to climb a few steep hills… The old town centre of Altea is so lovely that a snapshot of just about anywhere here would be worth uploading to your Instagram feed.
Cala Granadella in Jávea
The Cala de la Granadella is close by Cumbre del Sol. This little cove is famous for the blue colour of its waters that ranges from turquoise to emerald green. It is such a lovely beach that it tends to be very popular with visitors. To protect the place, sometimes daily visitor numbers are restricted. As a result we suggest you visit this beach out of season. Make the most of the proximity of your home to take some fantastic photos! It is the perfect scenario for snapshots of nature or water sports such as snorkelling.
The summit of Peñón de Ifach in Calpe
This peak or Peñón as it is known locally is one of the most iconic spots on the Mediterranean coast. And especially appreciated in the Costa Blanca Norte. The limestone peak rises to 332 metres. It has been declared a Nature Reserve and as it receives so many visitors, it is necessary to apply for permission to visit. The reason is that visits are restricted to a daily quota of 300 people. Therefore, if you are thinking about taking some photos for your social networks, bear that in mind. It is a truly iconic place with enormous charm. You won’t want to leave without taking a great photo!
Mar 28, 2023 | Activities/Services, Local events
With the onset of good weather, it’s time to get out of the house, breathe in the fresh air and feel the spirit of nature and the light that bring life to Cumbre del Sol. There are endless things to do around your home, however our blog always has something new to offer from end to end of the Costa Blanca Norte.
Benissa is one of the least-known places in the Marina Alta. This gap in awareness of its existence is actually commensurate with its beauty. It has one of the oldest town centres in the area, as well as lovely countryside, beaches and monuments with an endless list of things to do, both in the town and its surrounding area. One of its most picturesque (and unknown) attractions is surely its cave paintings. We tell you about them in this article, where to find them, and how to visit them.
The charm of the unknown
There is nothing like discovering something new somewhere just a few kilometres from your home, and that is exactly the case with these cave paintings. You can reach the place on foot along a hiking trail, just 5 kilometres from Benissa, or if you prefer, you can also get there by car. It is close to the rural district of Pinos at a place called Abrigo de Pinos (Shelter of the Pines but also known locally as “Barranc de la Tía Isabel”).
The shelter is an overhang of chalky rock some 200 metres long which has several caves, in one of which you will find the paintings. They were discovered in 1970, and in 1985 they were officially declared as Cultural Heritage and, subsequently a World Heritage Site. The set of paintings is protected by a metal grill placed on the rock wall so that the paintings can be viewed without getting too close, thus they are protected from deterioration or any other problems. There are four explanatory panels alongside them so that you can situate them in time and understand the figures, as many are camouflaged by the rock. Even so, the one known as “Eva Pinera” has become an iconic figure. Standing with arms akimbo, experts have dated this painting as 6,000 to 8,000 years old. At just 50 centimetres away from this figure, it is possible to discern a zoomorphic representation typical of the Levante which has been partially lost. There is also another portrayal of four figures that appear to be holding hands.
If having viewed the paintings you are thinking of what else you can do, we suggest that you visit Benissa if you don’t know it yet. In the Marina Alta, and only a short distance from the road leading to places like Calpe, Moraira, Altea, Teulada or Benidorm, the town is easy to reach and an essential stop-off in the Costa Blanca Norte.
One of the reasons that you will love this place is its cuisine. Strongly influenced by the sea and the mountains, it is varied and made with care. The star dish here is “putxero de polp”, or octopus casserole, originally a fishermen’s dish. This stew is made with pulses (beans) potatoes, vegetables and rice.
Benissa is a must-see if you want to discover somewhere in the Marina Alta that is less well-known, but certainly no less charming. Some months ago we published a post on plans for things to do in Benissa and you can read about it here. We suggest that you look out for our upcoming blog posts so that you don’t miss out on anything going on around Residential Resort Cumbre del Sol.
Mar 15, 2023 | Activities/Services, Events, Otros pueblos
Cherry blossom time is one of the year’s great events. Every springtime the cherry blossom in the Vall de la Gallinera, in the Marina Alta, rewards us with this spectacle. It is a phenomenon that usually occurs mid-March to early April depending on the weather.
The Costa Blanca Norte in general and Cumbre del Sol in particular is one of the loveliest places in Spain, known for its beaches and coves, but also for its interior. This area inland is one of the best places to see the cherry trees in bloom. It is a spectacle that has been acknowledged by the Comunitat Valenciana Tourist Office and also travel magazines such as Condé Nast Traveler. This district is up there with the best known parts of Spain, such as Alfarnate, in Málaga, the Valle del Jerte, in Cáceres, El Hornillo in Ávila and the Valle de las Caderechas in Burgos as one of the best places to view one of nature’s spectacles.
Historically known as a cherry producing area, La Vall de Gallinera is a village of 570 inhabitants that lies in a valley. The river Gallinera runs through it and it is ringed by the mountains of the Sierra del Almirante, the Sierra de la Albureca and the Sierra Foradada.
Benirrama, Benialí, Benissivà, Benitaia, La Carroja, Alpatró, Llombai and Benissili make up the area where you enjoy a unique sight in the Comunitat Valenciana region along the “8 Villages Trail”. This is the ideal way to discover the area as you pass by the natural springs, water troughs, charming little streets, the surrounding countryside and of course cherries. We tell you the best way to go about it!
Discover inland Costa Blanca Norte
The “8 Villages Trail” is a route that you take at any time of the year, as we have mentioned it is particularly recommended in March, to coincide with the cherry blossom that carpets the slopes of Vall de Gallinera with a blanket of white.
The trail is 14 kilometres long, although you can walk just parts of it as you wish. The route is signposted and runs mainly through tarmac farm tracks, with only slight inclines (with the odd exception) and so it is ideal for children on one of those sunny Sundays that are perfect for a family outing.
However, this is not a circular route, so the entire return trip is 28 kilometres which might be a bit much if you simply want to enjoy the countryside. So instead we recommend one of the following options:
- If you travel with 2 cars, you could leave one at the start, and park another one at the end of the trail, and that way you can walk the whole 14 km just one way.
- Simply walk a part of the route. In that case you could start out from one of the villages along the way. It would probably be best to choose one of the central villages which have the most services and facilities if you are planning to stop and eat, Benialí, where La Vall town council is located, is a good choice.
One of the main attractions along the route are the innumerable springs that bubble up fresh and clear from the mountain peaks of the Serra Foradà, on the southern side of the valley and from the Serra de l’Almirall, which encloses the valley to the north.
The trail is indicated at all times. In each village you will find panels containing information, as well as signposts at regular intervals along the way.
In short, this is a route for everyone, because you can walk the trail (and see the springs, public laundry places and enjoy the countryside in this beautiful valley) or by car and enjoy exploring all the villages.
The area is well kept with a lot of history and architectural, artistic and natural heritage. A spectacular landscape with its high mountains and a lively environment. We cannot think of a better plan close by, as spring approaches, than to have a wander around these eight villages with the cherry blossom as an added extra.
Mar 6, 2023 | Activities/Services, Cumbre del Sol
When some weeks ago we told you about the most interesting caves that you can visit inland in Costa Blanca Norte, we decided it would be a good idea to follow up with a second part to tell you about the sea caves in the area. Most of these are in the vicinity of Cumbre del Sol and it’s possible that there may be some that you don’t know about yet.
Cova del Riu Blanc
Close by the Cala del Moraig beach and Cova dels Arcs, in Benitachell, the Cova del Riu Blanc is concealed inside La Falla del Moraig. It can be accessed from the sea by swimming from Cala Moraig, a distance of some 250 to 300 metres (although we advise swimming with flippers, paddle surfing or canoeing). The falla del Moraig is a spectacular, almost vertical wall of rock. Its polished appearance and the striations caused by friction of the blocks clearly show the geological movements that led to this rock formation. The fault seems to be suspended in the air over a lake and in its interior lies the underwater entrance to Riu Blanc. However, be especially careful when entering the cave, as it can be extremely dangerous to linger there when the tide is rising. To ensure a safe visit, it would probably be best to contact one of the local companies that organise trips and that way you make sure that your visit will be safe and secure.
Cova dels Arcs
The Cova dels Arcs, which is also in Benitachell, as well as being a magical place for watching the sun rise or for snorkelling (in the well-known “divers’ chamber”, the easiest to access), is also an ideal area for expert cavers who can enter what is considered to be the longest underwater outlet to the sea in Spain.
Jávea: cave zone
Next we go to the Jávea district to discover the Cova Tallada. In this spectacular cave, remains have been found from the Al Andalus era of Spain and there you can picture how this quarry was in use from the 12th century, and there are legends that tell how it was once a marine refuge during the Second World War. Technically, it is not a completely natural rock formation as it has been altered by man through repeated removal of the roughhewn rock. The area outside the cave is perfect for snorkelling and especially worth seeing is the 16th century inscription that reads: “PHILIPUS III HISP REX CAVERNAM HANC PENETRAVIT AN MDXCIX” (Philiip III visited this cave in 1599).
We consider that the ideal access to the Cova del Llop Marí is by sea, however, this will always depend on conditions such as the wind, waves and currents. This is one of the best kept secret places of the Costa Blanca Norte, with its amazing crystal clear waters and nooks and crannies filled with marine life.
Continuing in Jávea, we come to the Cova dels Òrguens. This is a particularly special place at the foot of Cap de la Nau, and it’s possible to enter by small boat, surfboard or canoe.
Denia: Cova De L’Aigua
One of the most historic caves, frequently used in the past, is Cova De L’Aigua which is a refuge for marine flora, and in the past it also served as a shelter for Roman soldiers. In fact, it is still possible to see an inscription in this regard engraved on the cave wall (protected by a grill). Rainwater has filtered into the interior of the cave and it was used as a water tank until the 16th century.
Every secret corner of the Costa Blanca Norte comes as a surprise. We have mentioned some of the sea caves that are hidden away under the finest waters in the Mediterranean. We suggest you follow our upcoming blog posts to keep abreast of everything going on in Residential Resort Cumbre del Sol.
Feb 27, 2023 | Activities/Services
Sports tourism and specifically, professional cycling has become an important activity in the Costa Blanca, especially in recent years. Witness to this fact are the twelve international cycling teams that have chosen the Costa Blanca Norte as the location for their sports training, added to which there are two local teams, one in Gandía and another in Benicassim.
The area’s outdoor sports culture, the temperatures (which are pleasant all year round with a scant 22 days rainfall out of 365 days) and the steep and hilly landscape make it the perfect place for cyclists. That’s why teams sponsored by Movistar, Astana or Bahrain, to name just a few, prepare and train for their sport in the municipal districts of Costa Blanca Norte.
What makes it so special?
As we mentioned, the climate is one of the Costa Blanca Norte’s great advantages. Finding somewhere with so many hours of sunshine and ideal temperatures for outdoor sports all year round is no easy task, yet here you have it all.
We should also mention the different types of cycling surface. From roads to mountains, it is possible to adapt the routes according to the cyclist’s profile and proficiency.
Given this veritable deluge of cyclists in the area, the region has considerably improved its sports facilities, with new bike parks for mountain bikes, as well as a new and extensive range of hotels and catering to meet the needs of both professional teams and cycling enthusiasts who visit the Costa Blanca. Not only that, but the environment is completely safe. Many coastal areas are not equipped with the requisite infrastructure, above all in terms of roads safe for cycling. However, the Comunidad Valenciana and various other locations on the Costa Blanca in general, particularly in the northern part, have been working for years to create a safe system which is always in adequate conditions for practising this sport.
Historic competition scenario
This relation goes back a long way. Many sporting competitions have developed or passed through the Costa Blanca Norte. For example, the Costa Blanca Bike Race 2023 opens the mountain bike season in Spain, and it is planned as the first stop of the year for the best of the world XCM cyclists. Furthermore, Cumbre del Sol, was the goal of the 9th stage of La Vuelta a España in the 2015 and 2017 races, as well as being considered in 2019 as one of the so called “most exciting climbs”.
The Comunidad Valenciana Cycle Race has passed through the municipalities of the Costa Blanca Norte on several occasions and 2023 is no exception. In particular, on 2 February the second stage of the competition passed through Cumbre del Sol. The race began in Novelda and ended in the area of Alto de Pinos in Cumbre del Sol (Benissa).
If you are a sports enthusiast, and in particular, a fan of cycling, you will already know that Cumbre del Sol is the perfect place for this pastime, albeit your own cycling or for enjoying the various competitions that take place in the Costa Blanca Norte. We suggest you keep an eye on our blog posts to keep abreast of activities and events near your home.