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Torrevieja is probably the Southern Costa Blanca's best known holiday resort and the largest coastal City in this area between Alicante and Cartagena. Torrevieja´s origins, like many of today's coastal resorts, are heavily linked with fishing and the trade Mediterranean routes . In the early 18th century both passing fishermen and sailors began to use the Torrevieja coastline for as a safe haven to take shelter shelter during storms. As some of these sheltering seafarers decided to remain and make the area their new home the new town of Torrevieja was established. Many of the new inhabitants were from what is now the West coast of Italy which is still evident today from the number of Italian surnames in the Torrevieja area.
However, the real driver for the expansion of Torrevieja and its continued success to this day actually lies in the areas salt rich lagoons. There are two large salt lagoons, one pink and the other green, Due to these 2 large lagoons Torrevieja has been a key producer of salt for many generations. The name Torrevieja (literal meaning Old Tower) comes from the Old Watch Tower that was located in the salt beds near the salt pier and used to keep an eye over this valuable mineral before it set off on its long journey overseas. Whilst salt extraction is still big business in the area, today, these 2 unique lagoons are the heart of the La Mata and Torrevieja Lagoons Nature Reserve. Together, these 2 protected reserves cover a total of 3,700 Hectares, which represents 52% of the local terrain, and are home to a large variety of animal and plant species making them a key tourist attraction in the area.
The Torrevieja coast is 14 km long and offers a great choice of beaches and coves where you can cool down and relax. The La Mata Beach in the North is the longest and most open, stretching almost 2 KM form one end to the other. A little further South is the beach of Playa de Cabo Cervera where you can find the old Moorish Watchtower, which offers spectacular views of the coast from the Mar Menor (Minor Sea) in the South up Cabo de Santa Pola in the North. Continuing Southwards again is the area of “Las calas" where there are numerous quiet coves ideal for diving or enjoying a swim in beautiful, peaceful surroundings. Nearing the centre of Torrevieja and entering the more built up tourist areas of the city you will find the beaches of Playa de Los Locos (Madmen Beach), named after the old sanatorium which used to be located here, Curva del Palangre and Punta Margalla, which is home to the Monumento a las Culturas del Mediterráneo (Monument to Mediterranean Cultures). From this landmark, you will be able to see the city's most famous beach, Playa del Cura which is backed by a fantastic long promenade lined with restaurants, refreshment stalls, kiosks, shops and bars.
Inspired by the Berlin Philharmonic concert hall, the Auditorio Conservatorio has established itself as the most important cultural infrastructure in Torerevieja since its opening in 2011. Designed by the prestigious Valencian architect José María Tomás Llavador, this building has established itself as a true Congress Centre. In this way Torrevieja`s commitment to diversification, differentiation and qualification of its tourist offer, committing decidedly to a new segment of the market known as MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions). It is divided fundamentally into two areas:the Auditorium with a symphony hall for 1450 spectators, a smaller concert hall with a capacity of 385 persons plus a perimeter hall which joins both sections. Moreover the Conservatory which has buildings annexed to the auditorium, will be used for the advanced teaching of music.
Torrevieja is all about culture. In 2006 Torrevieja was the only Spanish city with two architectural works exhibited in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In addition Torrevieja is also the only city in Spain with two floating museums and the saltworks city can boast a cultural infrastructure and programme which is as good or better than any other in nearby provincial capitals. Every weekend you will find a different cultural programme, with exhibitions, first class theatrical shows, concerts for both national and international audiences, museums, international festivals, conferences, screenings, courses, workshops and much more.
Torrevieja boasts a cutting-edge cultural infrastructure and programme, a good example of which is the Municipal Auditorium Theatre. The Torrevieja Municipal Theatre was designed by Alejandro Zaera Polo and Antonio Marquerie Tamayo, world renown architects, recognised particularly for projects such as the Passenger Terminal in the Yokohama Port and the Olympic Park for London 2012 (Alejandro Zaera). This cultural site has a total surface area of 1100 square metres, an approximate capacity for 700 people, a rehearsal room, multi-purpose room, dressing rooms and offices. Another important cultural infrastructure within the city is the Virgen del Carmen Cultural Centre, which houses the facilities of the municipal school for dance, painting and photography. This area was designed by architects Dorthe M. Gammerlgaard and Victor Rodriguez Pertusa. It includes an exhibition hall and an auditorium, able to seat 320 people. This centre is also the permanent setting for postgraduate and master courses of the Miguel Hernandez University. The building has a ground floor, plus three more levels, and a three storey underground car park.
In addition there are many exhibitions, courses, workshops, etc. which are organised in its four exhibition rooms as well as in the various cultural centres in Torrevieja. International groups such as REM, the Columbian star, Shakira, and Depeche Mode, have all performed in Torrevieja.
Most of the museums in Torrevieja are related to the sea and the salt production which are the primary resources on which Torrevieja was built. The 2 floating museums are unique in Spain and are actually housed inside the Submarine S61 Delfin (Dolphin) and the Police ship for Customs Surveillance Albatros III. In 2004 the submarine S-61 became the first warship of the Spanish Armada that was turned into a floating museum. Meanwhile,the Police Ship for Customs Surveillance Albatros III belonged to the Customs Surveillance Service until March 23rd, 2006. On this date, this ship was received in Torrevieja as a second floating museum. Admission is free and includes a guided visit. However the most important museum in Torrevieja is the Museum of the Sea and the Salt. It is mainly an ethnological museum which focuses primarily on the origins of Torrevieja and its brief but intense history.
The City of Torrevieja Natural History Museum is a ground-breaking new project in the Valencia Region, with the main goal of recovering all the cetacean skeletons found on Torrevieja's coastline. These exhibits are of great value and aim to add quality and diversity to the area's tourist options. Some original skeletons will be put on show and others will be resin replicas. This technique will be performed for turtles washed up in the town. The museum also includes a complete collection of molluscs from the coasts of Zanzibar in Tanzania, donated to Torrevieja Town Hall by Mr and Mrs. Elbertus and Charlotte Fiege. As an additional attraction, the museum has started to compile a varied collection of flora and fauna, representing the marine and land ecosystems of Torrevieja and its surroundings.
Historical & Religious Architecture
In Torrevieja there are various chapels, hermitages and other small churches. Among them, the Iglesia Arciprestal de la Inmaculada Concepción stands out, set in the Plaza de la Constitución which was built in 1789. Torrevieja received its name from an old watchtower which was located in the Salt Beds area. The tower was destroyed when a strong earthquake razed the city in 1829, giving rise to the use of its blocks of stone in the reconstruction in 1844. From an artistic point of view, this church was built in a neoclassical style, including the traditional Latin cross inside, which is covered with a barrel vault with lunettes in the central nave and arris in the wings. It includes images such as the Inmaculada Concepción (Immaculate Conception), in the central niche of the altarpiece. From the exterior, you will notice its two bell towers, completed with pyramid-like figures.
The festivals in Torrevieja are diverse. In December local residents celebrate the Local Holidays in Honour of the Inmaculada Concepción, their patroness. In the course of these holidays, the Salt Queen is chosen, the most beautiful woman in Torrevieja. Another important festival for the residents of Torrevieja is the Festival in Honour of the Virgen del Carmen, patroness of the fishermen. The fishermen take the Virgin out through the streets near the harbour bay. Among other activities they organise pole games and a paella competition. These are the most traditional festivals but there are also others which are not strongly related to the city, such as, for example, the May Festival, with numerous stalls, performances, cuisines, etc., which faithfully reflect the Seville atmosphere during its April festival: one of the biggest festivals in the Valencian territory.
Some of our Festivals
January: Twelfth Night Procession
February: Carnival April:
Easter May: May Festival
June: Pilgrimage in honour of the Virgen del Rocio Sagrado Corazón de Jesús - Festival de San Juan with bonfires & a firework display in the paseo Juan Aparicio
July: Holidays in honour of the Virgen del Carmen
August: Barrio del Calvario, festivals in honour of San Emigdio. Festival in honour of San Roque
October: Torrelamata, Holidays in honour of the Virgen del Rosario
November: Salt Queen Selection
December: Patroness Holidays in honour of the Inmaculada Concepción
One of the city's most important cultural events is the International Habanera and Polyphony Contest. It is an international event where you will be able to enjoy songs which originated from the crossings made by the Torrevieja sailors to the Caribbean. Every year, at the end of July, you can enjoy this melody on the sea shores, in the old area where the Torrevieja sailors previously piled up salt to later transport it to the merchant ships.
Parks & Plazas
Gardens and plazas The Jardín de las Naciones Garden is one of the largest green spaces in the city, measuring nearly 40,000 square metres. There is a large lake, which sketches the outline of the European continent, with many ducks, swans and a spectacular hot spring. Young people can also enjoy an enormous dinosaur slide and a children's park. The Plaza del Molino spreads over 4,000 square metres and is particularly unique because of its old windmill, built as an exact replica of those which existed in Torrevieja during the 19th century to grind grain and salt. But without a doubt, the most spectacular plaza in the city is the Plaza de la Constitución, accommodating buildings as representative as the Town Hall and the Iglesia Arciprestal de la Inmaculada Concepción church. The plaza is filled with ochre and dark colours, and has a small fountain in the shape of pebbles.
Torrevieja Sports City is a modern sporting complex with top class facilities which attracts professional athletes from all over the world. It is made up various indoor and outdoor sports arenas and facilities covering more than 300,000 square meters dedicated exclusively to sport. Its has multiple astro turf football pitches, a spectacular area for racket sports with 10 tennis courts (the central one of these with a capacity for 700 spectators) 8 padel courts with the central court having a capacity for 180 spectators, a services building that includes: changing rooms, multifunctional room, management office, cafe and a large gymnasium of 400 square meters and 2 fronton courts. Also on this exceptional sports complex there is the multi purpose and rugby field with an area of 3000 square meters and a capacity for 3000 spectators that is being approved for international competitions. In addition the Torrevieja Sports City has more than 80,000 square meter of indoor facilities including the Pabellón Cecilio Gallego (Pabellón Azul and the Palacio de los Deportes which has a heated, olympic sized swimming pool. The Parque Municipal Antonio Soria with 2 fronton courts as well as the athletics track Daniel Plaza, a municipal gymnasium, the Municipal Football Stadium Vicente García and two football pitches with artificial turf next to the Palacio de los Deportes. Also,at this time this extensive area has almost 23,000 square meters of parking and more than 5000 square meters of green area. T
Water Sports & Leisure
The port of Torrevieja has three sports marinas, a true paradise for the lovers of water sports with 3000 berth marina with mooring points and top quality services and facilities. From her you can book boat excursions to marine reserves, group lunches and dinners on the high seas. Luxury boat hire, sailing courses, diving courses, underwater diving, water sports courses, sport fishing, mooring points, jet ski and windsurfing are all available from Torrevieja's sports marinas.
If you love wide open spaces this is the place for you. 52% of the Torrevieja territory is covered by a nature reserve. The La Mata and Torrevieja Lagoons Nature Reserve covers a total of 3700 Hectares, of which 2100 correspond to water surfaces (1400 Hectares to the Torrevieja Lagoon and 700 Hectares to the La Mata Lagoon) and the remainder corresponds to the land around the lagoons which consists of salt marshes, plant formations dominated by salt marshes, reed beds, and Mediterranean scrubland. This geologically depressed area is linked to the sea by two canals or channels, one going North - to La Mata- and the other South, - to the Playa del Acequión-. The salt is extracted from the Torrevieja Lagoon, using the La Mata Lagoon as a heater and concentrator. There are several aspects of the reserve which are worth mentioning, but pay particular attention to the colour of the lagoons: one pink, and the other green. The pink lagoon is the Torrevieja lagoon, from which the salt is mined, whereas the green lagoon is the La Mata lagoon. The pink/purple colour of the Torrevieja lagoon is due to the pigments present in a very peculiar series of bacteria which live in very extreme environments; these are the so-called halobacteria. The reddish colour actually results from a protein called bacteriorhodopsin, found in the membranes of the halobacteria. With regard to the colour of the lagoons, we must also highlight the role played by the unicellular algae, Dunaliella salina, and the small Sea-Monkey crustaceans. The former is responsible for the red vermilion colour which the lagoons take on at certain times of the year, while the Sea-Monkey has a reddish colour because it feeds off the halobacteria. In this natural space we find an incredibly unique vegetation, which results from the high saltiness of the ground and the low rainfall levels. The salt marsh communities contain species, such as the Salicornia, Rushes, Calamus, Esparto and Houseleeks. Bird life is the most important faunal group, with nearly a hundred species. Depending on the time of year, you can see various migratory, over-wintering and nesting birds which complete their biological cycle in this wetland.
Parque Aromático del Barranco de Torreblanca, (“Torreblanca Aromatic Park") is a unique environmental landscaping project designed by the acclaimed Catalan architect, Carmen Pinós. Boasting a total area of some 70,000 square metres, this is the perfect open space in which to take a stroll and enjoy its natural beauty. Don't be surprised if the fragrances remind you of a spice market! One of the peculiarities of this park is that it has been planted almost entirely with aromatic species such as thyme, rosemary, basil or lavender. Take a deep breath and discover one of Torrevieja's latest charms. The Municipal Nature Spot, Parque del Molino del Agua (Watermill Park), comprises 17.22 hectares and its main ecological wealth resides in the dune system, which is the furthest South in the Valencian Community. This system forms part of another, larger system which acts as the coastal corridor, linking the Santa Pola Saltworks and the La Mata and Torrevieja Lagoons Nature Reserves. There are many plant formations but the Aleppo pine and Stone pine are particularly worth mentioning. There are more than 500 metres of underground aquifers in the subsoil, which explains the setting of the old well from the Molino del Agua (Watermill). It gives name to the area and there are written references to the spot dating from 1797.
Leisure and entertainment
Depending on the time of year, our city offers a wide range of activities for your enjoyment. Our excellent weather conditions means outdoor activities are available all year round. No matter the month or season you can still head down to the beach or take lunch or an evening meal on one of the City's many restaurants' terraces. For the young (or young at heart!) Torrevieja offers fabulous nightlife options. Famous night clubs, top quality restaurants, great bars, late night shopping or a spell at the Casino are all available here in Torrevieja. During the summer months you can enjoy Torrevieja's Aquapolis water park which covers an area of 115,000 square metres close to the city centre. The park is open between June and October and has rides and slides slides for all ages and dispositions. Close to the aterpark is the Ozone shopping where you can also fins a multi -screen cinema with films in English a bowling alley, games arcades and a casino. Thanks to its Municipal Leisure centre Torrevieja also has a full programme of activities for more mature visitors such as dances and enrichment courses.