Santa Pola is a coastal town located close to the major Cities of Elche and Alicante and has a population of 30,000 inhabitants of whom 10,000 are residents of the nearby new town of Gran Alacant. The original town was built on the ruins of a Roman village called Portus Ilicitanus (literally, Harbour of Elche). Following a number of decades of abandonment, a castle was constructed in the 16th century which marked the repopulation of Santa Pola. Santa Pola is, at present, a coastal fishing and tourist town with a population that more than doubles during the summer, with visitors mainly coming from other areas of Spain and Northern Europe. The town has a fantastic new sports Marina populated by many stylish bars, restaurants shops and leisure facilities such as children fair. In addition, the town has a great shopping centre with a modern high street as well out of town shopping centres and large retail parks. The town also boasts a small theme park and a number of good sandy beaches.
From the Marina you can also get a ferry or speedboat to go and visit the small island of Tabarca which is about 9km minutes off the coast of Santa Pola. This tiny Islet measures just 1750m long with a maximum breadth of 300m. As it is also perfectly flat it is very easy to get round and see it all in half a day. You can browse the numerous local gift and craft shops shops, visit the impressive church and harbour and stop for a bite to eat at one of the islands great value restaurants and still have plenty of time left to relax, soak up the sun and take a refreshing dip on one of Tabarcas beautiful, golden, sandy beaches.
Gran Alacant is 5 km North of Santa Pola along the Alicante bay and accounts for about one third of the population of the Santa Pola district. Gran Alacant is a new town which is made up of a large group of individual residential developments which have popped up over the last 20 years. As a result the town is mainly populated by British and Northern European Ex-Pats. It is located in an elevated position close to the Nature reserve of Carabassi with Santa Pola to the South and the very exclusive beach resort of Arenales Del Sol to the North. Alicante & Elche Cities are also both around 15 to 20 minutes drive away and Alicante International Airport just 10 minutes away. As a popular Ex-Pat enclave there are plenty of international restaurants, bars and shops as well as a superb modern shopping mall and leisure centre. You will also find English speaking lawyers, banks, shops, hairdressers etc. and there are excellent public transport links to all the local towns including Santa Pola, Arenales Del Sol, Elche and Alicante. There are also a number of British sports clubs and social groups such as the Monte y Mar Bowling Club.