Tabarca is a very unique, rocky and small island situated in the Mediterranean Sea, in the province of Alicante, very close to Santa Pola town. It is the smallest inhabited island in my country and it is well known for its amazing history, its incredible water and coves in which you can lose yourself in, its flora and fauna and its marine reserve. Its beaches and bays are very different to the ones that you can find in the south of Spain. Keep reading and you will find out why.
This is a very flat islet (1,750 m long) whose main economic activity is tourism, especially during summer. There are many boats running often that connect Tabarca islet with Alicante, Santa Pola, Benidorm and some other places – Tabarca is 15 km southeast from Alicante, and almost 9 km south east from Santa Pola, the closest point, which makes it very easy to access. You just need to choose an available day of your week and visit this fabulous and different location in which you can enjoy and explore so many things. I went to Tabarca on a Sunday with my house mates, taking a bus from Valencia that dropped us at the port of Santa Pola. From there, we got a boat called Tabarquera that took us to the island in 30 minutes approximately.
Aereal view of Tabarca island - Picture © Credits ANNECORDON
Before talking about my unforgettable experience there, let me tell you about the historical background of the place. Tabarca is known as a pirate island (isla de piratas in Spanish) since it served as a refuge for Barbary pirates up to the end of the 18th Century who used the islet as a platform for raids on the Levantine coast. That was the main reason why king Charles III of Spain decided to order the fortification and the re-population of the village in 1760, to stop the pirates and the raids from happening. Strong walls were built around the islet and a new group of inhabitants coming from the islet of Tunisian Tabarka were rescued and settled there by order of the king. After this historical event, the islet was renamed Nova Tabarca, that is New Tabarca in Spanish and Latin.
Wall of Tabarca island - Picture © Credits Maria Teresa Tovar Romero
Now that I have given you an introduction for this awesome islet, let me tell you what I did there and about my experience in the next article. Without any doubt, I have spent one of the most fun beach days of my life there, snorkelling in crystal-clear water and jumping from rocks!
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