Torrevieja and its salt lakes have become one of the most popular tourist cities on the Costa Blanca and have more foreign inhabitants than Spanish residents. Earlier the salt lakes were the main industry in the town, but today tourism and real estate have become the primary source of income for this once so idyllic small coastal town.
So what makes so many people from all over Europe and other parts of the world move and live in Torrevieja? What does Torrevieja have that other Spanish coastal towns do not? Read on, and I will give you a few answers and possibly also a few more questions.
The Beaches of Torrevieja are probably the number one reason for Spanish people to visit the town. Torrevieja has several beautiful beaches, and almost all of them have a Blue Flag, a quality stamp from the European Union.
La Mata is probably the most famous of the Torrevieja Beaches. Lying just on the outskirts to the north of the City, La Mata, with its fine sand and beautiful setting, is among the best beaches in all of Spain.
The Playa Los Locos is situated just outside the city center and is a busy beach in the high seasons. On Los Locos you will also find several restaurants and bars.
Playa del Cura is situated in the City Center and is very busy in the summer months. All services, shops, bars, and restaurants are close by. In July and August Playa del Cura can be too crowded, but if you like people, this is the place for you.
Acequion is a lovely beach just south of the city center. Also, there are many restaurants, bars and shops close by.
La Zenia has a lovely beach, but be it is not ideal for children due to its steep incline.
Torrevieja is WHO ranked as one of the healthiest places in the world to live because of its microclimate. The salt lakes and the sea, together with one of the most stable climates worldwide, more than 300 days of sunshine, and very little rain, makes Torrevieja a true climate paradise.
Even in the last few years, when it at winter has been snowing in places like Guardamar (10km), San Miguel de Salinas (10 km), and Orihuela, there has been no snow in Torrevieja. The temperature in Torrevieja is on average higher during the winter than in other places both further south on Costa Blanca and even as far south as Costa del Sol. Torrevieja enjoys a warm and nice temperature in the summer, even though it can get a bit too warm in August.
Situation – close to everything
Torrevieja’s situation is perfect for holidaymakers from as well Spain as other parts of Europe. Only 30 minutes from both Alicante Airport and the airport in Murcia makes Torrevieja very easy to reach. The 4.5-hour car drive to Madrid on the new highways also makes Spain’s Capital “close”.
If you wish to travel by train, you can do so from Alicante, Orihuela or Murcia. And in a short while, the new High-speed train will have a station centrally located in Vega Baja just outside Torrevieja.
Within a one hour drive from Torrevieja you can also reach; Benidorm, Crevillente, Alicante, Cartagena, Orihuela, Murcia, La Manga and now also Mazarron and Puerto de Mazarron with the completion of the new highway going on to Almeria.
There are several Golf Courses within less than 30 minutes drive, and you can also enjoy things like Aqualandia, Terra Mitica, Mundo Mar, Terra Natura, and other amusements.
An International City – more than 150 nationalities
More than 150 nationalities are represented in Torrevieja, making it one of Spain’s most “international” cities. The largest foreign colonies are English/British, German, Dutch, and Scandinavian. But also easter European countries are well represented as well as North-Africa and all other European Countries.
Immigration has created a few problems for Torrevieja, such as slow mail service, horrible traffic conditions, and in areas unstable electricity and phone connections. In the last couple of years, many of these problems are getting better, and it is easy to see that most of the issues that the huge immigration has created now will be solved with time.
Torrevieja has officially about 100,000 inhabitants, but it is believed that the number is realistically close to 200,000 and in the high season some 500,000 – 700,000. The problem with people not registering as inhabitants is one of the biggest challenges for the city and is among one reasons that the crime rate has been high and that the City first got its own Hospital as late as 2007.
Nightlife – party all night long
Torrevieja’s nightlife is famous. There are thousands of bars, restaurants, pubs, and clubs. Downtown you find the famous “Bar district” who “boils” at night in the high season. Also, the urbanizations have many bars and restaurants that are both busy and good.
You will find discos like Pacha and Revival (Los Montesinos) and many other similar clubs closing at 10 AM in the morning for the really late-nighters. (Some don’t close all weekend).
Eating out – anything from burgers to gourmet
If you want to have a meal in Torrevieja, you can choose from a wide variety of restaurants, fast food bars, and other “eating establishments”.
Crime – a problem, but not as big as many say
Crime has been a big problem in Torrevieja and still is. However, a lot of the crime that could be seen a few years ago is now gone. Torrevieja has as most “international” cities a drug problem and of course, also the mafia. However, for most people, this is not a problem, and using common sense will normally keep you away from the bad elements.
In the early years of the 2000s, there were a lot of burglaries and robberies, but this now seems to have eased off a bit. More police and organized neighborhood watch groups have made its impact.
Real Estate – the boomtown?
Torrevieja has been one of the “boomtowns” in Spain, and tens of thousands of new properties have been built over the last couple of decades.
It is still possible to make some excellent property investments in Torrevieja, and the vacation rental market is outstanding.