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Key Info


Beaches, Hiking, Sightseeing Type
Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend


  • 3.0Value
  • 3.5Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Located a short boat ride from Alicante, Tabarca is Spain's smallest inhabited island, and it's the perfect place for a daytrip from Alicante. Visitors can stroll around the island admiring the rich biodiversity and unique bird-watching opportunities. The island – which used to be a base for pirates – is home to some Roman ruins and the remains of the 18th-century city walls, which previous visitors recommend checking out. 

There are just about 100 people who live on the island, so you can expect a quiet, peaceful day. There are some restaurants and shops scattered about, but the real fun can be found in nature. In the winter months, the weather is cool, and you won't run into many tourists. In the summer however, visitors flock from Alicante to Tabarca for its prime snorkeling conditions and picturesque, albeit rocky, beaches. The island is also a favorite among divers, and it was declared a marine reserve in 1986. 

According to previous visitors, there aren't enough activities on the island to fill up a whole trip, but it's the perfect spot to spend a quiet day. The easiest way to venture to Tabarca is by public boat from Alicante city. (There are other boats that leave from elsewhere in the province, such as Santa Pola.) The boat ride from Alicante takes about one hour and costs 20 euros (around $23) roundtrip. The ferry runs every day from June to September, but only Thursday through Sunday in the winter months. It departs from the port of Alicante at 10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.; boats leave Tabarca for the mainland at 5 and 7 p.m. You can order tickets online or buy them at the port ticket stand 45 minutes before departure.

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Time to Spend
#1 San Juan Beach

You'll find this stretch of shoreline just about 6 miles northeast of Alicante city. Playa de San Juan is known as one of Spain's best beaches; in fact, many recent travelers said it offers a better beach experience than Postiguet. The beach offers designated area for sports like volleyball and football. There's also a skateboarding area if you want to show off some tricks or just watch others. Not to mention, there are plenty of places to rent water sports equipment for surfing, kayaking, windsurfing and jet skiing. The beach also stretches about 2 miles, so you'll surely be able to carve out your own little space in the sand. It's accessible by tram or bus. Visitors recommend taking the L4 tram line to the Londres stop or the L3 tram line to El Campello; if you're on a bus, Costa Blanca, Costa Blanca-Milan and Plaza Coruña are all bus stops close to the beach.

Just behind the beach are restaurants, nightlife venues and even an 18-hole golf course. On a sunny day – most days – the strip is filled with people strolling. A bike path behind the beach makes it easily accessible; there is also a tram line that connects the beach with the city center and Dénia – a nearby coastal town. Public parking spaces and beachside hotels abound in this area as well. Access to the beach is free.

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