Top 10 Interesting Facts
1. Benidorm says yes to bikinis
Benidorm was the first package holiday resort in Spain. In the 1950s the mayor Pedro Zaragoza had a vision to turn the sleepy fishing village into a vibrant tourist town. The town's popularity increased when he allowed women to wear bikinis on the beach. Nowadays Benidorm still attracts more than five million tourists every year.
2. Top tennis star comes from Javea
David Ferrer, tennis star, was born in Javea. He lived in the town until he was 13 but moved to nearby Gandia as a teenager. He is one of the top seeds in the world and the second top seed in Spain with Mallorca's Rafa Nadal on top. Ferrer is considered to be one of the finest clay court players.
3. Cheers to tiger nuts
Horchata is made from tiger nuts. The Muslims bought this refreshing summer drink to the Costa Blanca many centuries ago. It is a blend of tiger nuts, sugar and water and has a slightly nutty flavour. It can be bought in the supermarkets but there are small cafes which specialise in horchata and this is a superior blend.
4. Rice is king in the cooking
Albufera reserve and Pego marshes produce about 115,000 tonnes of rice a year. Rice is an important part of the Costa Blanca diet. Much of the local rice will be used to make paella, arroz a banda, arroz negro or other rice specialities.
5. What a lot of Costa
Costa Blanca has more than 200kms of coastline. They vary from vast expanses of white sandy beaches to rocky coves. The two Benidorm beaches of Levante and Poniente are the most popular. Many beaches have been awarded the blue flag
6. Good for your health
The Costa Blanca has one of the healthiest climates in Europe, says the World Health Organisation. Its warm temperatures throughout the year, clean air and low rainfall make it a great place to live. The climate is particularly good for people with arthritis or asthma.
7. Standing tall in Benidorm
In Europe only London and Milan have more skyscrapers than Benidorm. Benidorm has been compared to Manhattan and New York because of its interesting look. The Gran Hotel Bali, Benidorm., is the tallest hotel in Spain standing at 186 metres high.
8. What's in a name?
The name Costa Blanca was dreamed up by British European Airways as a promotional gimmick to promote its flights between London and Valencia in the 1950s. Costa Blanca means white coast. The promotion paid off as the area is still known as the Costa Blanca.
9. Flying visit
More than nine million people fly into Alicante airport every year. It has a new terminal with plenty of shops, bars and restaurants. Quique Dacosta, who runs a two Michelin star restaurant in Denia, has a tapas bar called Airetapasbar within the airport.
10. Population Boom
Torrevieja's population doubled from 50,000 to 100,000 in seven years. It is home to more than 160 different nationalities. It is a superb holiday resort with fine sandy beaches, good road network, sports centres and shops.