Torrevieja, on the Costa Blanca, is just 55 minutes from Corvera Airport Murcia and picturesquely situated between the Mediterranean Sea and the Salterns de Torrevieja saltwater lakes, providing the town with a mild and healthy micro-climate.
The saltwater lakes are a National Nature Reserve due to the abundance of wild birds that visit the area, and a key focal point for health-conscious tourists.
Torrevieja has become a popular destination for both foreign and Spanish tourists who enjoy the many facilities on offer. Many northern Europeans have made Torrevieja their permanent or second home.
The name Torrevieja, meaning “Old Tower”, refers to the watchtower that overlooked the small fishing village. Salt production was moved to Torrevieja in 1803 by Charles IV, who developed the town around the salt industry offices.
A large earthquake in 1829 left the town in ruins, but the salt basins were quickly rebuilt and re-opened.
In 1931 Alfonso XIII granted Torrevieja city status in recognition of the growing market for flax hemp and cotton imported to the area and the export of salt to continental Europe.
In the town you can visit the Museum of Salt and Sea, which recounts Torrevieja’s development over the years.
The Torrevieja coast is highlighted by fine sand and clear water, with all five beaches awarded the European “Blue Flag” for the sea’s cleanliness.
On the northern coast you will find secluded coves to explore, or bathe in saline pools beside the promenade (Paseo Marítimo de Juan Aparicio). The fishing port is also a favourite for locals and visitors, especially at sunset.
The neighbouring Murcia region’s mild climate makes this area an ideal destination for golf-lovers, who can enjoy playing at any one of 22 golf courses virtually throughout the year, with facilities to accommodate golfers of every level.
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The salt lakes of Torrevieja and La Mata provide a healthy environment for bathing in the mineral-rich waters or enjoying a beneficial mud-bath to aid such complaints as rheumatism and skin disorders, or heart and respiratory problems.
The fertile inland plains produce an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables, seafood is caught daily by the local fishing fleet, and farmed meat and game are brought down from the mountains, ensuring a rich culinary selection to suit every taste – with rice being prominent.
Traditional dishes include:
- Arroz y Conejo – Rice with Rabbit
- Paella Huertana – Vegetable Paella
- Arroz de Verduras – Rice and Vegetables
- Arroz Marinero – Seafood Rice
- Arroz y Costillejas – Rice and Ribs
- Potaje – Rich Stew Dish
- Menestra – Dish of Sautéed Vegetables
- Habas con Jamón – Broad Beans with Serrano Ham
- Caldo Murciano – Local Soup Dish
- Huevas de Mújol – Type of Caviar
Torrevieja has two patron saints, Inmaculada Concepción and San Emigdio, and their days are celebrated with processions, as well as Spain’s renowned Easter parades. One of the most famous fiestas in the region is the “Habaneras” festival of music, singing and dance, with its roots in the Middle Ages and celebrated in July.