The 'White Coast' extends for 200 km along Spain's central-east shore and includes the industrial but still attractive old city of Valencia as well as monstrous, package beach resorts such as Benidorm - the most visited seaside holiday spot in Spain.
You won't get a real taste of Spanish culture on the Costa Blanca as the area has been leached of indigenous interest in favour of a bland and efficient sun and sangria-seeker support system. Nevertheless, although the landscape hereabouts isn't spectacular or special in any way, the water is turquoise in the summertime, the sand while not actually white is still an attractive pale gold, and the coast soaks in more than 300 days of sunshine a year.
despite its overdeveloped resorts and Anglo/German tourist saturation, the Costa Blanca's beaches have acquired many Blue Flags and offer great value-for-money holidays.
San Juan de Alicante
Located off the town of San Juan, a northern part of Alicante city, this is a 7 km long, fine sandy beach with a Blue Flag award.
It has a fine strolling promenade, the Paseo de la Explanada, lined with trendy shops, restaurants and bars, play areas for children and various sports facilities including beach volleyball. It's easily accessed by car as well as public transport and there is an 18 hole golf course nearby.
About 85 km north-east of Alicante, Denia is known for its imposing fortress and countless sandy beaches dented by picturesque rocky bays along 20km of shore. Many of these cute curves of sand have Blue Flag status. e.g. the extensive strip of Les Marines or the beach collection of Les Rotes, with golden sand and rocky coves next to the Parque Natural de Montgo. For windsurfing and sailing, try 5 km long Les Deveses, a fine sand and pebble beach with dune backing.
If you are looking for some mad Spanish fiesta to liven up your vacation then Denia holds an annual 'Bous al Mar' festival, provoking bulls to run into the sea in July.
Levante Beach, Benidorm, Costa Blanca
Notorious for its high-rise coastline, Benidorm is sometimes referred to as the 'Manhattan of Spain' or 'BeniYork'. Astonishingly the resort has the third highest number of hotel beds in Europe after London and Paris, accommodating thousands of visitors throughout year, though it isn't easy to get a room at short notice in the high season as the rooms are booked out by tour companies offering unbeatable package deals.
On the positive side Benidorm's beach has some of the Costa Blanca's finest sand and safe, calm, azure water that is perfect for a hassle-free family beach holiday.
Playa de la Levante, a 2 km long Blue Flag urban strand is extremely popular as it is within walking distance of the town centre. Levante offers excellent amenities, sports and activities.
And it that's all too much
head for more relaxing Playa de Poniente, next to la Levante, 3km of soft golden sand just near the pleasant Park Elche.
Villajoyosa encompasses the pleasant town beach of El Centro (Ciudad), but located a bit further away, El Paradis beach offers over 1km of golden sand - with a few pebbles - and excellent facilities including varied watersports.
For tranquility, try Playa La Caleta, a small, discreet sandy cove with calm water and a stony creek. If you are a naturalist/nudist, then secluded Playa l'Esparrello is where you can let it all hang out.
Javea's coastline and typical beaches
© Pakmor, Dreamstime.com
Javea (also known locally as Xabia) is Costa Blanca's most scenic area, with relatively low-key, family-friendly resorts. The best beach is probably the rocky, shingle bay of La Granadella and its pine tree security blanket. It's only accessible by a car through the woods but getting there is a half fun. Granadella has some decent facilities and a sailing club offering a wide choice of watersports including scuba diving.
The area is also excellent for walks so that secluded beaches such as La Caleta and La Sardinera, only reachable on foot, are great stopping places for cooling your feet or for passing time in unusually isolated surroundings.
La Roda, Altea
This Blue Flag beach next to Cap Negret, La Roda offers 1.5 km of gleaming sand, clear blue waters and excellent facilities including sailing and dive centres.
El Fossa Beach, Calpe, Costa Blanca
Playa El Fossa, Calpe
La Fossa, also known as Levante, is one of Calpe's most popular beaches with fine blonde sand and an iconic 332m high rock, the Penon de Ifach, at one end (picture at top of page). The other side of the rock reveals another lovely beach, Arenal-Bol. Both beaches sport Blue Flag awards and everything you need for a good beach holiday, with lively neighbourhoods and nightlife.
More information on Costa Blanca beaches
Spain Beaches: Costa Brava | Costa Dorada | Costa de la Luz
Atlantic coast beaches | Costa del Sol