A day in Tabarca

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The old pirate island

Have you ever spent a day in Tabarca? The island in front of Alicante and Santa Pola normally is flooded with tourists. Since tourism is just slowly restarting, now is a great moment to visit this island. It is actually the only inhabited island of the Valencian Community and therefore unique. Tabarca is roughly 1800 meters long and about 400 wide.

Many years ago Tabarca was a haven for pirates and later fishing became the main source of income for the islanders. Today its natural heritage and its crystal clear waters are considered a Mediterranean Marine Reserve. In addition to its architectural heritage, is an attraction for tourism.

How to get to Tabarca?

a day in tabarca

Being an island, it is obvious that the only way to get there is by boat. There are multiple companies that provide ferry services to and from the island. For example, you can hop on a boat that takes you there from Alicante or Benidorm. But most ships sail from Santa Pola, as this is actually the town closest to the island.

Things to do on the island?

One of the main attractions of Tabarca is the local marine reserve. The flora and fauna that the island offers is a must-see for nature lovers and divers alike.  The seaside surface of Tabarca is a large mainly flat rock, you can walk around it in about an hour. On the far point of it the remains of the only cemetery on the island are still visible.

a day in tabarca
The village on the land side of the island shows the rich history it has. The San Pedro and San Pablo church is the most emblematic building of the village on the island. Founded in the 18th century, it is the first building you see when you approach the island from the coast. After stepping on the pier of the harbor you can see the fortified walls that surround the village. They declared these walls a Historic-Artistic Site and a Site of Cultural Interest. Towards the other end of the island stands the lighthouse, which was inaugurated in the 19th century, in the middle of the island.

In the village, the “Nueva Tabarca” Museum opens its doors for the public from Wednesday to Sunday from 11.00 to 18.00 hrs. The entrance fee is 2 euros.

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Is it possible to spend the night?

a day in tabarca

The island offers magnificent sunsets and should not be missed. Therefore, it is recommended to spend at least a day and one night in Tabarca. However, there are limited accommodations available in the town. But like we said before, not many tourists have returned at this moment. Because of that, it is a perfect getaway for a mini vacation.

What to eat here?

Tabarca once was a fisherman’s village and with such origin, it is logical that fish is an important ingredientBetween the harbor and the village, there are several restaurants that serve typical Mediterranean dishes well worth trying. Because the island is such a tourist attraction prices are above average at about €20 per person. One of the specialties is fish stew (Caldero de Pescado) which is prepared with a fish called Gallina. Another famous plate is rice with lobster (Arroz con bogabante).

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