Fascinating Facts of the Costa Blanca
Costa Blanca literally translates in English to “White Coast”, and clearly depicts this beautiful shoreline on the south-eastern coast of Spain. With over 200 kilometres of Mediterranean coastline from Denia in the north to Pilar de la Horadada in the south, this stretch includes the major tourist destinations of Benidorm, Alicante and Torrevieja. The name “Costa Blanca” was devised as a promotional name used by British European Airways when they launched their air service between London and Valencia in 1957.
In 711 AD the Moors invaded Spain through Gibraltar and occupied the region of Alicante by 718 AD. Their occupation lasted nearly four hundred years and moulded the landscape of the region. The Moors introduced irrigation and the planting of oranges, peaches and almond orchards. The terraces seen on the hillsides throughout the region are an everlasting Moor legacy. The Moors were not completely expelled until 1492, when Ferdinand and Isabella, the catholic monarchs, finally took control of Granada. In 1095 Spain became part of the North African Muslim Empire and for another four hundred years the Moors and Christians would fight over control of Spanish soil.
Alicante was gradually regained from the Moors in 1248 by James of Aragon. However, after their expulsion the Moors continued to attack Spain and between 1500-1650 Berber pirate attacks were frequent all along the Mediterranean coastline. The first Spanish Constitution was written in 1812 and following this the provincial boundaries were established including Alicante and Murcia. In 1923 Miguel Primo Rivera took control of Spain as a dictator, eventually forcing Alfonso XIII into exile. The Spanish Civil War from 1936-1939 divided the country where Alicante and Murcia still remained supporters of the Republican movement. In 1939 General Francisco Franco, the leader of the nationalists took control of Spain.
During the 1960’s and 1970’s tourism exploded throughout the region to nearly 4,000,000 visitors a year. Today the Costa Blanca continues to maintain a well developed and fast growing tourism industry, being a popular destination for holiday makers from across the globe. With so much to offer, the area boasts some incredible picturesque seaside locations as well as fantastic towns and villages both along the coast and further inland. For active travellers, holidays to the Costa Blanca is the perfect choice thanks to its extensive range of golf courses. The all year round mild weather means you can tee off no matter when you visit. Other popular pursuits in the area include hiking, jet skiing, scuba diving, paragliding and windsurfing. The Costa Blanca has become the ideal place to base yourself for a holiday if you want to combine culture and history with time at the beach.