The Island of Tabarca in Alicante has great charm: a fantastic all year round climate, very tasty Mediterranean cuisine and beautiful coves and beaches.
Tabarca (also called Flat Island) is the only inhabited island of the Valencian Community and at present, 59 people live there.
A magical island comparable with Ibiza or Formentera, therefore, you have to visit at least once in your lifetime!
If you like peace and quiet, visiting the island in winter will be your best option and if you like to snorkel, the island will become your dream paradise in summer.
So in order for you to enjoy the island in all its splendour and get the most out of it, we are going to give you 10 tips to make your visit to the island an unforgettable one.
How to get to Tabarca?
There are several ways to reach the island, but the most recommended way is by boat, so you can enjoy a nice journey whilst taking in the views of the Alicante coastline.
The most recommended way (if you don’t have one of your own) is to take one of the boats that leave for Tabarca from different ports such as Benidorm, Calpe, Villajoyosa, Alicante or Santa Pola.
From Benidorm (during high season) boats to Tabarca usually leave 4 or 5 times a week (according to demand): Monday, Tuesday,Thursdy,Friday and Saturday. The timetable is reduced to only two days in October. The service is not available from November.
Boats leave the port from 10.30am onwards. Times vary depending on the days and some visits are split between Alicante and Tabarca Island, spending two and a half hours in each location. For vists exclusively to Tabarca Island, the stay on the island is 5 hours. The journey time is approximately an hour and a quarter. From Alicante, several boats leave every 45 minutes daily and the journey takes between 45-60 minutes.
1-✅ Recommendation: Another option for your crossing to Tabarca is to leave from the port of Santa Pola. The cost is less as it is only 8km away and you have the option of catching the small boats at anytime. You can purchase tickets in advance on-line and collect them at the blue huts in the Santa Pola port area. The journey takes between 15 to 20 minutes depending on sea conditions.
What to eat on Tabarca Island?
Alicante gastronomy is famous and of course on Tabarca Island you can enjoy tasty rice and fish dishes in the different restaurants.
2-✅Recommendation: Don’t miss the chance to try the tasty Caldero Tabarquino, an exquisite rice dish made with stock from fish caught in the bay of Santa Pola, which is served in two parts, the first part being Gallina fish with potatoes and some aioli which is then followed by the rice. We also recommended that you try the lobster stew, the “lecholas al curricán” (Lemon Fish) or the “Potera Squid”.
Where to eat on Tabarca Island?
If there is one thing Tabarca has, it’s restaurants! Choose your favourite, for its terrace, its views, service and assistance or for its delicious food. Nou Collonet or Restaurante Gloria are two outstanding restuarants on this beautiful island.
3-✅Recommendation: If you prefer tranquil dining with great service, during the summer months on the island of Tabarca we recommend that you call in advance to book a table. A good option to escape the summer crowds is to book an early lunch around 12.30-13.00hrs or a later one, so you can enjoy a nice relaxing lunch without the masses.
What to see on Tabarca Island?
Tabarca was declared an artistic historical site in 1964 and although it is a small island, it has plenty of monuments for you to visit.
4-✅Recommendation:Follow the wall that surrounds the town and enjoy the beauty of the water breaking against the base. Visit the gates of San Rafael, San Miguel and San Gabriel and the churches of San Pedro and San Pablo, don’t miss the lighthouse, a walk through the old town, the main square and its adjoining streets.
What to do on Tabarca Island?
500 metres wide Tabarca has a lot to offer. In summer, it is a paradise for those who like water sports. You can practice sailing, windsurfing or take a boat ride around the islets that surround this pirate island. In winter, diving and rambling will be your means to enjoy this beautiful island.
Declared a Marine Reserve in 1986, it is a paradise for diving and snorkelling.
5-✅Recommendation: Should you visit the island, it is a must to discover and enjoy its ocean floor. The best places for diving around Tabarca are: La Muralla, located just before the port area, it is a shallow area where you can see large shoals of fish such as Barracudas, Breams….Don’t miss the Cova del lleó marí and the Cala el Francés, two coves that won’t leave you feeling indifferent as from these coves, you can venture 40m deep under the wall and pass from one cove to another via the communicating tunnel.
More tips for your visit to Tabarca Island
6-✅Remember to take sunscreen, water to stay hydrated, sunglasses and maybe even a hat to keep protected from the sun.
7-✅Don’t forget to wear pumps or jelly shoes, your feet will appreciate it!
8-✅ If you like snorkelling, it is essential to take a mask and flippers, however you can purchase these items in some of the little shops on the island.
9-✅Remember, if you suffer from motion sickness, prevention is better than cure!
10-✅It is imperative that you watch the sunset from the island, you’ll love it!
So, with these little tips and recommendations you’re now ready to 100% enjoy the most unique island of the Valencian Community.
Why not tell us about your adventure?
Articles published in 2018