The isle of Tabarca is situated off the Costa Blanca coast, approximately 15 km from Alicante and 9 km from Santa Pola. (Also known as as Nova Tabarca & Illa Plana in Valencian & as Nueva Tabarca & Isla Plana in Spanish)
Tabarca is the largest island in the Valencian province but with just 68 full time inhabitants this makes Tabarca the smallest permanently inhabited Spanish island.
During the summer months, Tabarca is a hive for tourists and the island really comes to life. We visited in April over the easter holidays and had the most enjoyable day, the weather was warm but not too hot and as soon as the island comes into view you can see the beauty and understand why its such a popular place to visit.
Getting to Tabarca Island
There are various boat excursions to get you to & from Tabarca Island, you can catch a boat from Alicante, Santa Pola and Torrevieja starting from 10 euros per person return. we caught the fast boat there which was so much fun, it actually felt like we had taken off on a few occasions, the kids laughed and smiled the whole way there, maybe not the best option if you suffer from travel sickness though.
There are also glass bottomed boats and catamarans amongst other options, the choice is yours. You don’t need to prebook and can just turn up at your port of choice on the day, boats leave regularly from each port but there maybe discouted tickets if booking in advance online, check out Tabarca water taxi for more information.
From one end of the Island to the other
When you first arrive on the island and disembark the boat you walk away from the port with the sea to either side of you, there is a small pebble beach to the right hand side and the larger beach area is to the left. We headed towards an archway/tunnel which is the main entrance to the town although you can also follow the beach around and you will arrive in the main square.
Within the archway are these beautifully decorated religious coves that look like little windows, even if you are not religious they are lovely to see.
The island has a lovely unique feel to it, there is pathway which leads all the way through the island lined with quaint shops, bars & restaurants and a few tourist shops too.
Half way along the island you come to the main square which has a play area for children and some amazing restaurants, we only had a few tapas to share with a few glasses of vino as we had bought a picnic with us but next time we will be be trying out the Paella, it smelt AMAZING!
As you make your way to the end of the island there is a large rocky area and a few mini islands situated off the tip, other people had swam over to them and could be seen enjoying themselves. Its a great area for the kids to look for sea life in the pools of water and have some fun rock jumping (safely of course).
The views from here are stunning, looking back out to sea towards the mainland.
Picnic & chill time
After walking all around the island we decided to head back to the beach areas and found a secluded spot to enjoy our picnic whilst the kids had lots of fun exploring.
The waters around Tabarca were declared a Marine reserve in 1986, the first of its kind in Spain. In order to both enhance the marine biodiversity and protect it from over fishing, an artificial reef was also laid near the island by the Marine Reserve authorities. which has been declared a Zone of Special Protection for Birds by the EU,
Snorkelling in the clear blue waters is highly recommended, if you have a go pro camera that can be used underwater, you could get some amazing footage.
Time to head home
After a few hours relaxing on the beach we decided to head back to the port and catch a boat home, we joined the queue which looked really long but it only took about 15 minutes for us all to board the ferry, we headed to the top deck which was lovely, it gave us time to relax and take in the magnificent views on the way home.
We really enjoyed our day trip to Tabarca Island and would highly recommend you take a trip there yourself. we cant wait to visit again and may even stay in one of the small hotels so we can make the most out of our visit.
Jess @ Happy New Life In The Sun xxx