A sunny city in the arms of the Mediterranean Sea
The city of Torrevieja on the Costa Blanca, south of Alicante, has attracted several thousand Finns to live in the southern warmth either for part of the year or permanently.
Torrevieja is also a popular holiday destination due to its wonderful beaches and affordable prices, where people come again and again to enjoy the sun, sea, good food and relaxed atmosphere. A lot of people also come to the city for an active holiday, for example to play golf on the nearby golf courses, which are the best in the Costa Blanca region, and which have a year-round playing season!
From a fishing village to a popular international vacation town
At the beginning of the 19th century, Torrevieja was still a traditional Spanish fishing village, which, in addition to residential buildings, had a watchtower, after which the place was named ( Torre = tower, Vieja = old). The first increase in the city’s population occurred when the salt industry began to use the port of Torrevieja to transport salt, but the population actually began to rise exponentially only in the last decades thanks to the growing number of tourists. Even today, in addition to tourism, the main industries in Torrevieja are the salt industry and fishing.
Torrevieja has therefore quickly become a very popular holiday destination, where around 100,000 residents live permanently. In the hottest tourist season, July - August, the population is many times over. In addition to Spaniards, the city is home to a significant number of Western and Northern Europeans, and especially seniors prefer the place due to the favorable climate.
A health-promoting climate zone
The sun shines on the Costa Blanca more than 300 days a year and the climate is more even than, for example, on the Spanish Sun Coast. Winters are quite mild and the temperature often rises above 15 degrees even in the coldest months, January-February. The average temperature is around 18 degrees. The unique climate is made by the salt lakes located near the city ( Laguna de La Mata and Laguna de Torrevieja), thanks to which the microclimate is health-promoting. The WHO has classified Torrevieja and its surrounding areas as one of the healthiest climate areas in the world, and for example people suffering from various respiratory symptoms, skin diseases or joint problems may benefit greatly from staying in the area’s favorable microclimate. A healthy climate is one important criterion for many retirees, which is why the Torrevieja region is selected as a place where you can spend part of the year away from the cold and wind of the northern winter. Read more about the climate in different seasons.
The day passes comfortably on the sandy beaches
Torrevieja is especially known for its wonderful long sandy beaches, and sun worshipers can choose their favorite from several beaches in front of the city. You can spend time on the beach not only enjoying the sun and the sea, but also doing various activities, because many beaches have different playgrounds and the possibility to rent jet skis for a short ride, for example. Restaurants, cafes and bars can be found on the charming beach boulevard that runs near the beaches, or Paseo Maritimo, for many different tastes, so it’s nice to visit them to refresh yourself during a beach day vacation. You can also go for a small day walk to the breakwater near the marina, where a charming walkway of almost one and a half kilometers has been built.
There are many options for active leisure time
Torrevieja and its surrounding areas offer plenty of different options for active leisure time. For example, there are many different routes for hiking and cycling in the area of the nature park around La Mata’s Salt Lake. Part of the surroundings of the salt lakes is a protected national park, the nature of which is unique, and there you can see, for example, many different species of birds.
Torrevieja also offers good opportunities for e.g. horse riding, diving or various ball sports. Golf enthusiasts especially like the Torrevieja area, because only about 10 minutes away there are four wonderful playing fields, which enable you to play all year round in a well-maintained environment.
Seniors are often seen playing pétanque and socializing in one of the city’s numerous parks or on sandy beaches. What could be nicer than spending a day outside in the sunshine in good company playing leisurely…
Lots to do for families with children
For families with children, Torrevieja offers many fun things to do in addition to beach activities. Children will certainly have fun in, for example, the European-themed park ( Parque de las Naciones ), which not only has a fun playground area with giant dragons, but also the opportunity to feed birds, fish, and turtles, and often also a bouncy castle, mini train, etc., for the smallest of the family.
On the other hand, near the beach there is a funfair area, which is open most days during the summer season, otherwise mostly on weekends. During the summer, the city’s huge water parks offer experiences and recreation for the whole family. Slightly older children will surely like to test microcar driving at Orihuela Costa (Go-Karts) or go bowling.
In the vicinity, about an hour’s drive away, there are also several experiential animal parks such as Terra Natura (Murcia & Benidorm) and RioSafari in Elche. In these, you can even swim with sea lions under the guidance of an instructor or hand-feed giraffes! In addition to the animal park, Benidorm also has a large amusement park (Terra Mitica), which, in addition to traditional amusement park equipment, has various circus-type shows.
Shop at the market or in the wonderful malls
A shopaholic will find many opportunities for shopping in the Torrevieja area. As is the local custom, it is popular to get everything you need at the market, where almost anything is sold, from vegetables and fruits to a wide variety of consumer goods and souvenirs. In the Torrevieja sports park, there is a market on Fridays, but in the surrounding areas there are enough bigger and smaller markets for every day of the week. Of course, Torrevieja also has a large modern shopping center ( Habeneras ) and in addition, there are many kinds of shops and specialty shops along the city’s main streets. The largest shopping center in the Costa Blanca area, the shopper’s paradise Zenia Boulevard is also only a 10-minute drive away in Orihuela Costa.
Cultural sites and museums
For culture lovers, Torrevieja offers several destinations worth visiting, such as the Easter Museum ( Museo de Semana Santa ) and the Sea and Salt Museum. There are few actual historical sites in the center of Torrevieja, as the city area was not inhabited until the end of the 18th century. In addition, the city was almost completely destroyed in an earthquake in 1829. The church La Iglecia Archiprestal de la Inmaculada Concepcion , located in the very center, on the edge of the Plaza de Constitution , is neoclassical in style and was built in 1844 on the foundations of the previous, destroyed church.
From Torrevieja it is easy to make trips to Alicante, Cartagena, Elche or Murcia, where there is more to see for lovers of historical sites and architecture.
The service offering is plentiful - also in Finnish
In the center you can find a huge selection of restaurants, bars and cafes. However, the nightlife is relatively calm compared to many tourist destinations. Several services are also available in Finnish. Close to Los Locos beach is, for example, the Centro Comercial Finlandes , where you can find a small shop selling Finnish products as well as other service companies. Torremarket , another shop/café selling Finnish food products, can be found near Acequio beach.
In addition, for example, the local Suomi club offers opportunities for various hobby circles, which are especially popular with seniors. On weekdays, in the club’s cafe on Calle Suecia street, you can linger over, for example, a freshly baked pastry or borrow books from the extensive library (note that the services are only for members, but the membership fee is €35/year, so it’s worth joining).
For Finns, sports trips are offered by e.g. Ahtletiq