The Costa Blanca is a fantastic place to live if you want to spend lots of time outdoors, and with an average of 320 days of sunshine every year you’ll certainly have plenty of opportunities to get outside.
As well as the many beautiful, golden sandy beaches that we have right here on our doorstep, there are also plenty of natural parks to explore.
Below we have listed some of the best natural parks, gardens, and open spaces in the south of the Costa Blanca for you to explore…
La Mata Natural Park
The lagoons of La Mata and Torrevieja are a protected open space located on the outskirts of Torrevieja, in the south of the Alicante province.
Covering 3.69 hectares, this nature reserve includes 2 lakes, one blue and one pink, with many paths around the lakes and through the vineyards for both short walks and longer hikes. There are also bird hides and viewpoints where you can watch many different species of birds and wildlife including flamingos.
La Mata Natural Park includes is a visitor’s centre, plenty of free parking, and a designated picnic area.
Make sure you also stop by the famous pink lake, which gets its colour from the bacteria and algae that lives in very salty environments.
El Hondo Nature Reserve
The Natural Park of El Hondo is located between Elche and Crevillent, and was designated an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in 1988. The nature reserve forms part of the lagoon area of Elche, and is home to all sorts of wildlife including around 170 species of birds.
You can stroll along the wooden walkways through the marsh land and spend time in the observatories to see many birds including herons, ducks, and flamingos.
Parque Natural El Hondo includes plenty of free parking, a visitor centre, hiking trails, and picnic benches.
Santa Pola Natural Park
Located between the salt lakes and El Pinet beach, this natural park features wooden walk ways with the lakes on one side and the sand dunes on the other. There are bird hides and watch towers from which you can observe the flamingos in the salt lakes, as well as many other species.
You can follow the sandy paths down to the beach, or continue on past the salt flats towards Santa Pola.
There are a few picnic benches and free parking at the Santa Pola Nature Reserve, but the information Centre is located at the Museo de la Sal de Santa Pola.
Palmeral de Elche
The Palmeral, or Palm Grove, of Elche is located in the centre of the city and is the name given to the system of date palm orchards that were originally planted in Roman times.
There are more than 200,000 palm trees in Elche and the Palmeral was declared a World Heritage site in 2000.
The palm groves are made up of various ‘huertos’ or orchards, with the Parque Municipal being one of the most popular. Here you will find a children’s play park, fountains, dovecote, visitors centre, and many areas to sit and enjoy a picnic.
For a small cost you can also explore the Huerto del Cura (The Priest’s Garden) which was declared a National Artistic Garden in 1943, and is home to a wide range of Mediterranean and tropical plants, cacti, and of course palm trees.
Palmeral de Orihuela
Last, but by no means least, on our list of the best natural parks on the Costa Blanca is the second largest palm grove in Europe, with around 9,000 palm trees, is found in the city of Orihuela, next to the Sierra de Orihuela mountains, occupying an area of approximately 637,400 m2.
You can stroll the many paths through the palm groves, observe the unique ecosystem of plants and animals, and visit the Interpretation Center of the Palm Grove to view the exhibitions and learn more about the conservation work being done here.
The Palmeral de Orihuela is free to visit with plenty of free parking.
Have you visited any of these natural parks before?