Costa Blanca extends along that section of the Mediterranean coast which corresponds to the province of Alicante, is made up of two clearly differentiated scenic sectors. To the North, a curtain of mountains runs parallel to the sea, descending at times to form cliffs; to the South, a vast plain of sand patches, palm trees and salt deposits make up the backdrop for the beaches.

If you like to travel you can choose any of the corners of this coast, from the most bustling and cosmopolitan to those which still maintain their rural air beside the sea. In any case, the trip to the nearby regions is well worth the venture for they make up a fine representation of the typical Mediterranean countryside.

From the valleys, which are covered with stepped orchards and keep alive its Moorish past, to the palm trees of unmistakable African origin, the horizons of the Costa Blanca offer the most varied attractions.

The climate offers variations as well.The temperatures are usually mild -the annual average is a little higher than 17ºC- and rain is scare, though the pluvosity is logically higher in the mountainous northern sector, in comparison with the lowlands which surround Elche and Orihuela. The fields of almond trees, the vineyards, the fruit orchards and the magnificent palm trees form a vegetation which emphasises the oriental nature of the landscape.

The Costa Blanca is so called because of its remarkably luminous skies and the long, white sandy beaches which extend over most of its coastline. It is also reputed to enjoy the healthiest climate in Europe with lots of sunshine, mild temperatures and low humidity.

The Costa Blanca of Spain offers one of the best and most extensive ranges of tourist amenities in the world through the quality of its services, its excellent climate and its cultural richness. The beaches and mountains of the province are a delight to everyone who visits. The numerous Costa Blanca areas for leisure and entertainment has been further enhanced by the opening of Terra Mitica near Benidorm, one of the most modern and attractive theme parks in Europe.

The Costa Blanca is one of the most mountainous areas in Europe with some impressive peaks right on the coast. The map of the Costa Blanca geography shows the Piug Campana for instance, a pyramid shaped mountain that overlooks Alfaz del Pi and rises to a height of 1.410 metres. You can also see on the map Costa Blancas Sierra Bernia mountain range making an impressive barrier that separates the Marina Alta from the Marina Baja and Calpe from Altea. The map shows it rising to a height of 1.129 metres, and has been likened to the Black Rock of Skye.

A good way to explore these mountains if you are reasonably fit and have time free on Saturday is to buy a copy of the Costa Blanca News and look up the Costa Blanca Mountain Walkers. You drive to their meeting place and enjoy a guided walk with good company among some wonderful mountain scenery. You dont need a map Costa Blanca Mountain Walkers already know the way. If youre not feeling so fit, a good option is to drive to a mountain village like Tarbena and enjoy the view while having a lunch of traditional Valencia, Calpe, Alicante, Altean specialities.

The whole area is dotted with Moorish castles. You can see them on the geographic map Costa Blancas most famous one being the Guadalest fortress of Al Zaraq that belonged to the Denia Taifate. From Calpe the quickest way to get there is to take the motorway entrance before Altea but turn off to the right before the toll booths and go in the Altea la Vieja – Callosa den Sarria direction then following the signs. Guadalest sits on a rocky outcrop between the Sierra Aitana and Sierra Serella and overlooks a wooded lake.

Costa Blanca national roads started with the N332 that connected all the coastal towns. This is still very useful and has been supplemented by the A7 motorway (Autopista del Mediterraneo) that the map shows running the length of the Costa Blanca with the Calpe-Benissa-Altea stretch passing through the Bernia mountain range.

The A7 motorway is fast way to get around the Costa Blanca. Calpe to Denia takes 20 minutes and Calpe to Alicante 45 minutes on an open road. Its not shown on the map but it also goes to Alicante airport making it possible to leave Gatwick in the morning and relax on your villas sun terrace by midday.

The Calpe – Moraira road winds along the bays and cliff tops to give some great Mediterranean views and it provides access to the Calpe, Benissa and Moraira coastal urbanizations. From Moraira it turns inland towards Teulada, Benitachell and Javea and the inland villages of Jalon, Alcalali and Lliber.