Established on the remains of an abandoned Roman village, Santa Pola is a coastal town in Spain’s Valencian Community. Its 16th-century castle houses a fascinating archaeological museum while the surrounding beaches provide a setting for swimming, sunbathing and windsurfing.
Things to do in Santa Pola
Take a step back in time at the Museo del Mar de Santa Pola, which occupies the town’s magnificent Renaissance castle. See a recreated 3rd-century-BC cave where prehistoric hunting and fishing tools are exhibited, then learn about Santa Pola’s maritime trade with Greece. Roman mosaics, antique coins and fishing equipment are also exhibited. Classical music concerts are occasionally held within the courtyard of the Castillo Fortaleza De Santa Pola.
Santa Pola boasts plenty of beaches where you can soak up the sunshine, including palm-fringed Playa Levante and dune-backed Playa de la Ermita. Windsurfing is popular at Gran Playa and Playa Lisa while Blue Flag-rated Playa Varadero is the perfect place to kick back beneath a beach umbrella. Chiringuito bars back most of the beaches where you can grab drinks and snacks throughout the day.
Marine species native to the Mediterranean Sea are showcased at the Acuario Municipal de Santa Pola, which is the oldest aquarium in the Valencia Community. In addition to loggerhead sea turtles, moray eels and groupers, its nine saltwater tanks are also home to sea bass that have been donated by local fishermen. Also not to miss is the Esteban Gonzalez museum-ship, which offers a taste of life onboard a Santa Pola fishing vessel.
Getting around Santa Pola
Santa Pola is a 20-minute drive from Alicante and 15 minutes from Alicante Airport, which has flights to destinations across Europe and North Africa. Buses travel to Santa Polo and the town is compact enough to explore on foot.