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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)

Moraira

Moraira Holidays

Perched between the rolling mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, Moraira is an idyllic fishing village that has evolved into a tourist destination over recent years. In contrast to many of the popular holiday hotspots dotted along Spain's coast, Moraira has done an excellent job of retaining its rustic charm. It has a local population of just 9,000 people, but during the high summer season this figure can swell to as much as four times that with the influx of tourists from Europe and overseas. Wherever you're staying, holidays to Costa Blanca aren't complete without a visit here.

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A Spanish gem

Due to its smaller size, Moraira differs from many of the other destinations on the coast in that it offers only a handful of accommodation options and a far more sedate bar scene. This relaxed culture takes the focus off partying and centres it on simpler pleasures, such as excellent food and the laid-back rhythms of seaside life. It might not be the best destination for party animals – but for those interested in culture, quaintness and good old-fashioned Spanish charm, it's a hidden gem waiting to be discovered.

Quick Tips

  • Catholic
  • Euro
  • Spanish
  • Approx 10,000
  • GMT +1

Lazy days on the beach

The town has two main beaches, which in comparison to other resorts along the coast might seem like a small figure. Bear in mind, however, that there aren't as many tourists here as in other resorts. Plus, both are accredited with Blue Flag status by the EU, signalling the quality of the facilities on offer and the cleanliness of the shoreline. A clutch of rocky coves are ideal for enthusiastic snorkelers and scuba divers who wish to don their masks and become acquainted with wildlife beneath the waves.

Market day

There's something about the energetic atmosphere of a local market in a rural Spanish town that can't be replicated elsewhere. Moraira's Friday bazaar by the beach is a great example. If your Costa Blanca holidays don't cover that particular day, it's possible to make a short trip to the neighbouring villages and stock up on all manner of Spanish souvenirs, from pottery to patchwork quilts, spices to home-grown vegetables. Those looking to get their dose of retail therapy won't be disappointed in Moraira and its surrounding area.

Exploring futher afield

As well as checking out the various nearby markets, Moraira is also the perfect jumping-off point for all sorts of attractions in the surrounding area. Altea, Calpe, Denia and Javea are all slightly bigger than Moraira, each with their own individual charm and each located within easy reach. The party hotspot of Benidorm is roughly a 30-minute drive away, while longer day trips can take you to a whole range of different sights.

The Vergel Safari Park near Denia is more of a zoo than a legitimate safari, but it does rescue and rehabilitate its animals from captivity and trafficking situations. You can expect to see such varied beasts as bears, dingoes, lions, panthers, tigers, ostriches and more. There's also the largest palm forest in Europe waiting to be explored in Elche, boasting more than 200,000 specimens.

Meanwhile, those with a head for heights can head up the winding roads to Guadalest, a tiny village perched right at the apex of a granite mountain. They don't call it the Eagle's Nest for nothing. Finally, the ancient town of Murcia features one of the most interesting cathedrals you're likely to see on a Costa Blanca holiday, combining a hodgepodge of different architectural styles, including Baroque, Gothic and Renaissance.

Quality leisure time

Although Moraira attracts a fair number of retirees, it doesn't mean that there's nothing to do here – in fact, it's quite the opposite. Any number of sports can be enjoyed here, including football, squash, tennis, horse-riding, go-karting and all manner of water sports. Golf enthusiasts will be spoilt for choice with three excellent courses all within easy reach of the town, while there's also a small fairground to keep the little ones happy. And when the sun goes down, the town keeps buzzing with a handful of atmospheric and enjoyable bars and pubs.