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Island of Tabarca

Island of Tabarca

Tabarca is a Marine Reserve, about three miles, and a 25 minute boat ride from Santa Pola near Alicante. It's a couple of kilometres long and about half a kilometre wide. There's a dusty path running around the outside of the island but most visitors stay amongst the houses near the port where there are a good number of restaurants and bars. The menus tend to be based on fish as you might expect for an island!

The island is very flat and it is divided into two parts, a treeless area of level ground and a walled settlement which is entered through three gateways. The settlment was laid out to a grid plan in the 1700s on the orders of the King Carlos III to house several families of Genoese fishermen who were being held prisoner in the Tunisian city of Tabarka and also to prevent the island being used as a base by Berber pirates. The walls surrounding the town have been officially declared a Historical and Artistic Site and an Asset of Cultural Interest.

The sea is a protected marine reserve which leaves the sea and Island teeming with wildlife – both in the sea and on the shore. The only way to get to this wonderful and unique island is by ferry (unless you have your own boat – of-course) and the ferry ride is surprisingly short. What you won’t find here are hordes of tourists but what you will find is an interesting and unusual little island where you can happily spend a morning, an afternoon or even the whole day.

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