Torrevieja

The salt and the sea are the inseparable elements which have marked the history and determined the present-day reality of Torrevieja. At the beginning of the last century there was only a watch-tower, the old tower and a few houses. In 1802 the La Mata salt-flat offices moved to the present site, bringing about the rapid urbanisation of the former Torrevieja. The proximity of the slat-flats and it being an exporting port both of salt and the horticultural produce of La Vega Baja led to the growth of port and town, which gained its independence from Orihuela in 1820. Today it produces about a million tons of salt, mostly exported, making it the prime European salt-producer.

The International Competition of Habaneras and Choirs, of International Tourist interest, is held in homage to the people of Torrevieja who traded with Cuba, the former Spanish colony and homeland of the Habaneras which the sailors sang on their return. Salt and sea are the two inseparable elements that have marked the history and determined the present-day circumstances of Torrevieja.

At the start of the 19th century in the townA?s current location there was only a watchtower, an old tower and a handful of houses. In 1802 the administration of the Mata salt-flats transferred to its current location and brought about the rapid urbanization of Torrevieja. The proximity to the salt-flats and its position as a port exporting salt, fruit and vegetables produced in the Vega Baja of the Segura River resulted in the rapid development of the port and the city. It gained its independence from Orihuela in 1820.Today it is one of the leading European producers of salt, with approximately one million tonnes each year, mainly for export. The International Habaneras and Choral Song Competition, which has been declared to be of special interest to foreign tourists, is held in honour of the inhabitants of Torrevieja who traded with Cuba, a former Spanish colony and home to the Habaneras sung by the sailors on their return.

The lakes have been declared a Nature Reserve due to their wetland ecosystem and for the ecological habitat they provide for migratory and nesting birds. Modern day Torrevieja has other significant features including the Modernist Casino and the Church of the Immaculate Conception which are located in one of the commercial and residential areas of the town respectively. In this area can also be found the monument to the Coralista and the Museum of the Sea and of Salt, which explains the history of the sea and of the salt industry which are representative of TorreviejaA?s past. Walks can be taken to the fishing wharf and boat trips taken along TorreviejaA?s coastline. There are several magnificent sandy beaches including Los Locos, El AcequiA?n, Los NA?ufragos, La Mata and El Cura. The southernmost beach, the NA?ufragos beach, offers a range of amenities. The Cura beach is situated between the Levante dock and the Punta Carral. Across from the Punta Carral is the Los Locos beach. The longest and most northern beach is the la Mata from where excursions can be made to the tourist vantage point of the Moro Tower, one of the medieval towers that give Torrevieja its name.

Gastronomy:
Caldero (fish stew), rice with peas and fresh anchovies, Sangochao de jibia (cuttlefish) and Mojaorico de rajA?. Throughout the city there are all types of meals for all budgets.

Art:
Salt boats and ceramics.

Monuments:
Tower of the Moro, Modernist casino, salt flats, Monument to the Man of the Sea, church of the Immaculate Conception.

Cultural Attractions:
Sea and Salt Museum (670 68 38) and Easter Week Museum (571 31 20) situated in the UrbanizaciA?n Los Angeles.

Festivals and Events:
Patron saint feast day celebrations are held on the 8th of December in honour of the Immaculate Conception, with giants and large carnival figures. An International Habaneras and Choral Song competition is held during the first week in August. In July the A?Queen of SaltA? is elected. Other important festivals are held during Holy Week, Carnival, May Fair, and the A?HoguerasA? in June.

Situation:
Torrevieja is located between the La Mata and Torrevieja lakes. The best way of reaching it is via the N-332, which runs along the entire coast. A good road links it to the Mediterranean motorway, which traverses the Vega Baja. Situated 48 km from Alicante and 89 km from Benidorm.

Tour of the town:
Tower of the Moro and the MojA?n, Zorra Higuera and Ferris coves.

Sports:
You can play golf at Las Ramblas (96.532.20.11) and VillamartA�n (96.676.50.51). A range of activities is on offer in the marinas of the Royal Yacht Club (96.571.01.08) and at the International Marina (96.571.36.50). There are flying and horse riding clubs (96.670.62.41) and a sports stadium.

Information source: costablanca.org

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