This ship, replica of the original, is open to the public, and a place to eat and drink in interesting surroundings. Seating areas are surrounded by tableaux showing life aboard in the 1700s, which was fairly comfortable for officers, but brutal for the serving men. There are some excellent oil paintings and display cases which also add ‘flavour’ to the visit.
For naval buffs, the details of the original vessel are fascinating. It was launched from the Havana naval yard in 1769, after two years construction and a cost of 40,000 gold ducats (about £3 million). At that time, it was the largest and most heavily armored warship afloat, almost twice the size of Nelson’s flagship, the Victory.
Set in the same Playa de La Mata beach, the Plaza del Embarcadero is the most emblematic of this district, accommodating the well known Torre de La Mata tower, built in the 14th century.
The Torre de La Mata tower is part of the group of watchtowers so characteristic of the Eastern coast. Its role was to monitor the coastline and to warn the residents before any potential pirate or Berber attacks, but it also took on a defensive function as its location boasted a protective wall, the reason for which it could be a small fortified enclosure at its origins. It has a back entrance and trabeated windows.
In the area nearby you can find a tourist information office and the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora del Rosario church. A few metres further North, on the same boundary with the municipality of Guardamar, is the saltworks canal, constructed in 1928 to allow water to enter from the La Mata Lagoon.
Nations Garden (Jardín de las Naciones) is a lovely peaceful park, despite being in quite close proximity to a busy road. It is one of the largest green areas in the city of Torrevieja at nearly 40,000 square meters. It is kept very clean and tidy and the plants and trees are very well taken care of. It has lots of water features and a lake that is in the shape of the European continent, with little bridges that you can walk over and around.
The variety of birds, including ducks and peacocks add to the peacefulness of the park. It is a fun place to visit during the day, you can pack a picnic and spend quite a bit of time there, having a nice walk around, maybe a shot on one of the rental boats and kids will love playing in the children’s play area, where they will find a giant dragon slide where they can slide down the dragons back. There are plenty of seating and shaded areas.
You can’t fail to notice this impressive castle situated on an outcrop over looking Alicante City. It’s one of the largest medieval fortresses in Europe and covers the complete summit of the Benacantil Mountain. Originally built by the Moors in the 10th century, the castle received its name from the conquest of King Alfonse the Wise that took place on 4th December 1248: Saint Barbara’s day. Over the following centuries, it was developed and extended leaving it with three main areas all dating from different eras.
Torrevieja is a delightful place for a walk along the seafront promenade. With 14 kilometers of coastline including golden sandy beaches, quirky statues to discover, beautiful Mediterranean views and boats including a historic submarine to see along the way. It’s an easy flat walk, and there are plenty of bars, restaurants, and kiosks where you can stop for refreshments.
As years faded into decades and decades to centuries, many of the ancient remains of Guardamar del Segura have been lost by the passage of time, however not all are gone and forgotten.
One important site that remains and can be seen looming over the town is the Guardamar Castle. Dating back to between the 9th and 10th centuries Guardamar Castle is unique to the west and has been declared a site of cultural interest. It was built by the Arabs to guard the land. Much of it has been destroyed, although it is still worth taking a trip to the castle for the exceptional views and photo opportunities.
The horse farm and riding stable “El Refugio” is located in the south of Valencia, about 4 km from El Bungalow 108. It lies on the banks of the blue lagoon of La Mata, only 1.5 km from the beach of the Mediterranean Sea.
No matter whether you are a beginner or advanced rider “El Refugio” has the right horse for everyone, and offers a broad range of riding programs. The ranch is open all year round, arrival and access to the various riding programs are possible at any time.
The heart and soul of Alicante is the grand La Explanada de España. Stretching around the Marina, this elegant boulevard with its red, black and cream tiles, all 6.6 million of them, refuses to be ignored. It is the most famous of all Alicante’s promenades and the most historic. It was the brain-child of the municipal architect José Guardiola Picó who, in 1867, created the ideal area to perfect the romantic Spanish custom of the Paseo (an evening stroll). With dramatic marble tiles depicting the waves of the Mediterranean and four rows of palm trees offering shade even in the heat of summer, it is a sight to behold!
Francisco Mira y Botella (1862 – 1944) was a forester who led in 1896 the reforestation of the peninsular of Guardamar del Segura and the restocking of Mount Benacantil in the city of Alicante initiated in 1912. Francisco Mira began reforestation of the dunes of Guardamar in the spring of 1896 and dedicated 28 years of his life to this work to stop coastline erosion and constructed an extension that would prevent flooding of the village. This work began with the construction of an artificial coastal dune barrier that served to fix the sand. After neutralizing this dune coast, he designed an inner slope, set by planting trees. In Guardamar town, there is a house-museum with his name and houses two statues in his memory within the reforested areas. This pine forest, currently divided into two parks called Parque Alfonso XIII and Reina Sofia Park, stretches between the city center and the beaches of Babylon and nurseries.
The Museum of the Sea and Salt is primarily ethnological and explains the complex relationship between the sea, salt and the people of Torrevieja. You will find a variety of attractions within the museum, amongst which of particular note, are the items made in the museum’s workshop. As well as maintaining and restoring the different museum exhibits, it produces exquisite work that reflects many aspects of city life. It is regarded as the most important museum of the city.