A small paradise: removed from the world, it’s a place to simply be happy
The island of Tabarca is the largest almost inhabited island (very little population in winter) in the Valencian Community. It’s one of those ‘ecological’ places. In truth. This island off the coast of Alicante, southeast Spain, is just under 2km long and no more than half a kilometre wide. The population fluctuates between a few dozen in winter and around hundred in summer. There are no roads, mainly because there are no cars. Tabarca is indeed one of those “ecological” places: it sits at the centre of a 1400-hectare marine reserve where fishing and scuba diving are strictly controlled, making these pristine waters some of the best in Spain for snorkeling. The island attracts an abundance of different fish because it is formed by materials of volcanic origin, these nutrients allow fauna to flourish which allows marine life to prosper. In fact the now endangered Mediterranean monk seal was successfully breeding here until the 1960's and it could only do that due to the quality of the marine ecology. It has also been declared a Zone of Special Protection for Birds. This status was granted in 1986.
No cars mean no noise, no parking hassles, no reason to look left and right as you cross the street, and no worries about the kids that roam the island on bikes. The rich food, and history:The restaurants of Tabarca are as good a reason as any for a visit, specialising as they do in island-caught fish cooked in island-specific ways. The caldero, a Tabarca speciality, is presented in two courses: first the rockfish, simmered with potatoes in a rich fish stock; then the rice, cooked in the same stock, with a powerful allioli (a jellylike emulsion of garlic and olive oil) on the side. Breakfast in Anita restaurante
El Campo (“the countryside”), where the only buildings are a lighthouse, El Campo, watching hoopoes swoop among the prickly pears and a cormorant colony on an islet at the far eastern end. Scrambled round a string of tiny coves, perfect for bathing (nudists allowed). Over the water, the peaks of the Sierra Aitana loomed above other mountains of the Costa Blanca. Have a walk during its spectaculars sunsets. Never forget to visit also the small and most virgin island called la Cantera, on the opposite side, and the Cala del Francés, as well.
To organize a home exchange, you need to be a member