Additional Location Information
The Costa Blanca / Valencia / Alicante Province region
Declared a pleasant climate in Europe by the World Health Organization, the climate of the Costa Blanca now airs and graces. With an average of 320 sunny days a year is not surprising. Even during the winter months the temperature can still easily reach 20 ° C. January and February are the "coldest" months, although "less warm months" is more correctly. The climate works against rheumatism and sciatica.
These beneficial effects of microkimaat on the health of its residents are an added attraction. The salt lakes of Torrevieja and La Mata also are known to have a healing effect on the region have. In this healthy, warm and pleasant environment is air pollution coming out of the question and the ideal living conditions really reflect.
Alicante, the capital of the Costa Blanca, located 30 km from the apartment. Alicante has a large harbor, numerous beaches and beautiful boulevard. Several stores like "Zara" and "El Corte Ingles" are located here. But there is much more, you must see sights include the old town and castle of Santa Barbara, where you have a beautiful view over the city and the sea can enjoy. In short, in this bustling university town is plenty to do.
Santa Pola, beautiful authentic fishing port with a picturesque marina. Here you can take a boat trip to the island "Tabarca" where several fish restaurants await you at their daily fish for you to prepare.
Torrevieja, a popular seaside resort with many attractions. Several salt lakes that attract many flamingos. Torrevieja has an aqua park where children and adults can enjoy themselves. The recent open-air center "Habaneras" is highly recommended.
Elche, known for its beautiful palm trees. 5000m2 forest with no fewer than 200,000 palm trees are a must. This forest was recently declared a World. Besides the Elche palm is also known for its leather.
The Guardamar del Segura area
Guardamar del Segura
Surface area : 35 km2
Population : 16.600 (local census)
Beaches : more than 11 kms from both sides of the mouth of the Segura river.
Average annual temperature : 21°C
How to get there : National Road N-332 (Alicante – Cartagena), A7 (Alicante – Murcia) and AP7 (Alicante – Cartagena).
Distances from Guardamar : Madrid 415 kms, Valencia 220 kms and Alicante 35 kms.
Guardamar del Segura is located in the south of Spain’s Costa Blanca, some 30 kms from Alicante international airport. The majesty and beauty of the Mediterranean make this a town, with more than 11 kms of sand dunes, a unique forest on the Mediterranean and a highly protected Natural Park. Guardamar is situated at the mouth of the river Segura and possesses a variety of different local natural resources including an extensive pine forest area where different cultures from both pre-history until the present day have chosen to settle. Today’s Guardamar is a cosmopolitan town which hugely respects its own cultural tradition.
Guardamar offers a wide ranging and prestigious cuisine, both Spanish and international and a relaxing lifestyle throughout the year. The town offers a range of tourism related activities to suit all budgets and tastes. From Guardamar, you can play golf, indulge in water sports, go for a walk or visit the extremely interesting historic and pre-historic ruins.
The web page (website: hidden) offers information on culture, sports, festivities and leisure time activities.
Guardamar has traditional festivities that come round year after year. Christmas brings with it a special and magical period, full of activities for young and old alike. Christmas begins with the Opening Speech and inauguration of the town’s Nativity Crib. A variety of sporting events mark the Christmas calendar with children’s activities such as street theatre, games, magic, etc. One of the most important events is the arrival of the bun eating giant Menjabollos, who appears on the 23 December and who dances for us alongside traditional Valencian musical instruments. The Christmas period also involves the annual parade of the Three Kings.
Holy week is celebrated with splendid Easter processions, some of which include re-enactments of the Passion of Christ performed in the streets. On Easter Monday the locals follow the Valencian custom of eating the “mona de Pascua” (an Easter cake) beneath the pine trees in the Alfonso XIII park.
The arrival of summer is marked by the St John’s Night celebrations and the ancestral fire ritual which involves the building and burning of a huge bonfire.
During the second half of July, the Moors and Christians are celebrated in honour of St James (Patron Saint). The two groups parade, commemorating historical events with colour, music, fireworks and dance.
September brings the celebration of Our Lady of Fatima in the Campo de Guardamar district and in October, when the climate is somewhat quieter, festivities are held in honour of Our Lady of the Rosary, “La Mare de Déu del Rosari”, the town’s patron saint.
SPORTS AND LEISURE
Guardamar offers a wide range of cultural activities. In August they have open air musical evenings (such as the Summer Nights programme) held in the Reina Sofia Park’s Auditorium. Throughout the year, as well, the town’s Casa de Cultura offers a cultural programme which includes exhibitions, concerts, theatre, cinema, dance and conferences.
For sports’ enthusiasts, there are several different opportunities. In the water sports complex, situated at the mouth of the River Segura, Marina de las Dunas with its 498 moorings, they offer a wide range of water sports activities from scuba diving to fishing competitions, organised by the Nautical Club.
There is also a wide range of sporting facilities such as the Les Raboses Sports Complex that offers 3 football pitches – one of which is artificial grass – and the town’s multi-sport complex, Palau Sant Jaume, with magnificent facilities such as an open air pool, basketball courts, running tracks, indoor football, tennis and fronton courts. It also has an indoor pavilion with a rock climbing wall and the Manel Estiarte heated indoor pool. Golf can be played in the nearby 18 hole golf course “La Marquesa” or in any one of 4 other golf courses within less than a 20 km radius.
Guardamar’s cuisine reflects the Mediterranean’s finest – fresh daily produce from the sea and from the surrounding market garden area. It is a cuisine that includes white fish from the bay, vegetables, fruits and fresh garden produce. There stew is worth a mention, the rice from the market garden area and the spring vegetables, the arròs a banda dish or rice with rabbit and snails.
One of the most important local products is the nyora – a small sweet red pepper – dried traditionally in the sun along the sand dunes and a key ingredient in there stews and rice dishes. The Guardamar nyora differs from others because of the traditional drying process in the fine sandy dunes which is a homogeneous drying process and one which gives it its famed quality.
The traditional Guardamar fishing fleet brings the white fish from the bay : gilthead bream, halibut or grouper fish, sea bass, sole … and the much sought after Guardamar king prawn, a local delicacy in the area.
Both the nyora and our prized king prawns play a starring role in our annual Cuisine Week celebrations in June “La Setmana Gastronòmica de la Nyora i el Llagosti”. During this week, lovers of good food join local restaurants as they plan innovative and surprising recipes based on the everyday cuisine. Well known chefs such as Quique Dacosta, Sergio Torres, Vicente Patiño, Pepa Romans, Rafa Morales and Rodrigo de la Calle have been given the task of organising the Inaugural Dinner which announces the Cuisine Week celebrations. During this period, the restaurant Owners Association display for us their latest dishes and innovative menus made from there own local produce.
Guardamar del Segura’s natural surroundings are made up of a variety of eco systems, creating a unique environment.
The dunes, formed by the sand from the sea, create a sand dune cordon that covers the whole shoreline of the town, from north to south. This coastal setting, which was previously unstable due the wind and thus, threatened the town, was finally stabilised by an extensive reforestation process, started in 1900 that eventually led to the current coastal forest.
The beaches are characterised by their extremely fine golden sands and cover an area of some 11 kms. The most cosmopolitan beaches are Centre and Roqueta beaches and the most natural and unspoilt beaches are els Tossals (a naturist beach), el Camp and les Ortiques.
To the south of Guardamar lies the Natural Park of “Laguna de la Mata”, a wetland area with an important bird and nature reserve. The Park has an Information and Orientation Centre with an extensive photographic and visual exhibition of the salt ecosystem and offers a network of routes around the Park by bicycle or on foot.
The river Segura and its traditional market garden area create a unique and singularly spectacular settings where vegetables, fruit trees and citrus fruits grow in beautiful surroundings. The area at the mouth of the River Segura is known locally as “La Gola del Segura” and includes the water sports facility and the fishing harbour Marina de las Dunas.
Guardamar’s strategic position, alongside the mouth of the River Segura in the Mediterranean and its natural resources all combine to make it a place where throughout the centuries, men and cultures have chosen to settle from pre-history until the present day, especially the Phoenicians, Iberians, Romans and Islamic peoples.
King Alfonso X founded the new Christian township of Guardamar in 1271 and most of its settlers were Catalans brought here by King Jaume I. Castilian domination, however, was short lived and in 1296, Jaume II annexed it to the Crown of Aragon, bestowing on it the privileges of Valencia and the status of “Villa Real”. Due to its strategic position the walled township became the port and the most significant coastal stronghold to defend Orihuela, until it was finally burned to the ground and ransacked by Reduán and his Moorish forces in 1331. Finally, during the “war of the two Pedros”, the township’s importance was reduced to that of a village under the jurisdiction of Orihuela and it was not until 1692 when, by royal privilege of Carlos II, Guardamar was allowed to separate from Orihuela.
The walled town of Guardamar was abandoned in 1829 due to the earthquake activity in the area, forcing the population to move to the lower lands to rebuild their new town. The current town planning design of the town was put in place by the engineer, Larramendi.
Towards the end on the 19th Century, Guardamar suffered the invasion of the advancing sands. The town, the area at the mouth of the river Segura and the sea, at that time, were a desert-like area. The forestry and mountain engineer, Francisco Mira oversaw the project to stabilise the advancing sand dunes which were destroying local crops and had already buried several of the town houses.
Guardamar is a town with a rich archaeological legacy, the result of its privileged setting and variety of ecosystems. The first people to arrive were the Phoenicians who settled strategically on the south shore of the mouth of the river Segura where they found the port city site known as “la Fonteta”, one of the best preserved urban complexes in the western Mediterranean. Upstream of the river lies another of Guardamar’s fortified treasures from the Phoenician colonisation period, the “Cabeço Petit de l’Estany”, with its walls and vaults.
Iberian culture is represented by the ‘Cabeço Lucero” site with its burial and funeral findings and its stone platforms akin to monumental structure and where Guardamar’s most emblematic symbol, the ‘Dama de Guardamar” was found. On the southern summit of the Castle, there is also a highly symbolic shrine, erected by the Iberians, and dedicated to a local deity.
With the arrival of the Romans, commerce and trade depended more and more on the sea and on salt and evidence of this can be seen at the coastal enclave of “ Montcaio” and the anchorage at “L’Estació”.
In the sand dunes, near the mouth of the River Segura, the “Ràbita Califal” was unearthed, a unique religious and outstanding structure in terms of peninsular Islamic culture. Other Islamic remains documented by archaeologists are the “Torre del Descarregador” and the “Ràbita del Montcaio”.
The archaeological ruin of the Castle of Guardamar is the name given to what remains of the old walled late medieval and modern site that dates from the 14th – 19th century and which was located on the hill that rises westwards from the current site of the town.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL, ETHNOLOGICAL PALEONTOLOGICAL MUSEUM
Guardamar’s ArchaeologicalMuseum is located in the town’s Casa de Cultura. It was opened to the public in 1989 and has continued to improve its exhibits, and artefacts, making information more accessible, interesting and academic to a more diverse visiting public.
The exhibits in the Museum are the result of the Museum’s own work in bringing there much of the local archaeological sources uncovered by their own research of historical events within the town’s boundary. The oldest items held there date from the Phoenician period and from the sites “La Fonteta” and “Cabeço Petit de l’Estany”. There is also a selection of Iberian terracotta vases and jugs from the Castillo Iberian sanctuary as well as funeral urns and jugs from the “Cabeço Lucero”. One of the most important items is the replica of the statue known as the “Dama de Guardamar”. The Roman collection is represented by sea and underwater findings. The Islamitic collection holds a life like representation of the Islamic prayer cell and displays a range of finds from the same site the most important of which is a collection of Islamic candles from the Caliphate period. The late medieval and modern history period holds an important collection of ceramic pottery and items dating from 14th – 19th Century belonging to the settlement of guardamar. Finally, the Ethnological Section contains various articles and information pieces dating from the most recent history of the town : the town planning design by Larramendi after the earthquake and the reforestation project of the Guardamar dunes.
MIRA’S HOUSE AND MUSEUM
Known as the Forestry House, the building is dedicated to the illustrious engineer born in Aspe in 1863. The museum reflects his work and the history of the reforestation process.
The inside of the building houses photographic display, furniture and articles belonging to him as well as details of the whole process of the sand dune reforestation project led by the Francisco Mira, himself.
The Forestry House was refurbished in 2006, opening its doors as a museum on 21 March having by then incorporated his bedroom and study as well as the meteorological observation point and stairwell from the period.
Room 1 is dedicated to Francisco Mira. We can read here about his life and some of his most famous projects, his works and the camera he used to take many of the photographs on display throughout the house.
Room 2 is a passage way which leads us to other parts of the house. This part of the museum is dedicated to the “Day of the Tree” festivity which began in 1904.
Room 3 is the bedroom of Francisco Mira and his wife.
Room 4 is Francisco Mira’s office and study where we can see the plan drawn up in 1897 which clearly shows the grave danger posed by the advancing sand dunes.
Room 5 contains a whole selection of photographs depicting the before and after of the reforestation process.
The building is one of the most well known buildings in the town and also houses the Tourist Information Office.
THE PATH OF HISTORY
Guardamar has a fascinating history, brought to life by its archaeological ruins. The Tourist Office provides an opportunity to experience the town’s historic, cultural and natural heritage. The journey allows the traveller to discover a Phoenician port town, an Islamic monastery dating from the Caliphate period, Guardamar’s medieval history and the whole process of sand dune reforestation.
1st stop : Tourist Office
Welcome and departure point for the tour. Visit Engineer Mira’s House and Museum and enjoy the “in house” DVD of Guardamar.
2nd stop : The Castle
Visit the remains of Guardamar’s fortress wall and Gunpowder Bastion. See the origins of Guardamar and its history and enjoy the splendid panoramic views of the village, the bay, the river and the farmland.
3rd stop : Els Vivers
The Forest Nursery and Forestry House date from the 20th Century. Here we learn about dune reforestation, farming systems and planting. Both facilities belong to Regional Government and this visit is done from ‘outside’ of the facilities. From the train we learn, as we continue our journey, moreabout the sand dunes and the reforestation process.
4th stop : La Fonteta (The Fountain)
Archaeological site. Visit the archaeological remains of the ‘Rábita Califal’ (an Islamic monastery) and the Phoenician port town.
5th stop : Tourist Office
Here the visit ends as you are returned to the Visitors’ Reception Centre (Tourist Office).
Departure point : Tourist Office
Duration : 2 hours
Means of transport : Tourist Train
For more information on timetablies and prices please contact the Tourist Information Office :
Tourist Info Guardamar, Plaça de la Constitució, 7
Phone 96 572 44 88 – Fax 96 572 72 92
(email: hidden) (website: hidden)