Santa Pola, Costa Blanca, Spain
Santa Pola is not the prettiest of towns by any stretch of the imagination but it does boast some of the very best beaches in Europe (six in total).
It is the largest fishing harbour in the Mediterranean. With a population of nearly 20,000 it is a vibrant, busy town that retains a traditional Spanish feel - it is a must for anyone who loves fish and tapas.
Located 2 hours' flight from the UK, Santa Pola is around 120 miles south of Valencia and is internationally recognised as a National Park for its outstanding wetlands and salt plains and the marine reserve of Tabarca.
Although you can dive all year round, most of the scuba activity is between April and November with August being the busiest. We would recommend late September - October.
Santa Pola is just 15 minutes' drive from Alicante airport which is extremely well serviced by all the major European airports. As a bonus, all of the low cost airlines run regular, scheduled services.
Flight time from the UK is around two and a half hours.
Diving wise there is a really good mix of shore and boat diving although some of the shore dives do involve a bit of time to get to. Trust us they are worth it.
Just off the coast is the marine reserve of Tabarca which offers crystal clear waters more usually associated with the Caribbean. The marine reserve has some of the largest areas of seagrass in the Mediterranean and makes for a wonderful feeling of ‘flying’ the sub aqua meadows.
The water temperature is a balmy 28 degrees celsius in the summer with the temperature still above 20 degrees in early November.
What you can expect - seahorses, octopus, seahorses, sea bream, moray eels, octopus, seahorses.
Who to dive with:
Dive Academy Santa Pola. You’ll find them right in the middle of the harbour.