On the eastern side of the municipal district lies the Sierra de Santa Pola, sheltering the bay from the Levante winds. Next to the coast is the Albufera, or lagoon, which plays an important role in the ecology of the area, providing a habitat for numerous species of water fowl and fish, as well as serving as a winter stopover point for various migratory species.


The oldest archaeological remains in this area tell tales of a walled Iberian settlement whose major activity was trading with other settlements along the Mediterranean.
Upon the arrival of the Romans, this town grew to be one of the key commercial ports along the coast, being named Portus Illicitanus, Following the fall of the Roman Empire and during the Middle Ages, the entire coastal area suffered a slow process of depopulation, due in part to the attacks of pirates based on the nearby Island of Santa Pola, called the isla Tabarca today.

Places of Historical Interest

Presiding over the centre of the town is the 16th century fortress castle built in the military Renaissance style. Today it contains the chapel of the Virgin of Loreto, an Aquarium displaying some of the fauna from the Santa Pola bay the Sea Museum exhibiting archaeological artefacts showing an extensive array of maritime objects and gear. Tear the castle lie the ruins of the ancient Portus Illicitanus, where you can see the Roman "Palmeral" Villa from the early Empire and a 4th century Roman fish factory, in addition to numerous Iberian and Greek ruins.


In March and April, come the Mig Any, or half-year pageants of the Moors and Christians. In June, as a prelude to summer, there is a romería, or pilgrimage, to the Hermitage of the Virgin of the Rosary on the Cape of Santa Pola. And just before Midsummer, on July 16th, local sailors hold a feast to honour their patroness, La Virgen del Carmen. But the fiestas in which emotions run highest are held from September Its to 8th en honour of La Virgen de Loreto, with street processions, parades of Moors and Christians, etc. The annual festivities cycle ends on December 10th with the celebration of the Vinguda de la Mare de Deu, or the Arrival of the Mother of God by sea.

There is always plenty to do

Practise your favourite sport from tennis, minigolf or hang gliding, to water skiing, windsurfing or sailing.
Visit the Sea Museum and the Aquarium in the Town Castle.
Have a day out in the sea and sun on the beaches of Bancal de la Arena, Varadero, Levante, Santiago Bernabéu, La Gola, El Pinet, Gran Playa, Playa Lissa or Tamarit.
In the evening, enjoy the pubs, discos and summer terraces on the seafront. Stroll round the town and the quiet walkways of the Palmeral Park or la Cenia, with recreation areas and playgrounds for the children.

Places to visit

Sail over to the island of Tabarca, visit the 18th century walled town, and have a refreshing swim in the clear, calm water (3.5 nautical miles from Santa Pola).
Save August 14th and 15th for a visit to the medieval drama of the Misteri d' Elx held in the Basílica de Santa María. At other times of year, you can view the archaeological site of L'Alcudia, the museum of contemporary Art or the famous Palm Forest of Elx (14 km. from Santa Pola).

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