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Author: Jeroen Korving

The Costa Blanca: white beaches, perfect food and outstanding golf

27 June 2016
12 min. read
Jeroen Korving
The Costa Blanca corresponds to the coastline of the Province of Alicante, which itself is part of the region of the Community of Valencia. With its ragged mountainous interior and miles of glorious sandy beaches, subtropical vegetation and sunny climate this is a popular destination for holiday and golf. Time for a full golf guide to the Costa Blanca.
Broad view across the championship course at Las Colinas (Photo credits, member Jeroen)

If you value pitoresk villages along the coast with a historic centre then you should head North to cities like Benidorm, Denia or Jávea. If you are into golf – like us – then head to the South of Alicante. This part of the Costa Blanca however is not a clear beauty… The cities along the coast, like Torrevieja, have a 70’s atmosphere and are not very pretty in our opinion. But you will find plenty bars and restaurants along the boulevard. And more importantly, you’ll find a lot of nice golf courses.

Where to play in the Costa Blanca area?

If you fly to Alicante airport (like we did), then you have quite an array of nice golf clubs to choose from. The best golf clubs near Alicante are Alenda Golf (very close to the airport, so great to play when you arrive or leave), Font del Llop Golf Resort, the golf courses of Golf Quara (Villamartin, La Finca, Las Ramblas), Las Colinas Golf & Country Club, El Valle Golf, Hacienda Riquelme, Roda Golf, Haciende del Alamo, Alhama Signature Golf, Alicante Golf and La Manga Club (with three courses).

Alicante Airport (airport code ALC) is currently the sixth largest airport in Spain and is the gateway to the Costa Blanca region. Growing in size continuously over the past years, in March 2011 the airport got a brand new terminal building, replacing the old two terminals. We were really suprised by the quality of the airport. You can also decide to fly to Murcia-San Javier Airport (airport code MJV). This airport is smaller than Alicante Airport.

We decided to stay and play at the best resort in the area, Las Colinas Golf & Country Club, according to golfers on Leadingcourses.com. So Las Colinas actually was our starting point for this trip.

The Beach Club of Las Colinas in Torrevieja which is free for guests (Photo credits: Las Colinas)

Las Colinas has quite a lot of villa’s which can be rented and apartments. We stayed in two apartments, which were modern, clean and pretty spacious. For families these apartments are fine, they are equipped with a kitchen, two (or three) bedrooms, a living room and terrace. For a group of guys -like us – I would recommend a large villa, but the apartments were a good alternative. The breakfast is great, but you’ll have to take the car to the clubhouse for that. Not a big problem, because you probably want to play a round of golf anyhow ;-).

The clubhouse at Las Colinas is nice. It has a nice terrace overlooking the 18th green, a sushi-restaurant, a bar and a nice pro-shop. The practice area, so the putting green, chipping area and driving range are very close to the clubhouse and we always appreciate that. And check out the Beach Club of Las Colinas in Torrevieja, it’s really nice and has a great infinity pool!

Las Colinas Golf & Country Club

View to the clubhouse and terrace overlooking the course (Photo credits, member Jeroen)

When driving up to Las Colinas, you immediately notice the size of the property. We stayed in the Las Colinas Residences, which were a few kilometers away from the clubhouse and golf course. Las Colinas also has quite a selection of nice villa’s, so those are also a good option when deciding to stay at Las Colinas. Breakfast in the clubhouse is very good and sitting on the terrace with a view of the 18th green is a great way to start the day.

The clubhouse is nice and the facilities are great. A good driving range (you can hit from the grass), good putting greens and the course itself is also good. All the buggy’s have GPS and all par 4 and par 5 holes have a fly-over. The buggy has a warning system if you come too close to the greens and the buggy will stop. Don’t panic, the reverse will work. In our case the reverse did not work, so on one occasion it was pretty difficult to get our buggy to work again (pushing it back with four guys was the only option). The buggy will also indicate if you are ahead or behind schedule. For some people this might feel a bit patronizing.

As said, the golf course is good. It has really nice and interesting holes. The course is not easy, so for high-handicap players this course might be considered too difficult. The course has quite a lot of holes with water hazards, so bring some extra balls if you are not straight from the tee.

The proshop is very nice and is well stocked. Las Colinas also has a nice sushi restaurant. There is also a mini-market if you are staying in the villa’s or the appartments. The appartments (Las Colinas Residence) which we rented were nice and modern and suitable for 3-4 guys or a small family (2 kids). There are 2 nice swimming pools. The carpark has a automated gate, so your car is safe and can be parked in a shaded private parking.

PS: just across the street you will find another golf resort: Real Club de Golf Campoamor. It has experienced some difficulties and maintenance has been a problem, but it seems to have improved. If you want to save some money, then Campoamor might be a cheaper alternative than Las Colinas.

El Valle Golf

When playing El Valle you think you are in New Mexico or Arizona (Photo credits, member Jeroen)

El Valle Golf is a real fun golf course to play. Yes, it’s quite a drive (40 minutes from Las Colinas), but it is well worth the trip! The course is really different from the other courses in the region. It’s really a desert course, with rocky ‘mountains’, spinifex bushes and lot’s of sand, rocks and bunkers. The course is not very difficult, but nice and fun. El Valle Golf has some holes which I will certainly will remember and I left the course with a smile on my face. The starter was very friendly (he was also the one driving around with the catering buggy).

On the driving range you can hit from the grass which is very nice. The practice area could need a little care and attention, it looked a bit ‘tired’. But you could see that El Valle Golf has invested some money on important things, like the tee-boxes which looked nice (round) and new. Fairways and greens were also good, which must be a challenge in this kind of climate.

The terrace afterwards is nice, the club house is ok but looks a bit worn in some areas. Some areas could need some attention, especially the hall from the pro-shop to the restaurant. The restaurant however looked nice.

What could be improved? For first-timers it’s not very clear where to go once you have paid your green fee in the proshop. Hole 1, the putting green and driving range could be better indicated.  All in all a really fun golf course and a must-play when you are in the Alicante region!

Alenda Golf

Alenda Golf at sunset (Photo copyright and credits: Alenda Golf)

Alenda Golf provides you with good price-quality ratio. The clubhouse is impressive and has a nice terrace overlooking the 9th green. The clubhouse is huge and has everything, a pro-shop, a kids corner, a gym and much more. The fact that it is so big makes it a bit impersonal, it looks a bit like a mall or car park. The provided buggy’s were really new and very good.

The golf course has some really nice and fun holes. The greens had been aerated when we played here, so it’s was difficult to keep your line. Still, greens were fair (but a bit slow). Some yellow patches on the fairways, but considering the climate that’s difficult to avoid. We played at 10.00 o’clock and at time the course was pretty wet and muddy. So, the course does receive enough water.

Along the course you have quite some holes with difference in heights, either elevated greens or tee-boxes. Hole 18 is also a good finishing hole with a lake on the left and a uphill green. Nice. The course is not too difficult. There are however some long par 3’s, par 4’s and par 5’s. So you need to have some distance.

Some points to improve? Not for the course, but mainly some tips for the restaurant. We thought the tapas were not up to par. We ordered a selection of tapas, but we received cold chicken legs, some surimi-salad and fried eggs with bacon. Not our idea of Spanish tapas. We were also not very impressed with the main courses. We really expected something nice of the Alenda Special Hamburger, the Club Sandwich and the entrecôte with french fries, but this was not up to par with the whole experience.

Also the fact that you have to buy towels for the shower (6 euro) is not very hospitable. We do not mind paying for towels, but we do not actually want to buy them. When leaving for the airport you don’t want a wet towel in your suitcase. We understand that some people might take the towels, but there are ways to prevent this without too much trouble. The showers on the other hands were very nice by the way and there was even a sauna.
All in all, a good course fairly close to the airport. A great stop-over when you fly out in the evening. But then having good food and providing towels for a nice shower would be a great asset.

Where to eat?

When visiting an area it is always wise to ask the locals where to go. We can certainly recommend the food at Las Colinas, it’s really good and not too expensive. But we can understand that you would like to eat somewhere else, preferably overlooking the sea! When you are staying at Las Colinas, then Torreveija is the closest city along the Mediterranean Sea. The first night we went to Velero Restaurant, which was really great. Good seafood, but also the steaks were great. The waiter was really friendly and enjoyed his job. Don’t run away when you are in front of the restaurant, just walk around the building and there you’ll find a nice terrace on the beach.

Our second night we went to the boulevard of Torrevieja and selected the best restaurant according to Tripadvisor at that time: Sunset Beach Restaurant & Bar. Make sure to book, if you want to sit on the terrace. We managed to get a table inside. The atmosphere is a bit posh, but the food is really excellent. You will love every dish here. If you want a great starter, then go for the lobster bisque! It’s the best soup I've ever had, also according to the other lads!

What to do (besides golf)?

“Los Baños de la Reina de El Campello”, or “la Illeta dels Banyets” is an outdoor archaeological site located on the peninsula of Campello. It is a pretty amazing location, because ancient Roman fishing hatcheries can be found on site and there are still some objects from the Bronze Age or the Iberian era preserved. The place is very special because the clear water contrasts with the surroundings. Bathing there is something curious, among other things because the waves practically do not get to cross the walls which means there is little movement in the water. The place can be visited for a small fee and is easy to drive and to park in a vacant lot next door.

View of the beach of Granadella  - Cala de la Granadella - near Jávea (Photo credits: Diego Delso - Wikimedia Commons)

Villages: Jávea is a small village of the Valencian community and many consider this the smallest and cutest town of the white coast. The beaches are amazing – The Granadella is one of the local’s and swimmers’ favorite – and during the summer it’s not so crowded like other towns. Denia is a little larger than Jávea. It’s about 8 kilometers and has all services you need. One of the best places is the castle located in the highest part of the city, but if you go to Denia you cannot leave without eating any of the Valencian paella that are served in the restaurant’s at the port.

Altea and Calpe are two very dear villages for the Alicante people and can both be visited in one day. Altea is a small town beside the sea and although the views are very nice, what really attracts tourism is its old town. The best route is to park your car on the boardwalk and walk up to get to the narrow streets of the town with white houses. Altea has a special atmosphere and is a good place to eat and spend a morning or afternoon.

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