As you’ll discover on a holiday to the Costa Blanca from Glasgow Airport, it's miles better sandy beaches, quaint traditional villages and vibrant cities are lovely enough to please even the pickiest of travellers. Of course, that's before we mention those hot summer days and mild winters.
Alicante’s historic charms
Once home to some of Alicante’s more dubious inhabitants, the spruced-up warren of ancient streets that is El Barrio surrounds the Catedral de San Nicolás de Bari and includes many of the city’s medieval buildings. Don’t miss the Iglesia de Santa María, a glorious Gothic church begun in the 14th century and completed in the 16th atop the remains of a much older mosque. Towards Las Ramblas, the imposing Ayuntamiento (City Hall) boasts an 18th-century baroque facade that’s usually festooned with flowers.
Tabarca’s protected wilderness
A one-hour boat ride from Alicante, the tiny island of Tabarca is 25 percent medieval walled town and 75 percent nature reserve. No cars are allowed and there are no ATMs, so don’t forget to bring plenty of cash. While modern conveniences are few and far between, the little town is home to a tremendously pretty church and several dainty restaurants. There’s also an ample stretch of sandy beach from which to enjoy the crystal-clear, pollution-free waters.
Benidorm’s golden beaches
It might have a less than salubrious reputation but visitors to Benidorm will be pleasantly surprised by its quaint Old Town, vibrant promenade and two spectacular blue flag beaches. Whether you plump for the lively Levante or considerably more sedate Poniente, the water is clean and the sand rubbish-free. If beach life starts to pall, Benidorm also has an excellent dive centre, which offers scuba-diving fans the chance to explore the surrounding seabed, including the local wrecks.