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Spain's Sunny Costa Blanca

Sun-seekers still flock to Spain's Mediterranean coast and its sandy beaches, and if it was some years since you last visited, you may be surprised at the improvements, especially around Benidorm.

The Costa Blanca is a playground of Mediterranean beaches, where the sun shines year-round, and the shore is lined with hotels, cabanas, yacht harbors, casinos, golf courses and promenades filled with cafes and shops. If it sounds like a riot of over development, some of it is.

But that's not to say it doesn't have its considerable charms. New resort hotels, such as Villa Casablanca in Javea, are elegant, tasteful and built back from the busy shore in well-kept grounds and gardens.

Villa Casablancas Tuscan-villa-style building stands amid a rolling green golf course, and the interior is like an art gallery of Roman artifacts and later works of art. The resort represents the new look of this part of the Costa Blanca, which is working very hard to reclaim its shoreline from earlier abuses. In fact, it is allowing no new building in many areas, and requiring unsuitable buildings on the shore to be torn down. The plan is to return much of this coast to natural shoreline.

This new determination to reclaim its character as Alicantes window on the Mediterranean redeems Benidorm and the coast around it from its previous image as a snowbird package-tour haven. In a few short years it has regained much of its old Spanish charm. Towns like Javea, Calpe and Denia have character, a happy maze of narrow stone-paved streets, and green hillsides. In their leafy plazas, flowering trees perfume the evening and shade the café tables from the afternoon sun. The weather is spring-like in mid-winter, thanks to the sheltering bulk of the mountains that line the coast.

Behind the coast are the sierras, mountains that protect the shore and account for the weather's sunny disposition here. For those who prefer walking to lying in the sun, the tourist office has a useful brochure entitled Costa Blanca Sun Routes and Excursions, which gives directions m maps and brief descriptions of 42 walking and cycling routes through rock formations, medieval villages, wetlands, valleys, gorges and ruins of Moorish castles throughout the province's varied landscapes.

With everything from elegant new resort hotels and trendy boutiques to trails to hike through the mountains and villages, the Costa Blanca now appeals to people from all over the world, and caters to all tastes and budgets.

If you would like to get to know this wonderful part of the world, visit my website: I can help you with any type of accomodation in the Javea area, whether you are looking for a short term let or you want to buy a property.