Spain’s ‘cheapest seaside town’ is ‘horrific’ and ‘like a council estate’ | Travel News | Travel

Spain’s most affordable coastal town, Torrevieja, has been likened to a « horrific British estate but with sunshine » by one disgruntled holidaymaker who described it as « the most horrific place I have ever been ».

Torrevieja is a bustling town of 82,000 residents nestled on Spain’s eastern coast in Alicante, just south of Benidorm and across from the capital, Madrid.

The Costa Blanca town boasts lengthy waterfront promenades that stretch along sandy beaches backed by resorts.

During the summer months, the town basks in almost continuous sunshine and clear blue skies, making it an idyllic seaside destination for sun worshippers and those who enjoy a dip in the sea.

Adding to its appeal, Torrevieja was recently named as the Spanish coastal town with the most affordable hotels by price comparison publication Which?, with the average room costing just £77 per night – half the price of upscale San Sebastian and glamorous Puerto Banus in Marbella, and £50 cheaper than Benidorm.

A survey polled over 1,200 Brits about their opinions on Spanish seaside towns with populations of 350,000 or fewer.

The results revealed that San Sabastian was the overall favourite, while Puerto Banus ranked last.

With the average nightly stay in both regions setting one back by more than £150, holidaymakers might instead prefer the less expensive Torrevieja.

A refreshing pint of local ale can be enjoyed for a little over €2 (£1.72), presenting an even better deal than the famously economical Benidorm.

A wallet-friendly dinner out is priced around €12 (£10.30), while a lavish three-course meal for two demands a budget of just €50 (£43).

UK travellers can easily reach Torrevieja, as it lies just 40 minutes away from Alicante Airport which provides convenient connectivity with airports such as Luton, Stansted, Manchester, East Midlands and Birmingham.

Despite its appealing prices, there have been mixed reviews about the seaside town, according to the Mirror.

« I was working in Spain recently and had the misfortune to end up in Torrevieja. In my opinion, it is without doubt the most horrific place I have ever been, like a council estate with the sun – except it was rainy on the day I had to go there, » lamented one very unhappy Tripadvisor user.

Adding another strand of humour, a second Tripadvisor critic remarked: « I think everybody should visit Torrevieja, it will increase their appreciation of all other places in Spain. »

A third critic didn’t hold back, remarking: « Go to Torrevieja if you like your English breakfast and pizzas because that is all you will get. I could not find a decent Spanish restaurant anywhere. All the restaurants on the promenade are pizzerias. You don’t even have to know a word of Spanish to get by because everyone in Torrevieja is either English or working in the tourism industry. »

In a recent Which? survey, Torrevieja didn’t come out much better, landing fifth from the bottom and scoring poorly across categories such as friendliness, food and drink, and attractiveness.

Yet, some locals stood up for the town, suggesting that visitors need to spend more time exploring the centre before passing judgement.

« Torrevieja has a lovely promenade and a marina area with Spanish tapas bars and restaurants. It’s really sad that some people judge a place on a quick drive through some back streets without having the foresight to actually get out of the car and have a look around before forming an opinion, » defended one resident.

If you happen to visit Torrevieja, don’t miss the quaint Museo del Mar y de la Sal. It showcases exhibits that delve into the town’s fishing and salt-mining history.

Also worth a visit is the Lagunas de la Mata-Torrevieja Nature Park, where you can explore trails and two unique salt lakes – one pink and the other green.

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