Hemingway would have been scandalized by it. These beachfront areas have an odd seasonal cycle, alive and vibrant during the summer, and nearly ghost towns during the winter. They fill up with low-cost tourism from Britain and Germany during the summers, mostly beach tourism for families, but also the kind of drunken, crazed youth tourism which generates periodic discussions here about whether this kind of public drinking should be more strictly controlled, or whether beach clubs should close earlier. (Indeed, not shown in pictures here are the vomit stains one finds all over the sidewalks in this area.) One could say they are England's Acapulco or Cozumel; instead of "Girls Gone Wild," think "Brits Behaving Badly."
|The urbanicación of La Zenia, apartment complexes and commercial centers crammed|
along the coasts of Alicante, a.k.a. "Costa Blanca."
|A typical "neighborhood" in these tourist trap beach zones.|
But what is so striking about Costa Blanca is the number of retired people from Britain and Germany who've turned these enclaves into home. In fact, it is not uncommon for some urban zones to have become largely German or British beach towns, while others cater more specifically to the domestic beach tourism industry (which means madrileños from Madrid). These retirement immigrants form a significant, but frequently overlooked part of foreign immigration to Spain.
|A British & Irish Convenience Store where expats can find supplies from home|
And let's face it, the reason all these guiris are here is because the beaches are really quite lovely. A nice discovery on this visit was the walkway along the beachfront, passing between the different calas and hugging the cliffs and rocky coasts, between the cala of the Hotel La Zenia and the Cala Capitán. A very romantic nighttime stroll!
|The beach next to the Hotel La Zenia in Alicante, with clear waters and excellent for sunbathing.|