Isla de Tabarca

Just south of Alicante, Spain, in the Mediterranean Sea, there is a small island called Isla de Tabarca or Tabarca Island in English. You can get there by motor boat in 15 minutes from the small town of Santa Pola. Or you can take a glass-bottom ferry from the same location. You can also get there from the seaside towns of Alicante or Torrevieja but this takes a bit longer.

Tabarca Island harbor

The west end of the island is inhabited and includes a few Spanish restaurants, bars and small shops. Here are some photos from the inhabited end of the island.

The eastern end is more rugged and wild. There is a gravel walking path on the eastern end that goes around the edge of the island, giving you a nice view of boats sailing or moored nearby and bathers swimming and snorkelling in small coves below. The water looked very clean and clear.

On the eastern end, there is a lighthouse and a small brick Spanish government building that used to house soldiers. Both are closed to the public right now. There are lots of bushes and cacti all over the place on the island’s wild side. Unfortunately, there are very few flowers or trees to look at. The only place I saw flowers was by the locked cemetery on the very eastern edge of the island. Plus, the only living things we saw on our walk around the uninhabited half of the island were grasshoppers and seagulls. If there were any animals, they were well hidden in the brush.

Wild flowers by the island’s cemetery

Of course, if there were lots of animals, trees and beautiful flowers, the Spanish government would probably start charging people for the privilege of walking around the island. And that wouldn’t be good. For now, I would recommend Tabarca Island as a unique place to go if you are looking for something off the beaten path. It has a rough, wild beauty that reminded me a little bit of Ireland. It’s also a nice place to snorkel or have a private swim in one of its many coves.

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