The island of Tabarca is the largest inhabited island in the Valencian Community. There is a daily service in May, leaving Alicante at 11.0 a.m. and returning from Tabarca at 17.00. The return fare is €17. During the summer months there are more services. Details can be obtained from Empresa Kontiki on 96 521 6396 or if you wish to leave from Santa Pola the you can telephone Cruceros Baeza Parodi on 608 330 422.
The island is 11 miles south east of Alicante and only three miles from the cape in Santa Pola. It is 1,800 metres long and 400 meters wide. It is a beautiful place for a weekend or a day trip. The trip takes 60 minutes from Alicante and only 30 minutes from Santa Pola.
The island dates back to the XVIII century. In 1741 the king of Tunisia invaded the island and took as his prisoners the people living there, who happened to be Genoese, but later became the prisoners of the Sultan of Argelia. In 1768, Carlos III, king of Spain paid a fee and freed them. They stayed on to make the island a military lookout, especially from the pirates who used the island to attack the Costa Blanca.
In the centre of the island is a beautiful hotel which used to be the Governors house. The area was declared a Protected Historic Artistic monument in 1964. In 1986 the island was declared a Protected Marine Reserve, covering over 1,400 hectares. There are all sorts of water activities allowed within this area. Fishing can be done with the correct permits. Scuba diving and collecting of flora or fauna is prohibited, as also are motor boats.
The island is one of the best places to sample various fish dishes.