6 Nov, 2022 @ 11:00
5 mins read

Playa Flamenca: a charming seafront oasis in Spain’s Orihuela Costa

Beach Blooms

BASED around two small and beautiful beach coves, Playa Flamenca is a popular urbanization in Alicante region’s Orihuela Costa – part of the sunny Valencian Community, which is famed for its oranges and flamingos.

The name of this well-located urbanization, nestling 4km south of Torrevieja, came from its first settlers being Belgian and hailing from Flanders; they arrived in the 1960s or 70s to redevelop an area that was previously farmland and olive groves.

Today, most inhabitants are British, German, Belgian and Scandinavian, comprising permanent residents and those who stay for part of the year, or visit for their annual holiday.

Thanks to the Valencian Community’s mild climate, the weather in Playa Flamenca boasts more than 320 days of sunshine a year, winters are short, and the average annual temperature is 18C-plus. This makes it the perfect beach resort for all seasons.

Playa Flamenca is based around two white and sandy coves, La Mosca and La Estaca, which have received the coveted blue flag status since 1992. These are known for their crystal-clear waters and serene environment. They provide the perfect place to enjoy swimming and watersports – or just lie back and enjoy the beach life.

Although a bustling commercial centre lies directly over the main road (N-332) that borders the urbanization, once you come off this road and drive for one minute down to the ‘playas’, you are surrounded by the Costa Blanca’s ‘nautraleza’ – the ocean, palm trees, cacti, and beach installations presided over by lifeguards who look like they are straight off Bay Watch. The area is full of colourful blooms in summer months./

Property in this popular urbanization ranges from well-appointed homes overlooking the sea to semi-detached houses and villas with swimming pools. The resort is a perfect place for families and retirees.

An ideally placed hub

Playa Flamenca can be accessed via the main N-332 road between Cartagena and Alicante or Torrevieja. It also has its own signposted exit (763) from the AP-7 motorway. It is a mere 51k from the Alicante-Elche airport and 53km from Corvera airport in Murcia region. It is equally placed between two train stations: 30km from the Balsicas-Mar Menor station in Murcia and 31km from Orihuela station. The town has its own bus service that connects it with other destinations nearby, including the thriving cities of Torrevieja and Alicante. For those who own a vehicle, the Playa Flamenca urbanisation offers relatively easy parking, free of charge.

Best of both worlds – natural and commercial

Playa Flamenca isn’t just a beach resort: it combines the ‘naturalaza’ of the seaside with nearby commerce and entertainment. The area hosts the headquarters of the Orihuela Costa town hall and, a stone’s throw away, you find a different world of large shopping centres, supermarkets – including Mercadona and Consum, a gymnasium with yoga and exercise classes, medical facilities, and schools.

For those who enjoy dining out, the area offers a diverse range of restaurants and bars, covering many nationalities. You’ll find Irish, Chinese, Italian, French and – of course – Spanish establishments, with traditional cuisine meeting modern styles.

Commercial Centre
Commercial centre behind Playa Flamenca. Photo: Jo Chipchase.

According to Tripadvisor, the top three eateries are Coffee del Mar, with its European/British cuisine; The Cellar Door, serving up French, Mediterranean and Asian dishes; and Leonardo Ristorante, with its Italian and Mediterranean range.  For those who feel inclined to play Bingo after their refreshments, nearby Kasey’s Bar is highly rated by visitors. You’re spoilt for choice!

A network of ramblas and coves
In the Playa Flamenca urbanization, the central feature is a dry riverbed, ‘Rambla de las Estacas’, which only carries water in the rainy season. It ends in a cove – the ‘La Estaca’ beach, which has its own lifeguard. Here, you can swim or enjoy diving, snorkeling, or messing about on boats. After all that action, you can partake of a refreshment and snack in the ‘chirungito’ (beach bar).

The promenade offers cycling, electric scooters, and adult fitness installations, as well as walking routes that explore the small coves that adjoin each other. One popular ‘sendero’ (walking route) runs along the Rambla de las Estacas and is passable during most of the year.

If you stroll past Playa La Mosca, you’ll find a designated dog beach, where you can exercise with your four-legged friend. For the brave at heart there’s also a nearby designated nudist beach – although this might be something that many visitors choose to avoid!

If you want to shop without leaving the “urb”, Playa Flamenca has a market every Saturday, from 9am to 2pm, except holidays. This is the perfect place to buy your fruit and vegetables as well as belts, purses, shoes, and accessories.

In the heart of golf country
Playa Flamenca is situated conveniently close to two of the most famous golf courses on the Costa Blanca, both approximately a 10-minute drive away.

Campoamor Golf Course
Campoamor golf course. Photo: Jo Chipchase.

A popular option is the Royal Campoamor Golf Course, opened in 1988 by HRH D. Juan de Borbón, Count of Barcelona. It holds a tournament every August to honour his name. With neatly manicured greens and panoramic views towards the coast, this pretty course was developed on the Dehesa de Campoamor and lies between two interconnected valleys, surrounded by hillocks, that protect it from the wind. With a resulting microclimate that makes it suitable for golf all year round, the golf course is accompanied by its own hotel, shop, and restaurant complex.

Also ranked highly is the Villamartín Golf Course, which was one of the first to launch in the Valencia region. Opened in 1972, it was designed by legendary Californian architect, Robert Putman, and attracts golfers from far afield. An “old-school” course steeped in golfing history, it has a famous 17th hole, which is reputedly one of the best “short holes” in Europe. The well-tended course is surrounded by plants and pine trees and has views of the Mediterranean Sea. Famous golfers – including Severiano Ballesteros, José María Olazábal and Ian Woosnan – have played here. The clubhouse was recently restored and has a restaurant on its roof terrace, overlooking the 18th hole.

Nearby attractions
Playa Flamenca is the perfect hub for visiting other towns on the Costa Blanca, including Torrevieja, Zenia and Cartegena. A five-minute drive will take you to the Zenia Boulevard Shopping Center, which is one of the largest malls in the entire Mediterranean basin.

If you have lively teens to entertain, a mist-visit is the Go-Karts Orihuela Costa racing circuit, on the Torrevieja road. Ranked highly on Tripadvisor, this facility offers quads and inflatables for younger kids, as well as the actual karts. Another recommended destination for younger family members is Urban Jump – a trampoline park that offers tuition in how to jump and flip.

For creative families, the nearby Paint It ceramic modelling workshop teaches kids and adults to mix oil-based colours and create their own item to take home.

If you drive into Torrevieja, 4km away, boat hire is available – why not while the day away on the ocean?

Electric Scooters
Get active on electric scooters. Photo: Jo Chipchase.

Hot property
The oldest part of ??Playa Flamenca, around the Rambla, is full of detached villas, many lying on the first line of the beach. However, because of coves being small, limiting further development, these properties are at a premium price.  The urbanization also has a newly developed area, on the other side of the N-332, which has smaller plots and lower prices. Here, you’ll find apartments, bungalows, and collective housing projects. Some people decide to buy their own plot of land if they desire a bespoke property.

Where to stay

La Zenia Hotel
A short stroll around the next cove down from La Estaca, Playa Cala, you’ll find the La Zenia hotel. This is directly beside the beach and is also conveniently close to café/bars, a ‘chirungito’, shops and other facilities.

Zenia Hotel
Zenia Hotel. Photo: Jo Chipchase.

Campoamor Golf Hotel
An easy 10-minute drive from Playa Flamenca, the Campoamor Golf Hotel is the perfect place to stay. It offers accommodation in comfortable apartments, a large restaurant, shop, and swimming pool, as well as views towards the Orihuela Costa. The Olive Press found prices of both accommodation and food to be reasonable, and that this hotel is suitable for single and business travellers. Not just for golfers!


La Marina Urbanisation – a home from home in the heartland of orange groves and flamingos
The Olive Press meets Darren Parmenter – tourism councillor for San Fulgencio and La Marina urbanisation in Spain’s Valencia Community

Jo Chipchase

Jo Chipchase freelanced for internet and lifestyle publications in the UK, and for Living Spain magazine, and was co-founder of Press Dispensary. She lives in the Alpujarra mountains of Andalucia with her teenage sons, dogs and a horse. Contact newsdesk@theolivepress.es

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