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Nature Reserves:

Parque Natural del Hondo de Elche has two large reservoirs and surrounding ponds and salt marshes which act as the breeding ground for some 750 marbled ducks, some 80% of the current total European population  Other species you may spot include Coots, shovelers, pochard, red-crested pochard and a pair of raptors, the marsh harrier and the osprey.

Parque Natural de las Salinas de Santa Pola has large shallow salt pans, many of which are still worked commercially, where herons and avocets nest and up to 8000 flamingos are seasonal visitors.  There is also a visitors centre and museum housed in an old salt mill.

Parque Natural de las Lagunas de la Mata y Torrevieja, along with the two previous nature reserves, constitute an important breeding ground and winter home for over 100 aquatic bird species.

 

NB: If you have wheels take a brief trip out of Elche to Torre Tamarit, once a watch tower now derelict, to watch the sunset over the salt pans.  Particularly in Winter, this can be so spectacular that it has been known to draw spontaneous applause!

 

Diving:

Diving Mediterraneo is a diving school with an international flavour, hires equipment, organises dives and also does courses in English.  There is also Tevere which offers a similar service but no course in English and the Scubatribe based just outside Torrevieja.

 

Water Parks:

Aquapolis (Torrevieja) is a fun water park with a free bus service from the bus station, however Ciudad Quesada has its own water park within the town.

 

Sailing:

The Club Nautico in Santa Pola on the west side of the marina runs a sailing school.  Courses of 20 hours for both beginners and more advanced sailors cost between 150 and 180 (at time of going to print!).  It can also offer lessons in rowing for the more energetic!

Or perhaps sail with the Mundo Marino Catamaran out of Denia or Calpe.

Enjoy a great day sailing on the Mundo Marino. Silently and smoothly gliding over the blue waters of the Mediterranean they take you to the most beautiful beaches on the Mediterranean where they will anchor. While they are preparing a barbecue for you , you can take a nice swim in the crystal clear waters.

Tel: 96 642 30 66
www.mundomarino.es

 

Windsurfing and Canoeing:

From mid-June to mid-September both Ocio Nautico and Windsurf Santa Pola (in Santa Pola) hire windsurf boards (c21 per hour) and also offer classes.  Canoe rental costs are around 5 for a single and 9 for a double

 

Ice-skating:

There is an ice skating rink in Elche within the Squash Club.

 

Hot Air Ballooning:

Drift over the palm groves in a hot air balloon - call 96 663 74 01 for details and current prices.

 

Copyright 2007 R Mills & D Tester. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in part or in whole including images without permission is expressly prohibited.