Playa Flamenca: a charming seaside oasis in Orihuela Costa, Spain

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

The name of this well-located urbanization, nestled 4 km south of Torrevieja, comes from its first Belgian and Flemish settlers; they arrived in the 1960s or 70s to redevelop an area that was once farmland and olive groves.

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

Thanks to the mild climate of the Valencian Community, the weather in Playa Flamenca enjoys over 320 days of sunshine a year, the winters are short and the average annual temperature is over 18°C. This makes it the ideal resort for all seasons.

Playa Flamenca is based around two white, sandy coves, La Mosca and La Estaca, which have been awarded the coveted Blue Flag status since 1992. These are known for their crystal clear waters and serene surroundings. They are the perfect place to enjoy swimming and water sports – or just relax and enjoy the beach life.

Although a bustling shopping mall is directly on the main road (N-332) that borders the urbanisation, once you turn off this road and drive for a minute to the ‘playas’ you are surrounded by the Costa Blanca ‘natraleza’ – the ocean, palms, cacti and beach facilities presided over by lifeguards that look straight out of Bay Watch. The area abounds with colorful flowers during the summer months./

Property in this popular urbanization ranges from well-appointed townhouses with sea views 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 is accessible by the main road N-332 between Cartagena and Alicante or Torrevieja. It also has its own signposted exit (763) from the AP-7 motorway. It is just 51 km from Alicante-Elche Airport and 53 km from Corvera Airport in the Region of Murcia. It is also located between two train stations: 30 km from Murcia’s Balsicas-Mar Menor station and 31 km from Orihuela station. The town has its own bus service which connects it to other nearby destinations including the thriving towns of Torrevieja and Alicante. For those with a vehicle, the Playa Flamenca urbanization offers relatively easy and free parking.

The best of both worlds – natural and commercial

Playa Flamenca is not just a seaside resort: it combines the “naturalaza” of the seaside with nearby commerce and entertainment. The area is home to the Orihuela Costa Town Hall headquarters and within walking distance you will find a different world of large shopping malls, supermarkets – including Mercadona and Consum, a gymnasium with yoga and exercise classes, facilities medical and schools.

For those who like to dine out, the area offers a diverse range of restaurants and bars, covering many nationalities. You will find Irish, Chinese, Italian, French and of course Spanish establishments, where traditional cuisine meets modern styles.

Mall
Shopping center behind Playa Flamenca. Photo: Jo Chipchase.

According to Tripadvisor, the top three restaurants are Coffee del Mar, with its European/British cuisine; The Cellar Door, serving 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, the nearby Kasey’s Bar is popular with visitors. You are spoiled for choice!

A network of ramblas and creeks
In the urbanization of Playa Flamenca, the central element is a dry river bed, “Rambla de las Estacas”, which only carries water during the rainy season. It ends with a cove, the beach “La Estaca”, which is supervised. Here you can swim or snorkel, snorkel or have fun on boats. After all this action, you can have a refreshment and a snack at the “chirungito” (beach bar).

The promenade offers bicycles, electric scooters and fitness facilities for adults, as well as hiking routes that explore the small coves that adjoin each other. A popular “sendero” (hiking route) runs along the Rambla de las Estacas and is passable for most of the year.

If you walk past Playa La Mosca, you will find a dog-only beach, where you can exercise with your four-legged friend. For the brave there is also a designated nudist beach nearby – although this may be something many visitors choose to avoid!

If you want to go shopping without leaving the “urb”, Playa Flamenca has a market every Saturday, from 9am to 2pm, except on public holidays. This is the place to buy your fruits and vegetables as well as belts, handbags, shoes and accessories.

In the heart of golf country
Playa Flamenca is conveniently located close to two of the most famous golf courses on the Costa Blanca, both around 10 minutes 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. He holds a tournament every August to honor his name. With carefully manicured greens and panoramic views of the coast, this attractive course has been developed on the Dehesa de Campoamor and is situated between two interconnected valleys, surrounded by hills, which protect it from the wind. With a microclimate that makes it suitable for golf all year round, the golf course is accompanied by its own complex of hotels, shops and restaurants.

The Villamartín golf course is also highly rated, one of the first to be launched in the Valencia region. Opened in 1972, it was designed by legendary Californian architect Robert Putman and attracts golfers from far and wide. An “old-school” course steeped in golf history, it boasts a famous 17e hole, which is reputed to be one of the best “short holes” in Europe. The well maintained course is surrounded by plants and pine trees and offers views of the Mediterranean Sea. Famous golfers – including Severiano Ballesteros, José María Olazábal and Ian Woosnan – have played here. The clubhouse has been recently restored and has a restaurant on its roof terrace, with views of the 18e hole.

Nearby Attractions
Playa Flamenca is the perfect hub for visiting other towns on the Costa Blanca including Torrevieja, Zenia and Cartagena. A five-minute drive will take you to the Zenia Boulevard shopping center, which is one of the largest shopping centers in the entire Mediterranean basin.

If you have lively teenagers to entertain, a visit to the mist is the Go-Karts Orihuela Costa racing circuit on the road to Torrevieja. Highly ranked on Tripadvisor, this establishment offers quads and inflatables for young children, as well as go-karts. Another recommended destination for younger family members is Urban Jump – a trampoline park that offers lessons in how to jump and flip.

For creative families, the nearby Paint It ceramic modeling workshop teaches children and adults how to mix oil-based colors and create their own object to take home.

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

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

Hot property
The older part of Playa Flamenca, around the Rambla, is full of individual villas, many of which are on the front line of the beach. However, due to the small size of the coves, which limits further development, these properties are priced high. The urbanization also has a newly developed area, across the N-332, which has smaller plots and lower prices. Here you will find apartments, bungalows and collective housing projects. Some people decide to buy their own land if they want a bespoke property.

Where to stay

Hotel La Zenia
A short walk around the next cove down from La Estaca, Playa Cala, you will find Hotel La Zenia. It is right next to the beach and is also conveniently located near cafes/bars, a ‘chirungito’, shops and other facilities.

Hotel Zenia
Hotel Zenia. Photo: Jo Chipchase.

Campoamor Golf Hotel
Located 10 minutes by car 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 of the Orihuela coast. The Olive Press found the prices for accommodation and food to be reasonable and that this hotel is suitable for solo travelers and business travelers. Not just for golfers!

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