Sunday, 1 March 2009

The Costa Blanca

Spain is a mountainous country and there is a relatively narrow coastal plain along much of the Mediterranean. Sometimes there is no plain at all when a mountainside drops down abruptly to the sea below. You can see houses built on slender concrete piles reaching upward for as high as three storeys on the steep slope. I imagine living there and being too scared to look down.

The houses on the mountainside in the photo are less than 10 minutes from our house. The route to my bank runs alongside a precipice. Banking is risky enough these days without this; although you never have to wait very long for service.

The beach far below in the photo is the nearest but other easily accessible beaches abound not much further away. Access to this beach was made by cutting through the cliff from landward to make the road.

You can see some evidence from the photos for the name of the region: Costa Blanca ....white coast! The name could also have been suggested by the sand, the colour of the houses, the cliffs or ....what else? All three reasons? Apparently, the name did not exist before the promotion of mass tourism led to the naming of Spain's coastal areas. And other areas might equally well have been given this name.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the mountain we overlook a green valley of orchards where the elephant looks back at us. (Montgó, the 'elephant' mountain, and an area of national parkland)


  1. Any comments on the origins of the name Costa Blanca would be welcome. And on the names of other areas of the Spanish coast. See also

  2. This is what Wikipedia says about the term 'Costa Blanca', see