Travels

Tabarca, nature reserve, pirate hideaway and romantic getaway in Alicante

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The cold wind sneaks through the central opening of the transparent plastic tarp that protects the deck of the speedboat. In the sky, there is not a trace of clouds and the sun rivals without opposition to give us its sparkles on the dark waters of this part of the Mediterranean.

We are not more than 12 people - counting the two crew members - those who disembarked at the small cement pier that affects this part of the Tabarca Island. Taking into account that this gray dagger enters the waters of the first marine reserve created in Spain (1986), the truth is that they could have built it with materials somewhat more in line with the surrounding nature.

The boat's engine was turned off and after the anonymous travel companions moved away, silence takes over Tabarca.

This Alicante island, the largest - and the only inhabited - of the Valencian Community, is, out of the high season months, one of the best places on the Mediterranean coast to retire to rest and get in touch with nature. But the island of Tabarca is much more than that ...

A little history about the island of Tabarca

Although today we know it with the name of Tabarca, the truth is that the official name has varied greatly over time. The Greeks knew her as Planesia, the Romans like Planaria. During the Middle Ages, it was the Flat Island of San PabloWell, according to legend, the apostle landed here.

Entrance arch to the town of Tabarca

At the end of the 18th century, when the true colonization of Tabarca began, it was when it was given the name of New Tabarca. The reason is simple. At that time some were installed on the island 300 people belonging to 69 Genoese families who had been rescued from Tabarka Island, located in front of the Tunisian coast. There they had been taken prisoners and their rescue was paid by King Carlos III.

They were the ones who built the town of Tabarca, as well as their defenses, giving way, finally, to a fortification project that the different Spanish monarchs had been thinking since the fourteenth century. The reason was to prevent the island from being used by pirates of North Africa as a base for their incursions into the fields of Alicante and Bajo Vinalopó.

From them come today's Tabarquin surnames: Russian, Chacopino, Diver or Colomba.

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