Darlene Foster's Blog

Isla de Tabarca

Posted on: September 7, 2015

I love islands and enjoyed a day visit to a small island with a couple of friends recently. The pleasant boat ride, forty minutes from Torrevieja, took us to Isla de Tabarca. I fell in love with this place the minute we docked in front of the old church and stone walls. This charming island with a watch tower, a lighthouse and the remaining walls of the old fort, has a number of ocean view restaurants, a beach and shallow coves for swimming and snorkelling. We discovered a small museum, closed when we arrived but opened an hour before we were to return, giving us an opportunity to learn more about the fascinating history of this island which is also a protected marine reserve.

Our transport to the island

Our transport to the island

Church and walls

The Church of St. Peter and St. Paul and walls of the fort greet us as we arrive.

The beach

The beach

Portal into the village

Portal into the village

Tabarca is the smallest permanently inhabited islet in Spain with approximately 68 inhabitants and was the refuge for Barbary pirates up to the end of the eighteenth century. It was settled in the mid 1700s when a group of shipwrecked Genoese sailors needed a home and protection. King Carlos III of Spain allowed them to live on the island where he built a church, fort, watchtower and lighthouse, in exchange for them to warn him of any threatening marauders.



The Church of St. Peter and St. Paul, completed in 1775, was undergoing renovations so we were unable to go inside.

The houses were unique and colouful

Unique and colourful houses



Clear turquoise waters in the many coves

Clear turquoise waters in the many coves

Stunning scenery was everywhere we looked! The east end of the island is completely different from the west end. We walked along an arid path to the lighthouse at the end, passing through a graveyard of giant cactus.



Not only did the lighthouse provide protection to the sailors and fisherman from the island´s rocky coastline, it was also a school for lighthouse keepers.


Nou Collonet, the restaurant were we enjoyed a delicious lunch with a fabulous view. Note the wall made of scallop shells.


The island is 1,750 m (5,741 ft) long, 300 m (984 ft) at the widest part and absolutely flat. We managed to walk around the entire island and have a leisurely lunch in the five hours we were there. It was a perfect day.

CIMG2826 (1)

photo by Inke Piegsa

Everyone loves a pirate!!

34 Responses to "Isla de Tabarca"

Looks like a place I’d love to visit! Beautiful photos.

You would just love it!

What a charming place to visit! Thanks for sharing it with us!

It was so wonderful. Thanks for dropping by.

I haven’t heard of that area before, what a beautiful place to take a trip. I love the pale creamy stonework, and your lunch spot looks fabulous. You’re looking tanned and lovely, too. 🙂

Thanks. It is a good life here with so many interesting spots to explore.

Thank you for another armchair adventure. You are taking me on side trips I’d probably never visit on my own.

Happy to do so. There are many places you´ve been that I may never see as well. It goes both ways.

Had you got your novel of ‘ Treasure Island ‘ tucked under you arm …I very much hope so . I love pirates …in a romantic sense of course . That wall of scallop shells gets my creative juices flowing .

Sorry Darlene mis spelt …should have been hope you’ve got your novel …

That wall was so cool. I didn´t have my copy of Treasure Island with me but it was on my mind.

Absolutely beautiful Darlene. Thank you so much for sharing the photos.

So glad you enjoyed travelling to this island with me via my blog!

Thanks for sharing all the fun with your photos, Darlene.
blessings ~ maxi

It´s always hard to decide which photos to share. Pleased you liked the ones I included.

It looks like a lovely place to visit and a leisurely day out. I particularly love the ‘portal’ to the village: it does make it feel special and I truly LOVE pirates (apparently I was one in a previous life!!!).

I am sure you were a pirate in a previous life, but a friendly one! It was such a lovely way to spend a day.

What a fun tour. I absolutely love all of the beautiful photos. Felt like I was there with you. I enjoy your explorations!

Happy to have you join us on this unique island.

That sounds really cool! 😀

This sounds like a perfect adventure. I bet it was a wonderful day. Love you.

It was great. The only thing missing was you. Love you too. ❤

what a beautiful place! Thanks for sharing so many pictures.. i feel like I went on a mini vacay!

Thanks for visiting Hilary. So pleased you enjoyed your armchair vacation!

What a fun adventure Darlene – I’d like to go to a lighthouse keeper school!

Me too. It isn´t open any more but what a cool place to attend if it was. 😀

Oh my goodness! Such beautiful pictures! I want to go. 🙂 Sounds like you had a wonderful adventure!

Spain has so many cool little out of the way places like this. It was so much fun.

More stonework, beautiful church and lighthouse. Looks like a nice ride to and from, as well.

Old stonework is everywhere in Spain. I loved the boat ride over and back. I had to remind myself that I was on the Mediterranean!!

[…] Ruth, Darlene and another travel writer friend took a boat trip to the Isla Tabarca, where they had a wonderful time exploring this small but interesting Mediterranean island. We were able to get into the museum free using our BCATW press pass! You can read more about this trip on Darlene’s blog. […]

Sadly the beach was in a bad way when I visited, apparently it suffered badly in the storms of last December.

Those storms did a lot of damage. They have tidied up the ones around here but some are still a mess.

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