The town of Benissa is set back from the coast, but take the road along the ridge overlooking the Mediterranean and you’ll find little signs indicating Calas, coves where you can find the water’s edge, swim, and perhaps snorkle a bit.
This small stretch is a snorkler’s paradise lined completely with small coves and a ton of sea life. It’s like swimming in an aquarium with so many brightly colored tropical fish and huge schools swimming by you.
For a strong swimmer and experienced snorkler, the possibilities are endless.
If you are traveling with children, I recommend Cala Advocat.
Fisherman line the end of the pier next to the small parking lot. There’s a small cafe that stays open from 1 June until 15 October that serves drinks, sandwiches, and delicious burgers and calamari. You can also order a paella here during lunch hours. The lady who runs it is very nice and has been there for over 20 years. Try her “Agua Valenciana.” It’s her own special recipe and only sold by the liter. Delicious!
When the tide is in, the beach is quite short, but it’s big enough and stretches all the way around the cove to the other side. Part sand, it’s easier on the feet than some other Benissa coves. On the right of the pier, a metal ladder allows you to get directly into the water. Here, adults will be able to stand mostly and it’s the better place to begin snorkling. The water is warm enough in early October to swim in with normal swim suits. You won’t need a wetsuit then.
For young swimmers, they will see plenty of fish swimming just to the right of the ladder as you face it. Between the ladder and some big rocks that protrude from the water’s surface, you’ll find little valleys created by other rocks with beautiful pink sea plants and many fish of various sizes. They will be impressed.
For strong swimmers, a paradise can be found be exploring the entire cove. It’s vast and full of sea life. Dive down into the valleys and see more. The current can be stronger there and the pull of the sea a bit scary, so young children should not be out there without an adult keeping careful watch. My nine-year old went out only with her father holding onto her the entire time.
There is a clean port-a-potty and free parking here.
Unfortunately, the sea isn’t as calm here as we hoped and the rocky platform is quite slippery, but for a strong swimmer, this is a phenomenal location. Quiet and secluded, you may be lucky enough to have this for yourself. It is unmarked at the entrance, but look for a large red and white sign that says, “La Chaka” and turn there following the road down to a parking lot on the left. If the tide is out, you’ll be able to easily walk out along the wide flat rock ledge that leads to deeper waters.
Like Llobella, the rock shelf here is too slippery for young swimmers and the currents too strong, but it’s also quite beautiful and would be a fantastic location for an experienced swimmer. In summer months you’ll find a cafe and bathroom here. By early October, they are both closed.
Benissa’s website is in English and has incredibly detailed information about each cove, the routes, and the sea life you’ll find. Just be aware that “calm” to the writer of Benissa’s site, doesn’t necessarily mean calm enough for children under age 12. Though we only explored three of the six coves, we found that only Advocat was really safe for the younger kids to enjoy the water.
Lodging just 15 minutes away in a quiet cove with an amazing view: http://livingingk.blogspot.com/2010/10/lodging-altea-spain.html