A superb day out for all the family is the tiny island of Tabarca, just 10 miles south of Alicante, which Charles III fortified and settled with Genoese prisoners in the 18th century (Italian surnames are still to be found in the churchyard as proof of this!) is situated just a 30 minute ferry ride out to sea from Santa Pola. You can also catch a ferry from Alicante (by the Marina) to Tabarca.
Tabarca is the only inhabited island in Valencia - but remember to take your sun lotion!
Its well worth going down to the observation deck (open 5 minutes before you land at Tabarca) as the sea life is plentiful and varied, due to Tabarca being a protected Nature and Marine Reserve since 1986.
The ride is pleasant as the sea in this part of Costa Blanca is almost always calm! Once you have arrived you can take a walk around this tiny island which is only 2km long and 400m wide (maximum).
After lunch at one of the many seafood restaurants, you will probably want to visit one of the many secluded beaches, and go for a snorkel in the transparent Mediterranean waters. Or simply relax with a glass of sangria and a good book!
From Gran Alacant, the best place to view Tabarca Island is from the cliffs by the lighthouse. Head for Santa Pola on the N332, then turn left at the top of the hill (signposted El Faro del Cabo) - this road will take you straight to the lighthouse.
All in all, a day on Tabarca Island is not to be missed during your villa holiday in Alicante!