Your holidays on the Costa Blanca
Guardamar del Segura
Guardamar del Segura
Parks and natural environments in Guardamar del Segura
Alfonso XIII Park
Guardamar del segura
Virgin beaches of Guardamar del Segura
The town
Guardamar del Segura
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History of Guardamar

Guardamar del Segura is a coastal city and municipality in the province of Alicante, in the Valencian Community, Spain. Located on the southeast coast of the province, it is part of the Vega Baja de la Segura region. It has 15 058 inhabitants (INE 2018).
In its municipal term is the mouth of the river Segura; The town is also known for its pine forest, planted at the beginning of the 20th century to slow down the advance of the mobile coastal dunes, which until then invaded the surrounding crop fields.
The center of the urban area of Guardamar is located two kilometers south of the mouth of the Segura river, which flows into the Mediterranean in its municipal area. Officially and traditionally it has always been part of the Vega Baja del Segura region.
Its municipal term has 11 km of coastline, in which they are from north to south:
Tossals Beach: located south of the border with Elche and separated from the rest of the term by the mouth of the Segura, it is a beach of “free” enjoyment. It has 500 m long and 50 wide of sand.
Playa Vivers, Playa Babilonia, Playa Centro: It has been awarded the blue flag since 1987. It is 2,600 m long. La Roqueta Beach: It has been awarded the blue flag since 1987. It is 1180 m long.
Playa del Moncayo: It has the distinctive blue flag. It is 1460 m long.
Camp Beach: It is 1200m long. Les Ortigues Beach: continues to the south with the municipality of Torrevieja

This forest area has 800 hectares of extension and was originally a set of mobile sand dunes, which were fixed through the planting of various plant species such as agaves, pines, palm trees, cypresses or eucalyptus.

There had always been a dense pine forest in the area, but in the 18th century it was cut down to build warships4 without ever being repopulated. The consequent desertification prevents the sediments of the Segura river and the sand from the sea being fixed, which, carried by the east wind, form dunes that in 1896 began to invade the northern part of the town, threatening several houses and part of the orchard.
On December 2, 1897, the Defense and Repopulation Project of the Guardamar Dunes was approved by Royal Order (broken link available in the Internet Archive; see the history and the latest version). The forestry engineer Francisco Mira y Botella addresses the task of fixing the dunes, using the so-called Bremontier method. It begins by planting lines of bark and reeds, protecting the space with Aleppo pine brush, to form palisades 80 cm high. As the sands bury it, a new series is planted, until a 4-meter high contradune is formed. Then the reeds are replaced by agaves, which grow to the beat of the dune, and the slopes are planted. With this it is possible to stop the sand coming from the sea.

Once this is achieved, you must repopulate the dunes between Elche and Guardamar. In the process, 700 hectares are repopulated with 600,000 pines (mainly Aleppo pine), 40,000 palm trees and 5,000 eucalyptus. Of the herbaceous species, nightshade, sainfoin and pegamoscas are planted, the latter being the one that provided the best results. 8 km of roads, 14 km of counter dunes, 3 nurseries, 3 forest houses, and warehouses were built. In all these works, 647,000 pesetas were invested, an amount that the engineer believed was less than the value of the buildings and lands that were saved.

The process is visited by the General Director of Agriculture, Mines and Forests in 1911 and by Alfonso XIII in 1923, which contributes to disseminating the success of the intervention.6 In 1929 the process is completed, giving rise to the current forest mass consolidated by Sea side. This pine forest, divided into two parks called Parque de Alfonso XIII and Parque Reina Sofía, extends between the city center and the beaches of Babilonia and Los Viveros.

One of the legacies of the process to the town is the tree festival in which plantations have been made in the pine forest since 1902. Originally reserved for schoolchildren supervised by the town teacher, it survives today with the support of the Guardamar City Council. It is celebrated on January 31 of each year

In the municipality of Guardamar del Segura there are several archaeological remains from Prehistory and Ancient History, such as a Phoenician site from the s. VIII a. C. and another Iberian where the Lady of Guardamar was discovered.
Possibly the name of Guardamar in Arab times was Almodóvar, being the Andalusians who fortified the population and founded, in the year 944, a caliphate rabita that is considered one of the oldest in Spain. Around 1244 Alfonso X el Sabio reconquered the area for the Crown of Castile, keeping the Muslim population. However, a general Mudejar uprising in the kingdom of Murcia in 1264 had as retaliation the expulsion of the Muslims from the population. A few years later, around 1277, Alfonso X founded the Christian town of Guardamar at the height of the current castle. The king created it as an independent municipality with the same government laws as the city of Alicante (the Fuero de Alicante). Subsequently, in 1296 King Jaime II of Aragon militarily occupied the south of the province of Alicante, and from 1304, by the Arbitration Sentence of Torrellas, he definitively passed to the Crown of Aragon, joining the Kingdom of Valencia and organizing himself politically within the Orihuela Government. In Guardamar the previous legislation and the privileges of the Villa de Guardamar were maintained. In addition, the municipality obtained the rank of Villa Real, that is, it was directly owned by the king, and was outside the aristocratic lordship regime, so it had direct representation in the Courts within the Royal Arm.

In an incursion carried out by the people of Granada in front of Rebdán or Redwan (founder of the nearby town of Redován) in 1331, the objective of which was to attack Orihuela, the population was sacked and 1,200 captives were captured. Later (1358-1359), during the War of the Two Pedros between Castile and Aragon, the castle was burned. As punishment for its weak opposition to the Castilian troops, Pedro el Ceremonioso suppressed the municipality’s status as Villa Real and its autonomy, becoming from that moment on a village in Orihuela. All these circumstances created difficulties in maintaining a stable population throughout the 14th century. The inhabitants of medieval Guardamar were mainly engaged in fishing, the exploitation of salt, and to a lesser extent agriculture, while livestock, more importantly, was in the hands of Oriolan cattlemen. There was also a floating population of smugglers, outlaws and corsairs, who took advantage of the marginal situation of the town.

This situation began to change when in 1400 Martín el Humano granted him the Puebla Charter which, together with the increase in arable land, allowed an important growth of the population. In 1558, to defend the town from Berber attacks, the wall was reinforced; In 1692, after numerous lawsuits with Orihuela and the payment of a large sum, Carlos II restored the title of Villa Real to the municipality. During the War of Succession he supported Felipe V de Borbón, for which he suffered the attack and looting of the Austracists.

The 18th century was, like the rest of the region, a century of growth based on agriculture. Cardinal Belluga bought 13,000 atahúllas (about 15 hectares) in the municipality of Guardamar for his project of the Pious Foundations; In 1770 the Rojales place was segregated from the Guardamarenco term to become an independent municipality.

At the beginning of the 19th century, a small group of liberals under the command of the Bazán brothers landed and occupied the town, proclaiming the Constitution of 1812 with the frustrated hope that the entire Vega Baja would rise up against Fernando VII.

In the background you can see the Torreta de Guardamar, the tallest structure in Spain.
In 1829 a major earthquake caused many deaths, left more than three thousand people homeless throughout the region and destroyed the medieval town, forcing the planning of a new urban area: the new Guardamar was planned with an urban planning criterion neoclassical (straight and perpendicular streets oriented from north to south and three squares arranged symmetrically) and a design of houses with a purpose of prevention against earthquakes (low houses with wide courtyards). The old site was used as a quarry for the construction of the new houses.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the Guardamar pine forest was planted to slow down the advance of the dunes and the irrigated area of ​​the term was expanded again. The 1950s greeted the first babbling of tourism that, over the years, has become the main engine of urban and demographic growth in Guardamar.

Tourism is the great driver of the local economy. Construction and irrigated agriculture are also important. The cultivation of the “Señora” is traditional and emblematic of Guardamar, as well as that of melon, lemon and orange. Fishing for prawns and elvers was a traditional and artisanal activity that has practically disappeared nowadays and has been replaced by farming in fish farms located in the sea itself. In industry, it is worth highlighting the Johnson Controls-Varta car battery factory (called Johnson Controls Autobaterías) located in the north of the term.

Phoenician port city La Fonteta. Phoenician installation located at the mouth of the Segura river, dating from the 8th to 6th centuries BC. C. Traditionally known as Alone city.

Small Tin Head. Small walled nucleus of Old Iron from the 8th and 7th centuries BC. C., located in the game of Rinconada.

Cabezo Lucero archaeological site. It consists of the remains of a necropolis and a town from the 6th to 3rd centuries BC. The Lady of Guardamar was found in this site.

Caliphal Rabbit of the Dunes of Guardamar. Archaeological site from the 10th century where the oldest rabid in Spain is found.

Castle of Guardamar. The upper part, of Arab origin, was almost entirely destroyed by the 1829 earthquake. The lower part is larger and is surrounded by a Gothic wall that underwent important modifications in the 16th century; The town was located in this lower part until the earthquake, which forced it to be rebuilt in its current location.

Municipal Archaeological Museum: It is located in the old town and exhibits a permanent collection of the findings of the excavations that take place in the area. The Lady of Guardamar stands out especially, whose origin dates around the 6th century BC. C.2

Ingeniero Mira House Museum: Located in the center, it is currently the tourist office. It was the home of the Engineer Mira, promoter and father of what is a beautiful wooded area. Today it is a museum with photographs and material used to make these photographs, at the end of the s. XIX and early XX century.

Tree Festival: It is celebrated on January 31.

Moors and Christians: The Moors and Christians of Guardamar take place the last two weeks of July.

Patron Saint Festivities: They are celebrated on October 7 in commemoration of the Virgen del Rosario. 2

Holy Week: It is formed by the brotherhoods of: the Oración del Huerto, Hermandad de la Flagellation, Ntro. Father Jesús Nazareno, Ntro. Father of the Fall, Christ of the Good Death, Ntra. Stma. Virgen de los Dolores, Santo Sepulcro, San Juan Evangelista, Stma. Virgin of the Solitude.

It is the southernmost municipality where Valencian is spoken. This language has a co-official rank with Spanish, in the municipality, and is therefore used in the local administration.

The characteristics of Valencian in Guardamar are those of the southern dialect, common to the towns located south of the Biar-Busot line. Furthermore, due to its status as a linguistic island, Guardamar’s speech has numerous characteristics of its own, especially in the lexicon, in which the influence of the Murcian dialect, spoken in the rest of the Vega Baja del Segura, is evident.

As in other areas of the Valencian Community, the use of Valencian has been decreasing throughout the 20th century. The reasons that explain this process are of a different nature. On the one hand are the policies, specifically the prohibition of Valencian in the spheres of public life during the long period of the dictatorship. In this sense, the arrival of democracy has made it possible to carry out campaigns and measures to revitalize the use of Valencian by the local population. The educational system, in the hands of the Valencian autonomous administration, has also contributed in this regard by integrating the teaching of Valencian into the general curriculum for all students.

Another reason that has accentuated this process of abandonment of Valencian is the fact that Guardamar constitutes a linguistic island surrounded by nearby populations of Castilian linguistic predominance, of the 27 municipalities that make up the region of Vega Baja, none of them speak Valencian except in Guardamar; It should be noted that this situation was always of limited importance: Despite being an isolated Valencian-speaking nucleus, the town of Guardamar continued to use Valencian regardless of the political and historical evolution of the country, from the end of the 13th century until a few decades ago; This is a phenomenon that is repeated in other areas of the community.

The fundamental reason for this change in trend in favor of Spanish is the tourist and economic development of the area, which has multiplied the population of the municipality, attracting a large stable immigrant population and an even greater number of vacationers for more than forty years. from other parts of Spain and the rest of Europe. According to data from the 1991 census of inhabitants, 41.8% of the population of Guardamar del Segura could speak Valencian and only 20.5% of the population was able to read it

Basketball: The Guardamar Basketball Club was founded on May 13, 1986, currently it is the active club with the longest uninterrupted years in competition in the town. It started with a single team that was active in the senior category. At that time, the meetings were being held as a venue at the Reyes Católicos Public School. At that time there were no lower categories or municipal sports schools.
Soccer: Sporting Guardamar Club de Fútbol is currently the only club in Guardamar del Segura. Every year a campus is held, the Juanma Ortiz campus which is held from July 4 to 9 July.

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