Torrevieja to La Mata Walk
The small town of La Mata is under a 10 minute drive along the coast from Torrevieja and boasts the longest beach in the area along with well kept residential and holiday homes. There are 2 bus routes from Torrevieja that take around 20 minutes or you can reach La Mata in about an hour on foot. I wouldn’t want to do the walk in the peak summer months of July and August but in the spring and autumn it is very pleasant and there are ample places along the way to stop for refreshments. I have recently written articles on La Mata town and the coastal bus route A (linea A) so thought I would take a walk to Vela Beach along the second bus route A-2 (linea A-2) and see what I could discover along the way.
I started near the edge of Torrevieja city where Los Locos Beach begins. Just before the traffic lights at the end of Avenida de las Habaneras you head away from the beach along Calle del Palangre to the T-Junction that is Calle Paris. This is the road that the bus travels along so turning right the road continues uphill and it soon becomes obvious that this residential area caters for a lot of British and northern European holidaymakers and permanent residents. The area and houses look a lot like parts of the Orihuela Costa with many modern new build properties, upmarket apartment blocks, villas and townhouses. At the first set of traffic lights there is a park on the right as well as Restaurante Pinocchio and the Black Dog Bar. Once you reach the second set of traffic lights the road becomes Avenida Jose Zorilla with welcoming parks on both sides of the road, the left one having a nice wooden bar & snack kiosk. Whilst having a fortifying beverage you can enjoy the lovely views out to sea.
At the top of the hill the bus route A-2 continues downhill towards La Mata town centre and the long main beach, with Torre Marina Commercial Centre on the right located on Calle Diana. I decided to turn right here and see what there is on the way down to Vela Beach. Torre Marina has a collection of shops, Mercadona Supermarket, small gymnasium, a large pet supplies & veterinary service and various restaurants including Goa Beach and Velia Restaurant which are both Indian. Boston Tavern was quite busy and they specialise in steaks, but be prepared to pay for the privilege. The Philly steak comes smothered in cheddar cheese at 14.20€ Their Wild West steak, otherwise know as a Carpet Bagger, is filled with prawns & mussels at 20.90€ and at the same price, the Surf & Turf is a combo of steak and prawns. A portion of veg will set you back 4€ and chips 3€.
Continue on Calle Diana and turn right at Calle Baco for about 100 metres there is a T-Junction called Calle Eneas. Here is a selection of restaurants, Rico Rico offering a 2 course menu of the day for 5.50€, and a very handy Post Room that has a passport renewal service, internet, laundry service, buggy & car seat hire, snacks and drinks and a good selection of second hand books for 50 cents. The friendly man that runs the shop is a member of a local pantomime group that put on shows, with proceeds going to charity, so be sure to pop in and ask when the next show is. They are holding a social open evening between 6.30pm – 9.00pm on Saturday 21st May at Lizzaren Tapas Bar in nearby Dona Pepa for those that wish to join or find out more about their pantomimes.
Heading left on Calle Eneas you soon get to Calle Zeus where there is a small commercial centre with a selection of popular bars & restaurants. Magani Restaurant were advertising octopus paella and veal stew and I stopped next door in Cerveceria Balcon de Lomas for a refreshing beer at 1.30€ for a half pint of San Miguel. The place was busy with a mix of Spanish, British and Scandinavians enjoying drinks and small plates of free seafood paella. The centre also has a 24hr mini mart, and something you will find quite frequent, an Indian restaurant that serves just about everything including steak, ribs, pasta, pizza, burgers and baguettes. For a cheap coffee and tostada, Cafe Mani serve coffees from 1€ and with a small shot of brandy 1.20€, a tostada with olive oil is just 90 cents. Slightly further along Calle Zeus is Zoo Discoteca then you turn right into Calle Vial de Ronda and can choose 3 right turns that will take you to Vela Beach which is about 200 metres. I walked down the hill and turned right at Calle Geraneos which has a sign pointing to Vela Beach.
Vela Beach is a lovely stretch of wide golden sand with amenities such as toilets, life guard stations, beach volleyball nets and 2 beach bars serving a range of refreshments, snacks, ice creams and cocktails. There is a nice boulevard with a selection of restaurants including La Fusion Gastro, Music Club that has superb decor, various bar areas, lounge areas, large DJ booth, dance floor and an upmarket menu. When facing the sea, if you turn right you pass a couple more restaurants then enter Avenida Notario where there is an overpriced mini mart and restaurant next door advertising a whole roast chicken, chips and a loaf of bread !! This is aimed at the hungry surfers I think but great for a family to tuck into after a day on the beach.
This is also the start of the journey back to Torrevieja and as you go uphill you pass Hotel Cabo Cervera on the left and at the top of the hill is a park with a watchtower and the Masa Hotel which are on the main coastal road connecting Torrevieja to La Mata and also the bus route A. It is downhill from here and there is no pavement for a short distance so take care if walking. Halfway down the hill is a quaint little Spanish bar with lovely tropical decor and a small second hand/antique shop next door. Whilst sitting outside enjoying a beer I noticed across the road is a colourful building called PK2, which by the pictures on the wall looks like a Go-Go Club. A little further down the hill are bus stops on both sides of the road which is where the outskirts of Torrevieja starts. The road continues past shops, bars and restaurants before entering the city at Avenida de las Habaneras where I started my journey.