Santa Pola (
[ˈsanta ˈpola]) is a coastal town located in the
Baix Vinalopó in the
, Spain, by the
Mediterranean Sea. It has an area of 58.6 km2 (23 sq mi) and has a population of 30,000 inhabitants of whom 10,000 are residents of the nearby town of Gran Alacant.
The town has an important
salt evaporation pond known as the salines which remains in business, additionally, most of it is recognized as the
Natural Park of Salines de Santa Pola, an important
RAMSAR site. The town was settled over the ruins of a
Roman village called Portus Ilicitanus (literally, Harbour of
Elche); after being abandoned for decades, then a castle was constructed in the 16th century which marked the repopulation of Santa Pola. The town has an archeological museum covering these phases.
Santa Pola is, at present, a coastal fishing and tourist town. Population more than doubles during the summer, with people coming mostly from the rest of the
Alicante province, and also from the
France and the
UK, just to mention some. The nearby island of
Tabarca (part of Alicante) can be visited by ship.
The new town of Gran Alacant, 5 km (3 mi) north of Santa Pola along the Alicante bay, accounts for about one third of the population of the district. Next to it is the Carabasi area, a nature reserve. Gran Alacant lies only a few kilometres from
Alicante Airport and a few hundred metres from the town of Los Arenales which is located in the Elche district.
In June 2009, the
Valencian Government announced that the
Alicante Tram system will be extended southwards via Alicante Airport and El Altet, to stations in Gran Alacant and Santa Pola and then onwards to
Torrevieja before terminating in