5 Facts You Might Not Know About Torrevieja
7th October 2019
Have you ever wondered what the name Torrevieja means? Or why Torreviejan restaurants once served paella in a Yorkshire pudding? The former fishing and salt-mining town of Torrevieja is a fascinating place, full of unusual and interesting facts…
1. The name Torrevieja means “old tower”
In Spanish, the name of the town translates as ‘torre’ (tower) and ‘vieja’ (old). The name dates back to the late 1700s, when the only building on the site of the town was a guard tower.
2. You can visit the ‘twin’ of Torrevieja’s namesake
The town’s original old tower no longer exists, but in the park just off Avenida Alfredo Nobel, visitors can explore the well-preserved Torre del Moro – a tower built as part of the same system of coastal watchtowers erected along the Costa Blanca. Like the old tower, the structure dates from the late 17th century, but stands on the foundations of a much older watchtower, dating from around the 14th century. These towers were used to defend the coast from enemies who – through history – have included Berber pirates from North Africa and Moorish invaders.
3. Torrevieja was founded on salt
As visitors can discover at Torrevieja’s Museum of the Sea & Salt, this is a town which owes its existence to the white savory seasoning. The local salt lakes (Las Salinas) played a crucial role in the development of Torrevieja, allowing a valuable salt-mining industry to emerge. Interestingly, in the early years of Torrevieja’s salt industry, other Spanish regions were not major customers. Instead the majority of Torreviejan salt was shipped to Sweden and the Netherlands during the 19th century.
4. Torrevieja is a multicultural melting pot
While the majority of Torrevieja’s residents are Spanish (61.2%), population statistics from 2018 show the town to be an impressively international place. In fact, the town is home to people of 121 different nationalities.
5.6% of residents are British, 5.1% of Torreviejans are Russian, 3.3% are Ukranian citizens, 3% of the population is Morrocan, while Swedes, Columbians and Germans each contribute 1.2% to Torrevieja’s diverse demographics.
In the early 2000s many British visitors bought property in the area. For a period the town gained the nickname “Costa del Yorkshire” in some circles. Some restaurants even served paella in Yorkshire puddings in honour of the new residents! The proportion of British residents has reduced in recent years.
5. Torrevieja enjoys hot Augusts and wetter Novembers
The summer in Torrevieja arrives in June, when average maximum temperatures reach 27°C. The summer reaches its average maximum peak of 30°C in August. In balmy September, light rain reappears, rising to 8.4mm of average rainfall in November. Winters in Torrevieja last from December to March, with average minimum temperatures never dipping below 7°C, and maximum temperatures of 18°C. Overall, Torrevieja enjoys an envy-inducing average of 320 days of beautiful sunshine every year.
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