The happiest place on earth
We recently paid a visit to Caleta dels Gossets beach in Santa Pola and we have to say – move over Disneyland, this is the new happiest place on earth. Why? It is the local ‘Playa Canina’ or dog beach and as far as the eye can see, people are having fun and spending quality time with their dogs. Situated in a small cove away from the main beaches of Santa Pola, Caleta dels Gossets is the perfect place to spend the day with your four-legged friend. Unlike other towns where the dog beach is banished to a rocky outpost with little or no facilities, Santa Pola has allocated this sandy stretch for families and their pets. There are plenty of bins, a wooden walkway (slightly rickety, but good enough to get your chairs and coolbox as far as the sand) and plenty of free parking right beside the beach.
The beach itself is kept incredibly clean by dog owners – not wanting to lose the wonderful facility, everyone is very careful to clean up after their pets. A short walk down the road is a chiringuito or beach bar where you can buy snacks and drinks, but most people do as the Spanish families do and pack a picnic to enjoy under the shade of a beach umbrella.
Swimmers can enjoy the clear Santa Pola waters which are perfect for snorkelling – you can see Tabarca Island from the shore and as a marine reserve, the surrounding waters are rich in sea life. For those who prefer to stay dry, there is endless entertainment watching the many varieties of dog interact. When we visited, there were Chihuahuas, Afghan hounds and every size and shape in between. We have never seen a beach where the dogs (and the people) were so happy; the dogs chasing balls or bounding into the waves, and the people interacting and chatting as a wayward dog would bring about a conversation or a laugh among different groups.
If you are planning a trip to the beach with your dog, then this little gem in Santa Pola is well worth a visit.
Here is the Google Maps link to the beach which will give you step by step directions: https://goo.gl/maps/ADQb4jaFXnp