Local Street Markets on the south Costa Blanca – a taste of real Spain
If you are fond of a bargain, want to buy fresh local produce or simply want to soak in the hustle and bustle of the typical small-town life, then you won’t want to miss the weekly markets.
Located in most major towns across the Costa Blanca, there are enough local markets to take in a different one every day of the week – perhaps even two! The largest and most popular is Torrevieja market which takes place each Friday at the custom designed marketplace near the town’s industrial estate. The market was originally located in the town centre and its move caused much controversy among stallholders and townspeople. The new venue though offers more space, better parking facilities, improved sanitation and toilets and has proved a popular choice among the general public with the new Torrevieja market location offering a much more pleasant shopping experience. In addition, the Ayuntamiento (Town Hall) has put on place a bus service with buses running to and from the market, every 20 minutes on a Friday morning. More information on the bus timetable can be found here: http://costazul.net/lineas-urbanas/linea-h-torrevieja-mercadillo-market-bus/
Another popular local market is Almoradí which takes place on a Saturday morning. The picturesque square of Almoradí is the perfect setting for a ‘cafe con leche’ after a spot of retail therapy. The square’s iconic circular trees offer welcome shade during the summer months.
TIPS AND ADVICE
Markets are busy places and as such, can be a target for criminals. While the Costa Blanca benefits from a low crime rate, tourists are traditionally a target for petty crime. While at the local market, always be aware of your surroundings. Watch your purse or wallet and never leave your bag unattended or carry money or phones in an unsecured place such as a back pocket. Don’t engage with groups playing the ‘potato game’ – it is a known scam and people in the crowd appearing to win money are often part of the gang. Take the same precautions you would at home, and if you are a victim of a crime be sure to report the incident to the police.
Bartering was once expected at Spanish markets with many stallholders setting prices high enough that a deal could be struck and the customer believing they had negotiated a discount. Now though, many prices are set. Some stallholders will chance inflating the price to see if a customer will pay it or be bold enough to bargain. The general advice is that it is not considered rude to offer a deal (for example, if you are buying more than one item) and if you don’t ask, you won’t get.
If you are buying electrical goods, ensure that the item is in good working order before you agree to hand over any money. Good practice is to ensure that if it is faulty, there is the option of returning it (by law, there must be) so always ensure that you will be able to attend the next weekly market if there are any problems with your purchase.
If you are buying clothing, some stalls have makeshift changing rooms but many do not. Savvy shoppers often try items on over their own clothing to get an idea of shape or fit – you might feel a bit foolish, but really nobody will mind and this way you can ensure that the item actually fits you before you buy it.
Beware of fake designer goods – it is illegal to sell them and also to be caught in the act of buying them. You might think you are getting a wonderful deal on a Gucci bag or a Michael Kors watch – but if you are handed a hefty fine from the Guardia Civil, the risk definitely outweighs the benefit.
MARKET DAYS AND TIMES
Guardamar ‘Lemon Tree’ market is a large market which takes place every Sunday morning. You will find fresh local produce such as fruit, vegetables, smoked meats and fish as well as clothing, shoes, sunglasses and other fashion items. Also at this market, you will find household goods, electrical items and even live animals for sale. There are plenty of cafes and bars on site offering drinks, snacks and full menus.
Here are the GPS coordinates which you can copy and paste into Google Maps: N38°03.510 W0°40.279
Zoco market is a large market which also takes place every Sunday morning. At this market, you will find more international stallholders than at Guardamar such as British stalls selling books and clothing.
Here are the GPS coordinates which you can copy and paste into Google Maps: N38°03.420 W0°44.847
Almoradí Market, as mentioned above is a very popular Saturday morning market offering a very traditional village market experience.
Here are the GPS coordinates which you can copy and paste into Google Maps: N38°06.558 W0°47.476
Playa Flamenca hosts a large market every Saturday Morning which is hugely popular with the British and Irish communities. Here you will find a mixture of the traditional and modern – stalls selling local cheese and smoked fish alongside stalls selling football paraphernalia, beach items and even British cosmetics and cleaning products.
Here are the GPS coordinates which you can copy and paste into Google Maps: N37°55.963 W0°43.594
Rojales town market takes place each Thursday morning and like Almoradí is a very enjoyable traditional market with a good mixture of local produce, shoes, clothing, crafts and household items.
Here are the GPS coordinates which you can copy and paste into Google Maps: N38°05.289 W0°43.061
La Marina village hosts its market on a Thursday Morning and again, you will find a good mixture of stalls offering foodstuffs, fashion and electrical goods.
Here are the GPS coordinates which you can copy and paste into Google Maps: N38°08.391 W0°40.677
Torrevieja’s market – arguably the largest market on the Costa Blanca, takes place every Friday morning at its new location mentioned in the article above.
Here are the GPS coordinates to the new location, which you can copy and paste into Google Maps: N37°59.783 W0°40.773
Other small and medium local markets worth a visit are…
San Miguel de Salinas Market – Wednesday morning
Callosa de Segura – Wednesday morning
La Mata – Wednesday morning
Algorfa – Wednesday morning
Albatera – Thursday morning
Campoamor – Thursday morning
Pilar de la Horadada – Friday morning
Los Montesinos – Friday morning
Morning markets usually take place from 8am until 2pm. Note that all information is subject to change due to weather, bank holidays or other local factors.