Orihuela is a traditional city located in Alicante, Spain. The city is definetly off the beaten path, promoting mountain and rural tourism instead of sun and beach. Still, besides being 30 Km away of the coast, 16 Km of beaches of the Costa Blanca belong to Orihuela's municipality. Those are known as "Orihuela Costa" and include popular residential areas on the beach like Cabo Roig or Dehesa de Campoamor.
Orihuela used to be a prestigious city for its location at the border between the Crown of Aragon and the Castile. It was the second biggest city of the Kingdom of Valencia and even the capital for a short time. But prosperity declined from the 18th century. It is said that during the War of the Spanish Succession a lighting hit the castle's powder keg, making it to explode.
Following the loss of the castle several towns depending on Orihuela were included instead in the province of Alicante, ending with Orihuela province itself dissapeared. After several natural disasters and a remarkable underdevelopement of its infrastructure Orihuela came back at the second half of the 20th century. Today is mostly known as the birthplace of the poet Miguel Hernández.
Almost half of the population of Orihuela resides in Dehesa de Campoamor (also known as Orihuela Costa), an urbanisation at the Costa Blanca. More than 40% of the population of Campoamor are foreigners, being British the most numerous group
Orihuela-Miguel Hernández is a stop in the medium and long distance trains departing from Cartagena to Valencia and Barcelona. It's also planned that the high-speed train AVE will come to the city in the next years. Orihuela is also part of the Alicante - Murcia short distance train network. The trip takes 1 hour from Alicante and half an hour from Murcia.
The buses stop next to the train station, at the Estación Intermodal de Orihuela. Currently as the train station is under construction the buses are temporary stopping several meters west from there, in the same street (Avenida de la Estación).
ALSA  serves Orihuela from several national points.
Agostense  links Orihuela with other towns of the region, includying Alicante, but the bus makes plenty of stops, taking the journey roughly 2 hours.
The motorway AP-7 or highway A-7 pass throught Orihuela. The national road N-332 goes near the coast, making it the best option to reach the beaches and the towns around them. The N-340 goes from Elche to Murcia, passing throught Orihuela.
The historic center can be explored easily on foot, but Orihuela Costa, where the beaches are located, is around 30 Km away from the city itself. Since 2011 there are daily buses once at hour conecting the city with Campoamor with the blue line (Línea Azul). A single ticket costs 1.15€.
Castle of Orihuela: The castle is in ruins since 1707, when a lighting hit the powder keg and it exploded. There are still some sections conservated, like the walls or the queen's bath.
Cathedral of Salvador and Santa Maria (Spanish: Santa Iglesia-Catedral del Salvador y Santa Maria): Initially a gothic church, it was allowed to promote to cathedral in the 16th century. Calle Ramón y cajal, no number. Entrance: 2 €.
Diocesan School of Santo Domingo: The biggest National Monument of the Valencian Community, nicknamed the Escorial of the East. Nowadays hosts a semi-privat school. Calle Adolfo Clavarana, no number. Opened Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 to 13:30 and 16:00 to 19:00; Sundays and holidays from 10 to 14. Entrance free.
Diocesan Seminary of San Miguel: One of the most remarkable buildings of Orihuela, dominating the view from the mount. Built in the 18th century its still a symbol for the Diocese of Orihuela.
Episcopal Palace: Currently hosts the Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art. Plaza de la Merced 1. Entrance:
Museum Casa Miguel Hernández: Former house of the poet Miguel Hernández, natural from Orihuela. The house is now a museum dedicated to the life of the poet. Calle Miguel Hernández 73. Entrance free.
Santa Justa bomb shelter: Only arranged visits at 965304645 or 686754027. Calle Triana, no number.
El Palmeral: Along with Elche, Orihuela hosts one of the two unique palm forest indigenous in Europe. The palm grove of Orihuela is not as big and leafy as in Elche, but its location between Mount Saint Michael and the Sierra de Orihuela marks a contrast in the landscape.
Going to the beach and water sports: In the section called Orihuela Costa there are 6 beaches covering 16 Km of coastline. Those are, from north to south: Punta Prima, La Zenia, Cabo Roig, Campoamor, Playa Flamenca and Mil Palmeras (this last shared with the neighboring town of Pilar de la Horadada). The six beaches have a blue flag recognition for high quality, but they may be overcrowed in July and August.
There are also several coves and two marinas (Cabo Roig and Dehesa de Campoamor) offering water sports for practice.
Golf: There are 5 golf fields belonging to Orihuela:
Zenia Boulevard is a popular shopping center located in Orihuela Costa. It has a direct access from the AP-7 motorway and the N-332 national road. It can be reached by bus from the city with the blue and red bus lines (stop: Zenia Boulevard). It can also be reached by bus from either Torrevieja or Pilar de la Horadada.
The food in Orihuela Costa is different than the typical food of the city inland. On the coast fish and seafood prevails, with dishes also present in other places of the Costa Blanca like caldero (fish rice dish), arroz a banda (rice in fish broth) or salted gilt-head bream.
In the city, coming from a tradition of huerta (vegetable gardens), has dishes in common with Murcia like stew with meatballs, olla gitana (stew with vegetables and legumes) or gachasmigas (solid porridge fried, ussually served with fat or chorizo).
Bar Central La Matanza (Calle Juan Carlos I 6, La Matanza): Located in La Matanza this bar-restaurant offers traditional food at good prices in a familiar atmosphere. It tends to be full.^
Bar Manolo (Calle Rio 16): Ideal for tapas. Home-style food.
Restaurante El Divino (Calle Oriolanos Ausentes 23, +34 966742633): Modern restaurant with traditional food.
Restaurante La Barraca (Avenida de las Adelfas, no number, Dehesa de Campoamor, +34 965 320 189): Nice restaurant next to the beach. One of the oldest buildings in Campoamor.