© Ella Ling

Torre de la Horadada, Costa Blanca, Spain

Bespoke tennis holidays for the credit crunch


Affordable Tennis Holidays in the Sun, Spain

Why go?
If you’re feeling the excesses of 2011, why not consider Affordable Tennis Holidays in the Sun, the tennis holiday your bank manager will approve of. With no restrictions on time or date, the ethos of this innovative concept is to allow guests to choose their own dates, book their own flights, select their own rental property, and plan their tennis and other activities as and when they wish. Based on the beautiful Costa Blanca, Torre De La Horadada is just 15 minutes from Murcia Airport, and 50 minutes from Alicante Airport.

Tennis facilities
Tennis sessions are sold on a ‘pay and play’ basis, so you can hit the courts as much or as little as you like, without the need to write a big cheque for an expensive package. Coaching takes place at the Montepiedra Sports Centre, home to three excellent all weather astro-turf courts based around an enticing swimming pool, and is co-ordinated by the ebullient Gareth Pritchard, assisted by Mark Butler.

Gareth offers social tennis sessions three days of the week for the expats of the Costa Blanca, which are open to any guest of Affordable Tennis Holidays. Montepiedra is also sought after for its six Padel courts. Incredibly popular throughout South America and Spain, Padel is played on an enclosed court with walls, which is roughly half the size of a tennis court. Played almost exclusively as a game of doubles, Padel players use smaller synthetic rackets similar to beach bats, but the scoring is the same as tennis.

Other facilities
If tennis isn’t necessarily the be-all and end-all, there are plenty of other activities on the Costa Blanca, starting with the huge choice of beautiful blue flag beaches, such as La Zenia, Guadamar and the Mar Menor. Golf is very popular in this part of the world, and there are three top quality courses within easy driving distance. You can also go horse riding, quad-biking, fishing, mountain biking, walking and hiking, and even try your hand at some water sports. If you fancy travelling a bit further afield, you can head to the vibrant coastal town of Torrevieja, or even to historic Murcia. For the younger guests, a trip to Terra Mitica, Europe’s largest theme park, is considered a must.

Home to an eclectic group of European expats alongside the locals, guests are able to choose from a selection of two and three-bedroom privately owned properties in the lovely coastal town of Torre de la Horadada. All have access to communal pools.

What to eat
The food in this part of Spain is excellent. I visited the famous restaurante Meson del Lago, situated in the grounds of El Castillo del Conesa, which served typical Spanish fare, such as Paella, as well as delicious meat dishes.

The idea behind Affordable Tennis Holidays in the Sun is that guests tailor it to suit them, so simply email an enquiry of when you want to go, and they’ll come back to you with a quote. The average weekly price for accommodation in July or August is 105 pounds per person, based on four people sharing a two-bed property. If you fancy something a little more structured, they do organise an annual coaching week in November for just 649 pounds per person, which includes a five-day tennis programme, seven nights quality accommodation, and pick up and drop off from Murcia Airport and the tennis venue. Accommodation is self-catering, and guests are asked to book their own flights.