Shopping is a pleasure in Santa Pola as the majority of shops and services are centrally located or close to the beachfront. Exploring the shops in most Spanish towns and cities reveals a good amount of traditional speciality shops. By this we mean delicatessens, butchers, fishmongers, bakeries, pastisseries and chocolatiers. Sadly with the convenience of supermarkets this is a dying tradition in many countries around the world. Not in Spain as the locals want the best of the best when it comes to certain food products and will only use supermarkets for select items.
Wandering the streets of Santa Pola you will find it hard to miss many of the speciality shops. You only have to follow your nose and the wonderful aromas will reveal bakeries or pastisseries. Delicatessens, butchers and fishmongers tend to use large display windows and counters to showcase their products. Pop into some of these places while out shopping and you certainly won't be disappointed. Bakeries offer all sorts of freshly baked goodies and often double as a pastisserie. Butchers and fishmongers really know their trade and will trim and prepare your purchase, as well as advise on the right cuts for certain dishes. Then you have delicatessens which are a meat lovers dream with all sorts of delicious cured meats, sausages and pickles.
By and large supermarkets in Spain are modern, clean and efficiently run with well stocked shelves and friendly staff. Even though the majority of staff do not speak English, they will endeavour to help with your inquiry. A problem that may arise with visitors that don't speak the language is, all products are labelled in Spanish. Usually this is not too much of a bother as you can see what you're buying. Also bear in mind, when the supermarket is not busy staff will often be taken off checkout to stack shelves. However, when queues form more staff will be called.
When grocery shopping in Santa Pola there are several supermarkets to choose from. You have the large national chains such as Mercadona, Mas y Mas and Consum. The popular French chain Carrefour have several huge hypermarkets and handy express branches throughout Spain. Then you have the very popular German chain supermarkets Aldi and Lidl. Wherever you choose to shop, prices across the board are pretty similar. For their convenience, express outlets, mini marts and 24 hour shops (not often open 24 hours) will have considerably higher prices.
Santa Pola's only shopping centre Polamax, is more of a leisure and entertainment centre with a limited amount of stores. This we have covered in a separate article. Larger shopping complexes with numerous shops, boutiques, restaurants and entertainment facilities can be found further afield. Nearby Elche is home to Centro Commercial L'Aljub. The city of Torrevieja has the popular Habaneras Centre. Alicante boasts several shopping centres, and then you have the outstanding Zenia Boulevard in Orihuela Costa. This is the largest shopping complex in Alicante province. It boasts over 150 stores and boutiques, numerous restaurants and superb entertainment facilities.