Mon, January 16th, 2012 - By

Spotlight: Alicante


Looking for a holiday that includes some history and culture alongside warm weather and great Mediterranean views? Then you’ll want to consider Alicante, a lovely town tucked away along Spain’s Costa Blanca.

Alicante might be full of beautiful resorts and cafes to linger in, but the city’s historical heritage will be the first introduction to town as you arrive. The Castle of Santa Barbara sits high atop a tall mountain in the centre of town, and it’s definitely a defining part of the skyline. Whether you choose to take the lift or walk up, you must go up to take in the views as well as learn a little bit about the history of this area, the castle being one of the largest medieval castles in Spain.

If you’ve overdone it in the sun, I would suggest spending a bit of time in some of the city’s museums – the Gravina Museum of Fine Arts is free to admire some colourful art by local artists. The Asegurada also houses some paintings by more famous names you’ll have heard of, such as Picasso and Miro.

One last cultural tip – you’ve got to visit the Candelabra Caves, just 15 miles outside of town. These are some of the most exquisite stalactite and stalagmite formations in Spain.

Party in the Barrio

The nightlife scene (which sometimes can be confused for the eating-so-late-it-is-past-midnight scene) is found in the Barrio. This is the old town, which is also wonderful to explore by day with its cobblestone streets. Ask if they have a local wine – there are many in this region so why not go local? Careful not to overdo it while out on the town – drinking in Alicante is pretty reasonably priced compared to elsewhere in Spain, which makes it an appealing nightlife stop, at least until waking up the next morning.

Beaches

While you’re here, you’ll want some time to work on that tan, right? Despite being a historic city, there are plenty of opportunities for getting your toes into the sand.

  • The longest beach in the city is the San Juan de Alicante, north of town. With over 4 miles of sand, you’ll surely find a quiet sunny spot.  Some say this is one of the best beaches on the Med. You’ll have to decide for yourself.
  • Postiguet is the most “urban” beach. It’s perhaps a little more crowded, but then again it’s simple to get to. You’ll find the Melia Hotel is right next door. It has a great urban vibe and atmosphere.

Have you been to Alicante? What are your top tips?

Photos by Jorge Carabias, Toprural

Andy Hayes

Andy Hayes is a travel journalist currently based in Seattle, Washington. When not soaking up the Pacific Northwest lifestyle or enjoying life on the road, he is spending time hanging out on his own travel lifestyle magazine, Sharing Travel Experiences.

Posted : Monday, January 16th, 2012 at 11:00
Category : Spotlight
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