6 things to do in Alicante

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We are back from Alicante! Alicante, a port city on Costa Blanca, mainland Spain and the capital of the Alicante province, is popular tourist destination for people looking for a summer beach holiday and winter sun also. During winter months Alicante is a lot more quitter than lively summer months, but if you love relaxing environment and beach then Alicante is for you! Following are our 6 suggestions on what to do in Alicante.

Map of Alicante:

Visit Castilo de Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara castle (Castilo de Santa Barbara) is one of Spain’s largest mediaeval fortresses and are located on top of Mount Benacantil. It is more a hill, but a 166 metres high hike is still quite impressive to do on a hot day. But don’t be alarmed for a small fee (Euro 2,70*) you can take an elevator from the Paseo de Gomez near Playa del Postiguet straight up to the Santa Barbara castle (which is free to enter*). Also the elevator down is free of charge.

Santa Barbara castle - Castilo de Santa Barbara - dating back to the 9th century is one of Spain's largest mediaeval fortresses, located on top of Mount Benacantil.

Santa Barbara castle – Castilo de Santa Barbara – dating back to the 9th century is one of Spain’s largest mediaeval fortresses, located on top of Mount Benacantil.

Origins of the Santa Barbara castle dates back all the way to the 9th century at the time of Muslim control of the Iberian Peninsula. In 1248 the castle was captured by Castilian forces and it was named after Saint Barbara. The castle has been a centre for military action and base during the centuries. It has been bombarded and partially destroyed in the War of the Spanish Succession and in 1873 by the cantonalistas from the frigate Numancia. But from the 18th century the military role of the castle has declined and it was used sometimes as a prison.

Currently there are various exhibits on display around the castle and its grounds. But the most praised part of this experience is the spectacular 360° views of Alicante.

Spectacular views of Alicante from Santa Barbara Castle, Alicante

Spectacular views of Alicante from Santa Barbara Castle, Alicante

Stroll around the old quarters and enjoy the tapas

Between the foot of Mount Benacantil and Rambla Méndez Núñez lies “el Barrio” area. Enchanted with narrow cobblestone streets and steps, small white houses and old buildings with balconies decorated with flower pots, filled with small taverns, Cerveserias, tapas bars, restaurants and plazas, where to sit  soak up the charming atmosphere. It is a lively neighborhood by day and night. Check out our suggestions for Tapas bars and restaurants in our Autumn brake in Alicante post.

The best way to explore food in Spain is through various tapas on offer - famous chorizo, deep fried squid and patatas (potato)

The best way to explore food in Spain is through various tapas on offer – famous chorizo, deep fried squid and patatas (potato)

Relax at the Beach

If you love a relaxing holiday by the beach – Alicante is the place to be. There are lots of golden sand beaches in the area.

Postiguet beach (Playa del Postiguet) is just few minutes from the centre of Alicante, next to marina. Beach is nearly a 1 km long golden sand beach. There are zones reserved for playing sports such as beach volleyball, sunbeds and umbrellas, parking and also restaurants are nearby.

Postiguet beach - Playa del Postiguet - nearly a 1 km long golden sand beach in Alicante, Spain

Postiguet beach – Playa del Postiguet – nearly a 1 km long golden sand beach in Alicante, Spain

Playa de la Almadraba is a small, beautiful and quite sandy beach enclosed by rocky areas off the tourist track towards San Juan Beach. It is mostly used by locals. It is accessible buses 9, 21 and 22.

Playa de la Albufereta is about 500m long lovely little beach with palm trees and rocky areas surrounded by residential areas. It is accessible by tram L4 – Luceros – Pl. La Coruña Playa the San Juan or buses 9, 21 and 22.

 San Juan Beach (Playa de San Juan) is an 7km long open beach with fine sands located in an area with lots of apartments, restaurants and businesses. It is about 9 km from Alicante town center. You can reach San Juan beach by tram L4 or bus 21.

The Coves of Cavo de Huertas (Cavo de la Huertas) are mainly coves nearby San Juan beach. It is secluded and private and also cater for nudists. Just a bit of warning: watch out for sea urchins, wear flippers or shoes when snorkeling or swimming near cliffs and rocks. The coves are accessible by bus 22.

Rent a bike

If you enjoy cycling like we do, rent a bike and explore Alicante and its surroundings by bike. We rented two bikes from Blue Bike Rentals and went on to exploring nearby beaches and city. Alicante is bike friendly and cycling ways and routes are everywhere.

We chose a route towards San Juan beach – flowing Avinguda de la Vilajoiosa and visiting nearby beaches. Once we reached San Juan beach, we took a parallel route back inland – Av. Oviedo, Av. Locutor Vicente Hipólito and went for shopping and some food in Centro Comercial Gran Vía before heading back to B&B. The route was around 20km long. The hardest part was getting up the hill at the start, but after that it was quite manageable.

If you head down south towards airport have a relaxing stroll in El Palmeral Park.

El Palmeral Park, Alicante

El Palmeral Park, Alicante

Visit museums

There are number of museums around the town if you are interested in cultural activities. I won’t go in to much detail, just click on the links below if you are interested for more information.

Museo Alicantino de Arte Contemoraneo – MACA Contemporary Art Museum
Museo de Belenes – Nativity Scene Collection
Museo de Bellas Artes Gravina – MUBAG Gravina Fine Arts Museum
Museo de Aguas de Alicante-Pozos de Garrigós – Alicante Water Museum
Museo las Hogueras – Alicante Festival Museum
Museo Taurino – The Bullfighting Museum
Museo Arqueologico de Alicante – The MARQ Provincial Archaeology Museum
Lucentum Archeological Site – El Tossal de Manises – The Site Where Alicante Was Born

Shopping

If you love to shop you are in the right place! There are no shortage of shopping malls in Alicante and they cater for all tastes and purse sizes. Here are some to start with:

Centro Comercial Gran Vía Alicante on Calle de José García Selles – Here you’ll find stores like Bershka, Primark, Lefties and others

If you love to shop you are in the right place! There are no shortage of shopping malls in Alicante and they cater for all tastes and purse sizes. Here are some to start with:

El Corte Ingles – a department store on Av Federico Soto in town center – you will find the big brands like Armani, Calvin Klein, Dolce & Gabbana, Hugo Boss and many others here.

Centro Comercial Gran Vía Alicante on Calle de José García Selles – Here you’ll find stores like Bershka, Primark, Lefties and others

Centro Comercial The Outlet Stores on Carretera Alicante – Levis, Puma, Mango etc.

Centrol Comercial Panoramis on Muelle Poniente 6 in Marina area – here you will find cinema, kids and fitness activities, cafe’s and pub also

Centro Comercial Plaza Mar 2 on Avenida de Denia – Here you wll fnd brands as Desigual, H&M, Bershka, mango etc., also Cinema and food court

About the Author:

Kristine are originally from Latvia, in the middle of Baltic States, but currently living just a few steps away from one of the most scenic routes in Southern Ireland – Ring of Kerry part of Wild Atlantic Way. Kristine’s passion undoubtedly is travelling, you would always find her with a travel map and an itinerary of must see sights in hand planning the next Big holiday.

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