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Alicante, Costa Blanca
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Cultured holidays: Even though Alicante holidays are often overlooked in favour of city breaks to Barcelona and Madrid, Alicante holidays actually have a rich wealth of culture and history. During Alicante holidays you can walk for miles around narrow, dense streets and take in many elegant examples of architecture. There’s an array of castles, parks and museums too.
Beach holidays: Mediterranean holidays aren't complete without a wonderful beach, and luckily Alicante holidays feature five of them. The most popular is the 1km long Playa del Postiguet, but you could just as easily find a peaceful little cove to rest in like Playa de la Almadraba.
Many bars and restaurants: Alicante is the birthplace of tapas, the famous cuisine served in small portions that’s now become an emblem of Spain itself. So you’d expect some fantastic examples of tapas on holidays here, and you’d be right. Alongside all the eateries, Alicante holidays also boast a surprisingly large number of nightclubs and bars, offering you the chance to see how the Spanish like to party! The city is so vibrant, it's worth venturing into the centre of Alicante even if you're having all inclusive holidays here.
Attractions in Alicante
Santa Barbara Castle: Perched 500 feet above sea level on Mount Benacantil, this medieval museum towers over the city of Alicante. Built in the 10th century, it’s an impressive feat of architecture - the beige coloured castle walls almost merge into the rocky cliff faces of the mountain. Plus, peering out in the watchtower will give you a fabulous view of the tightly winding cobbled streets below.
Museum of Archaeology: Whoever said archaeology is boring? This fantastically well-equipped modern museum has some excellent artefacts from Roman and pre-historic times, as well as some great exhibits on the medieval and modern periods. In fact, the museum has such an artistic use of lighting and sound across a wide ranging scope of displays, it was awarded the title of Europe’s best museum in 2004. Definitely a must visit during your Alicante holidays.
Lucentum: This ancient Roman city is located on the outskirts of Alicante. The site dates back to the 6th century BC, although much of what remains is just the rubble of the city walls and a few homes.
Activities in Alicante
E Palmeral: This beautiful park in the centre of Alicante has hundreds of huge palm trees, plus lakes, fountains and thousands of colourful flowers. It makes for a lovely day’s walk, and the large leaves of the palm provide some shady respite from the hot sunny weather on holidays to Alicante. Entry is completely free, so it's an ideal activity if you're hoping to have cheap holidays here.
Alicante Golf Course: This excellent 18-hole course was designed by the Spanish golfing legend Seve Ballesteros. The course is fairly flat, making for a pleasant and easy walk around most of the holes. There’s still a decent level of challenge here though, with wide white sand bunkers and water features on many parts of the course. If you're into your golf, look out for the many all inclusive holidays that are available near to the course.
Museum of Contemporary Art: The building which houses this modern gallery is a work of art itself and it was the oldest granary house in Alicante. Inside, the polished stone walls play home to a prestigious collection of artworks, including pieces by Francis Bacon, Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso.
Beaches in Alicante
Playa del Postiguet: A flat, open stretch of golden sand that’s almost 1km long, Playa del Postiguet is the most popular beach on Alicante holidays and as a result it’s well supported with bars and cafes. You’ll find it at the end of the famous promenade, Explanda de Espana, which has a wavy, mesmerising pattern that looks almost 3D.
Playa de la Albufereta: This is a hidden, quiet beach on the outskirts of Alicante. It’s close by to the ancient Roman iste of Lucentum, and the beach used to serve as a harbour for the town. Nowadays it offers a tranquil respite on your Alicante holidays, and you’ll appreciate its golden sands, calm waters and rocky scenery.
Playa San Juan: Near to Alicante Golf Course, this beautiful 7km long beach is a little further out from Alicante centre than the other beaches, but it’s worth it! Consisting of a wide expanse of cotton white sand, the scenery is stunning at Playa de San Juan too as you can take in the full view of the rocky mountains in the distance. It's also a top beach to choose if you're staying at the all inclusive holiday hotels near the golf course.
Restaurants in Alicante
La Taberna del Gourmet: You may remember we mentioned earlier that Alicante is the birthplace of tapas, and as such there are many authentic Spanish eateries on Alicante holidays which offer this type of cuisine. La Taberna del Gourmet is one of the best examples of a tapas bar – they offer lots of little plates of flavoursome food like Spinach with Raisins, Chorizo and Fried Squid. The fizzy Cava sourced locally is excellent too.
Ibericos: Another traditional Spanish restaurant on Alicante holidays which serves wonderful tapas. However, the unique attraction here is the rich taste of the cured ham produced by the restaurant itself. In fact, this ham is so delicious, it's worth visiting this restaurant even if you're on all inclusive holidays in Alicante.
Ristaurante Spiga: If you fancy a change from all that tapas on holidays to Alicante, you’d do well to try this Italian restaurant. Everything is homemade, including the delicious warm and crusty ciabatta and fragrant focaccia bread. Goat’s cheese features extensively in many dishes, such as Ravioli with Pears and Pine Nuts and Mushroom Risotto.
Nightlife in Alicante
Sophisticated drinks: Alicante holidays offer several places where you can have a relaxing drink in cultured surroundings. One of the most popular areas is known as ‘El Barrio’. Near to the very centre of Alicante, it’s a hive of activity at night, where you’ll hear authentic Spanish bars play soft guitar instrumentals as you wander the cobbled streets. In general, it has a rather artistic vibe exemplified in bars like the vintage-style Celestial Copas and Bar Epoca, a French art deco bar.
Bars by the sea: The trendier, more modern bars are found around Alicante’s elegant marina. In this lively, friendly atmosphere the music keeps playing till the sun comes up – the unusually named Potato or La Biblioteca are perfect examples, where they play loud, funky house music right into the early hours.
La Ruta de la Medera: Literally translated as ‘the route of wood’, La Ruta de la Medera is a unique experience for an evening out on Alicante holidays. The area derives its name from the wooden designs of the pubs and bars around here, complete with swinging doors and rustic interiors much like the old saloons of the Wild West. There’s lots of live music along here too, mainly of the rock or country genre.
Shopping in Alicante
Shopping streets: Much like holidays in Benidorm also on the Costa Blanca, most of the shopping action on Alicante holidays centres on a few large commercial streets. The main one of these is named Rambla de Mendez Nunez, which has a good number of famous branded retailers sitting alongside smaller, independent shops. Prices can be surprisingly good value, making shopping in Alicante a viable choice when you're on cheap holidays here.
Commercial centres: As well as the commercial streets, the number of shopping centres in Alicante make it a real shopper’s delight. Plaza Mar 2 is a bright, spacious centre with over 120 different shops including Benetton, Mango and Zara. On top of that, you’ve got the very new Panoramis Complex based near the marina. So while you’re shopping you can enjoy some fabulous views out to the sea. It’s open 24 hours a day and even has a 13-screen cinema.