Alicante (Alacant in Valencian) is a vibrant, port city on the Costa Blanca, with a charming old quarter, a castle high on a cliff overlooking the harbour, and plenty of great shops, tapas bars, restaurants, museums and art galleries. Main sights include the pretty, palm-tree-lined promenade, the Explanada de Espanya; the enchanting whitewashed lanes of the Barrio de la Santa Cruz, the historic quarter where some of the finest hotels in Alicante can be found; the fantastic beaches, and a clutch of museums, which include MARQ, the excellent, archaeological museum, the Gravina Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Contemporary Art. The Santa Bárbara Castle, accessed by beautiful gardens which wind up Mount Benacantil, offers stunning views along the coast.
Food & drink:
Alicante is famous throughout Spain for its excellent rice dishes, and the city has countless restaurants (‘arrocerias’) which specialize in them. While paella may be the most famous local rice dish, there are hundreds of varieties, including ‘arròs negre’, cooked in squid ink; ‘arròs amb faves i bacallà’, rice with broad beans and cod; and ‘arròs a banda’, cooked in fish stock. Of course, local menus also feature plenty of fish and seafood, as well as grilled meats, particularly lamb, from the hills inland. For dessert, try the famous ‘turró’, a delicious nougat made with almonds and honey. To wash it all down, enjoy a refreshing glass of local wine.
Off the beaten track:
The Isla del Tabarca is a tiny island which was once a refuge for Barbary pirates, but which has become a popular day trip from Alicante for its wonderful little coves, tiny village, and excellent opportunities for snorkeling and diving.
If all this sounds like your type of holiday, have a look at our wonderful hotels in Alicante and make your way to the Spanish coast!