Alicante, Spain

Alicante at the Costa Blanca, the city of sun, sea and… history. Where every wave is a nod to a wonderful beach holiday. A holiday in Spain is always worthwhile, and this time we take a closer look at sunny Alicante.

Alicante has a rich history that takes you back to the Carthaginians, Romans, Visigoths, Arabs, Moors and Iberians, to about the 3rd century BC. Alicante was then still called Lucentum. And like any good history, Alicante is also full of battles, conquests and crazy piracy stories! But don’t worry, these days the pirates have been replaced by mischievous locals and brave tourists and the only battles you’ll see are fights for the last spot on the glittering beaches.

Alistic Alicante – a culture boost under the sun
The culture of Alicante is steeped in the influences of different civilizations, from the Roman remains that can still be seen to the Moorish architecture of the Castillo de Santa Bárbara. But the city has also developed a strong identity of its own, with its famous festivals in honor of the Moors and Christians and the traditional dance “dansa de la mort” performed on All Souls’ Day. A bit of Mexican Dia de Muertes vibes under the Spanish sun.

And as for the fragrant cuisine of Alicante: it is as spicy and diverse as the history of the city itself. Try the famous paella , made with local ingredients such as rabbit and artichokes, or the hearty stew of cocido con pelotas. Or try the turron , for those who love nougat! And of course there is also the drink of the gods: tasting wine from the region, such as the red Monastrell or the white Moscatel. Who can say no to a little garnacha, bobal or tempranillo? Make sure you don’t wake up with a resaca in the morning .

The ideal beach holiday in Alicante
Why visit Alicante when you can go to Ibiza or Lloret de Mar ? Well, that’s because in Ibiza you get stuck in a sea of ​​people drenched in the smell of nightlife, crawling in search of a detour to the hotel. While in Alicante you can taste the sunset from the Playa del Postiguet and enjoy the delicious local wine without having to fear drunken partygoers breathing down your neck.

And I haven’t even mentioned the history of the city yet., except for the introduction. Alicante is a must-see destination, one of the most popular sun destinations throughout the year. Alicante has survived many invasions over the years and still has many historical sites, such as the Castle of Santa Barbara , the Cathedral of San Nicolas and the Archaeological Museum .

Visit the magical castle Castillo de Santa Bárbara
The historical highlight of Alicante is undoubtedly the irresistible Castillo de Santa Bárbara, located on Benacantil Mountain, above the bustling city center. This colossal castle, with its imposing ramparts, proudly towers 166 meters above sea level and is an unmissable sight not to be missed during your stay in Alicante.

Visit Alicante CastleCastillo de Santa Bárbara
The castle played a crucial role in the defense of Alicante against invaders during the Moorish rule of Spain in the Middle Ages. It was not until many centuries later, in 1248, that King Alfonso

The castle has also survived many wars and bombardments over the centuries and is a mix of buildings from the fourteenth, sixteenth and eighteenth centuries. But what really makes the castle unforgettable is the ‘la cara del Moro’, or the ‘face of the Moor’. Under the southern part of the castle, with a little imagination you can recognize the face of a man (and his crown).

For those who don’t like climbing up or are short on time, there is the elevator that takes you up to the castle for a few euros. It does cost a few euros, but at least you don’t have to clamber up like a mountain goat. And if you’re not afraid of heights, you can enjoy the views along the way and maybe even take a selfie with a curious seagull landing on your shoulder. The view and experience are definitely worth it up there!

Stroll through Old Town Alicante and Barrio de Santa Cruz
The old town of Alicante, or Barrio Santa Cruz to the locals, is just like a traditional Andalusian village, but without the goats and farmers who blow their trumpets at 5am to start the day. Yes, here you simply wake up to the sound of the sea and the seagulls outdoing each other.

Barrio de Santa Cruz
If you get lost in the winding streets of Santa Cruz, don’t be afraid to ask for help. The residents are super friendly and will probably welcome you with open arms and a bottle of sangria.

The highlight of Barrio Santa Cruz is the neat residential area at the top of the hill. It’s like a fairytale, with whitewashed houses decorated with colorful flower pots and brightly painted doors and window frames.

Barrio Santa Cruz is the place to be for those who love winding alleys, warm charm, color and cheerful friends. Put on your walking shoes, leave those goats at home and go on an adventure in the steep streets of Alicante Old Town.

Paella! Taste Alicante and its local dishes
Ah, the local cuisine of Alicante – a real feast for your taste buds! While you are in Alicante, be sure to taste the local cuisine and visit some of the best restaurants. Be sure to try the paella, a well-known dish from the Valencia region . But be warned, there are some restaurants that have the word ‘paella’ on their menu so often that it looks like they serve it as a side dish with the cola.

Here are some tasty, finger-licking travel tips. The first restaurant you cannot ignore is Casa Julio . Located in the heart of the city, this charming restaurant is famous for its delicious tapas and freshly caught fish. It is also a great place to taste the local specialty “arroz a banda”, a rice dish with seafood and a subtle taste of saffron.

But if you’re looking for something a little more exclusive, Monastrell is the place for you. Awarded a Michelin star, this restaurant offers a refined and modern interpretation of local cuisine. Here you can enjoy dishes with fresh ingredients such as traditional rice dishes, but with a creative twist. Make sure you make your reservation in time!

If you’re looking for something more casual, try the local specialty “churros” at Chocolateria Valor . These fried dough sticks, served with warm chocolate sauce, are the perfect treat for those with a sweet tooth. Or go for a bocadillo, a Spanish sandwich, at the popular La Taberna del Gourmet .

And for lovers of strong drinks, there is nothing better than a sip of the famous local liqueur called “ Horchata de Chufa ”. This sweet drink, made from earth almonds, is a favorite among locals and a must-try for tourists.

Another excellent option for a restaurant in Alicante is Restaurante Nou Manolín . The Mediterranean dishes are on the pricey side, but if you want to treat yourself to a chic night out, this is the place to be.

However, if you’re looking for a more laid-back atmosphere, El Portal Taberna & Wines is a great choice. It is located in the heart of the old town and offers an extensive selection of tapas, as well as an impressive wine list. And if you like craft beer, Cervecería Sento is a must. They have over 200 different types of beer from around the world, and if you’re lucky you might even bump into the owner who also happens to be called ‘Sento’.

what to do in alicante

Explanada d’Espanya – Parade on the palm-lined promenade
Running parallel to the harbor is the Explanada d’Espanya , a promenade along the water. However, this is not just another promenade in a southern seaside resort. About six million marble tiles in three different colors form a beautiful 3D-like pattern that feels extra atmospheric because of the two rows of palm trees between them.

Also nice: halfway along the promenade you will find ‘ La Concha ‘, a stage in the shape of a gigantic shell, where performances regularly take place during the summer months.

Beach Time in Alicante – these are the best beaches
Sunbathing on the Promenada on Playa del Postiguet beach
Alicante’s pride: Playa del Postiguet ! The 900 meter long sandy beach can be found at the foot of the magnificent Monte Benacantil , and is the artery of the city. The busy Blue Flag beach offers everything you need for a day of sunbathing and swimming, including sunbeds, parasols, and foot showers. For the brave daredevils there is a walk through the surf and for those who like dry feet there is the beautifully landscaped promenade along the beach.

walking in alicante
Please note: dogs are not allowed on the beach, not even on a leash. Be prepared for crowds on summer Sundays, because the residents of Alicante show up en masse on this beautiful beach. Siesta time is perhaps the best time to tackle the scorching sun. Playa del Postiguet is the easiest place to enjoy the Spanish sun!

Discover Cabo de la Huerta
Cabo de la Huerta Coves , also known as the Crystal Clear Coast of Alicante, is located between the busy beaches of La Albufereta and San Juan. This coast offers a quieter alternative to the hustle and bustle of the neighboring beaches. The many hidden bays have clear water and rocky bottoms that are home to unique marine life. This place is ideal for snorkelers and divers who want to mingle with fish and other sea creatures.

Explore the four different coves: La Calita , Cala de la Palmera , Cala Cantalar and Cala de los Judíos . Don’t forget to bring some snacks and drinks as there are no beach bars nearby. But that does mean that you can enjoy your own picnic with the Petronella’s Guinea Fowl.

A day trip to the small island of Tabarca near Alicante
Your trip to Spain and Alicante is not complete without a visit to Tabarca . Tabarca is a small island off the coast of Alicante, a popular spot for day trippers during the summer, especially for holidaymakers staying in Santa Pola, Orihuela, or Torrevieja.

The island is the smallest inhabited island in Spain and has a unique natural beauty that is protected by the nature reserve. The island is also known for its pirate past and military defense wall built by a Spanish king in the 18th century.

The island’s fishing village has now been transformed into charming bars, restaurants and shops that create a nice atmosphere around the village square and streets. Tabarca’s clear waters are perfect for snorkeling, or you can take a 2 kilometer walk around the island’s coastline along the pebble beaches.

Boats depart from Torrevieja , Alicante , and Santa Pola during the summer season, which starts in May and ends in October.