Today we will travel to one of the oldest human settlements on the Spanish coast of the Mediterranean Sea, namely Alicante. Founded by the Greeks, Alicante is a picturesque city that perfectly combines the atmosphere of the beach and relaxation with historical and architectural attractions. Thanks to the Mediterranean climate, Alicante is a destination that you can visit most of the year, the sea water is always warm enough, even in October.
For me, Alicante was the perfect place for “dolce far niente“. Of course, that doesn’t mean that I just stayed on the beach 🙂
Alicante boasts a beautiful beach with palm trees, fine sand, restaurants, and cafes in the center of town and at the bottom of a castle perched on a rocky hill (Mount Benacantil) which gives it a special charm. Postiguet Beach is not too long, but it is more popular than its sister, San Juan Beach, located about 10 kilometers from Alicante.
On Postiguet beach we discovered the Kiosco Miramar restaurant, which delighted us daily with delicious dishes and cocktails. I recommend that you don’t miss the oysters!
Alicante managed to surprise me with a charming atmosphere, even though I visited it during the pandemic. And even though we wore masks everywhere, we managed to fully feel the charm of this city. We also appreciated the involvement of the locals in respecting all the rules, especially at the terraces, restaurants, and tourist attractions.
One of the most important attractions of the city is Santa Barbara Castle. Perched on Mount Benacantil is one of the largest medieval fortresses in Spain and offers stunning views of the city and port. If you want exercise, you can reach the castle on foot, thus enjoying a walk through Erata Park, and on your return you can go through the charming Santa Cruz District. Those who do not want to get too tired, can take an elevator on Postiguet Beach, which costs 2.70 € / person, or a taxi. Access to the castle itself is free.
The Santa Cruz District is located on the slopes of Mount Benacantil, near the castle of Santa Barbara and is one of the most authentic and traditional enclaves in Alicante. With steep streets and many stairs, the neighborhood is the perfect place for photography enthusiasts. With its white houses with colorful borders, facades and balconies decorated with flowers, this neighborhood has a Moorish air.
Another important attraction of the city is the Explanada de España. This beautiful promenade is paved with marble mosaic and is guarded by palm trees, colorful flowers, and chic restaurants. It is a real pleasure to walk on this promenade, to admire the architecture of the buildings, and to breathe the sea air located just a few steps away.
Among the important buildings famous for their special architecture are: Carbonell House, which contains architectural elements of Baroque and Valencian modernism, the City Hall, built in the Baroque style of the eighteenth century, the Post Office Building, the Renaissance Cathedral of St. Nicholas and the oldest church from the city, St. Mary’s Church.
To my surprise, Alicante offers a variety of both quiet or lively bars and restaurants, located especially in Gabriel Miro Square also called Plaza de Correos. And the port area is famous for nightclubs and entertainment, which unfortunately, due to the pandemic, were closed.
For a romantic dinner, I recommend the El Portal restaurant, which impressed us, both by the quality of the services offered and by the tasty dishes. Also, the disinfection measures are commendable, which I haven’t really seen elsewhere. Constantly they were disinfecting the front door and the carpet you had to wipe your feet on before entering the restaurant!
Of course, the Port was not to be missed among the city’s attractions. Here you can enjoy a fantastic sunset, as well as boat trips to see the city from the sea.
From the port you can reach Tabarca Island, which was inhabited by pirates, in just 45 minutes by boat. The island is now a protected reserve and is famous for snorkeling. We found it almost deserted, maybe because of the pandemic, but we enjoyed a quiet walk through the old town and along the wall that surrounds the city, and we admired the wild landscapes and the fantastic color of the sea.
At the Amparin restaurant we ate the best fresh fish we had all holiday.
And if up till now I was in love with the magnificent sunsets, in Alicante I discovered even more beautiful sunrises!