One of the most important Spanish ports on the Mediterranean Sea lies at the foot of a rocky hill on which also stands an ancient fortress. It’s Alicante, which in Arabic means “the source of light”.
Alicante is a real tourist gem of the Costa Blanca. It’s a resort popular among Poles visiting the Spanish Levant region. Beaches stretching along the coast tempt lovers of tan and blissful lounging on the sand. The most popular among them is undoubtedly Juan de Alicante, considered the favorite beach of residents of Madrid. You can easily get there by a city tram FGV.
Castillo de Santa Bárbara - guardian of the city
The city is capped by the Castillo de Santa Bárbara, a castle, which is also its great tourist attraction. It stands on top of the mountain Benacantil, with which a sad legend is connected, explaining the name of the rock - "cara del Moro" or “the Moor’s face". Thirteenth-century princess threw herself into the abyss from despair, because her father forbade her to marry her Arab lover. When he found out about it, he took his own life in the same way. According to the legend, since then the rock resembles a human face.
The castle can be reached in several ways: walking from the park Ereta, strolling along the walls, as well as wandering from the Playa del Postiguet. You have to pay for visiting the castle, and during the exploration of the interiors you’ll be accompanied by a guide (costs oscillate around 1,50-3 €, children under 6 years old can enter the castle for free).
After exploring the Castillo de Santa Bárbara, you can go for a stroll along the promenade Explanada de Espana. It’s 500 meters wide and stretches between the rows of palm trees, waving in the eyes of passers-by - literally, because the promenade consists of waved marble mosaic.
Attractions of Alicante
It’s best to start exploring Alicante from the old town’s part. During the day it’s a bit lazy and quiet, but comes alive at night. Taverns and bars open up, and the streets are filled with buzz and loud music. Another very attractive monument of the resort is Concatedral de San Nicolás de Bari, a church built on the ruins of a former mosque. Inside there’s a courtyard, a bit older than the church - dating back to the fifteenth century.
Wandering on, we’ll come across a Baroque building called Ayuntamiento de Alicante, which is the seat of the town council. It catches the eye with its size and two 35-meter towers. Another monument is the oldest church in Alicante, a Gothic Basilica de Santa María. It has a delicious baroque portal, and its interior houses a polychrome altar from the rococo period.
An interesting place is also Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Alicante (MACA), located in a Baroque building Casa de La Aseguarda. Its collection consists of approximately 200 works of art of twentieth-century artists such as Picasso, Dali or Kandinsky.
Where to stay?
In a distance of about 4 km from the center you can find El Jardin camping. An overnight stay for an adult costs from 3,5 to 5,6 euros, while the place for your motorhome - from 5,5 to 7 euros/day. It’s located only 500 meters away from the beaches Muchavista and San Juan.
After the rest, you can visit Benidorm, also known as the"Little Manhattan”, located in a close proximity. There’s a loud cluster of dozens of multi-storey hotels hosting killer parties, which may be tiring for people with less energy. At night it pulsates with life, while in the day tourists with hangovers can chill-out during siesta. In addition to the mass of places for young people, the campsite also offers entertainment for families with children, including theme parks and more peaceful hotels.
A little further there’s a little Guadalest. In the past, just an unknown point on the map, but today a place increasingly visited by tourists attracted by a magnificent views extending from the top of the mountain. On it stands an Arab castle, to which you can get by a tunnel carved in a rock. What surprises visitors, at the very top there’s a cemetery. In turn, at the foot of the castle you can find the Museum of Miniatures, attracting tourists with original exhibits, such as the image of Goya painted on the wing of a fly, or the work of Da Vinci made on a grain of rice.
As you can see, there’s no possibility of getting bored on the Costa Blanca. The abundance of its attractions will fill out our time.