Why You Should Not Miss Alicante
Do you love the beach? Would you like to climb a giant hill to find a castle on top? And what about a seaside city with lots of cafés, restaurants and boutiques? Do you like that too? Then you should not miss Alicante when you are in Spain.
This lovely small city is not as popular as other better-known places like Barcelona, Valencia or Seville. But it’s a great place to spend a couple of days. I will tell you about my trip to Alicante while I was in Spain last autumn.
Mount Benacantil and Castle Santa Barbara
When I arrived in Alicante I didn’t really know what to expect. On the way from Valencia to Granada I just wanted to have a stop in-between because it’s quite a long way. And then I was very surprised by that city.
The first thing I noticed was the little mountain next to beach and the castle on top. This 166m high mountain is called Mount Benacantil and it is the most popular landmark in Alicante. The owner of my hostel told me to take the lift to the top but it was out of order and so I walked. It took me an hour or so with stops for photos. And this little hike is so worth the exercise. The higher you get the better the view. You will see the beautiful beach, the harbour and the city from above.
On top of Mount Benacantil you find the medieval fortress of Alicante, the Castle Santa Barbara. It’s free to enter and from there you have an amazing 360° view over the city. I chose to be there for sunset and this time was just the best. The sun is setting behind the mountains and the whole city is covered in a warm golden light. It’s great for taking photos or just have a cold drink with friends while watching the sunset.
La Explanada de Espana
One morning I walked to the beach and passed the beautiful Explanada de Espana. It’s one of the oldest and most beautiful streets in Alicante. Here you will find many restaurants, cafés as well as market stalls. But don’t expect them to open early. From the Explanada de Espana you will come to the port and to the main beach called Playa Postiguet. From the beach you have the best view to Mount Benacantil.
The streets of Alicante
One thing I always do wherever I am is exploring the streets on foot. This is the best way to discover a new town or city. I walk around without a map to see hidden corners, relax in small parks or find a lovely local bakery. So take a morning off from the planned sightseeing and walk around the city with open eyes. And especially the Spanish streets are beautiful with their white washed houses, colourful flower pots and clothes hanging from the balconies. Go and find the Town Hall, Casa Carbonell, the Santa Maria Basilica or the streets of mushrooms.