Everyone’s been to Alicante, right? Or at least knows someone that has been?
It’s one of Spain’s biggest tourist traps, particularly as it’s one of the main gateway’s to the Costa Blanca. I half expected it to be full of expats and almost a bit too touristy, but I was pleasantly surprised.
There’s never a bad time to explore Alicante, what with it’s year round sunshine and although it is only a pocket-sized city that takes a few days to explore, we found that there was more than enough to keep us entertained.
Alicante is full of medieval history so we naturally headed straight for the Old Town, towards the Basilica of Santa Maria – Alicante’s oldest and prettiest church. From there we ventured up to the Castillo de Santa Barbara. The 16th century castle that sits atop Benacantil mountain, looming over Alicante. It was 22 degrees the day we visited Castillo de Santa Barbara which made for a really attractive sweaty hike up to the top (I’m so glad we found out that there was actually a lift that takes you all the way, AFTER we (I) clambered up the hill in the blaring sun. As usual, Eamo didn’t even break a sweat). The panoramic views of Alicante once you’re up there though are pretty special!
Back at sea level we went in search of the famous street of mushrooms – Calle San Francisco. A funky little street in the middle of Alicante that’s filled with giant mushroom statues which were part of a public art installation for the city’s midsummer hogueras festival a few years back by an artist called Jose Maria Esquiva.
That was about it that day, I drew the short straw for the rest of the afternoon and played the ‘good girlfriend’ card. Football took over. So, we got comfy in a local sports bar and I drank and ate my way through Everton getting a surprisingly lucky draw against Liverpool.
The following day we headed back in to the city to meander down the famous Esplanada de Espana with it’s wonky mosaic tiles and palm trees. We wandered back up the Marina and went and parked ourselves on the beach for a couple of hours. Not bad considering it’s December.
We stayed on a couple of different Aires in Alicante – both very different but both ideal. The first couple of nights we stayed at Area Auto-caravanas Playa de San Juan. At €8 a night it was hard to grumble. The only downside was their electricity wasn’t working (which we weren’t really prepared for as we had nothing charged, like phones) and you had to pay €2 for waste and water. Apart from that, it was 200m from the tram stop which took you directly into Alicante city centre and was about 400m from a gorgeous beach.
Top tip – don’t assume the tram stops at every station, like we did. You need to push the button for your stop or (like us) you’ll clock on 3 stops too late and have to walk 3km back to your site at night because there isn’t another tram for 40 minutes. Luckily the area was nice and our walk back was actually really lovely. Eamo even decided he’d use this opportunity to get in a late night skinny dip – mad fool.
The following two nights, we stayed at Camper Area 7. This place was more of a campsite than an Aire to be honest. It had about 50 places for moho’s and was pretty much in the owners back garden. It was immaculate. €16 a night which included everything and the showers and toilets were the best we’ve had on our trip so far – so clean and well maintained. As nice as it was, we only really stayed here because we needed some juice to charge things up. If the first place had had the electricity sorted then we would happily have stayed there.
Distance travelled so far: 2,330 km
Days away: 38