Alicante, Costa Blanca, Spain
The prime attraction is the Castillo de Santa Barbara, a huge medieval fortress overlooking Alicante from the north. It is easily accessible by a cable car up through the mountain from Jovellanas Avenue. The harbour is a pleasant stroll along walkways, past relaxing cafes. From here, a ferry departs for day trips to the island of Tabarca, which was once a refuge for pirates, an 18th century fortified town and settling ground for Italian fishermen!
Many of Alicante's beaches are consistently awarded the prestigious Blue Flag for cleanliness and facilities. Starting at the heart of the city, the Playa del Postiguet is a 900m stretch of golden sand, backed by a palm-shaded promenade lined with bars and restaurants. To the north of the city is Playa de la Albufereta (it is here that the city originated) leading onto Playa de la Almadraba both of which are golden sandy beaches and with good facilities.
Further along the coastline is the Cabo de las Huerta, three hidden picturesque coves, two of which are nudist coves due to their remoteness and access difficulties.
One of the most popular beaches in the area is La Playa de San Juan (San Juan beach), situated just outside Alicante and easily accessible by tram, this beach boasts 7km of fine white sandy beach, offering good facilities, watersports, and a selection of bars, restaurants and Chiringuitos (beach bars).
Things to do
Standing on top of Mount Benacantil in the centre of Alicante is the Castle of Santa Barbara, one of the largest medieval fortresses in Spain where you can explore the well preserved castle ruins and take-in the wonderful views of the city below.
The marina features some excellent shopping facilities and refined restaurants, a great place to simply relax and gaze at the luxury yachts.
The island of Tabarca, is just off the coast of Alicante, once used as a refuge for pirates it forms part of a small archipelago and is just 1,800 metres in length and 400 metres at its widest point. An interesting day out, visitors can enjoy the crystal-clear waters, a picturesque fishing port with excellent seafood restaurants, coves and beaches, the island can be reached by a local ferry service which takes about one hour from Santa Pola Port.
The Caves of Canelobre are located at a distance of about 24 km from the city of Alicante. These spectacular prehistoric caves feature stalagmites, stalactites and weird limestone formations.
Reachable in around 30-minutes drive time, Benidorm is the place to head for a fun day out. With plenty on offer its home to the Terra Mitica theme park and neighbouring TerraNatura zoo and aquapark, the Mundomar Sea Life and Animal Park and next to this is Aqualandia Benidorm aquapark.
The Terra Mitica theme park has adrenaline rides and kids rides, set amid ancient Mediterranean themes, with daily shows, ranging from Roman circus acts to Egyptian and Greek dancers, there's also plenty of cafes and fast food outlets to keep you going for the whole day.
The TerraNatura Aquapark features a wave pool, hydrotherapy pool, kids pool, chutes for all ages, grassed picnic areas and a sun deck with jacuzzis. TerraNatura Zoo boasts over 1500 animals living in beautifully landscaped natural habitats including many endangered species.
The Mundomar Sea Life and Animal Park is a landscaped tropical delight with plenty of animals and colourful birds. Spend the whole day here and you can watch a host of entertaining shows with dolphins and sea lions, parrots and exotic birds. Families can take a break at the children's play area and when you're hungry, there is an a'la carte restaurant as well as a cafe, snack bar and a number of kiosks to choose from.
Aqualandia Benidorm aquapark has plenty of eateries and everything you need for a fun filled day from kamikaze chutes and exhilarating rapids to the relaxing jacuzzi pool and kid's adventureland.
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