22 Sep My 5 favorite Alicante Experiences
Welcome to Alicante! This beautiful coastal town on the Spanish Costa Blanca has been my home for the past 12 months and I have fallen for it head over heels. Now I would like to share my 5 favorite Alicante experiences and moments with you.
1. Watching sunset on the Castle of Santa Barbara
El Castillo Santa Barbara is often seen as the icon of Alicante – for a reason. Not only is this ancient monument full of impressive history, it also provides the visitor with the most stunning views over the city, nearby beaches and mountains along the coast. The walk up is fairly steep but will only take you about 20 minutes and the views are a real treat after the exercise.
I love traveling back in time to my first visit to the castle, because we had picked a perfect day in September and taken a little picnic to enjoy while watching the sun go down. Because the entry to the castle is free, people of all ages and nations like to visit this perfect spot especially for sunset and you will be surrounded by many like-minded people gazing into the distance watching the sun set over Alicante.
2. Snacking away on Alicante’s delicious tapas
It is hard to pick one single tapas memory of my countless culinary experiences in the city. Being one of the first ones, the small Cerveceria Sento probably impressed my the most and let me fall for these little appetizers that were so simple, yet beautifully presented and incredibly tasty.
The best tapas in Alicante are hidden gems and best to explore with the help of a true local. I had the pleasure of taking part in one of Ali-Oli Tour’s amazing tapas tours, which I would recommend to everyone. If you bring a lot of time, it is also an exciting adventure to wander through the small streets and watch out for authentic looking bars and signs for “Tapa+Cana”. Nobody will stay hungry in Alicante.
3. Drinking Tinto de Verano in blazing summer heat
One of the first memories and one of those worth to recall is having a freshly prepared, deliciously cold Tinto de Verano in the overwhelming summer heat of August in Alicante. I was introduced to this refreshing drink by my friend Alberto at the beach restaurant Casa Domingo at San Juan beach. Tinto de Verano is simply made of red wine and orange lemonade and the perfect alternative for those of you who don’t like beer, but still not thirsty enough to stick to water.
4. Celebrating magic traditions with locals
One of the things that I loved most about my time in Alicante was the fact that it never got boring. There was always something happening, a procession to follow or a spectacle to watch: Every day is a festival in Alicante.
The strong devotion for long kept traditions around Easter, here called Semana Santa, was fascinating and put the city in an exceptional state for several days. Even more vibrant is my memory of Las Hogueras, the most important festival for most Alicantinos and celebrated at the end of June. At the end of the week, June 24th, several giant and colourful statues, that are being installed all over the city are being burned as a ritual to fight bad demons. I have never experienced such an event and enthusiasm of a whole population – young, old, parents and kids – celebrating together every night for 5 days straight.
5. Driving away from the coast
Most people don’t know that Alicante has far more to offer than just the beach and outstanding local cuisine. There is rolling hills and old vineyards, adorable little town and some quite decent mountain peaks.
When spring had already arrived in Alicante and the nights started to get less chilly, I decided to convince two of my friends to go on a little hiking adventure with me. We did some research on nearby heights, rented a car for two days and packed some hiking equipment and a sleeping bag and set out to explore.
The hike up to Puig Campana was quite rough (not to speak of the challenge of going down without falling), but it was well worth the effort and -especially- the view. We stayed on top of that 1.406 m high mountain over night, waking up with the sun rising over the sea near Benidorm. I have truly only felt that free and happy once or twice before in my life.
For these and many more happy moments in Alicante I am incredibly thankful and they will always make me smile. Alberto and Rebecca from Ali-Oli Tours have played a big part in many of them and -if you haven’t done so already- check out their amazing tours around Alicante.
When are you coming to visit???