Postcard from Alicante

4 Apr 2017

Alicante is a true year-round destination. Winters are mild, autumn and spring are warm and the summers are scorching.

Check out the cultural calendar before you book your flights! As well as the jazz festival from June to August, most months offer a spectacular festival celebrating Alicante’s Christian and Moorish traditions.

Where to go

Visitors will spot one of the main places to visit straight away. The Castle of Santa Barbara is one of the largest medieval castles in Europe, and stands on a rocky outcrop overlooking the city. The castle has everything you might expect, cannons, dungeons, a moat and a lookout tower which provides for some spectacular photographs. Entry to the castle is free and if the thought of walking up the mountain is not that appealing, there is an elevator built inside the mountain, which leaves from the beach area.

La Explanada de España is the heart of Alicante. The promenade is home to cafes, bars, market stalls and entertainment venues. The walkway itself is quite unique as it consists of nearly 7 million red, cream and black tiles which depict the waves of the nearby Mediterranean . Alicante is famous for its outdoor spaces. The many parks, gardens and plazas offer welcome shade from the sun as well as entertainment throughout the year. El Palmeral is a popular retreat. The many waterfalls, palm trees, flowerbeds and picnic areas allow for a fascinating visit.

Shoppers will be spoilt for choice in the city. Rambla de Méndez Núñez is the main shopping area. Whilst there are the ubiquitous Department stores, the city is home to many individual traders, selling locally produced goods in the vibrant arts and crafts scene. The Mercado Central offers fresh foods from fruit to meat and seafood, and the nearby flower market is a vibrant, colourful area to spend some time.

What to Eat

Whilst Paella is a famous Spanish dish, Alicante is renowned for its rice dishes. You could sample rice blackened with squid ink, or rice with grouper fish. The city has a wide variety of restaurants but you should look out for local specialties like salted tuna or shark salad, or simple dishes such as BBQ sardines.

Getting Around

The city is compact and wandering the promenades between the shopping areas and the port is a great experience. If you want to explore further afield, there is a tram which operates along the coast from Alicante through Villajoyosa, Benidorm, Altea and Calpe to Denia – which is a perfect way to admire the beautiful coastline.

How to get there

Alicante Airport is the gateway to the Costa Blanca. easyJet, and Ryanair all fly direct from Belfast International Airport to Alicante, with up to 20 return flights per week. 

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