Alicante holds a special place in my heart. I spent my Erasmus year here and absolutely well and truest fell in love. The city is unique in having a laid back beach vibe but also a traditional Spanish city lifestyle. Alicante city offers such a variety of things to do to a visitor, but you can also discover hidden gems outside of the city as well. Here are 5 amazing things to do whilst visiting Alicante both in the city and by exploring further afield.
Arriving In Alicante:
Alicante has a great airport bus, which if you are not hiring a car is a great way of getting into town quickly and cheaply. There are various stops all around the city, so you are never too far from your hotel. It also stops off at the bus station (before getting into the city) if you need to travel onwards to Benidorm or wherever. You can find the airport bus on the Arrivals level of the airport and is number C5 to the city centre.
Things To Do Whilst Visiting Alicante:
1. Castillo de Santa Barbara
Your first morning in Alicante should involve visiting the castle, El Castillo de Santa Barbara. You might have seen the castle whilst on the airport bus. The castle set high up on a hill in the centre of the city, meaning it is a great place to get your bearings and see the city in all it’s glory. There are various routes you can take up to the castle, a road, a lift (accessible from opposite la playa del postiguet – fee applicable) and a walking pathway. I love walking up to the castle, as the path takes you up through traditional Spanish houses. The castle itself holds various events including painting exhibitions and in July and August it remains open during the evening for special occasions.
2. Eat Tapas and Explore El Barrio
As the sun sets a quick shower and change of clothes will do before heading out to into el barrio, the old part of the city. Full of tapas bar, drinking bars and ice cream parlours which come alive at dusk. Be sure to eat at one of the tapas bars! After dinner you can enjoy a few drinks in one of the many lively bars. You’ll find the atmosphere is more chilled out than in the UK. If you wish there are various late night bars and nightclubs to choose from to keep you going until the early hours – normally around 5am for the Spanish.
3. Chase Those Waterfalls
Now onto a some proper exploring outside of Alicante city. For this you’ll need a car and a whole day to go and chase waterfalls. Drive inland from Alicante for about 2 hours along mountain roads to a little town called Riópar in the municipality of Albacete. Here you will find the a waterfall Los Chorros del Rio Mundo which is the ‘Birthplace’ of the Rio Mundo. Finding these waterfalls is very easy if you follow the right roads (sat nav is necessary). There is a huge stone sign on the side of the road next to the turning for the waterfalls. You carry on down that road, down, down into the valley until you reach the car park.
4. El Castell de Guadalest
If you fancy another day trip outside of the city and again have a car then I would highly recommend heading towards Benidorm. But up into the mountains to a little village named El Castell de Guadalest. The drive up the mountain is stunning on a sunny day. Parking at Guadalest is about 2 Euros a day. The village is tiny and the main walking route takes you through the centre of the village and out through the back of the mountain where there are amazing views. Eventually after admiring these views you can wander up towards to main square which is situated at the very top on the mountain.
5. More Waterfalls Near Benidorm
After leaving Guadalest, just a 20 minute drive away are the waterfalls – Las Fonts de l’Algar. Located in n the town of Callosa de’n Sarrià. Compared to the Los Chorros del Rio Mundo these waterfalls are vastly different. For starters there is an entrance fee of 4 Euros, but worth it in my opinion. Secondly, this natural wonder is a lot more touristic. The river goes quite far back once you’re at the top and there are various sunny spots to perch along the way and admire the crystal clear waters. There is even a designated swimming area with lifeguards present during the summer season!