Gentle readers, I took a week to visit the town of Alicante, which is south of Valencia city and a popular vacation spot in Europe. Even though it was August and a lot of businesses were closed, it was still a memorable experience in a beautiful areas. Most of the restaurants were open, and the beach was usually packed with people enjoying their vacation with about a bazillion of their closest friends.
Alicante is accessible by train from Valencia, and since I used loyalty points for the hotel, this was a ridiculously cheap vacation. The hotel isn’t right near the beach, but a 15-minute walk put me in the center of city and many of the local attractions. Alicante is a lovely town, filled with parks, statues of historical figures, and trees, and the setting was the perfect week away I needed.
Inhabited for over 7,000 years, the Alicante region is rich with history that begins with Greek and Phoenician traders who found a great deal of value in this easily-accessible port region. Whether as a strategic defense area for invaders or a place to trade olives, grapes (such as in the liquid variety) or other produce, Alicante has prospered and has enjoyed recent popularity as a tourist destination for much of northern Europe.
Alicante is a small town, but densely populated. There are a number of scenic spots around the city, including the Castillo de Santa Bárbara, which overlooks the beach. I ended up going to see it late one evening, and it was raining a little, so my opportunity to take many pictures was extremely limited. The city hall area is gorgeous and worth visiting, as is the boardwalk and marina closer to the ocean. Lots of restaurants are prepared for tourists, so language is rarely a problem for most people. The restaurants are grouped down a few major streets, so figuring out where to eat is typically pretty easy, too.
Alicante is very walking-friendly. The streets and sidewalks are wide and easy to navigate, and there is a shopping zone, a restaurant zone, and plenty of large parks for recreation. The temperature, while a slight bit warmer than Valencia, is still pleasant in the shade, and the city provides a nice balance between traditional Spanish culture and touristic venues.
Definitely a place to enjoy if you are in the area!