ALICANTE: What to see and do, the places not to be missed

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Alicante, capital of the Costa Blanca, is a charming city with more than two thousand years of history. In this guide about Alicante we tell you the best plans and places you can not miss if you have planned a weekend getaway or several days to “La Terreta”. Read on to find out what to see and do in Alicante?

5 Essential Plans in Alicante

5 Essential Plans in Alicante

1. Climb Santa Barbara Castle

Take the opportunity to visit the Santa Cruz neighborhood and the Ereta Park.
Santa Bàrbara Castle Alicante
Views from the Castle of Santa Bàrbara

Located at the top of the Benacantil Mount, the Santa Barbara Castle is one of the hallmarks of the city and one of the places you can not miss if you come to spend a few days in Alicante. It is possible to go up to the castle by bus or cab, although I recommend that you do it on foot, through the Barrio de Santa Cruz and the Parque de la Ereta, or along the west wall. If you are a wikiloc user, I encourage you to follow this track for the visit.

(There is also an access by tunnel and elevator in the bowels of the mountain, currently restricted by COVID measures).

Precisely, the old town of Alicante, is one of my recommendations for your visit. Tip: book a guided tour (free tour) to discover the most emblematic places of the city and learn about its history.

Much less known, the Castillo de San Fernando, on top of the hill known as “El Tossal”, is also worth seeing for its views and its parks. Much less visited by tourists.

2. Boat Excursion to Tabarca Island

Tabarca Island, Alicante, Santa Pola
Traditional boat in Tabarca's harbor

Located just 4 kilometers from the Cape of Santa Pola (whose lighthouse is worth visiting), the island of Nueva Tabarca is the only inhabited island in the Valencian Community. In Tabarca you can stroll through its ancient walled city, enjoy its magnificent coves and beaches (it has been declared a Marine Reserve since 1986), visit its lighthouse or the Tower of San José (former prison) and, of course, savor its rich cuisine based on rice, fish and seafood. The star dish: the Caldero Tabarquino.

To get to Tabarca you will have to take a ferry or speedboat. You can do it from the city of Alicante itself, or from the town of Santa Pola (my recommendation), from where the trip takes just 15 minutes (by speedboat).

3. Visiting beautiful villages on the Costa Blanca

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Views from the viewpoint of the old town of Altea, with the Serra Gelada in the background

Having Alicante city you can visit a lot of beautiful towns less than an hour’s drive away. These are my recommendations:

Altea

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Old town of Altea - Alicante

Known as “The Dome of the Mediterranean”, Altea is a beautiful seaside town whose town center was built on a hill and crowned by the characteristic blue-tiled dome of its monumental church. Strolling through the steep streets and discovering the views of the sea from any of its spectacular viewpoints is a luxury for the senses. In Altea you will also find some of the most beautiful coves in Alicante, such as Cala del Racó del Corb.

Jávea / Xàbia

Jávea, what to do and places to visit in Jávea, Alicante

Located in the north of the province of Alicante, in the region of the Marina Alta, the town of Jávea (Xàbia) has it all: a beautiful old town, a landscape dotted with stunning mountains and traditional farmland and some of the best coves in the province of Alicante, such as the famous Granadella cove.

The truth is that you will not finish Xàbia in one day, but one of its essential plans is to visit one of its 15 viewpoints.

Alcoy / Alcoi

The Alcoy Greenway - El Pont de les Set Llunes
The Alcoy Greenway - El Pont de les Set Llunes

The Costa Blanca is mainly known as a sun and beach destination. But the truth is that Alicante Inland has many treasures worth discovering. Alcoy, known as “the city of bridges”, is located in the heart of the mountains of Alicante, surrounded by natural parks -La Font Roja and the Serra de Mariola-where you can practice hiking or adventure sports. Alcoy is a modern city with a fascinating past: it led the industrial revolution in the Valencian Community and, as a result of its splendor, today we can (and should) visit its magnificent industrial and architectural heritage.

4. Strolling through the coves of Cabo de la Huerta.

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Cantalars Cove, Cape of the Huerta of Alicante

The Cabo de la Huerta de Alicante receives its name because it was formerly occupied by a fertile and prosperous land of irrigated crops, which was possible thanks to the construction of the dam on the Tibi reservoir, one of the oldest in Europe and the most important of its time. The area of the “Cape” was dotted at the time with a number of manor houses that, in order to protect themselves from the continuous pirate attacks, were forced to fortify themselves, giving rise to the so-called Torres de la Huerta, which can be visited on a route steeped in history.

Regarding the coastline of Cabo de la Huerta, it is one of the best preserved natural areas of the city of Alicante. A place where we find a micro-reserve of flora and beautiful coves where nudism is practiced, such as Cala Cantalares or Cala Palmera. At the end of the cape, formerly known as “Cap de l’Alcodre”, is the Faro del Cabo de la Huerta, a building that we hope will one day be used as a center for the interpretation of the values of this important natural area.

5. Contemplate the most beautiful sunset in Alicante city.

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Possibly the most beautiful sunset you can see in Alicante.
The last (for now) plan that I propose is to enjoy watching what is probably the most beautiful sunset in Alicante city. To do so, we will go up to the 26th floor of the emblematic Gran Sol building, currently occupied by the CONVISTAS restaurant, owned by the Alicante Gran Sol Hotel (where you can also stay). Its strategic location, next to the Esplanade, makes it possible from this excellent viewpoint to admire the Castle of Santa Barbara with the entire old town at his feet, the Postiguet Beach, the Port of Alicante or Cabo de la Huerta. After sunset, you can stay for dinner at the restaurant and, if you are lucky, stay in a room with a view at the hotel.
Do not miss...
Good practices
Respect other people and private property.
Respect flora, fauna and environment. Enjoy in Silence.
Always follow the trails. Tackling damages the environment.
Respect the Cultural Heritage (ruins, stone margins, etc).
Do not leave a trace of your passage, nor organic remains.
Find out, Plan and Equip yourself well to enjoy to the fullest.
Thanks!

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