The province of Alicante, also known as the Costa Blanca, is a destination that goes beyond its renowned beaches of fine sand and turquoise waters.
The “Terreta” is home to a wide variety of landscapes, rich in natural areas and cultural heritage. From mountains and natural parks to castles and historic architecture, the Costa Blanca has a lot to offer beyond the clichés.
In this article I give you 10 ideas for day trips to make the most of the province of Alicante. There’s much more to discover, but this is an excellent start… Let’s get started!
Guadalest and Fuentes del Algar
Discover the charm of El Castell de Guadalest, one of the most beautiful villages in Spain in the mountainous heart of Alicante. A village anchored in time with panoramic views from its castle, on top of a steep rock. Stroll through its narrow streets and visit its museums and local craft stores.
To complete this day trip, you can visit the Fuentes del Algar, a beautiful set of waterfalls and natural pools where you can take a dip in cool, crystal clear waters.
You cannot pass through the Costa Blanca without visiting Altea. Its old town, with its steep cobbled streets and whitewashed houses, is a jewel that will transport you to another era. The church of Ntra. Sra. del Consuelo, with its blue dome – known as the dome of the Mediterranean – and the views of the sea from its viewpoints are unforgettable. And finally, enjoy the rich local gastronomy in one of the restaurants that we recommend.
Bonus: if you like to get up early, I recommend starting the day watching the sunrise from the Albir Lighthouse, a simple and beautiful excursion. You will live a magical experience.
3. Jávea’s coves + old town
The coves of Jávea are a real treasure that, although very popular in summer, are absolutely worth it. Its turquoise waters and natural beauty are a magnet for visitors. Keep in mind that to find a good spot you will have to get up early, but the effort will be rewarded with the possibility of enjoying an unforgettable day at the beach and snorkeling in its crystal clear waters. If you like adventures, don’t miss a kayak excursion to visit sea caves and coves accessible only by sea.
In the afternoon, when the sun goes down, it is the perfect time to explore the charming old town of Javea. Its narrow streets and historic buildings will make you fall in love. Make your dinner reservations in advance!
4. Cova Tallada
Prepare your adventurous spirit to explore the Cova Tallada. This impressive sea cave can be explored on foot and offers wonderful views of the sea. Remember to wear appropriate footwear and carry a flashlight, as the terrain is rocky and the interior of the cave is dark. If you prefer a more affordable adventure to go with children, then book the kayak route or the catamaran ride along the cliffs.
In the afternoon relax strolling through the charming Dénia and its historic center, visit its castle and do not forget to delight yourself with its award-winning gastronomy.
5. Sanctuary of Novelda and Castles of Vinalopó
The route of modernism and medieval history awaits you in Novelda and the Vinalopó Castles. Admire the Sanctuary of Novelda, often compared to the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona (although much more modest), and then visit the modernist buildings of its historic center. In the afternoon you can visit the castles of Biar or Villena, which will transport you to the medieval times of knights and maidens.
6. Alcoy + Font Roja Natural Park
Alcoy, with its legacy of the industrial revolution and modernism, is an obligatory stop in the interior of Alicante. Admire its modernist buildings and old industrial architecture. Then, breathe fresh air in the Font Roja Natural Park, a natural area of great ecological value.
Alternative plan: Visit Cocentaina and eat at the restaurant L’Escaleta, awarded with 2 Michelin stars.
7. Tabarca Island + Santa Pola
In this article of essential things to see in Alicante, we could not miss a visit to the island of Nueva Tabarca, the only inhabited island in the Valencian Community (if possible, avoid July and August).
Its protected waters – the first marine reserve in Spain – are perfect for discovering the marine fauna while snorkeling. Let yourself be seduced by the history and charm of its walled village and taste its traditional caldero. If you decide to stay overnight, you can enjoy one of the most magical sunsets on the Costa Blanca.
If you prefer to return to the mainland, take the opportunity to stroll around Santa Pola, visit its castle-fortress or admire the views from the spectacular viewpoint of its lighthouse.
8. Wetlands of southern Alicante + Torre de la Horadada
Nature and ornithology lovers will find their paradise in the Natural Parks of Las Salinas de Santa Pola, El Hondo and the Lagunas de La Mata and Torrevieja. These wetlands are home to many species of birds and offer unparalleled tranquility.
9. Villajoyosa and Relleu footbridge
Stroll through the colorful streets of Villajoyosa, with its multicolored houses facing the sea and visit the museum of the famous Chocolates Valor factory. In the afternoon I recommend a nice route by car where you will pass by the Amadorio reservoir and then dare to travel the dizzying Pasarela de Relleu, a path suspended over the void, known as “el caminito de Alicante” (the little road of Alicante).
10. Alicante city and Santa Barbara Castle
The last plan in this list of essential things to see in Alicante is dedicated to the capital of the province. Stroll through its port, enter the Santa Cruz neighborhood (old town) and climb to the top of the Castle of Santa Barbara. From this emblematic place, you will enjoy unparalleled views of the city and the Mediterranean Sea that will make you remember your trip to the Costa Blanca.
If you want a complementary plan for the afternoon, visit the village of Busot and discover the striking Cuevas del Canelobre.
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