The Beach and Beyond: Attractions in Alicante
July 10th, 2017 by Tom Kerswill

In the middle of the Costa Blanca’s recreational coastline, Alicante is a multi-faceted tourist destination with a strong culture and tradition dating back centuries.

Full of natural treasures, and with blue flag beaches to relax on, Alicante is a great holiday villa destination, where you can set your own pace, combining culture with a bit of holiday indulgence.

Contrasting Beaches

First, the beaches, because even if you’ve got other interests, the beach remains a great attraction, and Alicante’s beaches are of a Blue Flag standard, while offering a high degree of diversity.

There’s the central Postiquet Beach, near the heart of Alicante itself. It’s big, it’s popular and it has wide stretches of fine sand, palm trees and plenty of places to eat and drink. It’s also ideal if you want to take a break during your day at the beach to explore more of the city.

If you don’t want so much bustle and activity around your beach, try the quieter location of La Almadraba. Enclosed by rocky outcrops, Playa de la Almadraba is smaller and quieter than the other beaches in Alicante. It provides lovely scenic views, especially at sunset, and during the day it retains its quiet charm.

There are plenty more beaches to choose from, many practically on the doorstep, and where they’re not, the public transport network of buses and trams makes reaching them easy.

A Brush with Culture

We’re not saying you shouldn’t soak up the sun’s rays and just relax, but if you want to mix your holiday experiences a bit, then Alicante is the place to do it. There are several great museums in this culturally rich location, including the Alicante Museum of Contemporary Art (MACA).

MACA’s home is a baroque town house, the oldest civil building in Alicante. By contrast, the museum’s focus is on contemporary and 20th century art, and contains work by Picasso, Juan Gris and Cocteau, alongside notable local artist and sculptor Eusebio Sempere.

If you want art that’s more traditional, try the Gravina Museum of Fine Arts. Here you’ll find plenty of striking work by regional artists from the 16th to the 18th centuries. Like MACA, the entrance to this museum is free.

Climbing the Castle

The 10th century fortress of Santa Barbara Castle rises over Alicante, perched on the of Mount Benancantil. Whether you walk, drive or take the lift from Postiguet Beach, which tunnels up through rock to reach its destination, this is well worth a visit.

As one of the largest Medieval fortresses in Europe, this is the full castle experience, including dungeons, battlements, the palace and the ruins of a small church within the castle walls. Plus, you get tremendous views across Alicante.

Throughout July and August, the city hosts special evenings at the castle consisting of free concerts held in the courtyard.

The True Taste of Alicante

As you might expect, Alicante boast fine local seafood, usually combined with tasty rice dishes, including arroz negro – black rice cooked with cuttlefish. Another speciality is to bake a whole fish in salt, and the area has the claim to some of the best prawns in the world.

If you visit the Pesca al Peso restaurant in the Old Town, you pick out your choice of fresh fish from the market-style displays and they cook it for you on the spot.

In all, there are lots of seafood restaurants in idyllic locations to choose from, when you want a break from your self-catering holiday villa. There are also daily indoor markets from where you can buy your own fresh fish supplies and go native.

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