A weekend in the captivating city of Alicante

by Lorraine Williamson
retirees Alicante
ASSSA

ALICANTE – Welcome to Alicante, a captivating coastal city on Spain’s eastern Mediterranean coast. This enchanting destination offers a perfect blend of history, culture, gastronomy, and natural beauty.

Let’s delve into the rich tapestry of this stunning city and explore some attractions, activities, and traditions on offer.

Getting there

Alicante is easily accessible by air, with Alicante-Elche Airport serving as the main gateway for international travelers. Several airlines connect major cities in Europe to Alicante. Additionally, the city is well-connected by train and bus networks, offering a convenient and scenic journey for those coming from within Spain.

History and culture

Kickstart your weekend by immersing yourself in Alicante’s rich history and culture. Begin with a visit to Santa Barbara Castle, perched atop Mount Benacantil, offering breathtaking views of the city and the Mediterranean Sea. Explore the Archaeological Museum of Alicante, showcasing artifacts from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages, providing insight into the region’s past.

A weekend in Alicante

Must visit

Stroll through the charming Old Town, known as El Barrio, with its narrow cobblestone streets, colourful buildings, and lively atmosphere. Don’t miss the Explanada de España, a picturesque promenade lined with palm trees, cafes, and mosaics. It is perfect for an evening stroll! For beach lovers, Postiguet Beach, located right in the heart of the city, beckons with its soft sands and refreshing waters.

Visit Alicante

Also read: Exploring the enchanting allure of Malaga´s old town

Gastronomy

Indulge in Alicante’s culinary delights by savouring fresh seafood, especially the world-famous “arroz a banda” (rice cooked in fish broth) and “caldero” (rice cooked with fish). Explore the vibrant Central Market, Mercado Central, offering an array of local produce, meats, and cheeses. Sample local wines, such as the renowned red Monastrell, at traditional bodegas.

Traditions and fiestas

Experience Alicante’s festive spirit by participating in traditional celebrations and fiestas. If you visit in June, don’t miss the “Hogueras de San Juan” festival, a week-long celebration of bonfires, music, and fireworks. Another highlight is “Semana Santa” (Holy Week), where captivating processions fill the streets with religious fervour and vibrant displays.

Another two notable fiestas that stand out are the “Day of the Valencian Community” and the “Day of Saint Dionysius (Sant Dionís).

Day of the Valencial Community and Day of Saint Dionysius

Celebrated on October 9th, the Day of the Valencian Community, also known as “Día de la Comunidad Valenciana,” is a momentous occasion that holds deep historical and cultural significance. This day commemorates the entry of King James I into the city of Valencia in 1238. Furthermore, it marked the end of Moorish rule and the establishment of Christian rule.

Simultaneously, Alicante pays tribute to its patron saint, Saint Dionysius, on the very same day. Saint Dionysius, known as “Sant Dionís” in the local Valencian dialect, is believed to protect the city from drought and plagues. The convergence of these two celebrations creates an atmosphere of exuberance and unity, showcasing the rich tapestry of Alicante’s heritage.

Saint Dionysius is also known as the patron saint of lovers. Consequently, October 9 is said to be the most romantic day of the year in the Valencian community. On this day, it is customary to offer ladies a Mocadora (Mocaorá) as a sign of love and appreciation. this traditional gift consists of locally handcrafted marzipan figurines wrapped in silk scarves.

Festivities

The combined celebration unfolds as a spectacular display of cultural events, artistic expressions, and traditional revelry. The streets of Alicante come alive with vibrant parades that feature intricate floats adorned with striking decorations and effigies. These captivating processions often depict historical and cultural themes, paying homage to the region’s past.

Embrace the joyous atmosphere, connect with locals, and create cherished memories of an unforgettable experience in Alicante.

Nature and outdoors

Escape to the nearby Mount Benacantil or the Serra Grossa for hiking and stunning panoramic views of the coast. If you’re an adventure enthusiast, head to the beaches for water sports like sailing, snorkeling, and scuba diving. Alicante’s pleasant climate makes outdoor activities enjoyable year-round.

a weekend in Alicante

A weekend in Alicante offers a delightful blend of history, culture, gastronomy, and festivities. It promises to leave you with lasting memories. From exploring ancient castles to lounging on sandy beaches, indulging in delectable cuisines to immersing in local traditions, Alicante caters to every traveller’s interests. So, pack your bags, embrace the Spanish charm, and get ready for an enriching experience in this beautiful coastal gem.

Also read: A weekend in San Sebastian

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