I am so grateful to live in a world where you can book cheap last minute flight tickets to flee a very moody weather and land where Summer is already happening. Not so glad about that contributing to climate change (but this is another topic). So when we saw that the weekend’s temperatures were below 10 degrees (yes in May) we foraged the internet for a cheap deal and found Alicante in Spain. So many of our friends are spain lovers but surprisingly most of them never visited this southern town. Indeed Alicante is not as popular as Valencia or Malaga but you can tell that the city is working on attracting more visitors, so follow our guide for 3 days in Alicante !
Accommodation Alicante's city center is very small and you can pretty much walk anywhere. The ideal location would be south of the mercado (where the bus from the airport and the tram stop) We stayed at nH Rambla a cheap, no frills but with a delicious breakfast buffet hotel. Another good option is the Bed and Breakfast La Milagrosa (we only had lunch on their rooftop terrace but they have very affordable rooms that I regretted not finding before!) Transportation The bus from the airport costs 3.85 euros one trip per person (you can buy it on the bus with cash or use your wireless card). The tram is a quick and easy way to go to Playa de San Juan or Benidorm, it costs 6.40 euros return trip to Benidorm per person.
It is very easy to get your way around Alicante, it is small and the main spots can easily be listed; the mercado central, the beach “Playa Del Postiguet”, the Castle, the old city, the MACA and the Explanada de Espana. We arrived in the late morning on Day 1 and decided to explore the most touristy places first (but right after lunch).
Lunch: Bar Cafetaria Plaza 2 opposite the Town hall on Plaça de Ajuntament Not the best food but the location is so cute and the service is friendly. Dinner: Don Carlos quite the opposite to the lunch place we went to, this restaurant serves an amazing surprise tapas menu to share for 2 but the atmospehere is a bit cold. Ice Cream: Livanti Gelato Di Sicilia - for sure the best ice creams in Alicante.
We headed to the MACA (Museo de Arte Contemporari) to digest our Paella, small but very well curated exhibition in a newly renovated building full of character. The museum is free and have temporary exhibitions on a regular basis. Don’t forget to check the art piece on the place opposite the museum.
Next the Castle of Santa Barbara, up the hill. We took the lift for the way up (the experience itself is worth the 2,70 euros – you are guided through a long futuristic tunnel to the lift where only a handful of people fit in, this lift looks more like your dental practice’s lift than fitted to climb inside a hill!). The views from the Castle are breathtaking and small videos will explain the history of the place in a very playful way. We walked back to the city through the Parque de la Ereta and the tiny alleys hung up on the hill (probably my favourite part of the city).
With all the main touristy places ticked, we wanted some beach time. Benidorm seemed a great option as it is well known for its kilometers of sandy beaches and it would also give us the opportunity to see the Coasta Blanca while being comfortably sat on the tram (it only takes 1 hour to get there). We arrived around midday on a sunday, the beach promenade was really quiet and most of the stores closed (besides the cheap Ale-Hop store which ended up being a great last minute option to buy a swimsuit!) . The city suddenly woke up at around 5pm with many brits enjoying beers on terraces. Not much to see in Benidorm but a very nice and clean beach with transparent water and a cool spot called “The balconny of the Mediteranean sea”.
Lunch:you have so many options on the sea front in Benidorm for some tapas or more! Dinner: we were back to Alicante and went to te famously known best tapas restaurant La Taberna Del Gourmet - must book in advance, this is definitely not cheap but delicious and filling ! A never ending succession of tapas with some japanese fusion inspired dishes. I highly recommend this place !
One more day of hot weather, ice cream and farniente, we took this time advantage of the beach in Alicante and found a really cool rooftop bar.
Lunch and drinks: Amazing rooftop terrace at La Milagrosa - they only have some basic tapas (they don't have a kitchen) there but the view over the castle and the church next door is beautiful.
If you visited Alicante or any cities in the south of Spain, let me know in the comments below I would love to know your favourite place !!