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Published: September 9th 2009
Sightseeing Highlights from my stay in Alicante
One afternoon, we went downtown to Alicante. Alicante is the gateway to Costa Blanca and its popular beach resorts including Benidorm, Altea and Santa Pola. Me not being a big beach fan, I was not worried visiting the resorts where many travellers flock to. It was very hot exploring Alicante and we took a couple of breaks for drinks and icecream.
We explored the old town (El Barrio) including Santa Maria Basilica and we saw some interesting historical buildings. We wandered along the Explanada de Espana where I tried a Horchata, at one of the many cafes, and is a Valencian cold drink made by grand tiger nuts and semi frozen milk. It has an acquired taste but refreshing.
Passing Postiguet beach, we got the lift up to the Castillo de Santa Barbara. The castle is perched on a rocky crag where you get great views of the city, the port and the coast. We descended down via Parque de la Ereta into the old town. Visiting the castle was one of my highlights in Alicante.
One afternoon, with the immense heat in
Costa Blanca, Spain
Alicante, I took a ferry ride to Tabarca Island. The ferry ride with its cool breezes from the sea appealed to me and I was not disappointed. Tabarca Island is off the Costa Blanca and it takes an hour by ferry to get there. You can also travel by ferry from Benidorm or Santa Pola. The walled town was built in the 1800s by the order of Spain's King Carlos III for the Genoese families who were rescued from Tabarka, a port in Tunisia. The Island's coast was once home to a Berber Pirate Camp. I explored the walled town and walked along some of the coast where there are plenty of coves and beaches. I saw a fortress and an old lighthouse and solar station generating the island's electricity. There is a lot of ecological and conservation activity happening because of the island being declared a Mediterranean Marine Reserve.
We took an afternoon trip to Elche, a historical city renowned for its 200,000+ palm trees. The palm trees have been added to UNESCO World Heritage Sites List. We wandered in the municipal park to admire the palm trees and the Moorish architecture. We were given
a presentation about the city and its popular festival Misterio de Elx
, which takes place every August at La Casa de La Festa. We visited the Banys Arabs where we had a guided tour of the bathhouse. We saw the Town Hall and I went up the Santa Maria Bailica to check out the views of the city and beyond. It was a hot afternoon - The best thing to do was to enjoy an ice cream sundae and a glass of cava outside the main square at the Cafe Paris whilst people watching and watching the world go by! I did not get the opportunity to visit the Hort del Evra, the botanical gardens, in the palm forests. I heard the gardens are excellent for its cactus and flowers as well as the various palms. Perhaps another time!
Please excuse the quality of the photos. I forgot to take my usual camera and did not realise until I got to the airport! I had to buy a cheapish one at Duty Free and I feel the quality is not good compared to my usual camera. First thing to put in my bag when I next pack for my
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