Alicante: a more placid alternative for Costa Blanca holidays

Posted by admin | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 27-01-2012

Although the Costa Blanca region of Spain has several fantastic resort towns, it seems that Benidorm is the destination of choice for the majority of Brits when booking their Costa Blanca holidays. However, the region plays host to so many fantastic other towns, perfect for a summer holiday, and often cheaper and less crowded than the ever-popular hotels of Benidorm. One such town is Alicante, a picturesque port town, quieter and less expensive than nearby Benidorm, but not without its own attractions.

photo from flickr

The second-largest town in the Valencia region and an historic Mediterranean port, it is loaded with cultural and historical attractions. One of the main sights for anyone visiting the city is the Castle of Santa Barbara, sitting high above the city. The ancient fortification dates back to the 9th century, when the Iberian Peninsula was under Muslim control. The castle opened as a tourist attraction in the 1960s, and has since become one of Alicante’s most appealing tourist activities, offering spectacular views over the town and out to sea as well as telling its own unique story about the history of the city and the region. Similarly intriguing for culture buffs is the Basilica of Santa Maria, whose Baroque façade is one of the most admired in Spain.

Barrio de la Santa Cruz is a flamboyant quarter of the ‘Old Town’ of Alicante, with small higgledy-piggledy houses that line the hills leading up to the aforementioned castle, with narrow streets that are brightly decorated with flowers and flags. For those adventurous enough to head out to sea, the small island of Tabarca is located just a few kilometres away from the shores of Alicante in the Mediterranean. Tabarca is the smallest permanently-inhabited islet in Spain, and is known for its marine reserve, where visitors can observe all kinds of rare sea life.

Alicante is an ideal base for those looking for ever so slightly more cheap holidays to the Costa Blanca region; despite its size, there are a bevy of budget and package holiday options to choose from in the city. Less crowded and thus less expensive than nearby Benidorm, Alicante provides a welcome respite from the often-overwhelming plethora of tourists that descend upon the region in the summer months, and its cultural attractions and picturesque historic settings make it an ideal holiday destination.

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