As I said in a previous blog post, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from Alicante on my trip with Jet2. But what I discovered was a cute and authentic Spanish town with a great foodie scene and gorgeous landscapes.
So if you’re heading to this gem in the Costa Blanca, here’s what you can get up to…
9 Things To Do in Alicante
See the panoramic views at Santa Barbara Castle
Santa Barbara Castle really is the main attraction in Alicante. The ancient 9th century castle sits atop a mountain overlooking the Costa Blanca and not only is it a gorgeous castle to wander, but it offers some really spectacular panoramic views.
You can hike up to the castle but I hear it’s pretty gruelling and can take about an hour. So we went for the lazy option and got the lift up from the beach! (Tickets €2.70 each)
The castle itself is free to enter. So go ahead and learn about Santa Barbara Castle’s history and Islamic origins, have lunch with a view at the cafe or get acquainted with the resident cat…
Discover the Game Of Thrones exhibition
Yeah this was random. But we quite unexpectedly stumbled upon a Game Of Thrones exhibition within Santa Barbara castle, just as we were leaving!
It’s really small but it offered me the chance to sit on the Iron Throne. So I think that in itself deserves a completely separate entry on this list.
Honestly, I can’t see any connection between the castle and the TV show, except some scenes were filmed in Spain. But not here specifically. So I have no idea what it’s all about!
But nevertheless, it was cool. Or nerdy, depending on your orientation I guess.
Drink at cute Old Town bars
Alicante has great nightlife. Late night / going to clubs kind of nightlife, sure. But my favourite thing was to wander the Old Town and stop for a drink in each cute bar we found.
This varied from the industrial bar pictured below (Bandarra) to cosy pubs and chilled beach bars. Read more about my fave Alicante bars in this post.
I’ve already told you all about my favourite places to eat in Alicante (over here), but it honestly is the best thing to do in this destination. It’s so lovely to wander the Old Town streets, stopping for a plate of tapas or glass of wine al fresco.
Absolute dream, if you ask me.
Things you have to try whilst you’re in-town: Iberian ham, patatas bravas, padron peppers and, of course, paella.
Hit the beach
I visited Alicante in November so it wasn’t scorching hot, but it was a pretty warm 22 degrees and there were still people on the beach! Albeit a lot less than I imagine there are in the summer!
But even in the winter time, it’s a gorgeous place to walk along the promenade, watch the waves from the pier and go to the amusement park.
Explore El Palmeral park
About an hour’s walk or 5 minute drive (wish we’d done the latter) from Alicante’s Old Town, is the gorgeous El Palmeral park.
And why should you check it out? Because it’s full of two things.
1. Palm trees.
Seriously, there were so many cats it was actual Cat Lady Heaven. I think the people that run the park must look after them because there were bowls of food put out for them and they looked very healthy and happy.
Plus all the trees make it feel a bit like a film. Semi-Jurassic Park with a bit of LA thrown in.
Hire bikes for the day
Because the promenade is so wide and flat, it’s perfect for hiring bikes. You can cycle along by the beach and the marina and even along the pier. And y’know, make stops for cava and tapas because that’s what you do in Spain.
Lovely activity for a warm afternoon and a good idea to combine with a visit to El Palmeral park (above) to save some time getting there and back!
Day trip to Calpe
If you’ve had enough of eating and drinking and cycling your way around Alicante and feel the need for a day trip, there are a couple that look pretty sick. I only had 3 days there so didn’t get around to these but if you have more time, def check them out.
The first is to the fishing town of Calpe. It’s known for having a very authentic vibe with a nice beach, rock pools and a giant limestone karst you can hike to the top of for view goals.
Plus, it’s where the pink house you’ve probs seen on Instagram is – La Muralla Roja. Although if you’re going to Calpe just for this gorgeous building, make sure you read this article first because it’s not as accessible as you would think.
Day trip to Torrevieja
The second day trip from Alicante I was eyeing up is Torrevieja.
This is predominantly for Lagunas de la Mata-Torrevieja Nature Park where they have two pretty salt lagoons – one is green and one is pink! Could be neat, right?
Both day trips are better if you are hiring a car but you can also get there via bus.
There you have it, the best things to do when holidaying to the gem of the Costa Blanca, Alicante.
Anything you’d add to the list?
Total Blogger Transparency: I visited Alicante on a complimentary trip with Jet2. But all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own, I wouldn’t play you like that, shorty.