Sun, sea and sand seekers often look to Alicante in the south of Spain to fulfil their every need, and with good reason too. The Mediterranean climate means high temperatures pretty much all year round. But those looking to mix a sun-drenched break with the added bonus of a look into Spanish history and culture will find it right here.
Visitors can be lapping up the waves and rays on Alicante’s numerous beaches after just a three-hour flight from Shannon. Playa del Postiguet and Playa San Juan are two of the most busy and popular, but those looking for a quieter spot to while away an afternoon are also spoiled for choice – Playa del Coco is just one of the area’s calmer sand and sun traps.
First thing’s first though. When you land at Alicante’s international airport, you’ll be a mere nine kilometres from the city centre. A 15-minute taxi journey costs roughly €20 while the bus journey from the main terminal is more reasonably priced at just over €1 per person, but it can take up to 45 minutes. If you’re travelling on to another resort in the region, check local bus and taxi fares before you arrive.
With 245 kilometres of coastline, shoreside accommodation options are varied and plentiful in the Alicante region. Benidorm, Denia, Torrevieja and Calpe are some of the most popular destinations and all have 1-5 star options on offer. Prices vary wildly of course, and increase markedly in the spring and summer months. Those on a budget can still find a modestly priced roof over their heads at most times of the year though.
When you’ve settled into your nest for the duration of your stay here, get ready to explore. The entire region has a whole lot more to it than just its magnificent beaches – architecture buffs, in particular, will have a field day. Mercado Central, a fine example of 20th century design, should be your starting point. Foodies will also find an eclectic mix of fish, meats, cheeses and vegetables available at the market here too.
If there’s time, head to Guadalest Valley. You’re more than compensated for the 90-minute drive from Torrevieja by the views that greet you when you get there. Relax in the village of Guadalest while you’re up there and mingle with the 200 locals while sampling some sumptuous tapas. It’s best to plan a day trip given the distance involved from the most popular resorts but you’ll find it’s worth it.
Tee it up
Every year, golfers from all over the world flock to the Alicante region. Fair weather players are almost always in luck and with plenty of courses to choose from, there’s a tee time available for everyone. It’s best to book well in advance to take advantage of discounted green fees – you could end up forking out upwards of €70 per player otherwise.
The Alicante region might be well known for attracting a young, party-hungry crowd, but those looking for a slower-paced break with the chance to uncover the many hidden gems that the area has to offer, are well catered for too.