A Weekend Break in Alicante
We decided in January last year, after a crazily busy Christmas period working in retail, that we needed to get away for a couple of days and go on a little adventure. We didn’t mind where we went and started looking online for a good deal on flights. We found crazily cheap flights to Alicante, for £45 each with easyJet and knowing we had family we could stay with there, booked them!
A couple of days later, we headed to the airport at an ungodly hour and jumped on our flight to Alicante -which is along the Costa Blanca in the south of Spain. We arrived early morning and were greeted by sunshine! Which if you live in the U.K. is very exciting in January! It wasn’t particularly warm, all the locals were wrapped like they were in the Artic, but for us Brits it was definitely not coat weather! Four days isn’t a huge amount of time to be in Spain, so because we wanted to do some exploring, we rented a car for the duration of our trip (another fiat 500!).
We stayed in the centre of Alicante in an apartment, kindly lent to us by Ella’s lovely uncle and aunt, about a five minuet walk from the beach and on the doorstep of countless bars and restaurants. Alicante is a city with something for everyone, great beaches, a thriving gastronomic scene and perfectly located for day trips to other popular Spanish destinations – all of which we were going to take full advantage of!
We spent our first day wandering around the city centre – everything is walking distance, occasionally stopping to get a drink and some tapas at one of the many bars – our fave is: Cerveceria Leyton, which is a tiny, really cheap tapas bar located just behind the marina. We then headed up to the Castillo de Santa Barbara, which looks across over the whole city. The walk isn’t for the faint hearted, so if like us, your not super fit, you can get a lift to the top from Avenue de Juan Bautista Lafora. Once you have reached the top you can explore the castle for free as well as admiring the views from 166 meters above the city!
The main reason we rented a car for this trip was so that we could take a day trip to Valencia. It took us about two hours to get there from Alicante, but we did go the scenic way and not the most direct route! Valencia Old Town is utterly beautiful and you easily spend a day or much longer wandering through the cobbled streets, admiring the mediaeval architecture, that will transport you back in time. With twenty one centuries of history in the heart of the city, there is so much to see and take in. We stopped in the Plaza de la Virgen for some calamari and sangria, and took in the impressive view of the Valencia Cathedral.
The next day we went on an unexpectedly long road trip to Benidorm. Alicante to Benidorm is only a 45 minute drive, but after choosing the scenic route and getting slightly (very) lost, we spent the next five hours driving around the country lanes of the Costa Blanca. Whilst lost, we stumbled across Guadalest Valley which ended up being one of the highlights of our trip, it was so pretty!
Benidorm was strangely quiet by the time we arrived, but we enjoyed dinner by the beach at sunset – the beach in Benidorm is SO nice. Golden sand and turquoise sea, we much preferred this beach to Alicante’s own main beach. Benidorm has a misconception of being a really trashy, British holiday destination and although there are aspects of it that aren’t so nice, it’s a really fun place to spend a weekend, the atmosphere is great and the beach is better than a lot of others in Spain.
We spent the rest of our long weekend in Alicante eating, drinking and spending time with family. Only two hours away, and with such cheap flights available, Alicante is the perfect city to escape to for a weekend away of sunshine, food, beaches and some of the best bars in Europe!
Top tip: hidden in the centre of Alicante is a tiny bar on a corner called El Coscorron. which is home to the best (and strongest) mojitos around! They come in a tea pot and taste so good, just don’t have too many!