Day 1. Alicante on Spain’s Costa Blanca

With travelling so often, I still have plenty of trips to write about that I haven’t had time to publish previously, I hope you’ll continue to enjoy reading these posts from the comfort of your armchairs and that they might provide some light relief whilst we are all holed up at home and perhaps some inspiration for a visit to the Costa Blanca at a future date. Take care, stay safe and do please keep in touch and let me know how you are getting along and keeping yourselves occupied.

Our winter visit to Alicante took place before the Coronavirus outbreak. At the time of booking our 6.20 a.m. flight to Alicante it seemed a good idea, breakfast on arrival and a full day of sightseeing in a new destination. In reality, when my phone alarm woke me at 3.10 a.m. to the sounds of a howling gale and rain battering on the windowpanes I would have preferred nothing more than a few more hours snuggled under my duvet. Somehow, we eventually managed to drag ourselves out of bed and were ready for departure just minutes before our taxi arrived at 4.00 a.m.

Untitled
Leaving the airport bus by the marina in Alicante

Our Ryanair flight was only the third of the morning to depart so Leeds-Bradford airport was exceedingly quiet and we were soon coming back to life with large cups of coffee in one of its airside cafes. The 2 hour 20 minute flight over to Alicante was slightly bumpy due to strong winds but these must have been helping us on our way, as we touched down 20 minutes ahead of schedule at 10.00 a.m. local time. I managed to sleep for most of the flight, only waking with a jolt when the aircraft wheels hit the runway, leaving me disorientated for a few seconds whilst I worked out what was happening.

Untitled
Beautiful architecture overlooking the marina in Alicante

The modern airport had lots of e-gates so we were able to speed through immigration and then take a C6 bus from outside the departure hall into the city centre. Buses run every 20 minutes but we must have just missed one as we had to wait around that length of time for the next service to appear. Adult single tickets cost €3.85 (£3.20) and can be purchased on board and paid for using contactless cards. The bus had ample luggage storage facilities and the journey was quick, taking us along the resort’s seafront where we alighted at the marina.

Untitled
Alicante marina with the backdrop of Santa Barbara Castle

As it was too early to check into our hotel we wandered through the town and soon came across a pleasant bar for a late breakfast. We ordered the brunch offer and our bacon, eggs and chips served with toasted baguette and jam was very tasty if not the most healthy of options.

Untitled
The elegant palm tree lined esplanade in Alicante

To walk off our breakfast, we strolled along the palm tree lined esplanade with its marble, wavy patterned pavement and enjoyed the warm sunshine. We were actually feeling a little too hot in our coats and with carrying our heavy bags around but I wasn’t complaining as it was preferable to the icy weather we’d left behind. Passing the beach, you would not have thought it was winter with the number of people sunbathing and taking dips in the sparkling clear blue Mediterranean Sea.

Untitled
Our room at the TRYP Ciudad Alicante

Although check-in wasn’t supposed to be until 2.00 p.m. at the TRYP Ciudad Alicante our room was ready when we called in an hour early which was good news. Accessed by the tiniest lift possible which was a squeeze for the two of us with our bags, we made our way to our 4th floor room. This was well equipped (just missing a kettle) with a newly installed bathroom which was nearly as big as the room itself. The hotel sits one road back from the seafront and our room had what one might call ‘sea glimpses’ as there was a gap between two buildings to one side of our window through which the promenade was just about visible.

Untitled
Volvo Ocean Race Museum, Alicante

After quickly unpacking we set off exploring, happily leaving our bags and coats behind. Our first stop was along the seafront for a walk by the marina where we admired some of the many yachts moored there. The path continued around the back of the marina, parallel with the sea and took us to the Volvo Ocean Race Museum with a yacht outside its entrance which took part in the 2006/7 race.

Untitled
One of the interactive exhibits in the Volvo Ocean Race Museum, Alicante

The museum offers free admittance and documents the history of the race from the first event in 1973 onwards. We learnt that the race which is the longest and toughest nautical event is held every three years. The museum is based in Alicante as its marina has been a port of departure four times, the last one being as recent as October 2017.

Untitled
The Brasil 1 boat which took part in the Volvo Ocean Race

The museum offers a fascinating tour of the event detailing clothes, equipment and technical data. There are hands-on exhibits, games and even a simulator called ‘The Ride’. We queued awhile to experience the simulator but as it was popular we would probably have had to wait quite a long time so decided not to bother.

Untitled
Playa de Albufereta, Alicante

Leaving the museum, we followed an elevated walkway towards the Playa de Albufereta beach and part way along there we sat on a bench to take in the views, rest awhile and enjoy a few rays of the Spanish afternoon sun. It was so nice just sitting there without our coats on in winter.

Untitled
Plaza de Ayuntamiento, Alicante

Across the promenade from the marina stands the Plaza de Ayuntamiento, dominated by the beautiful baroque Alicante City Hall. Heading inland we came across more palm tree lined avenues with stylish shops and cafes. We spotted a branch of El Corte Inglés, the Spanish equivalent of John Lewis, so we spent some time browsing its numerous departments, especially liking its gourmet food hall. Alicante has some beautiful architecture and even in winter, its flowerbeds looked attractive planted out with red cyclamen and poinsettia.

Untitled
La Crispeta Restaurant, Alicante

On our way back to the hotel, we popped into a seafront cafe for tea and cakes then went back to our room for a rest as the early start to the day had caught up on us. After a couple of hours rest we felt refreshed and a little hungry so we set off in search of a typical Spanish restaurant for dinner. We didn’t have to look far, as just behind the hotel we came across a small restaurant called La Crispeta which looked to have a cosy atmosphere with its candlelit tables. Menus were printed on folding wooden boards and our chosen dishes of rack of lamb and grilled chicken breast were freshly prepared and arrived beautifully presented. The staff were attentive and friendly making us feel very welcome and we enjoyed our meal.

Untitled
My lamb with roasted vegetables at La Crispeta Restaurant, Alicante

It was about 9.00 p.m. when we left the restaurant and the streets were still crowded with locals enjoying a late evening stroll so we joined them and wandered around awhile ourselves before returning to our hotel for the night.

If you have enjoyed reading this post you may also be interested in the following:

Visiting Malaga

Exploring Seville

 

65 thoughts on “Day 1. Alicante on Spain’s Costa Blanca

  1. Pingback: Day 2. Visiting The Vatican, Rome – Love Travelling Blog

  2. Pingback: Day 8.  Our final day in Malta – Love Travelling Blog

  3. Pingback: Day 5.  Lagos to Silves by train – Love Travelling Blog

  4. Pingback: Day 1.  A week in the Algarve – Love Travelling Blog

  5. jasonlikestotravel

    Can’t beat a little bit of Winter sun, I think I’d love to be somewhere like this right now. I’ve not been to Alicante but it looks lovely.

    I can completely relate to that early morning flight feeling too. I always wonder why I’ve done it when that early morning alarm goes off and it’s time to leave. Getting to your destination early has its perks though. However early flights home are horrible and should be avoided where possible haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I couldn’t agree more Jason. I can cope with early morning departures but never on returning home when you have to skip breakfast and wonder if you’ll ever reach the airport on time. I much prefer to pay a bit more and enjoy as full a last day as possible. How I wish we could book a flight now, to anywhere, I don’t care where do you?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. jasonlikestotravel

        Absolutely. Probably feeling it more with it being May – the bank holidays are always a time to travel for me. I’d love to be going somewhere soon. Fingers crossed August bank holiday is a possibility, if not I’ll certainly be trying to visit somewhere new in the UK soon!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Day 6. Valldemossa & Palma, Mallorca – Love Travelling Blog

  7. Pingback: Day 7 Relaxing in Funchal, Madeira – Love Travelling Blog

  8. Pingback: Day 3. Sightseeing in Barcelona – Love Travelling Blog

  9. Pingback: Day 3. By train to the Ronda Gorge – Love Travelling Blog

  10. Pingback: Day 3. Visiting Lake Como from Bergamo – Love Travelling Blog

    1. Oh dear what a shame, many of us have also had our hopes temporarily dashed too. We should have been visiting Porto last week. I hope you derive a little pleasure from my series of posts on Alicante and that they will hopefully will be useful when you manage to get there at a later date. Thank you for taking the time to comment, it’s much appreciated.

      Like

    1. Thanks Jonno for taking an interest in this post on Alicante. I’m so grateful that we managed to fit in these overseas trips before the restrictions were put in place. Great memories but how I wish we were setting off somewhere soon. I’ll never moan at getting up at 3.30 a.m. in mid winter to get to the airport again.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Spain is a very interesting country to visit Ian and hopefully it won’t be too long before we can all start travelling again. Both Spain and Italy have been badly affected by the virus and it’s sad to say that the U.K. seem to be as well. Let’s hope it peaks soon.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m watching a series on rail journeys through the UK following in the footsteps of Bradshaw a century ago who wrote the first rail tourist booklets. Very interesting to compare history as recorded there with the present

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Absolutely delighted to read yet another beautiful travel post! I’ve never been to Alicante and would nothing more than to visit one day. Although the weather is great in Ireland, the sun is shining, the birds are chirping and we are healthy and happy, I cannot wait to travel again. Thanks for sharing and fueling my wanderlust. Stay safe 😊 Aiva

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. Let’s hope it’s not too long now before we can all safely travel again! In northern England we’ve also had a few nice warm sunny days and I’ve been so grateful for my good sized garden to get out into. Take care, Marion.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Costa Blanca sound so much better than the English translation of White Coast, don’t you think? And thanks for writing Brasil with an s instead of the American version of Brazil. American though I am, I’ve never understood the need to use a z.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree that Costa Blanca sounds much more appealing than its English translation white coast. We enjoyed our out of season few days there and hope you also like my upcoming posts on the region. Stay safe and thanks for your welcome thoughts. Marion

      Like

    1. It’s my pleasure Nanchi. Thanks so much for getting in touch, it’s so nice to hear from you. I think we will all be more than ready for a trip somewhere once this is all over. In the meantime, I hope you continue to enjoy my blog. Take care, Marion.

      Like

  13. I’m so pleased you are still publishing your informative and interesting posts. One of my recent blog posts was entitled ‘Can’t travel…can dream’, so reading about your visits fits the bill perfectly. Normally, we would be in our French home at this time but I’m not complaining as we are lucky to live in a lovely place in the UK with the benefit of a well sized garden. I’ve been planning – always the optimist – where we might go next for an adventure (last year it was 3 weeks in Cape Town) and I’m rather taken with the idea of an epic train journey somewhere! I hope you’re well and that you stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi June, it’s so nice to hear from you. That’s the best slogan a the moment ‘can’t travel but can dream’. Let’s hope it’s not too long before we can all set off again on our own adventures. Like you, we also live in a lovely part of the country, a small town in a semi rural location with some gorgeous countryside on our north of England doorstep which I’ll never take for granted again. I’m writing this sitting on my sunny patio and it’s blissfully quiet. Thank goodness the weather is warming up as I would go stir crazy stuck inside. Take care, Marion.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I often think what it must be like to be stuck in a top floor flat of a tower block, without a garden or even a balcony, especially with small children. I agree that to be able to sit outside with a cup of tea and a good book is the ultimate treat at the moment!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Hola! Glad you made it safely to Alicante. We live near Torrevieja, which is around 30 miles from there. Pleased that the sun shone for you – one of the reasons for our retiring here! Spain is such a huge country, as you know…and we’ve only explored parts of it. It’s so varied and we enjoy the cafe life and the fiestas. Ole! Enjoy your future travels and take care. Cheers! x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Joy for your kind words.The coast was lovely and I can see why you decided to retire there. Thankfully it’s reasonably warm here today in northern England and I’m sitting on my patio writing this. Happy Easter and take care Marion x

      Like

    1. I think we’re all looking forward to getting back in the road Shane, just about anywhere would be wonderful right now. I’m grateful though to live in a semi-rural spot and have a nice garden to relax in. Going for my daily exercise I’ll never take the local countryside for granted any more. The weather’s beautiful here this morning. How is it with you? Take care, Marion.

      Like

      1. Anonymous

        Weathers lovely here in bray. We can reach the sea and bray head within 2k of house. Back gardens fine for this afternoon. Take care and look forward to more posts.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m out in my garden too. So lovely that we can at least enjoy some fresh air and not have to be cooped up indoors all the time. One of these days I’ll make it over to Bray when we can travel once again. Take care. M.

          Like

      1. I think that’s why I didn’t head straight there. When living in England I would see so many tour brochures, and hear so many people complaining they couldn’t get decent fish and chips in Spain, I was fearful that I’d be spending all my time dodging short-stay holidaymakers

        Liked by 3 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.