Day 2. Exploring Alicante

Happy Easter to all my lovely readers near and far! I hope you’re all making the best of things and planning on tucking into chocolate eggs and feasting on traditional roast lamb dinners and hot cross buns. I certainly will be! We’ve been blessed with some warm, sunny days here enabling us to relax in the garden and even light the barbecue. I can’t ever remember using it in April before but I’m not complaining – it’s so much nicer than being indoors. How’s your Easter break coming along? It would be so nice to find out what you’re up to and you never know, we might even get some ideas from each other of new activities to try. Over the last few weeks I’ve rekindled by love of cryptic crosswords in the daily newspaper and dusted down the scrabble box for weekend games over a glass or two of wine and some crisps. Until next time, sending virtual hugs, Marion.

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After the previous night’s lack of sleep, we woke refreshed at 8.00 a.m. and headed downstairs for breakfast. The hotel’s restaurant was surprisingly quiet for a Sunday morning so we had our pick of seating options and enjoyed a selection of cured ham, cheese, fruit and yoghurt. After a couple of large cappuccinos and some sweet treats we felt ready to go out and start exploring.

Entrance tunnel to the Castillo de Santa Barbara, Alicante
Entrance tunnel to the Castillo de Santa Barbara

It was a warm, sunny winter morning so we left our coats behind and wandered along the seafront the short distance to the Castillo de Santa Barbara. Adult tickets to ascend the lift cost €2.85 (£2.37) each and can be purchased from a machine in the entrance. It was then quite a lengthy walk through a well-lit tunnel carved out of rock to the lift which transports 8 passengers at any one time up to the castle ramparts. As there were only a few people waiting we were able to take the first lift to arrive.

Viewpoints from the Santa Barbara Castle, Alicante
Viewpoints from the Santa Barbara Castle

The castle is located at the top of Benacantil Mountain, 166m above sea level from where we enjoyed some stunning views of the marina and surrounding areas. Large cannons poking through the thick castle walls are timely reminders of the fortress defences demonstrating how the city was defended by its fortress.

Stunning views across the Alicante marina
Stunning views across the Alicante marina

Entrance to the castle buildings is free of charge. On the lower (top of lift) level there is an exhibition hall containing archaeological artefacts found in the city and a dungeon to explore.  Steep slopes lead to the upper areas not served by the lift and flat shoes are advisable as the surface is quite uneven in places. On the mid-level are some of the castle’s most important buildings dating from the 16th century. Here, we were able to explore the ruins of the Santa Barbara church, the guardhouse, barracks and parade ground.

The Santa Barbara Castle, Alicante
The Santa Barbara Castle

It was another short, steep climb to the uppermost level La Torreta, which was well worth the climb for the far reaching views across Postiguet beach, the city and its nearby mountains. Up there we took a look in the keep, turrets and viewed the oldest remaining parts of the fortress.  Instead of returning to the seafront by way of the lift, we decided instead to walk down the steep hill along the road. This didn’t take very long and gave us some good views along the way.

Views from the castle ramparts, Alicante
Views from the castle ramparts

Consulting our map, we then decided to head to the Plaza Mar 2 mall which is Alicante’s largest shopping centre. It took around 20 minutes to walk there from the foot of the castle and we enjoyed an hour or so looking around the various shops and then having a coffee on its upper floor. Whilst there, we were tempted into buying yet more suitcases. I know we travel a lot, but our attic is starting to resemble an airport baggage hall with umpteen cases for every purpose imaginable.

Plaza Mar 2 Shopping Mall, Alicante
Plaza Mar 2 Shopping Mall, Alicante

After our dose of retail therapy our plan had been to return to the city centre by tram but as we approached the stop we saw one pass by and as we couldn’t be bothered waiting 20 minutes for the next one, we walked back instead. This saved us a few Euros and wasn’t actually that far as our stroll took us back along the promenade where we paused to watch a large yachting regatta.

Museum of Contemporary Artts, Alicante
Museum of Contemporary Artts, Alicante

After returning to our hotel to drop off our shopping, we set off once again, this time to the Museum of Contemporary Arts which was conveniently located around the corner. Admission is free of charge and we spent 30 minutes viewing the three permanent collections containing around 800 various installations before the museum closed at 2.00 p.m.

Alicante Cathedral
Alicante Cathedral

Across the square from the museum stands Alicante Cathedral, the Basilica de Santa Maria. This Catholic church is the oldest in Alicante and was built on the remains of an Islamic mosque in the 14th century. and has two imposing towers adorned with gargoyles. As it was a Sunday, a service was taking place so we were unable to look inside.

Alicante harbour
Optimist dnghies returning to the boat club after a day of sailing

We then found a cosy bar along one of the main shopping streets where we rested awhile with glasses of beer and a selection of tapas. A wander along the promenade followed, strolling alongside Postiguet beach where lots of people were sunbathing and enjoying the winter sunshine. Continuing further, we reached the yacht club where more than a hundred Optimist dinghies were waiting their turn to come up the slipway after several hours of racing. These were the same boats that we had seen from the castle turrets earlier in the day.

Santa Barbara castle at night, Alicante
Santa Barbara castle at night

It was then back to our hotel for a cup of tea, a rest and a spot of planning for the next day’s activities. We ate dinner in a restaurant near to the hotel then enjoyed a late evening stroll by the marina and along to the casino. Walking back, we had a lovely view of the castle which makes a stunning backdrop to the city when it is illuminated at night.

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56 thoughts on “Day 2. Exploring Alicante

  1. Great post about Alicante, Spain is one of our favourite countries. It’s such a shame we won’t be able to travel there this year. So many places we wanted to visit this year, I guess we will try to stick with more off-the-beaten path places. Thank you for sharing. Martina

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Day 2. Visiting Port D’Andratx, Mallorca – Love Travelling Blog

    1. Just answered your other post first. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment on my posts, it’s much appreciated. Have just woken up to clear blue skies and sunshine which wasn’t predicted so that’s promising. Hope it’s the same with you.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice post. I would have thought that attractions would have been closed during this Covid 19 lockdown. Perhaps Spain is different? Can’t wait to travel again, just been confined to the house for the past three weeks. I’m going stir crazy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This trip actually took place just before the restrictions were put in place and I hadn’t had an opportunity to post about it previously. We can still go out for walks and to the supermarket so we’re not confined to the house and garden. Like everyone else I don’t like it either and can’t wait to travel again. I keep dreaming of where I’ll go first!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sounds like a great Easter! I don’t really celebrate so mine was like any other day (except that it stormed and now the weather has gotten cold again). Your pictures and stories make me want to visit Spain again. I only got to go there briefly and even Barcelona slows down on Sundays so I definitely want to go there for a longer time.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Spain has some lovely towns and cities to visit. Barcelona is so nice but I also enjoyed Seville, Girona, Madrid and Córdoba to name but a few. So many places for us to visit when this is all over. Thanks for taking the time to comment, it’s much appreciated.

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  5. I don’t often leave comments but I have always enjoyed your reviews and continue to appreciate them while we all undergo lockdown. Thank you for continuing to present wonderful reviews of terrific places to visit once we are allowed to again. In the meantime, I too am enjoying the beauty of my own garden while the weather remains wonderful!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Ken for your positive thoughts. It’s so nice to learn that you continue to enjoy my blog posts and you are able to derive some pleasure from them during the lockdown. It’s a bit too chilly here today for our garden but hopefully it’s better with you. Marion.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s impossible to have too much chocolate, especially now! The weather has been good here too but is forecast to be cold tomorrow so don’t think we’ll be able to sit in the garden then. Thanks for your kind words and hope you get to visit Alicante before too long. Marion

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  6. Thomas Kwan

    Happy Easter. We live in Southern California. The weather the past week was rainy, except Saturday which was sunny and beautiful. Today, Easter Sunday is cool and cloudy. The skies haven’t been this clear for more than half a century. We have been under a stay home order since mid-March and will continue under the order through the end of May. We spend our time decluttering inside and tending the gardens.
    With the world in an eerie standstill, we are all in this together, grateful to be alive and hope the pandemic will end sooner than later, so we may travel again. Travelers know that we are all equals, and that we travel to greet, meet and live among our neighbors as they do us.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So very true Thomas. I’ve spent the last four weeks since being stuck at home trying to tidy and declutter our home and do all those little jobs that we always put off for another day. It will be wonderful to start travelling once again and I’m sure we’ll never ever take it for granted. I’ve yet to visit Southern California, the furthest south I’ve been in that state is Monterey and Big Sur. Hopefully I’ll get there one day. Take care and thanks for commenting, Marion.

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  7. Alison Hutt

    Happy Easter to you too. We have had a lovely family lunch here in Perth WA. My elderly parents are here and also my nephew from UK, it seems for a while now as all flights have been cancelled. I’ve decided to do an A to Z challenge of places I’ve visited so far ..so watch out for them 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds like a lovely get together. Our elder son couldn’t come home for the weekend because of the restrictions so we’ll have a duplicate Easter dinner as soon as we’re all back together. Will look out for your challenge – it sounds fun!

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      1. Alison Hutt

        Thanks..my son is also in Melbourne unable to come home for a bit..
        Sorry for double comment, I’m having a lot of trouble with WordPress at the moment.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Must seem like another life when you were in Alicante, even though it wasn’t that long ago? Have a great Easter Sunday, it’s not normal and it’s sad that so many people can’t get together but needs must.

    Liked by 1 person

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