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Alicante: a great place to explore (and live)



Alicante: a great place to explore (and live)

Alicante is more than just an airport destination. Around 3 million tourists visit the city each year, so it comes as no surprise that it has an incredible tale to tell – one reaped in history, which spans across 7,000 years.

What's more, the surrounding towns and national parks deliver the perfect location for a holiday home – offering the best of both worlds in terms of tranquility and city centre vibrancy nearby.

Si Spain has a great list of brand new development sales on the outskirts of Alicante, in areas such as Arenales Del Sol and Busot. Here we tell you why this is such a great location for a holiday home in Costa Blanca.

A whole lot of history

Alicante's role in history is a like a game of pass the parcel.

We've broken them down into a few interesting snippets – all of which make Alicante a place full of stunning architecture and fascinating museums:

  1. Tribes of hunter-gatherers first inhabited Alicante over 7,000 years ago, no doubt drawn by the Med and its plentiful food source.
  2. Ancient Iberian tribes were then taught a thing or two by the Greeks, one of which was the alphabet.
  3. 1,500 years later, Carthaginian and Roman armies battled for rule over the city. The Romans were naturally victorious with a reign that lasted around 700 years.
  4. It was the Visigothic Warlord Theudimer (sounds like someone from the Game Of Thrones) who crippled the Roman's rule.
  5. The Arabians then seized the city, bringing their architecture and naming the city itself: Alicante, Arabic for the city of lights.
  6. Following the Arabians were the Moors and then a Castilian King.
  7. In the 15th century, Alicante flourished into an extremely significant Mediterranean trading station, sending the likes of oranges and wine as well as olive oil into international waters.
  8. Darn pirates put an end to all that by the 17th Century causing disruption which led to a stop in trading lines, a dissolved regional parliament, and citizens fending for themselves.
  9. Luckily, by the 20th Century, Alicante had resurgence in popularity. The local economy got back on its feet, international trade improved and the flourishing city harbour led to bigger profits once again.
  10. The Spanish Civil War allowed Alicante to witness the very last of the Republicans literally jumping ship…off Alicante's marina to escape their country.
  11. Then came WW2. Alicante City sadly suffered some barbaric bombings, the most shocking on the Mercado de Abastos in 1938 where around 300 civilians were murdered. The market still functions despite its tragedy, selling fresh local produce from fish to fruit.
  12. When Franco died in 1975 - marking the end of his 20-year dictatorship - Alicante was finally free of conflict. Valencia's local government was returned and everyone now lives happily ever after…

Which is so very true. The moment you step onto Alicante's Plaza Puerta del Mar, you feel enveloped by a city full of vibrancy. In one direction you see the stunning white sands, stretching for miles. Look up and you see the Santa Barbara Castle in all its medieval glory. Turn behind you to see the yachts all neatly lined up on the Marina, along with a Casino and Concert Hall. Finally, cross the road to enter the city centre to discover a maze of carreras.

For a full culture fix, you must find the Museo de Belenes, El Centro de Interpretacion Sobre Los Refugios Antiaereos and visit the Santa Barbara Castile too.

Hidden Gems for Foodies

The Marina holds everything a foodie could dream of, especially for tourists that enjoy international cuisine. Look towards the handful of cafes that can be found within the harbour for a more traditional Spanish meal, like the Menu Del Dia. TripAdvisor has a great list of places to eat here.

The Vintage Restaurant and Bar in Santa Pola cooks exquisite dishes; every review speaks of its excellence with both incredible service and a view of the marina – a must for a special occasion and not that heavy on the wallet either.

Head to Arenales Del Sol and you'll discover the typical coastal resort strip of bars, restaurants and shops. That doesn't mean that quality food places are not available. Ohana GastroBar is the number one food place on TripAdvisor, with some great reviews from visitors and residents alike. They focus on serving quality wines and meats amongst a laidback surrounding.

City Beach Life

There are plentiful beach areas in Alicante that suit all tastes from the urban beach, to wild coves and family friendly options. El Postiguet is renowned for the quality of its sand, its palm tree boardwalk and its places to eat and drink. It sits at the bottom of Santa Barbara castle in the Old Quarter. It's one of Alicante's most well known attractions and it's easy to see why when you take a visit.

San Juan de Alicante is the longest beach. It stretches for 3km and offers golden white sands that you can bury your tired toes in after hours of sight seeing. It's where you'll find the locals early evening for sure.

Santa Pola holds traditional fishing grounds so it may come, as no surprise, that the area is renowned for its fish. You can surf here, which is both an opportunity and a source of entertainment, the waters are crystal clear… it seems like it was designed to be perfect for families. What's not to like?

For a more tranquil, holiday retreat feel, head to the Arenales del Sol beach. Visit Elche describe it as “one of the most valued on the coast of Alicante, both for the quality of its water and the richness of its marine life”. Families will love the sand dunes and its connection to the Clot de Galvany Nature Reserve, a wetland located amongst the urban area of Arenales del Sol and Gran Alacant. Children will love the ice cream parlours lining the beach, and shoppers will enjoy the local markets that pop up Tuesday and Friday afternoons throughout the summer months.

Hire a car and explore

The nearby airport clearly suggests that Alicante is the gateway to other great destinations in Costa Blanca. Benidorm and Valencia are a leisurely drive away, as well as Torrevieja and Guardamar.

The Blue Flag beaches of Levante and Poniente near Benidorm hold numerous aquatic activities and restaurants, as well as bars. Levante, specifically, has been coined as the 'sunrise beach.' Take a drive north in the early hours one morning to watch the spectacle.

Alicante to Valencia is a slightly longer drive of two hours but make no mistake the trek will certainly be worthwhile. Of course, you must see the City of Arts and Sciences…however it is the hidden gems concealed by the maze of marbled streets that really make Valencia special. You can spend all day walking around the city discovering all the restaurants that have been serving traditional Spanish tapas for decades.

Close to home there is the Clot de Galvany Nature Reserve. It has two walking routes that allow you take in the stunning scenery.

Holiday Homes

Buscot - New developments are popping up in Busot, which is just 10km away from Alicante and even closer to the popular coastal town of El Campello. It's a quiet location, and perfect for those who want to be surrounded by a traditional Spanish town. You can get a lot for your money here, such as a brand new three bed villa for €220,000.

Arenales Del Sol – An exclusive new development of modern, contemporary 2 and 3 bedroom is located just a few minutes walk from the golden sandy beaches of Arenales Del Sol. It's a Cliffside location, which means that every apartment has uninterrupted sea views.

Use our quick chat service, or request a call to find out more about the area and the properties we have available.


10 Aug 2018