Alicante is located on the Costa Blanca in Eastern Spain, and has become an ever-popular destination for travellers due to its warm climate, friendly local people, exciting activity choices, cheap flight deals, bargain accommodation and beautiful coastline. One of the main advantages about travelling to Alicante is the short flight time, direct flights, affordable package deals and easy transfers; all of which make travelling as a family with children much easier and more enjoyable than the stressful trip to most resorts. Everyone’s needs can be catered for on a holiday to Alicante; with the choice between typical package deals and luxury breaks making a holiday to the region accessible on all budgets.
The whole family can be entertained in Alicante. There are many new and improved attractions, which alongside the natural beauty of the beaches and historical grandeur of castles and churches – provide the most stunning backdrop for a family holiday. The beautiful terrain of the Costa Blanca is home to nature, wildlife and marine parks which will entrance families and children who have a love of the natural world. Alongside the fun of the beach, there are also theme parks, water parks and guided tours to keep every minute action-packed. Of course not everyone wants adventure on their holidays, and the blue-flag beaches of Alicante are perfect for sunbathing and sipping cocktails for travellers who just want to relax!
If you’d prefer to be a little more active, Alicante is the perfect location for water sports, sailing, paragliding, horse riding, diving, basketball, hiking, swimming, snorkelling, golfing and climbing. Local people are active and keen on fitness, and basketball is one of the most popular activities in the region. Visitors are always welcome to participate in games and activities, and the people of Alicante are amongst the friendliest and most welcoming in the world. The Spanish people are very family-orientated and keeping children happy and entertained is a central theme in all holiday resorts. With a range of fun clubs, children’s entertainers and active pursuits; a holiday in Alicante helps to keep children of all ages engaged and amused – leaving adults free to pursue alternative activities if they choose.
Although it’s not an activity for the faint hearted and some people may have objections to the practice; bull fighting is traditional in the Costa Brava, and Alicante is a great place to witness this unique spectacle. Alicante’s Plaza del Toro is famous around the world and the bullfighters seen here are treated as local celebrities. Visitors should be aware that bull fighting could be distressing for some people, especially children, and it’s wise to observe that this is not a sport that everyone will enjoy. Injuries can sometimes happen, and although it’s rare for a person to be hurt – this can be very upsetting for spectators. However if you wish to witness something intrinsic to Spanish history in this region, and which has enormous cultural significance; bull fighting is a must-see.
The region of the Costa Brava and Alicante have a rich historical and cultural heritage, which can be experienced through the many museums, art galleries, local festivals and architecture seen throughout the area. Many buildings are built in a Baroque or Gothic style which is very unusual for the region of Europe; and some buildings dating from the 14th and 15th centuries remain well preserved from the time of the Moorish invasion and occupation. The influence of the Romans and the Moors can be seen throughout the culture, cuisine, art, architecture, literature and music of this region. Local museums and art galleries can provide a uniquely interesting insight into the region, and there are many to choose from. Local tourist information offices and guided tours are able to offer information on what to see, and there are several reasonably priced walking tours to experience the grandeur of Alicante’s past.
Food and drink
As is typical in Spain, tapas style meals are very popular in the Costa Brava, with a special emphasis on freshly caught seafood including mussels and shellfish. The most famous local dish is paella – a spiced rice dish with made with prawns, and a variety of this is offered in most restaurants and is sometime cooked on the beachfront. Alicante is a popular destination for international visitors and as such has a diverse range of international cuisine, including traditional British pubs and cafés, Chinese and sushi bars, Italian pizzerias and South American style steak houses. Whether you’ve chosen traditional Spanish food or something from an international menu; the local Spanish wines and liqueurs are excellent and very reasonably priced. Aperitifs are popular when dining out in restaurants, and there are a number of locally produced liqueurs which should be sampled on a break to Alicante. Children are always welcome in Spanish dining, and most restaurants are happy to make smaller portions for younger appetites. Although there aren’t always children’s menus available, cafés and restaurants are used to providing meals for young people, and will create smaller dishes from the main menu to suit kid’s appetites.
In the evening, the Alicante area is alive with bars and clubs offering reasonably priced beers, spirits and wines. The beachfront and marina areas are very popular with tourists, and there are a number of themed and international clubs and bars. Spanish measures are usually very generous and the prices are generally much lower than in the UK, so those looking to avoid headaches should show caution! The centre of Alicante has many so-called ‘British’ bars, whilst the suburbs tend to be more local and ‘authentic’. Wherever you choose to dine or drink, the atmosphere in Alicante is excellent with many local festivals, live music and dance performances to enjoy throughout the summer season.
Just off the coast of Alicante is the small island of Tabarca. Surrounded by a protected marine park and with unique baroque-style churches; many visitors make the 11 mile journey from Alicante marina to this intriguing island. The local speciality is sea food, and the island’s restaurants are amongst the best in Spain. Due to the idyllic marine park surrounding the island, many divers choose to travel to the site to observe the unspoilt underwater landscape and diverse marine life. Local dive schools are happy to provide trained staff and equipment and there are many guided tours and qualified instructors who can provide the expertise and safety needed when embarking on a dive.
Alicante is not a well-kept secret amongst travellers, but still has many aspects for visitors to discover. Just outside the main town are some remote and traditional villages, and the region has some of the best cuisine and most intriguing history and culture found in Western Europe. Many families and couples return to Alicante year after year, and the area always has something new to be experienced, whether this is your first trip or your twelfth!