Meet Emma! Emma is a Nottingham University Student, a fabulous blogger and most importantly a fellow Travelista! On her recent trip to Alicante, Spain, Emma discovered there is much more to the Spanish province than sandy beaches (although she didn’t mind sampling those either!) Here is her travel story…
This summer saw a long-awaited return to the beautiful Costa Blanca. Nostalgia and blissful childhood memories of holidaying in the Mediterranean were the motive of my return, a wish to once again experience the joys of villa life, Spanish cuisine and the odd ancient ruin. Taking with me stacks of sun-cream, crisp new poolside reads and high expectations, I was ready for 10 days of sun, sand and sea and all that Alicante has to offer.
As with every trip to the coast, regardless of where in the world it may be, the quest to find the perfect beach is always on the agenda. In the case of Alicante you are spoilt for choice with the town of Denia sporting more beaches than you could shake a stick at! Large beaches of sloping white sand, seafood bars and rows of boutiques were of course on offer but, as expected, were rather busy. My favourites were those tucked away in quiet little bays with ragged rock features framing the small unspoilt beaches. There was only one occasion when we had to share the beach with anyone else, and even then they were so far away that it didn’t hinder our ability to prance around in the sand.
But if you aren’t one for lazing on tranquil beaches or relaxing with a gin and tonic on the terrace then, fear not. Alicante has something for you too! During my visit most of the local towns including Oliva, Denia and Pego were holding fiestas which provide the perfect excuse to indulge in delicious street food and delicacies from local stalls, listen to live music by the seafront and engage in the region’s festivities and culture. The same can be said for the Alicante Wine Festival in Denia which we happened to stumble upon where the sophisticated crowd could be found gathered, sipping on varieties of local wine enjoying the buzz of the atmosphere and live drumming as dusk fell in the town square. It is in the evenings that towns really come alive.
If you are still in need of a good dose of history and you need a fix for your culture-craving then the drive to the medieval hillside town of Guadalest is well worth it. With breath-taking views across the valley you realise that your photos will never do it justice so you stop for as long as you can in the hope that a vivid image will burn into your brain’s bank of memories as a permanent fixture!
Albeit on a smaller scale, the UNESCO site of Huerto del Cura botanical garden is another beautiful escape from the busy towns and resorts of Alicante. This oasis of greenery, palms, cacti and bamboo is nestled in the town of Elche and is the perfect spot for strolling through the dappled shade and tiptoeing across the stepping-stones of trickling pools in which the terrapins bathe.
But we all know that good sightseeing and sunbathing requires a belly full of the tastiest food and in Alicante this is somewhat inevitable. The Spaniards sure do know how to rustle up the odd culinary delight! Whether you barbecue your own dorado and spiced Spanish sausage or splash out on a traditional paella then you won’t be disappointed. In one restaurant we were even made to move to a larger table just to accommodate the huge dish of paella which we had ordered to share between us (as is tradition). And it is this approach to sharing food amongst your group which defines Spanish eating. Sharing tapas is also a great way to enjoy a sociable meal but also try out all of the local delicacies. With seafood, Spanish meats, cheeses, salads and grilled vegetables all on the menu then there really is something to tantalise everyone’s taste-buds!
And one place whose food certainly tantalised my taste-buds was the Lorca Parador, a hotel where I was lucky enough to stay for the last night of my trip. Have you been looking for a hotel set in an archaeological site and in the grounds of a castle? With a spa and pool of turquoise blue? With state of the art architecture and reading rooms? And, of course fabulous food which comes with caviar?! If the answer is ‘yes’ then the Parador is the place for you.
So my trip to Alicante came to an end and I think it is fairly safe to say that its charm, party atmosphere, empty beaches and astonishing scenery is enough to win over even the coldest of hearts.
Enjoy Emma’s story? Find more at her own fabulous travel blog, A Stylish Review
Did Emma inspire you to visit Alicante? Are you currently planning a trip there? Want to know more? Please leave a comment in the box below! I’d love to hear from you!