If you find yourself near the port city of Alicante on Spain’s south eastern Costa Blanca and at a quandary as to what to do …read on.
I’ve visited many times and now know the formulae for a ‘right good day out’, especially if you like shopping, the beach or a scenic drive. Also if you’ve the energy (and inclination) there are museums by the ton, plus one rather large castle on a hill (with wheelchair lift access). There’s a map at the end of this article to help you pinpoint some of the things mentioned.
We’ve had visitors staying and they needed to catch an early flight at Alicante airport the other day, so after dropping them off we decided to make a ‘bit of a day’ of it instead of driving straight home.
CAR OR BUS?
We headed our car towards the heart of Alicante City, but if you haven’t got a car there is a local airport bus. It stops outside the Airport Departure Area on level 2. It’ll take you downtown in about 40 minutes (treat it as a sight-seeing trip).
The bus costs about 3 euros and in theory leaves every 20 minutes. More information here http://www.alicante-spain.com/alicante-airport-bus.
By car I prefer to head to the coast as soon as able and we take the N340 and N332 roads as soon as possible (see map above). If you’re hiring a car at the airport just ask for a more detailed map.
PARKING YOUR CAR IN ALICANTE
We find it easier to park near the sea and if you approach by the N332 you’ll soon see the underground car park signs almost as soon as you spy the many boats and yachts moored. Parking was 6 euros for almost 4 hours. If you prefer over ground parking then head a bit further along nearer to the Santa Barbara Castle.
EL CORTE INGLÉS SHOPPING
I’m a sucker for El Corte Inglés department stores (the biggest group in Europe and fourth worldwide), so that’s where I head for breakfast (amongst other things!). From the car park simply cross the road, walk through the park and head for the main street, Avda Dr Gadea (see map at the end). You’ll find one of the El Corte Inglés stores on the left. Each store tends to be themed (clothes in one, household articles in another, etc) but before I set forth the ‘inner woman’ needs refuelling.
I’m a bit boring because I nearly always choose the popular Spanish breakfast snack of ‘Tostada con tomate y aceite’ (toasted baguette with crushed tomato and wonderful olive oil) accompanied by coffee. I’ll not bore you with my shopping trip but I will give you the tip to always take the escalator to the top floor of each El Corte building … sometimes you can be lucky for on the top floor all the discounted goods are bundled together. On this occasion the discounted goods were masses of swimwear items, which I don’t need. In the past I’ve bought some really fantastic bargains, but it’s all luck and depends upon the day.
PLAYA DEL POSTIGUET BEACH
In the heart of the city is a 900m wide arc of golden sand that is the gorgeous beach of Playa del Postiguet. If you are a beach fan you can learn more about it here. Beaches - Alicante Spotlight home You can reach the beach in five minutes by car but if you’re prepared to walk a little and catch the bus for part of the route it is possible to do it that way. My choice would be to take a taxi or drive. It’s usually too hot to bother with the walking!
FINDING YOUR WAY ABOUT
The black biro is pointing to Avda Dr Gadea. The shopping area where you’ll find El Corte Inglés department stores. Under the black biro clip you’ll find the parking areas. The yellow biro is pointing to Santa Bárbara Castle. Under the clip and to the right you can see the span of beautiful golden beach.
Next time (amongst other things) …
✔︎Alicante’s accessible beach services for the disabled
✔︎Fougeres Festival Museum. I sometimes feel a bit like a museum piece myself so my passion for visiting museums has waned with each passing year. However this one will make you long to visit Alicante.
✔︎Plus of course The Castle on the hill
To be continued...