Tarifa Beach

Exploring Alicante’s Offbeat Attractions: Superb Travel Destinations off the Beaten Path

April 17, 2013

Originally a Roman city, Alicante is located on the eastern coast of Spain. The city is very popular with tourists travelling to the Mediterranean, but there are many hidden attractions in and around Alicante.

Overlooking the city is the imposing Mount Benacantil. On one side of this mount is the Old Quarter, a part of Alicante made up of diverse and historic buildings. It tends to be quieter than the main city and there are many attractions here, such as the oldest church in Alicante, the Basilica of Santa Maria. The architecture of this church seems to be as diverse as the Old Quarter itself, ranging from Gothic to Baroque influences. The basilica has six chapels in addition to the main nave.

To the north of Mount Benacantil is Sierra de San Julián. This point provides wonderful views not only of Santa Barbara Castle, located at the summit of Mount Benacantil, but also of the coastline and parts of the city itself. The site is of archaeological significance, with evidence of settlements dating back to the Bronze Age.

One festival to experience is the Bonfires of Saint John, held across Spain in June each year. Alicante hosts the biggest celebration, including bonfires and fireworks. In the autumn, people construct works of art based on famous people, politicians or historical figures. These become a part of the street parades held during the Bonfires of Saint John festival and all are burned on the last night. The best view of these pyrotechnics is from Santa Barbara Castle.

Some twenty kilometres from Alicante are the Canalobre Caves. This would be a nice day trip for travellers and although only a single cavern is open to visitors, the rock formations are well-lit. The cave is shaped like a cathedral vault and features some extraordinary stalactites on its ceiling.

Many tourists can be found on the Alicante shore, enjoying the sand and the Mediterranean Sea. El Postiguet is the most popular among Alicante’s beaches due to its proximity to the city. Lined with palm trees, the beach has won many Blue Flag awards for its clean bathing water and high environmental management standards. Although Alicante has many beaches to tempt visitors, it is worth knowing that there are many other attractions for travellers to see. Many airlines now offer flights to Alicante, making it easy to fly to a city which has so much to offer.