Cultural Places in Spain
Experience Local Culture
Distance: 30miles (Approx 40minutes)
We just love Alicante. One of the best kept secrets in Spain in our opinion. It really is a lovely city and well worth a visit. There’s loads to see and do and a day won’t do it justice. Park down on the front in one of the large public carparks, they really don’t cost much to park in. You are right in the heart of things already. Wander along the Esplanade and visit the market stalls to pick up a few souvenirs. Don’t miss the Spanish Galleon, which is actually a replica tea clipper. Climb onboard for a look around and enjoy a drink on deck with fabulous views of the city. Grab a wonderful lunch in the port or wander through the narrow streets of the old town where you can visit the stunning Cathedral and don’t miss the town hall. Dominating the Alicante skyline is the Santa Barbara Castle which is free to get into. Take the lift up to the top for a 360degree view of the city. You can do guided tours and even Segway tours of the city if you wish. Alicante really comes alive at night, so if you have the time and the little ones are happy it is worthwhile hanging around and enjoying a drink in one of the many bars to just watch the world go by.
Chocolate Factory & Villajoyosa
Distance 50miles (Approx 1 hour drive)
Our kids love the chocolate factory…..mainly because of the free taster chocolate I admit, but they did enjoy looking around the museum and finding out how chocolate is made. Valor to the Spanish is the equivalent of Cadbury’s to the British. It is the most popular chocolate in Spain and you can visit their factory and taste their chocolate. The tours are free but check with us first for times of their tours in English. They are normally around 11am but not every day. Combine this with a wander around Villajoyosa which is famed for its brightly coloured fishermans cottages along the sea front. It is a really pretty place to visit and have lunch. There is also a nice beach and play areas for the kids if you want to make a full day of it.
Distance: 68m (Approx 1hr 30mins)
Guadalest is one of the top tourist destinations on the Costa Blanca. Guadalest is a small fortified village in the mountain famous for its 12th century Moorish Castle and quaint little streets with some lovely bars and restaurants with a few small and unusual museums including a Salt & Pepper Museum! There are stunning views from the village itself of the lake and surrounding mountains and countryside. Just a beautiful way to spend a half day out.
Distance: 64m (Approx 1hr 15mins)
Beautiful Altea. The old town perches on the top of a hill and is your archetypal Spanish white washed, narrow, cobbled street village. The way up is pretty steep but we made it, slowly, with the kids. The main church with its blue domed roof sits in the town square and provides a lovely backdrop to a lazy lunch with stunning views of the Med. We took the coast train from Alicante. It’s a stunning and at times seemingly precarious journey but a really relaxing way to get there. You will need to get yourselves down to Alicante to get the train though
Elche & Huerto Del Cura
Distance: 20m (Approx 35mins)
Elche is unique in that it is the only city in Spain to have 3 UNESCO World heritage attractions. The first is its palm trees. Elche is famed for its palm trees, there are 200,000 of them making it the biggest palm grove in Europe. A great way to experience these is to visit the Huerto Del Cura, a palm garden in the centre of a very busy city which is simply an oasis in amongst the hustle and bustle. It’s a beautiful and surprisingly tranquil garden, with fountain, ponds, peacocks and lots and lots of palm trees. The second is the Mystery Play. This is a play performed in August in the Basilica of Santa Maria. It is a religious play set to music and is the last surviving play of its kind. A true religious spectacle. The third is the School Museum of Pusol. This unique museum recreates what life was like in Spain during the 19th & 20th centuries.
Elche is just a wonderful city to try and get lost in. To really appreciate it, head for the Basilica of Santa Maria and just stroll through the old town with its many squares, shops, bars and restaurants and see what you can find.