Alicante Day Trip
Wednesday 21st February
Alicante is more than just an airport y' know Come and join us to explore.
Castle of Santa Barbara .
Crowning Benacantil mountain, the vast, monumental rock looming over Alicante, is a fortress with medieval Arab origins. The most recent renovations took place during Spain’s Golden Age in the 1500s, but if you look closely you’ll find little fragments from Moorish times. If you go on foot the best time to make the climb is early in the morning before the sun is at its fiercest, but there’s also a lift that runs from just behind Postiguet Beach. Everyone should get up to the battlements and gaze in awe at the panorama of Alicante, the Mediterranean and dark, mountainous countryside.
Esplanade de Alicante Alicante’s refined, marble-laid promenade is useful for way-finding, as it starts in the old-town and continues along the city’s seafront next to the marina. In most Spanish cities a family walk is part of the lifestyle, and promenades like the Explanada de España help you do it in style. You’ll get a real sense of Alicante’s ambience as you stroll beneath the palms and watch daily life in the city unfold around you at terraces and market stalls.
There are lovely coastal views, and after dark in summer this brightly lit walkway benefits from refreshing sea breezes at the end of sweltering days.
Archaeological Museum Alicante’s MARQ Provincial Archaeological Museum is just the place if you’re wondering about Alicante’s origins. You’ll start in prehistory with the hunter gatherers and see the first hand-crafted metallic items forged around Alicante. Then there’s the Iberian room, devoted to the many pre-Roman archaeological sites close by that have yielded wonderful pieces of sculpture and ceramics. The Roman city of Lucentum was close to modern Alicante and the wide range of pottery, jewellery and other everyday items recovered from digs there. Perhaps most thrilling of all are the displays that cover medieval times, when for a brief period, Jewish, Islamic and Christian cultures existed side-by-side.
Casco Antiguo You won’t mind getting lost in the old part of Alicante, a bit like a village at the centre of town. This neighbourhood is sprawled on the hill side beneath the castle, and to get around you’ll need to negotiate steep streets and stairways between high whitewashed walls. Locals take great pride in their homes, decorating their balconies and doorsteps with fresh flowers, and painting their shutters in blues and greens. If you need a breather you can always take the weight off at one of the many cafes and restaurants in this part of the city.
Basilica of Santa María
The oldest and prettiest church in the city is close to the foot of the mountain, and a few streets from Postiguet Beach. Like many churches in Spain Santa María was built over a former mosque after Alicante had been taken back from the Moors in the 13th century. The first thing you’ll notice are the church’s sombre-looking twin towers. What’s interesting about these is that even though they look identical, the one on the right is from the 1300s, while the left one is actually from the 1800s. Within check out the gothic 14th-century statue of Santa María and a medieval incunable, an early printed book from the 1200s Contemporary Art Museum A fun fact about this attraction devoted to modern art is that it’s housed in Alicante’s oldest secular building, a former granary constructed in 1687 next to the Santa María Basilica. It was founded in 1976 by the Alicante sculptor Eusebio Sempere, displaying his private collection. There are some 800 pieces in the collection, representing many the most celebrated 20th-century artists, including Picasso, Francis Bacon, Salvador Dalí and Joan Miró. Only a third of the works can be displayed at any time, and the display is rotated throughout the year, so no two visits will be the same. So much to see and do !!
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