Alicante, is the 2nd city of my tour around 40 cities in Europe this year. Largely renowned as a holiday hotspot and as the international gateway to the Costa Blanca, Alicante has more to offer those who look closer and particularly, higher. Santa Barbara Castle dominates the city’s skyline and for those who want to get to know Alicante’s history and take in the city from above, this is the place to start.
Located on the top of Benacantil Mountain, over 160m above sea level, you can see the city and almost the entire bay of Alicante. Access to the castle is via a cave-like entrance opposite the main beach and then up in a lift. There are steps and a winding road that will take you to the top of the mountain/castle. Entry prices to the castle via the lift are very reasonable – a family of 4 can go up for just over 5€. If you have young children it is worth taking the lift!
The origin of the Santa Barbara castle is in the late 9th century when the Moors ruled these shores. However, archaeological remains from the Bronze Age, Iberian and Roman have been found on the slopes of the mountain.
The rooms within the castle which can be seen today were built during the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when the medieval castle underwent changes to adapt itself to new techniques of war, long-range artillery, etc.
There are many exhibits on show at the castle and you could easily spend half a day here, including a rest in the sun (or shade courtesy of the trees that grow within the grounds) whilst sipping a coffee or eating an ice cream at the castle’s outdoor cafe.
Nothing can beat the feeling of the sun on your face, and last week, I took the kids to the Costa Blanca. It was their half-term and it had felt like such a long time since we felt the warmth of the sun that I thought a few days out there would benefit us all – plus I wanted to see for myself what the fuss was about – you see the Costa Blanca is being held in high esteem by many in the camping / mobile home holidays industry as the next big camping destination.
…and I really can’t disagree.
We visited the resorts of Alicante, Altea, Benidorm, Guardamar, Santa Pola and Torrevieja. It was 20 degrees, we had the sun, long sandy beaches and a blue sea – and this was February! Whilst not all attractions were open (most open at Easter), you could tell that a holiday here would not be boring for anyone.
There was a good atmosphere in the evening in the resorts, with plenty of people soaking up the night air in the bars and restaurants in the main town squares and along the beach.
The area is growing as a camping destination, not only for traditional camping in a tent or touring, but for those who like to stay in a Mobile home, there are many more campsites that offer these to rent on site.
EuroParcs recently announced they were offering holidays in luxury mobile homes at the super Camping Marjal near Alicante, the site features an outdoor lagoon pool complete with a waterfall and also an indoor pool complex with spa facilities.
Use this link to I Spy Camping for more ideas on where to go camping in Spain