Bring an extra one to cart back some of the excellent food and clothing that can be found here. Or buy one at the mercadillo for 15 Euros to take stuff back with you. Sandals - probably better to pay Spanish prices here. Spain is still home to a thriving shoe industry and they're sold at very reasonable prices. The mercadillo has a huge selection for under 10 euros. Forget it. Everything is likely cheaper here than where you're coming from. If you forget something just buy it here. Beach towel. If you forget, you can find them all around on the explanada. Bring a great attitude and a smile, along with some knowledge of the Spanish language, and you'll get along great.
I didn't go to eat to the...
I didn't go to eat to the restaurant in Tabarca but all the isle it's full of them.
My impression was that they really looked like touristic places where you usually don't eat well.
I preferred (and suggest) to buy a sandwich with ham(boccadillo con jamon serrano) in the unique food shop of the isle. It's very cheap and really good.
Isla de Tabarca
To reach Tabarca island you can take a boat from Alicante port (about 1 h) but also from Santa Pola port, which is closer.
The island is not big: less than 2 km long and about 400 m wide. It has been a refuge for pirates and a prison.
Today there is a small fishing village in the island. Most people go for one day, but there is a hotel for those who want a short quiet vacation. In the restaurants near the beach you can try a caldero, a typical dish based on rice and fish.
The waters around Tabarca are a good place for submarinisme due to the diversity of flora and fauna.
Swimming in November
Temperature outside was +21C and sun was nicely shining. It was the very end of November and sky moods were changing rapidly. I went to catch last sun beams in the early morning and swam in the sea. It was wonderful and fresh experience, and of course - locals thought i am crazy swimming in a winter time - specilay when i went to swimm during the rain on the very coudy day. Honestly - water temperature that day was warmer then outside! Take a try!
Hogueras de San Juan
If you come to Alicante in June, from 19 to 24, you will enjoy the Hogueras de San Juan, the main festival that takes place in the city. The hogueras are bonfires built with papier-machê. About 180 hogueras are built along the city. Also barracas are built, where groups of neighbors join for the celebration. Every day at 14:00 there is a mascletá, a long series of firecrackers, in the city center. The last day, June 24, at midnight, a big firework with the shape of a palm tree, called palmera, marks the beginning of the end: just after the palmera, the official hoguera is the first to be burnt; the rest of hogueras follow it.
During these days, many streets are closed to traffic, so it is a good moment to walk along the city with no care for the cars. People are relaxed, there are many barracas where you can enjoy the typical food of this period: coca amb tonyina (a cake made with tuna) and brevas (early figs). There are also parades where men and women wearing the typical dress take part, parades of gigantes y cabezudos, passacaglia, etc.
I have posted some tips on local customs and two travelogues where you can read more about this festival.