The highlight of our tour of the Peninsula, was a pleasant surprise, as we just followed the brown sign which said CAP DE SANT ANTONI.
What we saw there was a magnificent view of the mountains and sea.
A plaque there read:
"This look-out point is situated at Las Planes 160 m above sea level. The Cap de Sant Antoni is created by the prolongations of the western mass of the Montgo Mountain to the seas. The north precipice known as "Tramontana" is extremely steep, vertically carves, with areas of sheer drops, however on the south or midday side of the mountain becomes softer and far less dramatic.
A short time after the Christian conquest of these lands, which took place in the middle of the XII century, the Cap de Sant Antoni became one of the chosen places for hermits, men and women with profound religious convictions, wanting to lead solitary lives of prayer, following the example of the partriarch Saint Anthony. In honour of this saint, a chapel was built in the XVI century. Owing to the necessity of protecting the coast line from North African pirate raids, a look-out tower was constructed near the Chapel to house coast guards. The tower was demolished in 1894, when the present lighthouse was constructed."
Without a doubt the lovely fishing village of ALTEA is one of the most beautiful towns along the Costa Blanca. I absolutely loved it here and we stayed a couple of hours, just exploring and walking along its wonderful promenade along the beach. Along the Yacht Harbor you will find the beaches of Pueblo Macaret.
The most attractive area around Altea is its harbour area with many bars and restaurants. It was a beautiful sunny day and tourists were in abundance.
The mountain area of Sierra de Bernia ( photo 4 )which reaches up to 1130 metres high, can be seen from Altea.
Just south of Calpe, Altea can be reached using the A-7 highway or the N-332 national road.
Located 67 km north of Alicante, the coastal town of CALPE, with its 13,000 inhabitants, is known for its beautiful beaches and its massive rock formation called the Penon de Ifach.
Located in the Costa Blanco region of Spain, Calpe can be reached by the A-7 highway or the N-332 national road, the one we took.
Calpe has two main beaches, the Cantal Roig and the Playa Arenal and two smaller beaches , La Fossa and the Bay of Gasparet.
Many Iberian, Roman and Arab archeological sites exist in the town, due to its coastal location.
Calpe is one of the many little towns Hans and I explored along the peninsula. Other towns include Javea, Altea, Moraira/Teulada, Benissa and Denia.
Astounding excavation of a pre-Christian city. Also host to the Alicante jazz festival. A visit will supply you with plenty to think about for a long time. This is civilization at its most elementary level. You can see the foundations of walls, buildings, you can see 2000 year old cisterns, and signs show you what it was like in those times. There is a Roman forum and the steam baths are particularly interesting. They appear to have led comfortable lives without the trappings of the modern times. In addition, there is a garden section with indigenous plants and descriptions on how they were used.
Lucentum is located in Albufereta, on the south side of Playa San Juan, and north of Alicante. The tram stop is Lucentum.
Not far from Alicante (about 20 km), just a few kilometers from village Busot there are Cuevas del Canalobre (Candelabrum Caves - was named after the shape of one of the stalogmites inside).
It can be hardly called caves (in plural), it is just one biiig cave, but in any case pardon my spelliological knowledge. It is one of the biggest and deepest in Spain, about 70 meters down, as far as I can recollect guides comments.
Alicante still has an Old City. ANd it isn't hard to find, if you know where to go. You will find some beautiful architecture, both in the old "Spanish colonial" style, and also some fantastic municipal buildings, as well as shops with a lot of the original fittings, paticular farmacias and some todo 100 shops that simply havn't had hte previous fixtures removed. The streets in this part of town are generally quiet as quite a few buidlgs are empty, pending a massive restoration effort that has been a long time in not quite coming. This isn't entirely a bad thing as it gives a much more genuine feel of what the city would have once been like, rather than being picture poistcard perfect with fresh paint and overpriced boutiques a lot of it really is as it was, just quieter now. A lot of the city's Moroccan and Algerian community live here as rooms can be had cheaply, most Spanish people prefer new apartments with all the mod cons. There are no specific sights, just wlak around and soak it all in. Bring a camera, but make sure you take time to look and just *be there*, as well as snap away.
THe old town is best explored by walking up away from the sea from Purta Del Mar FGV station then heading Diagonially across towards La Rambla and the bus station. Youll find lots of cafes and plazas to stop at if you fancy a coffee or cold drink. Prices here are reasonable too. Enjoy it before they "restore" it.
Alicante city actually has what is surely one of the best beach in this neck of the woods, yet it is scarsely ever visited except by those who live in the city. This makes it a true gem during the weekday (except during the mid afternoon) as it's always quiet. Add to the fact it's absolutely massive by anyones standards, and you cant but wonder why the city isn't more popular with the package tourists from northern europe.
The one drawback is as a consequence of not being so busy, it also doesn't have all the cafes and bars lining it purveying cold drinks that others do. Be sure to put your towl towards the Puerta Del Mar end by the marina where there's a promenade nearby with shops. You can also head up intot he old town in search of cheaper supplies and shade too. But what a beach, spotlessly clean, broad and sandy. To get there it's an easy walk, or take any bus headed to Puerta Del Mar, or the tram.
Another beach worth checking out if you want more is the whole stretch of San Juan. Further out of town but with way less traffic (it's off the main road which is the centre beachs' biggest drawback) the beaches here literally run for miles, and have the tram hugging them most of the way they are easy to get to and from, and also have some nice little cafes along the length selling reasonable priced drinks and donuts, dont forget the nice donuts! And so uncrowded:)
Between Jalón (Xaló) and Bernia mountain you will find a most unusual and interesting place to stop by.
And old country house was bought and restored by the father or the current owner, who loved antiques and collected quite a lot of them in the house. Just to mention one, a nicely decorated and painted Sicilian cart.
In the house, around the courtyard, there are a forge and a wine press, where they elaborate wine with their own grape harvest, only for self-consumption.
For those who like rural tourism, there is one (at the moment) rustic room, equipped with a fireplace that makes it very cozy.
The main part of the house was reformed and today is a restaurant. A big fireplace provides light and heat to the dining room. The kitchen is equipped with stoves and ranges, there is no electrical supply so only gas and wood can be used to cook.
We happened to go to Maserof one of these days of the year that everybody stay at home, a few days before Christmas, and we were very lucky because Carol (the owner) guided us through the museum explaining us the origin and the utility of many of the pieces, showed the whole house and joint us to taste the self produced wine.
We stayed also to have lunch there. The menu varies depending on the season and the products that the cook selects on the market. That day we took a salad with goat cheese, carpaccio, minestrone soup, veal and a desert, washed down with their self produced wine.
It was a perfect daytrip because Maserof estate is a unique place, Carol is a person full of life as well as a good hostess and converser.
From Jalón (Xaló), in the north of Alicante province (80 km from Alicante), take the road to Bernia. After 5 km on your left hand side you will see Maserof Inn Museum.
The Canelobre caves you can see the fantastic shapes and forms sculpted in the rocks by water, patience and time. The extraordinary height and the unique conditions of the cave create exceptional acoustics, like a Gothic cathedral, which can even be used for music conserts.
Located just outside of Busot (Alicante).
There are some nice excursions not far from the city to enjoy the fresh air. The Pantano de Tibi (Tibi reservoir) is one of the places I recommend.
You can take highway A7 to the north, as though going to Alcoy or Ibi. Leave the highway at the first petrol station, near mount Maigmo. You can park the car there or follow the road that leads to the Pantano. Some signs indicate the way, you won't miss it. If you go by car, after some 4 km there is a fence on the road so you have to stop there and walk. Following the road you will arrive to a couple of bridges. The first one was built in the reign of Carlos IV in 1795 as a stone plaque indicates. From that point you see the wall of the dam, built between two pics: Mos del Bou on your left, La Cresta on your right.
A narrow corridor on the right goes to the foot of the dam. From that point you can go up to the dam to see the reservoir, since there is a stair sculpted on the rock. There are iron handrails all along the way, so that you can feel safe. Before you notice, you will arrive to the top, which is wide enough, you won't feel scared. From there you can see the reservoir and the valley of the Monnegre river on the opposite direction.
From the dam, we went back to the road crossing the Mos del Bou. There is a path, the way is not difficult but a bit steep.
There is also a path that links the reservoir with Tibi.
The dam of the reservoir of Tibi, the oldest in Europe, was built during the XVI century and it is still in use.
The main beach in Alicante, Playa del Postiguet can get really busy and jam packed with bodies. If you want more room on an equally nice beach then catch one of the FGV trains to a beach further up the coast. It costs just 1Euro to get to Playa de San Juan, the trains are air conditioned and run roughly every 10minutes. They leave from either end of Playa del Postiguet. The FGV trains run as far up the coast as Denia where ferries leave to the Balearic Islands, this journey takes about 2.5hrs. You can get to Benidorm for about 3Euros and Calpe for 4Euros which would make great days out from Alicante.
Elche is a small city just outside of Alicante.
You can get there by train (it is 30 min away), and its not too expensive. It is a nice day trip.
Elche has over 200,000 palm trees. It is amazing.
There are beautiful parks and gardens. We also went to some old arabic baths located in the basement of this building, which were pretty cool.
There isn't too much to do in this town, but it gorgeus and worth the train ride, if you have the time.
After buying a ticket (about 4 eur) you'll be led by a local guide inside the cave (no chance to get inside on your own).
The lightning and the slow Cafe del Mar type of music ecoing inside will immideatly set your mood to silent contemplation...
Actually it's not allowed to take pictures inside, it was my naughty "breaking the wall" act ;)
The very distinctive view of the Cabezón de Oro (Golden Head) of which Caves are the part.
My friends, to whom I showed this pic, thought that that was the entrance to the caves but it's just a hole, just a see through hole, that's it :))
Also called Sierra de San Julián, it is near mount Benacantil, towards the north of the city. 161 m high, this is a nice place for a day trip. Climbing up is quite easy and the view from the top is excellent. to the south, mount Benacantil with Santa Barbara castle and the port of Alicante, to the north, Albufereta and Cabo de las Huertas.