The Lighthouse at Cabo de Sant Antonio
Because of all the lighthouses I grew up with in the Maritime Provinces of Canada, I always like to have a look at any new ones I come across. This one, built in 1861, was no exception and its cylindrical masonry tower and attached lighthouse keeper's house seemed to be in good shape. Perched as it is on a high cliff, the 56 ft (17 m) tower has a light that is 574 ft above sea level, making it visible to shipping as far as 26 miles (42 km) offshore. This makes it more visible to shipping than the light located a few miles further south on Cap de la Nau, even though that cape extends further out into the Mediterranean.
The lighthouse and keeper's house are both fenced off with 'no entry' signs, which along with the vegetation make it difficult to get good photos of the site. While we were there a Guarda Civil vehicle drove up and parked beside it for a short while before heading off down the road again. The Jávea side has a great view out over the town located in a curving bay as well as a very nice car-park on the edge of the cliff where we had a picnic lunch while we enjoyed the views (see my 'Restaurant' tip).Related to:
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SAN NICOLAS DE BARI CATHEDRAL
Located in the old town and very close to the town hall,the Catedral of San Nicolas de Bari,is another must see in Alicante.
It is a small Cathedral,comparing with other Cathedrals in Spain,but is beautiful.It was built during XVII century,on reinassance and baroque style.Also has a beautiful high altar and don't miss a visit to the garden with some beautiful columns on it.
Another nice church to see on the area and very close to the Cathedral is Iglesia de Santa Maria.
THE OLD TOWN
Where are located the Cathedral and the town hall,is the area called Alicante's Old Town.Here you'll see a lot of narrow streets,mostly of them were closed by building works,it seems that Alicante will have a small subway system very soon.
Anyway is a very nice place to walk and see all these narrow streets and houses,also you'll find here many bars and shops.
Passing through that passage on the picture you will reach the Old Town .
As I wrote on the page's intro,the harbout of Alicante is also one of most visited places in all the city.
In here you can take some boats to do some nice excursions along the coastline.If you have the chance during your days in Alicante,don't miss a excursion to TABARCA ISLAND,is a beautiful island very close to the coastline,the boat takes about 40 minutes to reach it.In that island you'll find also a very nice small beach.
Also you can take ferrys to go to northern Africa (Algeria) and also to Balearic islands.
In the harbour you can make also some courses normally during summertime about boating,scuba diving, etc.
MARQ- ARCHEALOGICAL MUSEUM
This is another place not to be missed during your stay in Alicante.Is called MARQ- Museo Arqueologico Provincial de Alicante.Is located very close to Santa Barbara Castle.Is one of best archealogical museums that you can find in Spain.
Inside you will see a few interesting rooms as:
Iberian Art Room.
Roman Culture Room.
Midle Ages Room.
Modern Age Room.
Archealogy and Science room.
And right now there is a very nice and interesting exposition about EL ORO DE PERU (PERU'S GOLD).
Moraira Beach and the Mediterranean Sea!
We were anxious to reach a quiet spot along the Mediterranean coast, so headed east toward the distant headland of Cabo de San Antonio about 90 km away (thanks to a tip by VT-member "LoriPori"). We wanted to stay as close to the coast as possible so stuck to the N-332 National highway instead of the A7/E15 divided highway. I only had a large Michelin map of the entire country which showed the San Antonio area as being almost deserted with a few roads linking its major towns. Consequently, I was quite surprised at how built up the area was once we turned off at Calpe onto the even smaller highways. Houses covered all the hillsides and the area is actually quite heavily settled but still very pretty with the rugged coastal hills giving good views out to the Sea.
Eventually we came to the town of Moraira and its little beach - so beautifully done up that we simply had to stop. It was very enjoyable to get out and walk down to the Mediterranean for the first time on this trip - the last time I had been on its shore was at Tunis, Tunisia in 1974 while returning from my job in Zambia! We got out to enjoy the sunshine and sound of the waves as our vacation officially got underway! A very relaxing spot with only a couple of other people around as we wandered down to the shore and at least got our hands wet in the Mediterranean Sea. We were smiling as we left to continue our drive to Cabo de San Antonio.Related to:
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We did not give Alicante a fair shake
To tell the truth, the only reason we were in Alicante at all was to pick up Sue's sister - but it turned out she flew to Malaga instead, after we had based our travel arrangements on the original plan. This is the view we had as we headed out of town on our first morning in the city - headed for the countryside where we really wanted to be rather than getting lost in downtown traffic. I had stopped to get some Euros from a banking machine and was amazed at how beautiful the street looked at 8 AM before the world got underway!
On some wanderings on foot (2nd photo) and while lost in the car later in the day, we actually saw a bit of the hustle and bustle of downtown Alicante. Although we did not stop to explore due to lack of time, the city actually looked quite nice and I'm sure has some great attractions if that is what interests you. We only had the one full day and spent it exploring the rugged Cabo de San Antonio headland northeast of the city (following tips).
The 3rd photo fast-forwards to the end of our trip 3-weeks later as we arrived back in town to drop our rental car off (with another 3500-km on its odometer) before flying back to Madrid. We had planned to stop in Elche on the outskirts of Alicante to have a look at the UNESCO World Heritage palm tree plantations located there - but it began to rain just as we arrived in the area! This meant we had some time to kill, so we continued a few kilometers past the Elche/Alicante airport to one of the nearby beaches. The wind was blowing hard and huge waves were rolling ashore as we sat in the car just taking in the distant view of Alicante - including a small white blob of a cruiseship anchored behind its sheltering breakwater. We had our binoculars so watched the wheeling gulls and sandpipers for a while before saying goodbye to the Mediterranean Sea.Related to:
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Cabo de Sant Antonio
I'm not sure how we did it but, after driving through downtown Jávea for a quick look, we gradually worked our way uphill as we left town and happened to spot a brown 'attractions' sign pointing to Cabo de Sant Antonio. We went in that direction and soon found ourselves really climbing up and along a winding road - it was looking good. Not long afterward, there we were at the cape with its ~500 ft cliffs dropping straight down to the Sea below.
This small area of 270 acres (110 hectares) was made a natural reserve in 1993 to protect the local ecosystem between sea level and the tops of these cliffs. As we walked toward the cliff over the extremely rough and jagged rocks making up the cape, we came across numerous information signs describing the types of vegetation we were seeing. The cape was named after the patron saint of a hermitage that was located here in the 1300s, with its ruins still visible (although we never found them).
A heavy rope has been run along the cliff edge to prevent people from getting too close, but it was down on the ground in many places so there is nothing to stop visitors from walking right off the edge. We got as close as we dared but had to be careful because of the strong wind gusts coming down off the nearby 750 m (2470 ft) Montgó mountain trying to give us a push from behind. It reminded me a bit of Cabo de Roca in Portugal where we experienced something similar, including seeing a memorial plaque to a young German man who lost his life that way.Related to:
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- National/State Park
The church of Santa Maria
The Santa Maria Church was built over the remains of a mosque. The style is Gothic and dates from the 14th to the 16th century. t The high altar in Rococo gold leaf and the The Baroque doorway and the high altar in Rococo gold leaf are dating from the 18th century.
A small Park - name unknown
After returning to Alicante from our day's explorations up the coast, we once again headed off in search of an evening meal but, as usual, had no luck except at our 'Nightlife' spot! However, we did wander completely out of the built-up area as we crossed Av de la Costa Blanca into a hilly and desert-like area.
It had an area displaying indigenous plants as well as numerous walking trails criss-crossing the steep but barren hills with some of them leading all the way down to the coast. We could see a few people out exploring here and there but overall, it was quite deserted. I did not write down the name of the park, but these photos were taken from one of its peaks, looking down Av de la Costa Blanca at 5:50 PM as the sun set behind Alicante.
The next morning we were up and away for the 6-hour drive south to Torremolinos in our second rental car as Stage 2 of our trip began.Related to:
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PARKS IN ALICANTE
La Explanada is the largest,and most known park in Alicante city,but walking by the streets you will find a few very nice and beautiful parks.Here I'll tell you a few of them.
PARK OF CANALEJAS.
EL PALMERAL.(on the road to Murcia)
AND BENACANTIL MOUNTAIN.
SHOPPING IN ALICANTE
Alicante is a big city,then it have a lot of nice shops,malls,and some new and huge shopping centers.
When I visit Alicante,I used to leave my car on the best department store in the city,EL CORTE INGLES,it has seven floors and here you can find anything,just in front of the building you will find a smaller one just for electronics.
Also one of most commercial streets in Alicante is called Rambla Mendez Nuñez,this beautiful avenue,starts on the sea promenade,and here there are the main banks,shops,cafeterias in the city of Alicante.
Other Shopping Centers in Alicante:
PARQUE COMERCIAL Y DE OCIO VISTAHERMOSA.
CENTRO COMERCIAL PUERTA DE ALICANTE.
CENTRO COMERCIAL GRAN VIA.
CENTRO COMERCIAL PANORAMIS.
ALICANTE'S TRAIN STATION
The Alicante train station,it is located just in front of El Corte Ingles Department Store.It is called Estacion Renfe de Alicante.In Spain the national trains enterprise is called RENFE,so all stations in every city has the same name first.The building is not very interesting,but you can take a look inside.Alicante is very well connected to other cities in Spain by train,and there are a lot of them to choose from,it depends of the speed,even right now they are very fast!.
The Santa Faz Monastery
The Santa Faz monastery is about 8 km from the city center.
According to the tradition, the relic that is venerated in this monastery is the Veil of Saint Veronica, the fabric with which this pious woman from Jerusalem wiped the face of Jesus on the Way to Calvary. The Holy Face miraculously impressed upon it.
This relic was brought from the Vatican in the 15th century by Mosén Pedro Mena, a priest of the nearby village of San Juan. He had traveled to Rome where he was given the veil with the Holy Face that had saved Venice from the plague. In 1489, the veil was taken out for a rogation to ask for rain. The priest who was holding the Veil observed that a tear drop from the Holy Face. Later there were more miracles.
The monastery was built on the place of the first miracle. The baroque façade is wonderful. The Santa Faz (Holy Face) relic is kept in a special room behind the main altarpiece.
Every year, on the second Thursday after Easter Sunday, there is a pilgrimage called Peregrina de la Santa Faz. The great participation, about 300,000 people, makes it the second pilgrimage in Spain, being El Rocío the biggest one. The pilgrimage starts from the San Nicolas co-Cathedral.
MARQ, Museo Arqueológico
The Archaeological Museum occupies the former Provincial Hospital that was built in 1924. My great-grandfather owned a large stretch of land in the Pla de Bon Repos neighbourhood. He ceded to the provincial council the plot where the Hospital would be built, a plot of 12,000 square meters close to the pine copse of Santa Barbara Castle.
The Museum was created in 1932, but it was located in the ground floor of the Provincial Council (Diputación Provincial). In 2002 the collections of that museum were transferred to the new Museum.
The Museum has an interesting collection of finds from Iberian and Roman cultures, the Middle Ages and Modern Era. It usually houses temporal exhibitions.
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