A stroll through Alicante
Of all the European places that enjoy the privilege of being touched by the fresh sea breeze from the Mediterranean, Alicante is one of the best known. But what is so special about this city? What does it have to offer? What makes it so appealing to visitors? To answer all these questions we must enter it, learn about its history and discover it for ourselves, because each person can have a completely different opinion, but as the saying goes, ‘every man to his taste’.
It is interesting, but the history of this beautiful city starts in the water, with the arrival of other peoples that left the imprint of their culture and that simultaneously served to lay down the first foundations of what we know today. The most obvious example is that of the remains of the Iberian-Roman city of Lucentum; it was there, on a small hill known as El Tossal de Manises, where Alicante was born and took its first steps. Over time, the city moved elsewhere, settling at the base of mount Benacantil because of its close proximity to the sea. On this popular hill the Castillo de Santa Bárbara (the Castle of Saint Barbara) was built, a fortress at a height of 166 m. This turns it into one of the city’s biggest landmarks since it is a privileged vantage point from which to enjoy wonderful views. Even so, it is not the only fortress that can be found in the city, because we can also find the Castillo de San Fernando there, which was built during the Spaniards’ struggle for independence against the French, but which was never put into service.
As stated, to get to know Alicante it is necessary to explore its streets, to approach its wonderful people, its monuments and urban spaces; and to sense the pulse of its heartbeat; besides, surely most people do not like heights, so let us come down from the castles and take a little stroll through the urban routes of the area.
If we enter the city centre a little, the Teatro Principal de Alicante will not be hard to find, a symbol that clearly shows that the performing arts have been cultivated in this city. Theatre, music, dance and other art forms have been expressed in this cultural hotspot inaugurated in 1847. It is not the only place where you can go to enjoy the beauty of the performing arts, however, another one is the Auditorio de la Diputación de Alicante (ADA). Another perfect example of the art that can be perceived in the streets of this beautiful city.
Let us descend a little more into the city and arrive at the parallel road to the port known as La explanada de Alicante, the unmissable and favourite walk of most of the travellers, and of many of the local residents. It is considered the city’s favourite touristic hotspot because most of the photos of Alicante are taken there, so it should come as no surprise that it is one of the most famous places on social networks. This without mentioning that in the course of this walkway we can find restaurants that will show you the refined character of the food from Alicante, and of several shops and stands where you can buy souvenirs of the city. Images, food, sea, sun, a marina, shops, pure beauty… These statements about the place are not hard to believe.
Well now, have you noticed the pattern I have tried to follow in this article until now? I started on a height and went down through the streets of the city till I arrived at a place close to the harbour. Let us therefore not waste any more time and get to where we all want to be, the famous beach.
And how could I talk about the beaches of Alicante without mentioning the most famous one of them all? The Playa San Juan.
To get there we must go by public transport such as by tram or by bus. This beach is the tourists’ favourite during the summer for several reasons: because of its length of 6200 meters, its waters at room temperature, because of the large variety of restaurants and shops that are located on its boardwalk, because of the apartments for rent or for sale that might belong to whoever is watching us, because of its pristine blue waters and its golden sands, because of its enviable sun and because, at sundown, it is possible to observe a sky full of warm and beautiful colours there, demonstrating what the ‘romantic hour’ meant to poets and people dedicated to literature.
I am sure you will have read many articles that highlight the charms of many cities, but each one has something that makes it different. Alicante is no exception, because in this city you can witness the perfect balance between history, art, beauty and love on its streets. It is easy to fall in love with any city, but with Alicante… I assure you you will end up truly loving the city.