Last week, I went on my first trip abroad since covid grounded us all 2 years ago. I was getting frustrated at looking at other peoples’ Facebook pages with all their holiday photos, and not going away myself, and when our rota came out at work and I saw a random 4 days off, my first thought honestly was “where can I go?”. It turns out the answer is Alicante in Spain. It’s not somewhere I’ve ever really thought of going, but it was easy to get to – the flights are perfectly timed, and there’s a beach. So, I thought “what the hell” and booked it.
And, I’m so glad I did. Alicante is a lovely little town with a beach, a marina with some very nice yachts moored in it, and an esplanade with restaurants and palm trees along it. All-in-all, it was a lovely relaxing little break in the sun.
I flew in on Tuesday, and didn’t actually do much that first day, just pottered about, and sat on the beach with my book. Perfect!
The next day, Wednesday, I went up to the castle, Castillo de Santa Barbara. It’s up the hill, overlooking the town, and there are two ways to get there; you can either walk up the hill, or get the lift. I caught the lift, which only cost about 3 euros, and only took a couple of minutes. The castle itself is free.
The castle is centuries old, and has a long history of use as a fort and castle, and in latter years a prison. It is now long ruined, all that remains are broken down walls, and a few cannons dotted about. But, it is a beautiful place, and offers stunning views of the town, beach and ocean below. It is also quiet – Alicante sadly does have a busy road running right through the middle of town right next to the beach so it’s not exactly quiet – so it was nice to enjoy the peace and quiet up there.
I spent a few hours up there, wandering around, soaking up the sun and the views, and of course taking photos. When I left I walked into town, and along the beach, before going for a swim in the hotel pool. Dinner that night was a pizza in one of the restaurants along the esplanade.
On Thursday, I had breakfast on the beach – fruit and pastries, and read my book – a truly relaxing start to my day.
After that I walked along the marina, and bought tickets for the boat to Isla de Tabarca, which is a tiny island about an hour away. There’s not much there, just a tiny little town with the remains of a small fort, and a marine reserve, and lots of secluded beaches, most of which are pebbled.
As I say the boat ride took about an hour to get there, and it’s safe to say it was not the highlight of some people’s day – the water was quite choppy and the boat was going up and down, up and down, and sadly a few people were vomiting. Fortunately not me, but I did feel sorry for them.
When we arrived I headed out onto the coastal pathways for a walk around. There are various points of interest to see as you walk around, a lighthouse, an abandoned farmhouse, and of course views of the surrounding ocean. It was blissfully peaceful – no cars are allowed on the island. All I could hear was the sea, the waves on the beaches. The beaches themselves are tiny, and pebbled, and some of them are hard to get to, but if you do get to one chances are you’ll have all to yourself. Well, except for the birds of course.
After that walk, I headed into the village for some food and a wander around. I found a restaurant with a waiter who spoke less English than I do Spanish, but the food was amazing. The town was also lovely, with cobbled streets, a couple of shady parks to sit in, and the old fort walls to walk on. There are less than 100 inhabitants, but there must be several times that number of tourists everyday visiting from the mainland. Fortunately it didn’t feel overwhelmed with tourists, although I’m not sure I’d want to go back in August.
The boat headed back to the mainland at 4.30, and I spent my evening relaxing on the balcony with a book and packing.
It certainly wasn’t my usual holiday, rushing from one sight to the next, but it was very relaxing and just want I needed.