Alicante City is a treat for the senses it has so much going on that it would be impossible to see all of it. The city is a cosmopolitan, bustling place with every thing you would expect and more, giving you a great place to explore on holiday. However the surrounding area of Alicante is outstandingly beautiful with a few hidden gems thrown in as well, the best way to explore this area and have your own holiday adventure is to hire a car. To get you started here are a few ideas you may want to consider.
The Village of Guadalest in the province of Alicante is regarded as one of the best days out and most rewarding places you could visit. Surrounded on three sides by the Aitana, Serella and Xorta Mountains it’s a hidden oasis of outstanding natural beauty and heritage. The Village sits perched on the edge of a granite mountain with fantastic views down the river cut valley.
The drive to the village is part of the adventure, as the twisting road takes you around some tight hairpin bends over some narrow passes which give the best views of the surrounding mountains. Guadalest was built by the Moors and as soon as you reach the village it becomes obvious why they considered it such a valuable location. The castles and buildings look like they grasp the cliffs and the smallest breeze may cause them to fall. So steep are the cliffs and peaks on which they sit they are virtually unconquerable and they gave the Moors a fantastically hidden strategic strong hold.
Access to the old village is through a stone cut tunnel called the ‘Portal de San José the hole through the mountain was cut some 1,300 years ago and is still the only way in. once your eyes adjust you’ll feel as if you have been transported back through time to a long gone medieval era. Stone cut houses, churches and castle remains are all on offer to be explored and investigated.
If you can make sure you arrive early, you will avoid the crowds and catch the first castle tour at 10 am. It starts off with a walk through the dungeons, a great to keep the kids entertained, the tour explains the village’s history, takes in the look out points and winding paths and takes you to parts of the castle you might have otherwise missed.
A slightly more macabre museum is the Medieval Torture Exhibition, it’s not all gruesome methods of doing away with people it seems the Moors had ways of ridiculing their law breakers instead. For instance drunks who may have spoken badly about their king were made to stand in a barrel, where upon the locals filled it with all of their rubbish and bathroom waste!
For a refreshing stop on your way back escape the heat and take a dip at the bracing Les Fonts de l’Algar. (Algar Waterfalls), near to the village of Callosa d’en Sarria. The falls are a series of tumbling weirs and large water pools starting off quite shallow and slow running but they get deeper and faster as you work your way up the valley. Swimming is allowed all the way up but remember that the current in the narrower pools can be very strong, make sure you have a chuckle at the people struggling to swim against the flow before you jump in.
Helpfully a winding path has been added along the route making the entire series of crystal blue pools accessible to everyone, at the top there are even showers and restaurants or places to have a barbeque.
The Cuevas del Canelobre are a series of caves located only 24 kilometers from Alicante, The inner most cave boasts the highest vault ceiling of any cave in Spain. More like a cathedral than a cave it’s a beautiful place to observe some of the best examples of stalactites and stalagmites in Europe. The sheer scale and vastness of these natural caves simply can’t be imagined so jump in your hire car and experience this wonder for yourself.
The enormous rock formations are stunning and the caves have unique acoustic properties which can’t be re-produced. On certain dates concerts and music festivals are held within the caves. Because they maintain a very low temperature it’s the perfect place to see a beautifully eerie performance in complete comfort.
After all of this history and culture one of the best ways to keep the children entertained is to take them to the relatively new Terra Mitica theme park. Built in 2000 the park promises to take you back in time as you adventure through any one of their 5 areas. Divided into Ancient Egypt, Rome, Iberia, Greece and the Islands each has its own theme and rides based around these ancient cultures of the area. Think Alton towers with a cultural twist but definitely with out the bad weather.