Top 10 Theme Parks In Alicante

Alicante and the Costa Blanca is geared up for family holidays. Its fabulous theme parks with rides that seem to defy gravity, theatrical shows and wild animal parks are among the best in Spain.

1 Top 10 Theme Parks In Alicante

Terra Mitica
Terra Mitica in Benidorm is the most popular theme park in the Alicante region. If you love the adrenalin rush of white-knuckle rides, this is definitely for you. You can zoom through the air at 90km/h, upside down, while 35 metres off the ground, or you can enjoy the views of Benidorm beaches and Terra Mitica while swinging in the breeze. There are rides for all the family as well as many spectacular shows to make a great day out for all the family. The park is divided into ancient Greece, Egypt, Rome, Iberia and the Mediterranean islands, so you can expect to come across Roman gladiators, an Egyptian Phoenix and a Greek labyrinth during your trip. Open April to October. Every day of the week from mid-June to the first week of September.
Terra Natura
Terra Natura is an entertaining wild animal park where the animals live in a specially-designed version of their natural habitat. Huge elephants, camels, tigers, poisonous snakes, and very chatty monkeys live here. In all, more than 200 species, including animals in danger of extinction, form part of the collection. The park is divided into different continents such as Africa and Asia with natural plants and shrubs to create a home from home for the animals. You can watch the elephants being fed, see majestic birds of prey in flight, and meet a variety of animals up-close during your visit. Open all year.
2 Top 10 Theme Parks In Alicante
Aqua Natura
Want to know what it’s like to experience zero gravity? Next door to Terra Natura is Aqua Natura water park, where you can cool off after your visit to the zoo. Aqua Natura says it is the only water park to have The Crest – an enclosed water slide – where you can experience the feeling of weightlessness. The Benidorm theme park has slides and water attractions to suit all ages. You can also watch the sea lion show, where the little creatures are so full of character and fun, or even get the chance to swim with them and have your photo taken. You can buy a joint ticket for Terra Natura and Aqua Natura to save money. Open from May to mid-September.
Rio Safari
Further south, between Elche and Santa Pola, is the fascinating Rio Safari park. Sheltered by 4,000 palm trees, Rio Safari has animals from around the world including lions, elephants, zebras, crocodiles and tigers. Make sure you have time to see the chimpanzees on their special Primates Isle with swings and hammocks for them to play on and rest. During the day is a special sea lion exhibition when they show off their skills, in and out of the water. You can enjoy a camel or pony ride, swim with the sea lions, or talk to the lemurs. In the summer there is a free swimming pool on site and also a karting area. Open all year.
3 Top 10 Theme Parks In Alicante
Safari Aitana
Chance to get up close and personal with the animals, enjoy a private tour of Safari Aitana or even become a keeper for the day. Safari Aitana is an oasis for wild animals from five continents. During your wildlife adventure, you can see giraffes, buffaloes, donkeys, camels, monkeys, elephants, tigers, Vietnamese pigs, jaguars, wolves, snakes, emus and so much more. The park is 1,000 metres above sea level in the Aitana mountain on the Villajoyosa to Alcoy road. It’s a lovely drive up through the mountains too. You will either need your own car to drive through the safari park or go on an organised tour. Open every day.
A visit to a water park is definitely a great idea for the family during the summer holidays, Aquopolis Torrevieja has challenging slides and chutes as well as gentler rides for the little ones. There’s also an exclusive VIP zone where you can enjoy the peace and quiet to read a book or listen to music from your sunbed. If you’re feeling active you can join in Aquagym or Steps while the younger children can head to the MiniClub for organised games in and out of the pool. Open in the summer months.
4 Top 10 Theme Parks In Alicante
Swimming with dolphins is on many people’s bucket lists. There’s something magical about dolphins, the way they chatter or seem to smile. At Mundomar in Benidorm, you have the chance to get to know these incredible animals, to swim with them, to stroke them and have your photo taken with them. At this amazing marine animal park, you can also watch the dolphins perform in a fantastic show, watch an entertaining parrot show and sea lion show, or see spectacular birds soaring in flight. You could also be a keeper or trainer for the day. Cheeky meerkats, lemurs, giant tortoises, flamingos, macaws, storks, penguins, prairie dogs and owls are among the other creatures to learn about during your visit. Open every day.
Aquapark Rojales
Sliding down a magic carpet, taking up the kamikaze challenge, discovering the secrets of the Amazon, heading down the rapids of the Yucatan River or simply splashing around in the swimming pool are some of the attractions. There’s also a large lawn for relaxing as well as a restaurant offering typical Alicante cuisine including paellas. Aquapark was the second water park to be built in the Valencia province and is found in a natural valley in Ciudad Quesada, near Torrevieja. Open in the summer months.
Pola Park
So many things to do inside one theme park, Pola Park is the ultimate attraction for families with different interests. Enjoy a visit to the Russian mountain – with fabulous views of the Santa Pola salt lakes – feel the thrills of racing on the karting track, avoid getting bumped on the bumper cars, become a superhero on the bouncy castles, head for the merry-go-rounds, beat dad at golf and enjoy all the thrills of fairground rides at the Pola Park in Santa Pola. Open from March to mid-October (weekends only) although open every day In July and August.
5 Top 10 Theme Parks In Alicante
No fear of heights? How about testing your nerve in the highest capsule slide in the world on the VertiGo toboggan? Aqualandia in Benidorm has some fabulous chutes, slides and waterfalls so you can keep your cool . Some are high action to test your nerves, while others, like the Niagara, are much more relaxing. Aqualandia was the first water park to be built in Spain and is still one of the largest in the world. All the family will be able to enjoy the water rides, splash pools and other great attractions. You can buy tickets for Aqualandia and MundoMar or Terra Mitica, or for all three to save money. Open from May.

Four Fun Things To See and Do in Altea, Spain (And Don’t Miss The Train Station!)

alteas beautiful church Four Fun Things To See and Do in Altea, Spain (And Don’t Miss The Train Station!)

Altea’s beautiful church

Once a traditional Spanish village built on a hillside, in recent years, Altea on the Costa Blanca has grown to encompass a lovely harbor, a gorgeous promenade and a bustling modern town center. No wonder it’s so popular with tourists. At first glance, it appears there’s not much to see or do in Altea but nothing could be further from the truth. One of the most interesting Spanish towns to visit, Altea has many things to see and do and these are the best.

Visit Altea’s Old Town – Before you explore the modern town of Altea down on flat land, you should climb the steep streets up into Altea’s old town, as here is where the true charm of the town lies. Winding streets and tiny alleys lined with steep steps are home to museums, art galleries, jewelry stores and handicraft shops. At the top of the town, you’ll find Altea’s old church, who’s large blue dome can be seen from anywhere in the area.

Spend some time looking around the church or sit in one of the village squares and enjoy a cafe con leche at a sidewalk cafe. Don’t miss taking photographs from the amazing lookout, which looks over the town of Altea, on into Albir with Benidorm in the distance, and over miles and miles of ocean.

At night, particularly in the summer, the old town is bustling with cute bodegas and cafes and lots of people walking around. Simply magical.

Walk Along Altea’s Promenade – One of the prettiest promenades in the area, Altea’s promenade runs for several kilometers with the ocean on one side and palm trees and sidewalk cafes on the oher. Go for a long walk, a run or a bike ride (there’s a bike path all the way along) or, if you’re with the kids, stop off at one of the extremely cute kids’ playgrounds right by the beach. Don’t forget to take pictures too. The view back to Albir or forward to Calpe is simply stunning.

After a little walk, don’t forget to grab a coffee or a snack at one of the cafes or, if you’re out later in the day, lunch or an early dinner.

coffee Four Fun Things To See and Do in Altea, Spain (And Don’t Miss The Train Station!)

Having a quick cup of coffee at Altea’s cute train station cafe

Have a Coffee and Watch The Train’s at Altea Train Station – One of our favorite places for a coffee in Altea is the lovely train station just off the main road into town. Situated on a one-track line with just a couple of trains per hour, the Altea train station cafe is the perfect spot for a coffee, a pastry or a bite to eat.

For only 1 euro 25 ($1.75) you can get a delicious cafe con leche and either sit inside the very cute cafe, where you can listen to jazz and surf the internet on your laptop (the cafe has Wi-Fi), or you can sit outside on a small patio at the side of the station. Here, you’ll get a great view up to Altea’s old town and, twice an hour, will be able to see the trains coming in and people arriving and departing.

The train station cafe at Altea is a simply lovely spot and, if you like feeling European, you’ll definitely feel it here.

altea from train station cafe Four Fun Things To See and Do in Altea, Spain (And Don’t Miss The Train Station!)

The lovely view of Altea, from the patio of the town’s train station cafe

Go Shopping on Altea’s Main Street – If you like to shop, Altea has the perfect main street for it. Starting at one end with the chain gift shop ‘Ale-Hop’, pick up a few unique, inexpensive gifts to take home for friends and family. Then walk down into town popping into the beauty shops, clothing stores, jewelry shops and houseware stores.

Don’t miss checking out the indoor market, where you can peruse the hundreds of selections of cheese, thousands of kilos of freshly butchered meat, fresh fruits and vegetables, dried nuts, coffees and teas, olive oils and olives and, of course, have a coffee at the tiny coffee bar on the left hand side of the main entrance.

Further down the street, you’ll find several Chinese bazaars packed with everything cheap – clothing, shoes, toys, games, postcards, make-up, kettles, sandwich toasters, cups, jewelry, bras, suitcases – you name it, they sell it and at dirt cheap prices.

Check out the supermarket with all the typical Spanish products – fascinating to walk around and a great place to pick up a can of virgin olive oil, some famous Parma ham, a cheap bottle of wine, or a jar of Spanish jam to take home.

Finally, end up in the square at the end of the street and sit in a cafe and watch the world go by. That’s what all the Spaniards do.

Other things to do in Altea include relaxing on the beach and getting a sun tan, having a swim in the ocean, taking a walk to the end of the promenade to see the ducks on the marshland, going fishing, playing mini golf next to the promenade on the way to Albir, taking a walk down the beach to neighboring Albir, or hop on a train for a short ride to Denia or Alicante.

Five best running routes in Alicante with the best views


As the Alicante region is one of the healthiest places to live it seems only fitting that it should have become a magnet for holidaymakers wanting to play sports, go cycling, hiking or running.

The Alicante region’s beautiful beaches and mountains are perfect outdoor running tracks. You can choose from a jog alongside the beaches, which offer flat routes for speed or gentle jogging or a harder challenge up the mountain trails. Either way, you will be rewarded with views of fabulous natural scenes.
Jog alongside Benidorm’s magnificent beaches

We can start with a gentle beach run along the famous Benidorm beaches with its magnificent skyscrapers forming a backdrop to your left with the shimmering Mediterranean sea and Benidorm Island to your right.Jog alongside Benidorm’s magnificent beaches 300x105 Five best running routes in Alicante with the best views

View to Levante beach, Benidorm

The run begins on the Poniente beach at the southern end by Calle la Cala. A good time is at sunrise or just before sunset as the area is less crowded and the weather will be cooler, especially in the summer months.

If you really want to exercise the legs, you can run on the soft sand part of the way which can be hard work.

Jog along the promenade alongside the beach up to the Parque de Elche park, a lovely shady area that is well-loved by doves and pigeons.

Keep the sea to your right and head towards Benidorm yacht club and on your left you will find the steep steps taking you up to the famous Balcon with its beautiful square, iconic church and amazing views sweeping along the coast.

It’s a great place to stop to catch your breath and take in the views as you can really appreciate why Benidorm is known as the Spanish Manhattan as you count the number of skyscrapers lining the coast. You also get glorious views of Benidorm’s famous sandy beaches and you may see windsurfers or paragliders enjoying the views from another angle.

This jog is about 3.5kms so you could turn back or continue along Poniente beach to take you to the English quarter, well-known for its British bars and entertainment. It’s another 2.5kms from the Balcon to the far end of Levante beach but it is an easy, flat route along the promenade lined with bars and cafes.

Poniente beach – Balcon de Benidorm – Levante beach. Easy, flat route of 6kms.

Run alongside nature at her best in Jalon

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This is another gentle run but this time you are surrounded by mountains and natural beauty as the route takes you alongside vineyards and almond orchards in the Jalon valley.

There is a choice of a short circular route of about 2kms alongside the riverbed or a longer run keeping alongside the river to Lliber, which is about 3kms one way.

Views from Jalon

The run starts along the Avenida del Juan Carlos 1 road, opposite the Bodega Xalo, where you can pick up some great wines and olive oil at bargain prices.

Head away from the bridge along the road keeping the riverbed to your left. Take the left turning at the roundabout along the Avenida de las Hortes and you’ll come to a crossroads with the left turning going over the river.

You can take this route to return to the Bodega Xalo but this time running on the other side of the river. For a longer route, head down the Cami del Moli de Lliber which is a good pathway surrounded by farmland leading to the pretty little village of Lliber.

The Jalon Valley is famous for its wine-making and is a very popular spot for cyclists and hikers as there are some fabulous routes.

More adventurous runners may fancy trying more testing routes from Jalon up the Sierra Bernia, a winding road taking you high up into the mountain.

Bodega Xalo circular route, easy running, 2kms or Bodega Xalo – Lliber 3kms.
Taking the Montgo mountain in your stride

Separating the beach towns of Javea and Denia is the impressive Montgo mountain, a haven for wildlife, birds and rare flowers. It is a popular route for cyclists and hikers with several routes of various difficulties available.

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It’s a challenge for runners with some challenging uphill scrambles but, rest assured, you will be rewarded with amazing views of the coastline. On a clear day, you can see as far as the party island of Ibiza.

Ermita Pare Pere, Montgo

There are three routes starting from the charming Ermita del Pare Pere chapel on the Denia side of the Montgo. You can see the little cave where the friar Pare Pere prayed and meditated in the 17th century and the chapel built in his honour in the 1980s.

One is a three-hour circular tour of just over 4kms in total which will take around three hours. It’s of medium difficulty as there are some climbs as you head up to L’Aigua cove and the Raco del Bou cove.

Cars are not allowed so you can enjoy a peaceful run in a beautiful, natural setting. You may notice an aroma of lavender or herbs wafting across your path as these plants live in abundance along the track.

Heading up the track from the Pare Pere chapel, you’ll come to a fork in the track and you’ll need to take the east path to your left. Running uphill, the landscape becomes even more impressive with fabulous views across the bay up to Valencia and over the mountains.

Keeping to the eastern path, you’ll come across some steep steps heading up to the cave, which used to be a water reservoir.

There is an inscription in the rock dating to 238AD which is protected by a metal fence.

Going back down to the chapel, you’ll come across the Raco del Bou or Bull’s Corner, so called because of the mountain’s shape here.

Ermita de Pare Pere, Montgo – L’Aigua Cove – Ermita de Pare Pere. Medium difficulty and about 4kms.
Looking out for the Javea miradors

A tough run taking in some or all of Javea’s 15 miradors or viewpoints is a brilliant way to really appreciate the town’s wonderful landscape and views.

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It is about 30 kilometres in length with some steep hills to climb from Els Molins mills in the north along the coast to the stunning Granadella beach in the south.

Cabo de San Antonio between Javea and Denia

Every year, the Mirador Challenge is held with 100s of hardy runners and walkers attempting to complete the trail.

Our favourite route is about 6.5kms and starts at the Els Molins viewpoint on the edge of the Montgo and heads off to the Cabo de San Antonio cape with beautiful views across to Denia and Javea as well as over to the lighthouse and the Mediterranean.

We head back along the road as if going back to Els Molins but at the main road, turn left to run down into Javea Port, home to the fishing fleet and stunning sailing boats.

Els Molins – Cabo de San Antonio – Javea Port. Medium difficulty of 6kms.
Finding sanctuary in Font Roja natural park

A stunning inland nature park, Font Roja is a beautiful landscape with more than 1,000 species of aromatic herbs, green countryside, mountains and the crystal-clear Vinalopo river.

Our 12km run takes us from the recreation area with parking on the CV797 road. Head 50 metres from the car park to a walkway.

Keep going straight to jog up to the top of Menejador, which stands 1,365 metres high. The climb is worthwhile as you can see across to the valley of Alcoy and the Sierra de Mariola and Maigmo mountains.

You’ll be running through one of the finest Mediterranean forests in Spain as well as past the Coloma ice house.

CV797 Font Roja natural park – Menejador – CV797. Medium difficult of 12kms.

Remember to wear suitable clothing, especially footwear and carry enough suncream, water and a hat. Don’t walk in the hottest part of the day, especially in summer, as people have taken ill with exhaustion and had to be rescued.

Top 10 beautiful beaches in Alicante

Golden sand, hidden coves, turquoise waters and blissful bays attract millions of holidaymakers to the Alicante province each year. With 244 kilometres of coastline, there is plenty of room for all with beaches attracting sun worshippers, divers, surfers, sailors and artists who love the vibrant colours.

There are scores of sandy beaches and coves to suit all tastes. Spain-Holiday has picked its top 10 from long stretches of golden sand to little bays.
La Granadella, Javea

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Javea beach, Alicante

Top beach has to be La Granadella in the north Costa Blanca resort of Javea. It has twice won the prestigious accolade of being voted Spain’s best beach. It’s in a picturesque horse-shoe bay with clear turquoise waters surrounded by jagged cliffs and pine trees. Although the beach is shingle, it is a very popular spot with sunbathers, scuba divers and snorkellers.

The clear waters make this an ideal spot for snorkellers breaking through the water’s surface to see the seagrass beds and colourful fish. La Granadella is a tiny beach at just 220 metres wide and is very popular. You will need to get there early to claim your spot.

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Benidorm beach, Alicante

The bustling holiday resort of Benidorm also has two of the best beaches in Spain – Levante beach and Poniente. Both beaches are sheltered by the mountains behind Benidorm, which protects the bay from the cold winds, creating a warm microclimate.

Benidorm’s fine, sandy beaches spread for about four kilometres with gentle slopes into the Mediterranean. For early risers, Levante is known as the sunrise beach and is the ideal spot for enjoying a spot of early morning swimming or sunbathing.

The Blue Flag beaches are safe and very family-friendly. It’s a great spot for sailing, jetskiing or paragliding. The long coastal strip has an attractive promenade lined with bars and restaurants offering cuisine from around the world and great offers on daily menus and drinks.
San Juan de Alicante

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San Juan de Alicante, beach

This fabulous central beach with its fine, golden sand has turned San Juan into a popular spot for Alicante city dwellers and chic urbanites. San Juan stretches for 2,900 metres from the fishing village of El Campello to the rocky headland of Cabo de las Huertas. It’s also just 25 kilometres from Alicante international airport so attracts Spanish families looking for a weekend break.

Legend has it that in bygone days when the Moors ruled Spain, a beautiful Moorish queen would bathe in the natural pools among the rocks. Nowadays, it still attracts bathers but is also a nautical playground for kayaks, yachts, surfing and scuba diving.
El Portet, Moraira

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El Portet beach, Moraira

Another little gem on the Costa Blanca, El Portet is in a rocky cove sheltered by rocks with sparkling clear blue waters inviting people to swim, snorkel or surf. This is a brilliant setting for relaxing and soaking up the views of the imposing Ifach de Calpe rock jutting out to sea.

The vibrant blue, crystal clear waters and magnificent setting have led some people to compare El Portet to a Caribbean hideaway. The beach is just 350 metres long and gets very busy in summer. It’s particularly popular with families as it’s such a safe place for paddling.
Santa Pola

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Santa Pola, Alicante

Santa Pola sits in a bay with a variety of coves and beaches which are traditional fishing grounds. Indeed, it’s famous for its fish which takes pride of place in many local dishes such as caldero, which is a tasty rice and fish stew.

Close to the bustling port are Santa Pola’s two main beaches – Lisa and Tamarit – which enjoy fine sands and clear blue waters. The location and moderate swell of the sea have meant these beaches are targetted by windsurfers and kitesurfers, particularly on Lisa beach, which provide entertainment for the sunbathers. The shallow waters also mean this is a safe area for families with children.
Guardamar del Segura

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Guardamar beach, Alicante

One of the finest beaches south of Alicante is found at Guardamar. It’s a fabulous 10-kilometre stretch of fine sand with a backdrop of a fragrant pine forest. The trees were planted in the sand dunes about 100 years ago to stop them being blown away by the wind.

The forest provides a colourful windbreak to protect the town as well as being a natural haven for walkers. The long, sandy beach has a children’s play area and is another popular haunt for surfers thanks to the good waves. The Guardamar coast boasts a blend of secluded coves for private bathing or snorkelling as well as urban beaches.
Arenal, Calpe

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Calpe Ifach

Calpe is one of the most iconic resorts in the Alicante region, thanks to the impressive Ifach rock which is 332 metres high and juts out to sea. The coastal town is also home to 14 beaches and coves, which attract sunbathers and water sports enthusiasts.

The busiest beach is the Arenal-Bol in the city centre with a golden mile of fine sand and clear waters. The urban beach has great views of the Ifach rock and is close to the marina, where many swish yachts are moored. A few minutes’ walk from the beach is a salt lake where many flamingoes and herons can be seen.
Albir beach

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Albir beach, Alicante

Nestling between the picture-postcard hilltop town of Altea and the brash resort of Benidorm is a lovely little coastal town with a golden, sandy beach. Albir is a hidden gem sandwiched between better-known resorts. Its Blue Flag beach is perfect for family holidays as the water is shallow while the beach is close to the shops and restaurants in the town centre.

This is a great resort for film lovers as the seaside promenade has its own Paseo de las Estrellas or Stars’ Promenade to rival the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Albir’s version is to commemorate the winners of the prestigious annual Alfaz del Pi Film Festival, which is held three kilometres from Albir.
Las Marinas, Denia

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Las Marinas, Denia

Denia enjoys 15 kilometres of beaches from long, sandy stretches to rocky coves. One of the most popular is Las Marinas, which is an attractive part of town for tourists during the long summer months. This is a safe beach with a bar in summer, beach beds, long stretches of golden sand and shallow water, so it’s great for children.

When the wind gets up, you can watch the acrobatic antics of the kitesurfers and windsurfers who head for this part of Denia. Across the road are plenty of bars and restaurants so you can enjoy the beach all day.
El Cura, Torrevieja

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Torrevieja beach, Alicante

A golden sandy beach flanked by hotel blocks and restaurants serving international and local cuisine have turned El Cura into one of Torrevieja’s top spots for sunbathing and swimming. It’s a picturesque corner of the bustling Torrevieja resort with photogenic images of palm trees, a pretty promenade and boats sailing into the harbour.

Musicians, street hawkers, buskers and artists making carvings out of sand bring added character to this busy urban beach. In July the Habaneras Night on the Beach is held at El Cura with thousands of people heading to the beach to have dinner and listen to free music.

Walking through history in Alicante

Alicante is a beautiful small beach city with grand historic buildings, traditional Spanish squares, chic marina and a long sandy beach.

It’s just 12kms from Alicante airport, which is used by many budget airlines, so you can enjoy a bargain weekend in the city.
Easy city to walk around

The city centre is compact so you can easily stroll from the beach to the main attractions within a few minutes. Spain-Holiday has chosen a route where you can enjoy the sights as you stroll around this charming Mediterranean port.

Alicante marina
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The museum is packed with information and hands-on experience of the longest and most challenging round-the-world yacht race. The race starts in Alicante in October for the third time.
Beach life

As you walk towards the centre of Alicante, you will see the long sandy Postiguet beach to your right. Cafes and restaurants line the beach so it is a favourite spot for a coffee or lunch as well as topping up your tan or having a swim.7245 Fill 670 0 300x152 Walking through history in Alicante

Paseo Explanada de Espana, Alicante

We’re going to turn left to walk along the iconic Paseo Explanada de Espana, which is one of the most beautiful seaside promenades in Spain.

Thousands of small red, black and cream marble tiles have been used to create the boulevard so that it resembles the waves in the sea.
Elegant Explanada de Espana

Many cafes and restaurants can be found along the Explanada, so it is a great time to visit at any time of day. Evening is popular with many people as you can have a stroll along the elegant street lined with palm trees while deciding which restaurant to dine in.7246 Fill 670 0 300x211 Walking through history in Alicante

Calle Mayor, Alicante

Off the promenade on the right is the Calle San Telmo leading to the delightful Calle Mayor. Here you will find the Museum of Contemporary Art (MACA) in the Plaza Santa Maria.

The museum houses a great collection of 20th century art including works by Picasso, Miro, Dali, Max Ernst, Cocteau and Bacon.

In this square you can also visit Alicante’s oldest active church, the Basilica of Santa Maria. It’s a beautiful Gothic church built in the 14th to 16th centuries on the site of a former mosque.7247 Fill 670 0 300x122 Walking through history in Alicante

Alicante old town, marina and port

Head down Calle Niagara and you will come to another great Alicante landmark, the Museum of Fine Arts (MUBAG), housed in a former palace dating from the 18th century in Calle Gravina.
Take a trip to the town hall

Along Calle Mayor is also the elegant 18th century Alicante town hall in the Plaza de l‘Ajuntament. It is a striking Baroque building with interesting columns on the two towers.

Look out for the Salon Azul styled from the time of Queen Isabel of Spain and the Cota Cero on the main staircase which is the reference point from which Spain’s cities are measured in metres above sea level.

Heading back on to the Explanada we keep walking alongside the marina with its gorgeous sleek yachts.7248 Fill 670 0 300x165 Walking through history in Alicante

Typical Alicante plaza or square

Turn right up Avenida Dr Gadea to the Plaza Calvo Sotelo, a pretty square full of trees where you can relax or enjoy a coffee for a while.
Quality streetCalle San Francisco, Alicante, with childlike giant mushrooms

Around the square are many interesting shops including a fabulous sweet shop, Tienda Fini, with the brightest-coloured sweets you have ever seen including jelly babies, jelly beans, chocolates and mini tennis balls.

On the corner of this shop is the fascinating Calle San Francisco. A few years ago, this was pretty run down but it’s now a surreal pedestrianised street with giant mushrooms, ants and snails dotted around.

The road is a great place for dining out as various restaurants and bars have set up here including traditional cafes, a cupcake café, tapas bars, Italian restaurants and a sushi bar.7249 Fill 300 0 251x300 Walking through history in Alicante

This leads you to what is arguably Alicante’s finest and best-known square, the Plaza Portal de Elche, built in the 19th century as a water supply and meeting point.
Old-fashioned air

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There’s a lovely old-fashioned kiosk in the square where you can read the newspapers and order a coffee. There are some beautiful old, protected trees with gnarled trunks twisted into interesting shapes.

Plaza de Portal Elche, Alicante

The square leads you to the Rambla Mendez Nunez, a famous street for restaurants and shopping.
Fine example of Spanish Baroque

San Nicolas cathedral, alicante

7251 Fill 300 0 169x300 Walking through history in AlicanteHeading up the Rambla, away from the sea, you can turn left into Calle Teatro to visit Alicante’s splendid principal theatre, in Plaza Ruperto Chapi, which stages world-famous plays and operas or turn right into Calle Miguel Soler for San Nicolas cathedral.

San Nicolas cathedral, in Plaza de Abad Penalva, was built over an ancient mosque in the 17th century. Worth seeing are the Holy Communion chapel which is considered to be one of the finest examples of Spanish Baroque and the distinctive blue dome, which is 45 metres high.

If you go back along the Rambla up to the busy Avenida Jaime II, you can visit the central market with stalls brimming with fresh fruit, vegetables, fish of all shapes and sizes, meat and home-made sausages.

Outside the main entrance are two traditional kiosks selling local turron, similar to nougat, while there is a colourful flower stall on the other side of the market with an amazing choice of flowers and trees.

This fascinating building looks far too grand to house a traditional market with its rectangular floor plan styled like a basilica and Modernist features.

From here you can see the imposing Alicante castle which looms over the town from a lofty height of 166 metres. It is one of Spain’s most impressive medieval fortresses with grim dungeons, lofty towers and ruins to explore.

Flower stall outside Alicante market

7252 Fill 670 0 300x200 Walking through history in AlicanteThere are also tales of ill-fated lovers, battles and hundreds of years of local history to find out about.

From the Santa Barbara Castle, there are fabulous views across the bay, marina and Alicante old town.

At the foot of the castle is La Ereta Park where you can also enjoy fabulous views of the cathedral and the port.

Cross the road and you are back to the Postiguet beach for a bite to eat or a well-earned rest.

Postiguet beach, alicante.

7253 Fill 670 0 300x162 Walking through history in Alicante

Bonfires of San Juan (Alicante)

Bonfires of San Juan (Alicante).
Thousands of people throng the streets to pay a tribute to fire and experience a celebration ful of music and fireworks and bonfires to celebrate the arrival of summer.
The people of Alicante would traditionally flock to the countryside on 23 June for a festive dinner: they feasted on typical products, and at midnight they would light bonfires and dance around them, set off fireworks and go swimming in the sea. This custom endured over the years, and in 1928 the fiestas of the Bonfires of San Juan were formally constituted. For several days, Alicante celebrates this great homage to fire, where the stars of the show are genuine works of ephemeral art: the bonfires and the enormous cardboard and wooden figures which go up in flames on the night of San Juan.
The queen of the fiesta, known as the “Bellea del Foc” (“Beauty of Fire”), is chosen in May from among the candidates presented by a committee in each neighbourhood. The festivities officially begin on 20 June with the “plantà”, or building of enormous bonfires with their tongue-in-cheek cardboard figures which fill the streets of Alicante with wit and good humour. That day the “barracas” or large tents are also put up to serve as a public dance floor, and where fiesta-goers can sample the typical figs and “cocas” (a kind of pastry with tuna, onions and pine nuts). Some of the highlights of the festivities include the Entry of the Bands and Committees, with their respective “beauties” and their ladies-in-waiting wearing traditional dress; the floral offering to the patron saint of the city, the Virgin of El Remedio on 21 and 22 June; and the international folklore parade, a spectacular procession featuring dance troupes from all over the world. In addition, every day at two in the afternoon from 19 to 24 June, there are firework displays in Plaza de los Luceros square: these are the ear-splitting “mascletàs”, for which ear-plugs are highly recommended due to the racket of the exploding firecrackers and rockets. And finally at midnight on 24 June comes the “cremà” (burning), the high point of the fiestas. After a spectacular white palm tree of fireworks, the bonfires all over the city are set alight and blaze away amid much merriment and dancing and singing, while fire-fighters shower the merrymakers with water in what is known as the “banyá”.But the fiesta is not over yet. From 25 to 29 June there is a fireworks competition on the El Postiguet beach, and the historic centre of the town comes alive with a medieval market and a range of shows.

Travelling With The Family

family Travelling With The Family

Travelling wіth уоur entire family саn bе bоth pleasure аnd pain. Whіlе it’s а great wау tо bond аnd mаkе beautiful memories together, needs, preferences, quirks аnd personalities оftеn clash аnd contribute tо а collective migraine.

I’ve gоnе оn trips wіth loved оnеѕ оf еvеrу age bеtwееn twо years оld аnd 60. Undoubtedly, it’s а lot trickier thаn travelling аlоnе оr wіth а buddy оr two.

But tаkіng thе extra effort tо work аrоund аll thеѕе differences аlwауѕ proved worth it.

Hеrе аrе ѕоmе tips tо mаkе multi-generational travelling easier аnd mоrе rewarding fоr everyone:

1. Mаkе ѕurе еvеrуоnе hаѕ whаt thеу nееd

People frоm dіffеrеnt ages hаvе dіffеrеnt needs, еѕресіаllу fоr trips thаt wіll tаkе thеm аwау frоm thеіr comfort zones аnd regular routines.

Diapers аnd bottles hаvе tо bе brought аlоng fоr thе baby. Yоur grandfather ѕhоuld bring medication fоr hіѕ headaches. Yоur sister wіll gо crazy іf ѕhе forgets tо bring hеr iPad.

Sо еvеn bеfоrе hitting thе road, remind еvеrуоnе tо mаkе ѕurе thеу hаvе whаt thеу absolutely саnnоt live without. Thіѕ wіll prevent bad moods, sickness аnd thе extra hassle оf hаvіng tо lооk fоr а substitute durіng уоur vacation.

2. Reserve уоur оwn transportation

Saving money bу tаkіng public transportation аѕ а family mау bе mоrе trouble thаn уоur money іѕ worth. Fоr example, tаkіng а public bus wіth limited stop-overs, а crazy driver аnd noisy fellow passengers mау prove tоо muсh fоr уоur youngest аnd oldest loved ones.

Thе mоѕt stress-free family outings I hаvе bееn оn аrе thоѕе іn whісh wе rode оur оwn car оr rented а private bus (for еѕресіаllу large clan vacations). Wе hаd full control оf thе trip, stopping whеrеvеr аnd whеnеvеr wе wanted fоr а bathroom оr lunch break.

Mу younger cousins соuld mаkе аѕ muсh noise аѕ thеу wanted (or аѕ muсh аѕ wе older family members соuld take) аnd wе nеvеr hаd tо worry аbоut thе security оf оur belongings.

3. Rent а house оr villa аt thе resort

Space іѕ vеrу important tо accommodations whеn travelling wіth thе clan. Thе lаѕt thіng уоu wаnt іѕ fоr blood tо boil bесаuѕе еvеrуоnе іѕ gеttіng іn everyone’s way. Houses оr villas аrе great options bесаuѕе thеу соmе wіth а lot оf space: multiple bedrooms, kitchen, living room, patio, yard аnd еvеn а private pool.

Aftеr еvеrу fun-filled day оf thе trip spent іn thе company оf thе whоlе family, family members wоuld lіkе nоthіng mоrе thаn tо retreat іntо quiet spaces tо relax. Multiple bedrooms аllоw this. Yоu саn separate thе older family members whо rеаllу nееd а rest frоm thе younger оnеѕ whо ѕtіll hаvе loads оf energy tо spend.

Thіѕ option аlѕо saves уоu mоrе money іn thе end. Renting а house оr villa mау соmе оut cheaper whеn уоu split thе cost аmоng family members compared tо paying fоr уоur оwn rooms аt а hotel.

Yоu kеер уоur wallet happy іn оthеr ways. Yоu саn uѕе уоur villa’s kitchen tо cook meals іnѕtеаd оf spending money dining іn а restaurant.

4. Agree оn call times

Thеrе wіll аlwауѕ bе family members whо аrе chronic late sleepers; but wіth еnоugh discipline аnd encouragement, уоu саn mаkе ѕurе thеу wake uр оn time fоr thе itinerary.

Call times аrе еѕресіаllу important tо kеер fоr parts оf thе trip thаt require faithfulness tо thе itinerary. A boat tо аn island thаt nееdѕ tо leave bеfоrе а сеrtаіn time tо avoid large waves wіll nоt wait fоr anyone.

Agree аt lеаѕt thе night bеfоrе whаt time еvеrуоnе nееdѕ tо bе ready. Mаkе ѕurе thіѕ іѕ communicated tо еvеrу member оf thе family.

5. Understand thаt splitting uр саn bе а good thіng

Insisting thаt thе entire family stick tоgеthеr thе whоlе day саn bе suffocating. It’s nоt а bad thіng tо аllоw family members wіth similar interests tо gо оff оn thеіr own.

Allоw girls tо gо shopping whіlе thе boys watch а game. Mауbе thе older оnеѕ wаnt tо hit thе spa whіlе thе younger оr mоrе active wоuld prefer white water rafting.

Keeping thе itinerary flexible аllоwѕ еvеrуоnе tо mаkе thе mоѕt оf thеіr trip іn thеіr оwn ways. Thеn аt оnе point іn thе day, уоu саn аll agree tо meet uр fоr lunch оr dinner.

6. Contribute tо thе budget

Evеn bеfоrе thе trip, thе adults іn thе family ѕhоuld agree оn а payment scheme. Wіll еасh member pay fоr thеіr оwn expenses? Wіll оnе person pay fоr dіffеrеnt aspects оf thе trip lіkе lunch оn day twо оr thе toll fees? Wіll уоu divide costs ассоrdіng tо hоw big thе salary оf еасh adult is?

Thе important thіng іѕ tо nеvеr assume thе head оf thе family wіll pay fоr everything. If thе trip іѕ а blow-out, find ways tо ѕtіll contribute ѕоmеhоw еvеn іf it’s јuѕt treating еvеrуоnе оut fоr ice cream оr аn elephant ride.

7. Hаvе empathy, patience аnd а sense оf humor

Yоur brother mау hаvе irritating habits оr уоur cousin а strange aversion tо white sand beaches, but you’ll survive thе trip tоgеthеr wіth а large dose оf empathy аnd patience. Thеѕе twо аrе thе bеѕt ways tо guard аgаіnѕt bad vibes. Add а smattering оf good humor аnd you’ll enjoy thе trip еvеn more.

Evеrуоnе hаѕ thеіr weird quirks whісh mау put а damper оn thе whоlе group. But trу tо put уоurѕеlf іn thеіr shoes. Talk tо еасh other, find а wау tо alleviate thе distress оr irritation, kеер thе itinerary flexible аnd уоur mind open.

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Airports Can Be Fun For Kids

images 2 150x150 Airports Can Be Fun For KidsTaking children in the plane to the Walt Disney World Resort? Are you looking forward to the process of going through the airport? While you might be feeling a bit jaded and apprehensive about the whole thing – baggage handling, checking in, security and waiting for your flight – your child probably sees it differently. If you see things through your child’s eyes, the airport is just part of the adventure and the fun of the vacation.

Parents often forget how their moods affect their children’s moods. If you’re grumpy, bored and hassled, your children will catch this off you and you will all end up feeling worse. If you stay calm, then your children will take their cues for you. If you manage to drum up some enthusiasm, then your children will often become enthusiastic, too. It’s hard to be perfect when you’re a parent, but try your best!

One key thing to do to help your children through the process of going through an airport and flying is to explain what’s going on to them. Don’t worry that all the other people around you will think you’re an idiot if you entertain your child with singing, dancing and the like. In the case of airport officials and staff, you’ll probably make their day a lot more enjoyable. If a silly song complete with actions and funny noises is going to stop a toddler throwing a tantrum in the middle of the security check, for goodness sake, sing it. With gusto!

Here are a handful of ideas for making the process of going through a busy airport a lot more fun.

Baggage handling: Let your children ride on the airport baggage trolley as you proceed to the check-in. If you’re sensible, you’ll leave a lot of child-related paraphernalia behind at home and get, say, stroller rentals in Orlando at the other end of your journey. You’ll have more room for little passengers if you don’t have all that extra clobber with you. Something new to ride on is a lot more fun for a child than riding in their regular stroller.

Check-in: One tip that makes things easy at the other end of your air journey when it comes to finding your baggage on the carousel is to put a strip of brightly coloured material on each item of your check-in baggage. Ask your children to help you make sure that each item that goes on to be weighed has this piece of material on it. Show children the numbers on the scales if they’re old enough and explain why baggage has to be weighed and why there’s a limit – if we take too much stuff, the plane won’t be able to take off (and you can sing the song about Mr Hippopotamus and Mrs Hippopotamus getting on the bus to go out to tea to fill in a few minutes). At this point, you don’t want to lose your cool and get flustered and irritated if you’ve got too much baggage and are likely to incur an excess baggage charge – if you’ve decided that booking stroller rentals is the way to go, you are likely to be glad that you did.

Security: Again, tell the children what’s going on: the guards/security officers/cops/soldiers (however you want to describe them) are trying to stop bad guys sneaking dangerous stuff onto the plane that they could use to hurt other people, and everyone has to be checked just in case. As all children who are able to walk unaided have to walk through the security gate alone, encourage him or her to march through like a soldier and to salute the guard on duty. You might get a smile! If you’re in the mood for it and if you’ve had a number of children marching through and saluting, try doing it yourself. Children and babies should not remain in cribs, carrier or the like as these go through the X-ray. If the item is too big to go through the X-ray machine, the security people will have to inspect it manually, which is another reason why getting stroller rentals makes your trip easier: it speeds the process up if you don’t take this sort of clobber with you through security.

The departure lounge: This can actually be the most tedious part, especially if a connecting flight is late or if the weather is not cooperating. Don’t worry about making your child sit still in a seat for ages at this point – they’re going to be sitting down for long enough in the plane, after all. If you have insisted on taking your own stroller this far rather than checking it in or booking stroller rentals, let your child out for a wriggle. You shouldn’t let your child annoy other people or bump into them, but sensible activity won’t hurt anyone and shouldn’t annoy them (running riot will, however). See if your child can do forward rolls (or hop or spider walk) across the floor. Walk around the room and watch planes taking off. Get your child to do exercises on the spot – star jumps and arm waving things. Action songs are also good. If you’re really lucky, you will tire your child right out so he or she falls asleep during the trip – a real plus on a longer flight!


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Make Traveling With Children Easier

children eating melon Make Traveling With Children EasierYou want to go on a trip with the kids but when you think about all the countless “I have to pee!” “Are we there yet?” “I’m hungry!” nuisances, you feel like you’re already exhausted. Taking a trip with the kids does not have to be stressful. To make it fun and exciting, here are some things that you need to keep in mind.

Change your mindset

imagesCAQY1EXA1 Make Traveling With Children EasierIf you dread the trip and think about the horrific things that could go wrong along the way, your trip will not be fun at all. Instead, think about all the wonderful things that the trip has in store for you and the kids. Imagine the delight on their faces when you go to a theme park or something that excites them. Think of the trip as a chance for bonding and reconnection.

Keep them busy

board games 150x150 Make Traveling With Children EasierOne of the most challenging parts of traveling with kids is during the time when you’re on the road or up in the air. Kids are very impatient and you would probably hear the infamous, “are we there yet?” question over a thousand times even before you reach halfway of the flight or road travel. This should not be the case if you equip them with things to busy themselves with. Have them watch a movie or play board games or do any other activity that will not bore them. Better yet, use the time to play games with them. This would also keep you from getting bored.

Make the vacation kid friendly

When planning the itinerary, think about the kids at all times. Choose attractions that you know the kids would enjoy. It will not be a good idea to drag impatient toddlers or hyperactive preschoolers to museums that would require them to shut their mouths for hours. Also, keep the pace realistic for children. Kids can get tired more easily than you. Don’t pack the schedule with too many places to visit. See to it that you allot ample time for taking breaks so that the family will enjoy the trip without being overly tired.

Think about safety

Protection from sun 150x150 Make Traveling With Children EasierSafety is paramount during vacations. For one, you need to have another adult help you handle the kids. Being outnumbered is not safe as this can mean lost kids. Bring all the medications that kids need. Pack complete first aid so you can attend quickly to minor mishaps like a cut or scrape. Apply sunscreen on their skin before you go out into the sun. If you’re visiting parks, wilderness areas, or any other places where you suspect there would be insects, apply insect repellent on their skin. Moreover, get travel insurance as a family. This should include health, baggage loss, and travel cancellation insurance.

Traveling with the kids can actually be a wonderful experience. When they are grown up and you can barely see them at home anymore, you would regret those times that you did not go on trips with them when they were still kids.

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How do you plan a vacation with your children?

BeachKidsR 150x150 How do you plan a vacation with your children?Travelling with children can be quite an ordeal, but if you involve your children in the preparation, things could be much easier. When preparing the trip, take into account their ages and potential needs. Also think of a number of practical issues you can apply and then hopefully there will be no surprises. If you’re well prepared on the stage then the play is number one ranking and  a success. You will be able to take a bow and receive a well deserved applause and holiday!

Involving your children in the travel plans

Children are so much fun when you allow them to be part of the preparation and planning.  Fun breaks and activities can assist to break up the monotony of heavy school responsibilities for the older ones. The little ones actually do tell you so much and give you so much information when you playing games with them. You can do the activities together, but as for the older children, you can send them on their own “mission path” to find the perfect vacation and give them a choice of destinations and budgets with which to work.

DKchildrensWorldAtlas 150x150 How do you plan a vacation with your children?You can encourage a toddler to look in an atlas with you to find the location of the holiday. Questions like, which country you will be traveling to, how long does the trip actually take, and what part of it will probably be the longest? Part of the game can be to discuss the places of interest and sights you will seeing in the country you will be visiting and to look it up on the Internet. You can also do picture, language or word games, which can obviously be a big help to you too as well.

Little ones love to hear a couple of months in advance about the activities that they are going to do. It can be very important for children to be involved in the planning stage so they can have their say in what they like or dislike about a certain vacation. We adults often take it for granted that our children just love the holidays that we have planned and prepared for them. However this is not always the case, how many times have we ended up with bored, misbehaving, screaming children looking for attention?

Travelling with school age children

Canoe 150x150 How do you plan a vacation with your children?School kids usually burst with energy, they want to try everything. For example, consider canoeing, mountain biking, skating or hiking activities. You could even consider a surfing school or similar activity whilst you have your day at the beach relaxing.  Failing that, you could do something together like horse riding.  If you are a working family who usually spends a lot of time indoors, why not take the challenge and maybe encourage the kids to do something like rock climbing to encourage them overcome their own limitations in life.

imagesCA3O1YHK1 150x150 How do you plan a vacation with your children?Maybe your teenagers are a bit rebellious and want to party all the time or perhaps they want to spend time on their own.  The answer to this may be to consider a combined vacation where you can do a lot of family activities together like sports, walking or climbing. This may allow you talk and perhaps bond together. In the evenings you separate and do your own thing!

Many travel agents nowadays focus on family holidays and activities. Many hotels are specially equipped for entertaining families and children of all ages. You can find them on the Internet but beware these forms of entertainment may not fit every individuals needs.

Some children are under the spell of animals. In this case, a farmhouse or safari holiday is something you might well consider.

donkeys06 150x150 How do you plan a vacation with your children?If you have children that are diagnosed with forms of autism or ADHD you might consider taking a vacation with nature and animals, like visiting a donkey sanctuary or perhaps something like swimming with dolphins. The healing and soothing powers of nature can do miracles.

So listen to those little voices around you and within, and have a great vacation.

Monica Luna