When traveling, one of the best ways to immerse yourself in local culture is to visit the region during an event or festival. Spain is the ideal country to do so because of the many festivities, one of the most popular is Santa Faz Pilgrimage which takes place in the province of Alicante.
The annual event takes place in April when 200,000 people attend attracting pilgrims from the city center to the Monastery of Santa Faz. The procession begins at 8 am and it takes about two hours to travel the five miles that makes up the course. Along the way there are a number of traditional stops such as «paraeta» where pilgrims gather for a breakfast with threads of anise and sweet wine.
What makes this event so touching is the devotion of the faithful who go to the monastery as it contains the veil with which Veronica wiped the bloodied face of Jesus. This relic has been faithfully worshiped by the locals from the first pilgrimage to the monastery for over 500 years in 1489.
A short distance south of Alicante is the historic town of Santa Pola. The best route is the one that supplied the car hire Alicante, because this city is just twenty miles south. Along the way you can enjoy panoramic ocean views, but be sure to keep your eyes on the road.
Once in Santa Pola you will be immediately struck by the rich history of the city. Roman ruins dating back to the fourth century BC are scattered throughout the city. However, the history of Santa Pola is broad and encompasses many times, in fact also has a Renaissance castle built in the XVI century to defend the city from pirate attacks, this building being one of the best examples of the rich history of the area.
Santa Pola is also a very economical to visit and you do not need to spend all your budget on food and lodgings. You will find that retail prices are very reasonable and restaurants always have fresh fish on the menu. In the list of things to do while enjoying this seaside town be sure to include seeing the world go by sitting in the Plaza de la Glorieta surrounded by terraces and gardens.
The Spanish Costa Blanca (located on the southeast coast) is the perfect destination all year round, but if you’re looking for a unique and special experience, mingling with the locals, enjoying the good weather and the beach in a calm and stress-free, then a good time to go is during the month of April. Book now before the prices go up!