Alicante – An ideal place to start creative painting
Alicante – that’s a city, a bit antique and picturesque, with lots of interesting places to discover. Once you have seen the many palm trees and banana trees on the promenade near the harbour with its 7 million mosaik tiles on the floor, you will wish to ban this atmosphere into a picture. The small “barrios” where night life outside happens all round the year because of the comfortable temperatures all round the year are unique places in the world.
With the sun, that shines more than 300 days a year, the long beaches, the restaurants and the Spanish music, you want to have this ambiente for ever. But holidays are short and as a souvenir for the beautiful things you have seen and experienced, there is the picture that you painted in the “Studio Paloma”, my studio, where you put all your sensations and your impressions into color, where you spent a happy day, going to the beach inbetween painting. The beach – it is 6 km long beach, called “Muchavista” and it is 5 minutes walk from my house and the studio. During the summer months there are “chiringuitos” = beach booths where they play music at night. So after painting you could also walk down to the beach, put your fantastic picture into the sand, have a “Mochito” and relax in the sand, watching Spanish people, listening to the music. The last tram from our place to Alicante Center leaves at 23.30h. Thus you will have spent a day you never forget!
I have picked out some places in Alicante that are worth sightseeing, yet this town does not have museums, big and famous as those in Barcelona or Valencia. Everything is not as big and famous as in Barcelona or Valencia, but it is a cosy town, distances are not big, so you can have different experiences like sightseeing, shopping or being at the beach alltogether in one day..
Sunny holidays at the beach and in town.
Alicante is situated 180 km south of Valencia at the “Costa Blanca.”The town is situated directly at the beach, so from the center of the town to the beach and the wonderful Promenade along the seaside, it is 5 minutes walk only. This famous promenade is full of palm trees, banana trees, flowers and antique street lamps. It is famous for its 7 million mosaic tiles in the floor being decorated as “waves” in a warm-red and white colour.. At one side it ends into the long beach “Playa Postinguet”, where people of all nationalities meet.
Alicante has 330,000 inhabitants. So, of course, you find shopping malls. But the really interesting Spanish shops from very expensive to very cheap are all situated in the old part of the city right near the Promenade. There are also some famous designers. As I said before, Alicante has more than 300 sunny days a year, that means apart from the summer, where the sun shines all day long, you find out, that during the winter time, when temperatures are between 10 and 20 degrees Celsius, the sun shines at least four hours a day, normally from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m..
Sights of Alicante
Although Alicante does not seem to be one of the top cultural cities of Spain, you can trace 2000 years of history. A history, most interesting, that explains the culture of all the south of Spain. Nearly every 400 years the city was conquered by different peoples , Greeks, Romans and especially Arabs and then reconquered again by the Spanish. All the different conquerors left their footmarks in the town, and once you roughly know its history, you can discover remnants of all the conquests in each corner of the city.
Moreover, its traditions and all the “fiestas” that are part of daily life in Alicante are a mixture of the traditions of all the people who lived there during the centuries.
Castillo de Santa Barbara – The Castle that stands out above the city
High above the city, very close to the beach on the mountain Bencantil the Castillo de Santa Barbara can be seen far away from the sea.
The castle was built in the 9 th century, when the “Moros” ruled the town, It was the part of the castle with the tower at its side. Later many more parts were built by different rulers. Today the castle is one of the amplest in square metres in Europe. There is a museum in one of the buildings, where remnants of all centuries that were found in Alicante are exposed.
All through the centuries, the castle was one of the most important military base. From the top of the hill (166 m high) the soldiers had a fantastic view over the sea.. They could view all the harbour and long parts of the coast.
The harbour of Alicante
It was only in 2006 that the peole demonstrated against industrializing all parts of the harbour. But as more cargo had to be dealt with there was the decision to have the big industrial part in the south and leave the beautiful yacht harbour right at the promenade. Today it is a beautiful place with restaurants and bars and from there you can have a beautiful view on the castillo Santa Barbara, that is illuminated by many floodlights. You can also find lots of illuminated cascades everywhere, so going out at night is the very thing to do in Alicante.
The industrial port to the south is one of the biggest of its kind along the Costa Blanca.
If you are fond of sports there is water-skiing close to the yachting harbour, you can go diving. There is also a big sailing club where sailing is taught. The famous Volvo Ocean Race starts in Alicante, with a lot of activities round this event. There is even a big museum only concerned with the Volvo Ocean Race.
El Barrio – The Old Town of Alicante
El Barrio – is called the historic quarter of the town. You can find many typically Spanoish restaurants, tapas bars and cocktail bars there.Many young people go out at night. Did you know, that in Alicante Thursday is the night of the “singles” ? The small streets are crowded then and many of the people want to meet someone to love.
part from many small old houses, where people still live today, there are also some very impressive hostorical building like the the church Iglesia de Santa Maria, which is the oldest church of Alicante. It is quite big and has a nice “plaza” in front. It is an ideal place for weddings and other ceremonies.
Quite near there is the impressive building of the “Ayuntamento”, the town-hall. It was built within 90 years in the 18th century and was a well kept baroque palace.Its two towers are 35 metres high. In side among other thigs, you can find the “cota zero”, the point zero where all measures in all Spain refer to.
Very close, there is the second beautiful church of Alicante, the cathedral San Nicolas. It was built in the 17th century and has a dome in shiny blue, which stands out among other buildings when you look at the city from above.
A chilly walk under the palm trees
If you want to take a time out, if it is only half an hour, you go walkling down the Esplanada de España. You walk down the alley under huge palmtrees, along the seaside on on a ground that is covered by nearly 7 million little mosaik stones patterning waves, that symbolize Alicante’s seaside beauty. Along the sides of the alley, it is not only palm trees, but also huge banana plants and flowers of all colours, that are kept clean and tidy all round the year. At the end of the Esplanada you cross a small street and you are immediately feeling the sand of Playa Postinguet under your feet, with a big fountain on the left and a big wooden ship at the end of the yacht harbour on the right . Every week there is a market and in the summer time you find lots of booths with souvenirs permanently.
Parque el Palmeral – A beautiful Garden
The Parque El Palmeral is also a perfect place to take time out and relax. There are even more palm trees than in the Esplanada. It is a big garden park, from where you have a fantastic view onto the bay of Alicante. There are palm trees, cactuses and all kinds of mediterranean flowers und bushes. There are several small lakes and brooks and you can rent small boats to do your own river tour.Your children have a great time on the big playground, there is a BMX-course and fitness parcour for the older ones. For a rest, you can do a picnic or have a good coffee in the park’s Café. The “summer house” is a place for events like concerts or other activities.
Aeroporto de Alicante-Elche – The airport of Alicante
Alicante has its own airport and it is growing fast. This year it is going to have 1 million passengers. Situated only 10 kilometers south of the city center. The Studio Paloma, my home place is north of the city and is about 25 kilometers away from the airport. So whenever we go to Alicante from Germany, and we do that quite often, we bok a car in advance, jump into the car from the plane, reach our place in 20 minutes, use the car for our stay and at the end of our stay, the car takes us back to the airport, where you drop it. It is all very cheap and easy.
If you come to Alicante for the first time, you don’t need to hire a car. The airport bus takes you right into the city center for less than 5 euros and from there, you can reach any place by foot or take the tram to the beaches north of Alicante or villages like Villajoyosa, Benidorm and Denia.
Hotels and apartments
You find lots of hotels and apartments in Alicante , from very cheap to very expensive. If you decide to visit Alicante, tell me, and I will be happy to give you recommendations.