During my six months traipsing through Europe, I found myself in Spain. Here’s my opinion of Alicante, Spain – So Much More Than Beautiful Beaches!
Alicante is located in Southern Spain, at the foot of a gorgeous hill overlooking the Mediterranean Sea
The city overlooks a large bay and it’s commonplace to see yachts, gorgeous long stretches of beach, and people enjoying the dozens of cafes, restaurants, and hotels along the shoreline
Well known for those things, I was quite surprised to discover that Alicante offers so much more!
What To Get Up To
As I often do when I’m in a new place, I met with a few of the local tourism board representatives for a private tour of certain regions throughout Alicante.
My first appointment was with Marichel López from El Campello Turismo. She set up a half day tour to show me some of the more interesting and what proved to be fascinating aspects of this part of Alicante.
Immediately upon meeting Marichel, I knew it was going to be a wonderful day. She was so warm and kind and we instantly hit it off.
Officially called Yacimiento the Islet of Banyets this is one of the most important sites in the Mediterranean.
Dating back more than 5,000 years the site holds evidence of how people from the Iberian to the Romans lived and worked during the Bronze age and after.
Pottery, tools, and weapons from the Iberians have been discovered giving archeologists an inside peek into this early civilization.
Scientists have also uncovered Roman baths and ancient fish nurseries where it is believed they brought fish and vegetables from all over the world to sell at this seaside market.
I felt honored to walk around the site and couldn’t help but imagine daily life here where families lived, children played, and men traded their wares.
From there we walked over to El Campello’s famous Tower that overlooks an amazingly gorgeous marina.
Built between 1554 and 1557, to prevent the population being attacked by Berber pirates who relentlessly pursued this part of the land, looting them and causing massive damage and creating fear in the people, this particular tower was one of a system of watchtowers.
Each one was strategically placed and manned by soldiers to watch incoming ships. If they determined there was a threat they would light a fire at the top of the tower to signal the next tower, who would signal the next and so on until the town was warned of the impending danger.
Restored in 1991, it was declared a Cultural Heritage Site.
The views from the Tower are breathtaking my favorite being the Port which has two defined areas:
One area dedicated to nautical sports activities, with new and distinguished installations and the ability to house more than four hundred vessels.
The other, Club Naútico Campello, is the Generalitat Valenciana holder of the sports installations, which the most spectacular panoramic views of marina can be seen.
With an area dedicated specifically to professional fishing, it has thirty moorings for these kinds of vessels.
The Lonja del pescado is a fish market where, from Monday to Friday, a fresh fish auction and sale to the public is held.
Marichel took me to various spots throughout the small town filled with modern art mixed with traditional buildings that stand testament to an era that is fiercely protected by the people of El Campello.
Did you know that Alicante is home to the largest group of winemakers in Spain? No? Neither did I!
According to historians, “Alicante has a long history of winemaking. By the 16th Century, its wine was already sought-after locally and abroad, particularly in England, Scotland, Holland, and Sweden.
It was often used to add color and grunt to other wines. To protect the local industry, a ban was placed on all wine imports and restrictions were placed on exports (the wine could be shipped only through the port of Alicante).
This generated jobs and wealth and the number of vines proliferated throughout the region. A so-called ‘Golden Age’ followed, and demand for Alicante’s table and dessert wines soared.
There are many references to Alicante wine in literature – it features in Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Montecristo, for example – and it is said that the only thing King Louis XIV of France would consume on his deathbed in 1715 was Alicante wine and cake soaked in it.”
Where do I start?
You all know how much I love my wine and that I go nowhere without trying to explore a wine region. I was really impressed and taken aback by this company.
During this trip, Lola Sanchis, Bodegas Francisco Gomez’s representative organized a private tour and met me at the local train station.
The day couldn’t have been more beautiful. The sun was warm and the sky was clear giving me a panoramic view of one of the most beautiful vineyards, olive orchards, and farms I had ever seen.
After the introductions, Lola immediately explained the history behind the vineyard and the passion and vision its owners have for it.
My guided tour took me to the small chapel carved right out of stone and where civil wedding service can be held. I was told that the hope is to have the churched blessed so that traditional religious ceremonies can also be held within the beautifully quaint walls.
Bodega Square (Plaza de la Bodega) is the magnificent stone covered area outside that welcomes visitors, is the perfect place for weddings, company meetings, birthday parties, or anniversaries.
I was also shown the vinification cellar, aging cellar, bottling room, bottle storage cellar, the Fondillón hermitage, the Sociedad de Nichos (Wine Vault Club area) and the olive oil museum. All of which have a feel and spirit of the ancient while incorporating the modern age of winemaking.
I was especially impressed with the Wine Vault Club where exclusive members gather to talk all things secret and important! Click HERE for more photos.
After this impressive tour, Lola brought me to the main area where my favorite part of these tours took place.
The tasting of 4 wines and 2 olive oils, accompanied by a tasting of Iberian charcuterie made at the estate.
One was better than the other and I was in my glory. The meats that were presented are also grown on the farm and everything, I mean everything from wine to olive oil, to the pork production is certified organic AND kosher.
Many of the wines are also certified vegan so there is something for every taste and dietary need produced at this fantastic vineyard.
For information on the winery and to book your own tour click HERE.
What Should I Do?
Spain is known for Flamenco and you’ll find amazing and wonderful shows that display the talented dancers that proudly perform this traditional dance throughout Alicante.
I was invited and enjoyed a traditional Tapas Dinner and Flamenco show with GetYourGuide.
I very much enjoyed the show especially! Flamenco is a very sensual, expressive, passionate form of dance and although there are many versions of it, this one was so worth the visit.
The dancers were fantastic, the Flamenco guitarist was absolutely wonderful, and the singer had a voice that, even if you can’t understand Spanish, will carry you away and help you to understand the story behind the performance.
This show is a definite night out event when visiting Spain and specifically Alicante. For more photos click HERE.
I loved my time in Alicante, Spain and would definitely put it on my list of recommendations for travelers.
The people, culture, and coastal town are a beautiful mix of traditional and modern Spain. There were all the comforts of home, local foods, drinks, and traditions to try, and of course an endless variety of things to do.
Consider it on your next European vacation!
So there you have it, Alicante, Spain – So Much More Than Beautiful Beaches
Have you visited Alicante? Have you visited other parts of Spain? What did you think? Share your experiences with us!