Museums

Santa Barbara Castle

The Moors have laid the foundation for the fortress on top of the Benacantil Hill, but after the conquest by the Spanish, this became known as castle “Castillo de Santa Bárbara “. This Chateau is located 166 meters (approximately 544 feet) above sea level. It gives the city of Alicante a beautiful façade and a strong character. From the castle, you have a magnificent view of the city and the bay of Alicante.

www.castillodesantabarbara.com

MACA
The ‘ Museo de Arte Contemporãneo de Alicante ‘, or MACA, is an art museum that can be found in the center of the city, located in the Plaza de Santa María Basilica. The museum is housed in a 17th century baroque town house, the oldest civilian building of the city. The collection includes more than 800 works of art from the 20th century by, among others, Juana Frances, Joan Miró and Juan Gris.

www.maca-alicante.es
Wine museum, El Campello

Museo Esteban de la Rosa

Esteban De La Rosa is the founder of the in 1975 established “Bodegas vinícola Selección institución” (wine institution) and which since 2003 is considered one of the best wine shops of Spain. This museum consists of his private wine collection totaling around 47,000 bottles of wine. Some wines which can be found in the bodega are: Premier Grand Cru Classé Bordeaux, Chateau Latour, Chateau Margaux, Chateau Petrus, Chateau Lafite Rothschild, Château Mouton Rothschild and Château Haut-Brion. The oldest stock dates from 1730, the date of the establishment of Domecq, and the most expensive is the Romanee-Conti from 1982 and is worth approximately € 10,000.

In their quest to expand the knowledge of wine, since 1981 specialized wine courses and monthly wine tastings are held during which between 25 and 65 different wines can be sampled. On the first Saturday of the month, a wine tasting of more than 30 wines is held from 17:30 PM to 21:00 PM and the following Saturday there are wine courses taught from 18:30 PM to 20:00 PM.

www.museosdelvino.es

Cities

Elche : Palms City Elx (Elche)
More than a thousand years ago the Arabs, who then had the power in this region, started with the planting of many palm trees in and around Elx (Elche). That number now exceeds three hundred thousand palm trees and because of this, Elx has a unique appearance. Elche was awarded in 2000 when the historical Palmeral of Elche was declared a World Heritage site, legally protecting this area. The palms of Elche Palm Grove are often referred to as one, but there are dozens of orchards and gardens separated by many streets and walls scattered throughout the city. It is also good to know that some of these are accessible free of charge, while others work with scheduled times and charge entrance fees.
A small portion of these orchards and gardens are under the name of Huerto del Cura furnished as a botanical garden. Furthermore, Elche in well-known for its shoe manufacturing: no fewer than 4 out of 10 shoes in Spain are produced in Elche!
The archaeological city history, the many cycling routes along the River, the local gastronomy and the beaches of Elche are sufficient reason to visit the so called Spanish capital city of shoes.

Murcia:
The Spanish provincial capital of Murcia is located in the fertile plain of the river “Río Segura” and the much smaller “Río Sangonera”. Murcia is one of Spain’s most important agricultural trade centers. The silk and wool industry initially set up by the Moors has made way for major agricultural cooperatives with production, processing and export of fruit, dates and olives.
After the Moorish period, the plantations were divided into plots which is why a whole range of orchards and vegetable gardens sprang up that still dominate the area of Murcia

Murcia is also a university town and has an attractive city center where plenty of good restaurants and tapas and wine bars can be found. As you go through the city center of Murcia, you imagine yourself in an Andalusian city. The atmospheric city center of Murcia is located around the Plaza Belluga, dominated by the ornate Cathedral. Adjacent to the Cathedral square are several bustling streets where especially during weekends much social activity takes place.

Worth seeing is also the nearby Casino located in the Calle Trapería, a well-known street in Murcia. Another unique place to visit in the city center of Murcia is La Glorieta, situated on the banks of the Río Segura. On this vast, narrow square where several important buildings are located, an elegant garden in Moorish style exists.

Murcia is known for its many bridges. These ” puentes” are connecting the western and eastern parts of the city with each other. Murcia is the place to be to learn all about the history of Spain.

Alicante
Surrounded by hills and white beaches, on the Costa Blanca, is the location of the sunny city of Alicante. After Valencia, this Spanish coastal city is the largest town on this coast. The city has an important port for the export of central Spain and has a lovely promenade along the coast (Explanada de España), several modern shopping centers and lively terraces, which even in the winter months are often still well attended.

In the historical section of El Barrio you can walk through the streets with colorful houses. The district is the starting point to the Santa Bárbara Castle. High above the city shines this enormous castle that stands on top of the Benacantil mountain. Take a brisk walk up or use the elevator. The views of the city, the port and the Mediterranean Sea is a great lasting reminder and very definitely worth the visit!

Surrounded by beautiful mountain landscapes, caves and islands, makes this city ideal for day trips.

TIP: The amount of available parking spaces on the streets in the heart of Alicante is limited. Throughout the city, you will find enough parking garages. Our advice is to use them. Via signs that can be found along the main roads, these parking garages are clearly listed. The parking garage signs also display how many open parking places there are available at that time.

Valencia
Valencia is the capital of the autonomous region of Valencia and the province of the same name. Valencia is located on the eastern coast of Spain, on the Costa del Azahar. A well-known area that more often is associated with Valencia is the Costa Blanca. Along with Alicante, Valencia is one of the two main places of entry to this popular holiday region.

Valencia is rightly known as the bicycle capital of Spain. There are a lot of bicycle routes that can be found in Valencia which are frequently used. Not only do you see tourists on bicycles, but the Valencians themselves greatly utilize the bicycle routes as well. If you want to explore Valencia by bicycle, many bicycle rental stores can be found throughout the city.

If you visit Valencia, the following landmarks are recommended: La Lonja de la Seda, Iglesia de los Santos Juanes, Plaza de la Vírgen, Plaza del Ayuntamiento and the pinnacle in the field of modern architecture: Cuitat de les Arts i Cìences.

If you visit Valencia then there is one food dish that you really should try: Paella. This typical Spanish rice dish is originally from Valencia. On the many terraces of the city you can order multiple mouth-watering variations of this popular dish.

Points of Interest

The Costa Blanca has much more to offer than just sun, sea and sandy beaches. In this region, there are many beautiful villages, old castles and impressive caves which are very well worth a visit.

Busot :

The caves at Canelobre are nearby Finca Bilou and located in the village of Busot. With the use of a guide you can walk through the highest elevated caves of Spain. The main cave has a height of up to seventy meters (approximately 229.66 feet) and because of its beautiful acoustics is also called the Cathedral. The walk through the colorful lighted flowstone-
cave takes about one hour and is worth the trouble. The number of people allowed to enter the cave varies. This limit is also determined by the amount of CO2 and humidity, which may cause lengthy wait times. Don’t worry, the village of Busot itself is also worthwhile exploring.

Tip: No ATM cash withdrawal machines are available, so please make sure you carry enough cash with you to purchase the entry tickets. This trip is a nice change from a typical day at the beach or swimming pool.

Villajoyosa
Before the arrival of the tourists, agriculture and fisheries were always the main sources of income on the Costa Blanca. To show the fishermen of Villajoyosa when at sea where their houses stood, the houses were painted in all kinds of beautiful bright pastel colors. At the end of the last century, the cottages were fully refurbished and now look the same as before, perhaps even more beautiful. The pastel-colored cottages of Villajoyosa are worth a visit. If you are in Villajoyosa, a visit to the Valor factory (chocolate factory) is a must. Enjoy a fun tour of the museum and the chocolate factory and at the end of the tour you can enjoy a small tasting to experience other flavors. Be on time because you need to get an entry ticket if you want an English guided tour. The tour is held twice a day at 11.00 AM and at 16.00 PM, with limited capacity.

Jalon
The village of Xaló, in Spanish also commonly referred to as Jalón, is a quiet village located in the interior of the Costa Blanca. During the week, there is little to do in Jalon. On Saturday, however, it attracts many tourists because of its weekly held flea market. In addition to the usual stalls with sunglasses and hand bags, you can find a lot of other interesting merchandise for sale as well. Most of the market is considered a flea market. You have no idea in advance what you may find, which makes this shopping experience extra fun. Tip: be on time, because around 14.00 PM in the afternoon the stalls start to close. You can also walk through the old city center of Jalon.

In the summer, the river Rio Jalon is worth seeing because the low water level exposes the many shrubs and flowers in the river bed which provides a picturesque scenery. Another good reason to visit the area of Jalon is the wine cultivation that takes place around the village. A visit to the “Wine Cooperative” is advisable since you can not only taste, but purchase the local wines as well. The wine prices are very reasonable.

Guadalest

A hidden treasure is the best way to describe the village Guadalest. To come to Guadalest from the seaside resorts you must first travel a beautiful scenic route through the mountainous countryside. Once you arrive at Guadalest you will need to first pay for parking before you can enter the most beautiful part of the village.

A pathway through the mountain leads you into a fairy-tale village, which has its origin in the middle ages. Major attractions in the old village are the 12th century castle which has been inhabited for years by the family Ordũna, the old jail, the Mare de Déu de l’Assumpció Church and several museums including the historical automobile museum “Vall de Guadalest”, the Ethnological Museum and the Antonio Marco Museum.
Guadalest also offers a beautiful view of the reservoir which has been landscaped in the last century and which now already provides for many years most of the drinking water of Alicante.

(National) holidays

The first weeks of July are dedicated to the virgin “Virgo Virgin del Carmen”, the patron saint of sailors. This is one of the most important events of the region and is celebrated with fireworks, events, processions in the sea and shows.