Costa Blanca Twin City Trip: Valencia and Alicante
Why visit just one city when you can visit two? Go for a weekend trip or a week trip, but either way, doubling up on your adventure and going in to see both Valencia and Alicante is an absolute win for everyone and allows you to get off the beaten path and enjoy more to the country than just its main cities of Madrid and Barcelona.
Go for the great food, go for the sea views, go for the castles, or the beautiful streets that rival the ones in Lisbon, but do go, and when you travel, follow this great guide:
Your Guide to Alicante:
As the main airport to the area is in Alicante, it is often wise to start here first. You can easily get into the city and then enjoy the old town and its fresh food and great culture.
Things to Do
What makes Spain so special is its laid back attitude and penchant for knowing how to party, which is why every trip to Alicante must include:
Visit its Great Museums
Alicante has a few great museums, from a contemporary art museum to an archaeological museum, to a fine art museum and beyond. Visit one or a few to get a better feel about the culture and heritage of the area.
Go Swimming Next to a Mountain
Mount Benacantil is a large hill that overlooks a beautiful beach. Spend the day there, enjoy the sights, the water, and even go up to explore the medieval fortress that rests at the summit.
Explore its Old Town
The old town in Alicante is positively charming, to the point where if you do nothing else in Alicante walking through the streets of its old town you have spent your trip wisely.
Things to See
As with every Spanish town, there is so much to do and see. From modern museums to history neighbourhoods, here is the full rundown of all the best things to see in Alicante:
Santa Bábara Castle
A Muslim castle that sits on top of a mountain, this site is not one to miss. Go for the beautiful building, or the panoramic views around the area.
This little island is very popular with tourists, and for good reason. There is so much to and explore on Tabarca that the island should be done as a day trip, so if you have an extra day unaccounted for in your itinerary, make it here.
The Bonfires of Saint John
The Bonfires of Saint John are quite popular throughout Europe in midsummer, but that doesn’t make them any less special when Alicante throws them.
Just slightly outside of Alicante are the Canelobre Caves, a stunning and fascinating tunnel system of caves that you can explore.
Things to Eat
With the ocean right nearby, you are spoiled for choice when it comes to fresh fish and great tasting dishes. Some of the foods you absolutely must try out on your next trip to Alicante include:
- Denia Prawns
- Any artichoke dish
- Arros a Banda, an Alicantian take on the paella
- Esgarrat, a cod tapas dish
- Salazones, salted fish tapas
Pair any of these fresh dishes with a local glass of white wine and you will have a winning combination worthy of any food connoisseur.
Your Guide to Valencia
Valencia is home to the paella, which is why it is on so many foodie traveller’s maps. To get the most out of Valencia, however, you will want to consider the following.
Things to Do
Some of the best things to do in Valencia include:
Going to The Museums
Valencia has a wide variety of museums, from quirky to established, and the only thing you need to do to enjoy them is to choose which ones you want to spend time in.
Seeing Tens of Thousands of Fish
Valencia is home to one of the most beautiful and biggest aquariums in all of Europe, so make time to see it. It’s a hit with adults, children, and families alike.
Eating Incredibly Well
You don’t go to Valencia and skimp out on the food. Between incredible restaurants and a mouth-watering selection of vendors in its Central Market, you won’t be pressed to eat well.
Things to See
Valencia has a deceptively large amount of places to see and experience. Some of the top choices to help you narrow down your trip include:
The City of Art and Science
This is one of the 12 gems of Spain. This building is not only absolutely stunning, but it also holds a wide variety of top attractions in the city. Go to see one of the world’s best aquariums, visit the planetarium, catch a movie, or go through the science museum; this building has it all.
The Central Market
With over 1000 vendors selling fresh foods there is no better place for lunch. Go again and again and you will still never taste all the wild and incredible flavours this market holds.
The National Ceramic Museum
The National Ceramic Museum is certainly one of the more quirky options in Valencia, but its stunning façade and beautiful collection of Valencian tiles (not to mention is cheap entrance fee) make it a great activity for the whole family.
This cathedral is notable because it is said – by the Vatican no less – to very likely house the real Holy Grail, which you can see for an affordable entrance fee.
Things to Eat
Aside from the wide variety of fresh and tasty food, one dish you must absolutely not miss is the paella. Valencia is where the paella was born, and should not be missed on any trip to this great foodie city.
Travel is such a privilege to enjoy. Prepare for everything in advance so you can budget for it better, get the right tickets in advance without worry, and of course so that you don’t return home with traveller’s regret. The last thing you want to do is see a photo posted on Instagram of Valencia of a stunning modern building that you later learn is the City of the Arts and Sciences, otherwise known as one of the 12 Spanish gems.
Go out there and enjoy these cities for all they hold, both in the day and in the night, and remember to bring back plenty of pictures!