This post is incredibly overdue, as my visit to Alicante has been over six months ago. But it’s better late than never, am I right? Plus, I had such a wonderful time there as first part of my solo travel to Spain that I have definitely haven’t forgotten things, so I’l be able to put together a little travel diary/guide with some useful tips and info that will be helpful for anyone who will spend 2-3 days in this beautiful city in the south east of Spain.
First of all, this was a stop I’ve decided to make before my yoga retreat, as we were going to be picked up in Alicante’s airport to be brought with a small shuttle bus to the retreat location. To make the most out of this trip and maximize my stay (and be mindful about my plane travel, which I’ve offset), I have decided to spend 3-ish days in Alicante and enjoy the city. Whilst planning what to do and what to visit, I’ve stumbled upon a blog post by Alessandra – Appunti di Consapevolezza which was very helpful during the organization process of this portion of my trip.
Alicante is the perfect destination if you want to enjoy some of that Spanish relaxed lifestyle: there’s plenty to see and do, but still it doesn’t overwhelm you and it’s easy to get anywhere mostly on foot. And it also offers sustainable options and delicious vegan food which of course I cannot help but trying and sharing with you. In this little Alicante travel diary / travel guide I will explain what I did during my 3 days there and share a few tips to make your visit to Alicante a wonderful one.
It is very easy to get from the city center to the airport with the bus C6 (the ride will take about 30 to 45 minutes, depending on the traffic and which part of town you are staying in exactly). I always move from airport or stations with the local public transportation system, as it is often the cheapest way, I just make sure to research ahead which line to take so I don’t waste time when I arrive at my destination.
I personally arrived in Alicante on a Thursday afternoon, unfortunately a bit later than scheduled (thanks a bunch Ryanair!), but because it was early summer, I still had plenty of sunlight so the day wasn’t ruined at all. After setting up in cozy Airbnb room, I immediately went out to check out the city and get a first general vibe of it.
I decided to check the old town of Santa Cruz first and on my way to it I made a quick stop to the vegan zero waste shop Arrels : you know me and I always check out if the place I am visiting offers sustainable options, I always believe it is important to support these businesses to let them spread and thrive and make sustainability more accessible. After a browse and purchase and a lovely chat with the owner, I headed to Barrio Santa Cruz. This lovely old town looks like a postcard, litterally every little tiny street staircase and house front are just too cute to miss. If you have the chance to visit it, just let yourself get lost in here for a while. As I visited, there barely were other tourists there, and everything around me was incredibly peaceful and still, I think I have spent more than an hour wandering around taking pictures and climbing on the top to check the view.
After my visit to Santa Cruz, I went for a quick grocery stop to get something to eat and have a quiet dinner back in my Airbnb room. I tried to stick to plastic free products, to avoid any unnecessary waste. I bought enough for a couple of nights, so I could save some € on food.
On my second day in Alicante, I was ready to hit the road quite early and finally explore more of the town. If you guys know me, I love checking out local markets because they give a very authentic insight into the local life, plus they are a great way to shop for groceries without spending a fortune. So my first stop of the day was Mercado Central and its two huge floors filled with fruits and veggies, nuts and dried fruits, meat and fish, flowers, etc. (there is even a small library there). I loved browising the market around and I purchased 4 delicious local (huge!!) peaches for a grand total of 0,90€. A simple “en mi bolso, por favor” (in my bag, please) was enough to avoid any plastic bag or unnecessary packaging. Before stopping to Mercado Central, I went to Tres Semillas, a vegan cafe that sights right across the street and is insanely cheap and delicious (I liked it so much that I had breakfast there on the next day too). Since I was by myself, I took advantage of every possible pit stop to slow down, take my book out and catch up on some reading. Alicante definitely offers chances to both slow down and chill or to indulge in the spanish nightlife, if you wish. I was about to go on a yoga retreat, so my stay in Alicante was all about being mindful, going slow and really being present in every moment.
After breakfast and the Mercado Central, I wandered around the city center: Plaza del Ayuntamiento (city hall square), Paseo de la Explanada de Espana, calle San Francisco, plaza de Gabriel Miro, including plenty of time to for pit stops (especially plaza Miro, I loved it and it was perfect for reading). I had vegan pizza for lunch at Yolo (it was a bit expensive for my taste, but you can basically put together your own pizza as you please and there are plenty of vegan ingredients available, so it was worth the stop) and decided to walk to Castillo Santa Barbara after. The castle sits on top of the city and offers a breathtaking 360° view of the whole city. The blue of the sea is so bright from up there, the seagulls are squawking over your head and despite being a touristy spot, the whole castle area is quite big and doesn’t feel too crowded. There is a convenient elevator to get to the top pf the mountain to reach the castle which costs just 2,80€ and allows you to visit the castle too. There is no time limit, so you can stay there as much as you want (if I remember correctly the castle closes at 9pm in the summer), so of course I couldn’t help but finding myself a bench in the shade and have a fairly long reading pit stop after wandering around the castle to take a few pictures and enjoy the view.
After the castle I slowly walked back to my Airbnb (actually stopped to the bar across the street to it for a drink) and then call it a day. I didn’t mind to be back in my room early, enjoy a dinner in my room and continue reading or decide what to do on the next day. After all this was for me a pre-yoga retreat short holiday and I wanted to take full advantage of my time in Alicante by being a slow, conscious traveler.
On my final full day in beautiful Alicante I decided to head outside of the city center to explore a bit more, since the city itself it’s not too big and I already had checked out everything I wanted to see already. Following the tip of Alessandra in her blog, I took the train to San Juan / El Campello to go to the beach. I was able to easily get the train from the city center (if I remember correctly it was number 4, but in case you visit and want to do the same make sure to check with the local transportation system) and get there in about 30 minutes. I took a long walk to get to the beach (somehow managed to get off at the wrong train stop) and then alongside the beach once I got there. Unfortunately it was waaaay too windy that day, which made it very difficult and uncomfortable to hang out on or anywhere nearby the beach (sand getting every two seconds in your eyes or ears, not pretty). I stopped in one of the beachside cafes to have a snack/lunch (and get a rest from all that wind) and decided to head back to the city in the early afternoon and continue some beachside strolling there where the wind was milder and less strong. I decided to wrap up my day with a quick stop at the grocery stop to get myself something for dinner and breakfast for the next day.
On the following day I left the city of Alicante to head to the yoga retreat I booked in the beatiful Yoga Sutra Shala in Val de la Gallinera.
I hope this little travel guide helps you to plan your stay in Alicante! As usual, feel free to message me or ask any questions you might have.
I’ll talk to you soon! Take care,