Looking for a fabulous holiday getaway? Tired of traveling to the same old overcrowded tourist traps? Want to explore an up and coming new region in European travels? If these questions sound intriguing, plan your next vacation in the Alicante region of Spain.
The Alicante province stretches from Cabo de la Nao in the north to the Mar Menor in the south. Along the coast are many small villages and resort communities, and each of them offers distinct charms for holiday travelers. Whether you're looking for tourist spots or hidden gems, the Alicante province offers plenty of things to do.
Just because some parts of the province are full of tourists doesn't mean that all of them are. For something different, try visiting the city of Cocentaina, which is quiet in the off season. The convents of the Order of St. Clare are a sight to behold, as is the Catholic church of the Asuncion. The convents are a part of the Order of Poor Ladies, the second Franciscan Order to be established. The church is a fabulous relic of Spain and a great example of its architecture. If you are looking for quite travels, be advised that there is still a huge tourist draw in Cocentaina when the Moros y Cristianos festival takes place.
The city of Villena has fantastic sites of interest, as well. Located in the Alt Vinalopo region of the Alicante province, Villena features one of Spain's greatest castles and an historic church. The Castle de la Atalaya is a Castilian stronghold which shadows the surrounding town. Since the area fell under Alicante rule in the 19th century, this is one of the greatest examples of Castilian architecture. The Church of Santiago is a beautiful towered place of worship from the Renaissance. The baptismal font inside was carved by Jacopo Florentino, a friend of Michelangelo who settled in the city of Villena.
One of the other famous castles in Spain is located in another city in the same province. Castalla features a walled castle built in the eleventh century. Located at the top of a large hill, the castle looks out over the city, prepared to defend her from any invasion. The Hermitage of the Blood is another attraction, and it dates back to the thirteenth century. It is another great example of the lasting nature of Spanish architecture.
If you travel just south of the Alicante province, you'll run into La Manga, a great city built on a small strip of land surrounded by two bodies of water. With the Mediterranean Sea to the south and Mar Menor to the north, La Manga is nearly an island. There are both tourist resorts and smaller attractions in La Manga, which can make the trip outside of the Alicante province worth it. Check out the glorious lighthouse at the end of the city to truly capture the beauty of La Manga.
Wherever you go in the Alicante province, you just need to do a little digging to find the real gems of the area. Though tourism is huge in a few areas, there are other cities in the area that feature fascinating historical sites. If you have the time to explore, you'll find the area promises you a holiday to remember.