Cheap vacation rental in Costa Blanca, Spain

Gran Alacant Holidays Destination Guide
Places to Visit in Costa Blanca around Gran Alacant

Alicante, Spain
Alicante. Boulevard.

Welcome to the Gran Alacant Holidays Destination Guide! Here you will find information about the most interesting places to visit around Gran Alacant and learn what to see in Costa Blanca on holidays.

Costa Blanca, Spain
Costa Blanca, Spain

Among the closest outskirts of Gran Alacant you can visit Santa Pola, an antique town Elche with a big archeological museum, a cathedral and a palm park, as well as Alicante and Benidorm with its entertainment centers.

If you are keen to go further and see more, there's a huge oceanographic and scientific museum complex in Valencia.

Guadalest, Spain
Guadalest, Costa Blanca

A bit to the north you will find a lot of amasing mountain views with waterfalls and pittoresque villages such as Althea, Guadalest and others.

Guadalest, Spain
Guadalest, Costa Blanca

If you do not have a car, no problem: you can use one-day or several-days "Coach Trips" and even profit from the free "Green Trips"!

Mountain view in Costa Blanca
Mountain view, Costa Blanca

You will find a lot of information about those bus tours and other excursions, along with the contact info, in the Holiday House in Gran Alacant, in the folder named "Instructions", in the chapter "Excursions".

Alicante

Alicante port, Spain
Alicante Port

The city of Alicante, 12 km north from Gran Alacant, offers everything one would expect from a modern city: shopping malls and hypermarkets, restaurants with exquisite Mediterranean cuisine, especially in the port area, street market traders and sightseeing.

Alicante, Spain
View at Alicante from the castle

A majestic ancient hilltop castle Santa Barbara dominates Alicante and offers a magnificent view of the whole city and its port. The castle is mystically floodlit in the night time.

Alicante, Spain. A wall of Santa Barbara.
Alicante. Castle Santa Barbara.
View from the castle Santa Barbara in Alicante, Spain
View from the Santa Barbara castle.

Santa Pola

Port of Santa Pola
Port of Santa Pola

Santa Pola is a little coastal town 4 km south from Gran Alacant, historically an important port and fishing village.

Today this area, as many in Costa Blanca, lives from tourism. Here you will find excellent local cuisine, shops, and on Saturdays – typical Spanish market offering perfect fresh foodstuffs, shoes and other goods.

Archeological museum in Santa Pola
Remains of the port of “Lilice" in Santa Pola

The town was settled on the ruins of an important Roman city called Portus Ilicitanus, literally "Harbour of Elx", which it was. The remains of the ancient port of 'Lilice' can be observed at the western end of town and in the town's archaeological museum.

The Palmeral Palm Tree Garden in Santa Pola
The Palmeral Palm Tree Garden

Remains of the business quarter of the Roman city can be found at several conservation sites (including at the Casa Romana in the El Palmeral park of Santa Pola). The remains consist of walls of dwellings of two or three rooms and a small patio with a rainwater cistern of the 1st to the 4th century a.d. and the foundations of several store houses.

The discovery of greater interest is an Iberian layer from the 4th century b.c. in which a large quantity of Iberian and Greek ceramics were found. Later, from the 4th century a.d., a Roman fish-salting factory was situated at this site and on top of the Iberian material. Both archeological layers are exposed to the visitor: the more ancient Iberian and the later Roman layer. One can see the various sections of the factory: for filleting, cleaning and preserving. This technique of salting, which is still in use today, was begun by the Phoenicians and was well established in Roman times.

Santa Pola is known for its traditional various local cuisine based on the sea food. One can enjoy the good and inexpensive meals. The wide variety of shellfish are used in many exquisite dishes, noteworthy among which are 'cigalas' (crayfish) and 'gamba roja a la plancha' (red prawns cooked on the hot plate). Rice is the basis of the largest chapter in the cookery book of this region. Amongst the fish-only dishes the most popular are 'dorada' (gilt head), 'lubina' (sea bass) and 'lechola' (whiting). Among recipes one could mark 'gazpachos de mero' (a stew made with the grouper fish), 'blanquillo de rape' (monkfish in a white sauce) and, without doubt, the principal fish speciality is the "caldero" a fish and vegetable stew. For afters those with a sweet tooth can enjoy many home-made cakes and pastries. The essential "blanco y negro" made with iced coffee and full cream ice-cream perfectly suits in the canicular days.

Elche (Elx)

View at Elche
View at Elche

Elx in Catalan, Elche in Spanish – this city with a rich culture and a complicated five-thousand-year history officially owns both names. Elche is situated not far from the Mediterranean coast, in the region El Baix Vinalopó in Valencia and is surrounded by the largest palm forest in Europe which it is famous for. The palm forest was initially planted by the Moors for dates bringing good and stable profit in Europe, and is still successfully exploited nowadays. There are 200,000 palm trees growing within the city and many of the plantations have been turned into public parks – it’s simply a park-city with an impressionable mixture of Mediterranean and tropical plants!

Dama d’Elx (Dama d’Elche)
Dama d’Elx

Dama d’Elx

The city’s Iberian culture experienced a golden age, producing sculptures such as the Dama d’Elx (Dama d’Elche), the best example of the art of this period. This bust of an Iberian princess discovered in 1897 dates back to the forth century BC. The original monument is exposed in the National Archaeological Museum in Madrid, and a copy – in the Elche Museum. But thousands of people consider her to be the city’s patron saint.

If you happen to visit Elche around Easter time you will be able to see the famous and elaborate palm crosses being made for the Easter Sunday parades. Delicious dates and date sweets and cakes can be bought in many of Elche's shops at any time of year.

Footwear in Elche
Shoe making in Elche

Elche plays a key role in the shoe making industry of Spain. Elche’s footwear factories produce 40% of the footwear manufactured in Spain today. The process has of course developed from a traditional handmade to a modern one but the quality rests traditionally high and a large proportion of their production is exported to EU countries and to the USA.