Alicante, Denia & Peniscola
An #EpicSpain Road Trip: Alicante, Denia & Peniscola
By leaving the larger cities of Spain behind, road trippers along the Mediterranean coastline are granted some of the best beaches in Europe. Spain’s eastern seaside is covered in castles, sandy shores, luxury resorts and oodles of entertainment options. Find your way through the Costa del Sol and travel through the Province of Valencia while stopping at several scenic towns along the way.
Originally a port city simply used for fishing and commerce, Alicante is now a hub of fun for locals and travellers alike. It’s one of Spain’s most interest provincial cities, bursting with beachy entertainment blending with an old-world style. Take a leisurely walk along the city’s Rambla de Mendez Nunez to get acclimatised with local life along a tree-lined street. Then merge with the lively crowd at the main plaza for additional shopping and museum visits. Beaches are busy but long, offering sunny spots for swimming year-round, especially the Guardamar Beach.
While sightseeing is a major activity, Alicante is also famous for its seafood. Many legitimate restaurants will offer seafood by weight, so guests can choose which fresh dish they’d like prepared instantly from the front case. Octopus and shellfish are specialities, often accompanied by a yellow rice or paella. If there’s time, head to the nearby valley villages for some more culinary delights and some slower paced relaxation off the beach.
The city of Dénia marks the middle spot between Alicante and Valencia along the Mediterranean coastline of Spain. A vivid barrio gives way to a sprawling harbour and beach area, flanked by many places to people watch and enjoy the natural view.
Get a bird’s eye view of the sea from the top of Dénia Castle. It’s only a few euros to enter and has roots dating back to the 11th and 12th century. Varies spires and towers have been renovated and modified over the years leaving a stunning façade forever protecting the city. After a hike to the top, reward yourself with a cold drink at one of the local open-air bars to catch the football game on TV or simply soak up the sunny rays.
This city also has its own Castillo Templario Ponteficio overlooking the rest of town. Say hello to the interesting Papa Luna statue just outside the gates before you begin to ascent, which is a 700-tonne sculpture honouring Benedict XIII and the city’s previous papal seat. After a short climb up stone stairs you’ll be rewarded with incredible views of the beaches and buildings below. There is also a small falconry onsite that is home to several birds of prey and the Knight Templars museum. When hunting for Spanish souvenirs, Peniscola has some charming shops full of paintings and handicrafts made my local artisans. Take your finds and celebrate at one of the seaside hotspots that serve drink specials, such as Entre Dos Aguas near the castle base.
Take your time and visit the hidden gems of Spain’s Mediterranean coast before hitting up Barcelona and Valencia on your road trip!