In some of my previous stories, I have written about wonderful locations in the province of Alicante and in the Valencian Community. Places like the pirate island of Tabarca, and articles about the history of the area or the stunning coves in Javea. But in the next few articles, I am only going to focus on some of the most beautiful places to visit in the city of Alicante – the main emblems of this beach city - the Santa Barbara Castle, the Explanada walk, and the famous beach of El Postiguet where one of the most important festivals of Alicante, the Bonfires of Saint John (Fuegos de San Juan in Spanish) takes place every year during the summer solstice on the night of the 23rd of June.
Alicante or Alacant in Valencian (both being official names) is the second biggest city of the Valencian Community, which has a historic Mediterranean port on the Costa Blanca. The city is also well known among tourists and Spaniards for its beautiful beaches, its huge palm trees all around the city, the lively night life and its amazing, unique way to cook rice (which I will also tell you about in one of my next stories).
Santa Barbara castle is the main symbol of Alicante, a huge, well preserved and golden castle which stands 166 metres above sea level with magnificent views over this beach city. The castle is on top of the Benicantil Mountain and dates back to the 9th century. Spain has plenty of castles around the country, since they were key elements for the Christians to re-conquer the country from the Moors when they ruled the peninsula (from the 9th to the 12th century) which they called Al-Andalus. As you can see because I have also written about castles in my previous articles, I am a big fan of castles and Santa Barbara castle is one of the best examples of a medieval fortress in my country as well as one of the largest.
One of the most enjoyable things about the castle is probably climbing to the top, and you can also find the iconic tower where people take pictures with beautiful views down to the marina. You can also find some seats to stop and take a rest as well as cafes and restaurants. I recommend wearing comfortable shoes since the paths up to the castle include stairs.
The castle is a great place to let your imagination flow thinking about people from the Middle Ages and to enjoy the breath taking views over the marina, the Postiguet Beach, the nearby mountains and the city centre – or simply going for a walk or have a meal in one the restaurants. In the summer evenings, the council of the city organises concerts in the courtyard and there is also an exhibition centre in the castle.
Stay tuned for the next stories to find out about more things and places in Alicante and go and discover this grand castle yourself, an experience that won’t disappoint you!
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