A Not So Nordic Guide To Alicante

It's autumn holiday in Norway this week which means that school schildren get a week off and everyone who has children in the age of 6-16 heads off to Sydenferie. Again. Cause getting sunburnt once a year isn't enough.

Haven't read my post on what a sydenferie really is yet? You can do so here.

No seriously, not everyone spends their autumn vacation down south but there are many who do. Accommodation is cheaper during autumn and the beaches are less crowded.

The boyfriend and I were headed to a sydenferie ourselves in September and although we made our best to fulfil the classic cliche of Norwegians on beach holiday, we also wanted to experience the local culture and cuisine - off the beaten path.

So today I want to share my knowledge with you and show you how you can spend a sydenferie in Alicante, Spain in style!

 

Where to stay

I would not recommend you to stay in Alicante. The city itself is incredibly touristy, crowded and noisy and I do not understand why you would want to sun-bathe on a beach right next to a highway.

That being said, the city centre of Alicante is certainly charming and typically Spanish but even without ever having been to Barcelona or Madrid, I'm sure that Alicante wouldn't make it in the top 10 of the most beautiful Spanish cities.

That's okay though - there are plenty of villages close to Alicante that offer authentic Spanish culture, beautiful beaches and most importantly, silence!

Gran Alacant Beach

Simon and I stayed at an Airbnb in a village called Gran Alacant. Admittedly, a hotspot for British and Scandinavian expats of the baby-boomer generation, Gran Alacant had a wonderful beach and some amazing Spanish restaurants.

The best of all was the lovely balcony with a view on the ocean though.

Gran Alacant was only a 15 minute drive from the airport and a 30 minute drive from Alicante so that it's easy to head to the city for some culture, sightseeing and shopping.

 

What to eat

Now you can spend your vacation being a tourist and eating nothing like burgers and fries - or you could try the local cuisine!

Simon and I discovered a lovely tapas restaurant in the "mushroom street" of Alicante (Calle San Francisco) where we were served squid and cod for lunch. Now Simon was not convinced of the squid but I swear, it was delicious and I could tell you of 10 Norwegian dishes that would be way worse.

Other typically Spanish dishes would be calamari and patatas bravas - fried squid and fried potatoes which we were served in a restaurant in a back alley of Gran Alacant after having had enough of the tourist food mile where literally every restaurant served burgers and fries.

Simon got ox meat that he had to prepare himself on a grill on the table. Now the waiter didn't really speak English and although we tried our best ordering in Spanish, we did not see the grill coming.

Definitely one of our most interesting food experiences!

 

What to do and see

I'd plan in one day to visit Alicante - it's more than enough to get an impression of the city and see the most important sights.

The must-see sights in Alicante for me personally are:

The Castle

You enter it through a tunnel and lift underground and you have an amazing view over Alicante from the castle itself. They also have some exhibitions though most of it is in Spanish.

Volvo Ocean Race Museum

We went to Alicante on a bus tour since we didn't rent a car for our stay. Our guide told us that apart from the castle, the pirate ship in the harbour would be worth a visit.

I already had a feeling that it would be very touristy when he told us about it but when we actually got to the ship and saw that it had an entrance fee of 5€, we certainly crossed it off our list and headed further to the Volvo Ocean Race Museum.

The pirate ship - a typical tourist trap

Now the museum is free which is unbelievable cause I'd rather have spent 5€ there than for the pirate ship. The museum tells you everything about the famous sailing competition and is totally interactive with several movies showing and an actual racing video game you can play.

I swear, when I left the museum I'd have totally started sailing around the world if somebody had offered me to do so!

Other sights

Alicante has several museums though we didn't have time to visit more. If we'd had, we would have liked to visit the bullfighting museum which is located in an actual arena - how interesting does that sound?!

Outside Alicante

We went on a daytrip to the mountains 1 hour from Alicante and I'd totally recommend you to do the same. We visited Algar waterfalls which well, to be honest, we expected more of. They weren't as exciting as pictures made us believe they would be and there were quite a few fences too.

I'm sure that if you get there early during off-season and don't go with a bus tour like we did though, that you can have quite a lovely time taking a dip in the ice cold water and having a picnic.

Another place that is a must-see for sure though is the little mountain village of Guadalest. If you just ignore the dozen souvenir stores and tacky museums, you're left admiring a beautiful Spanish village in the middle of nowhere where time totally stands still.

There's a castle on top of a hill overlooking the village which can only be entered through a little tunnel and then there's this stunning green lake in a valley which you have the best view on from the castle!

Guadalest was well worth suffering through a disgusting lunch and an unnecessary stop at a tacky gift shop on our bus tour!

 

How to get to Alicante

Direct flights to Alicante leave (seasonally) from:

Reykjavik, Akureyri

Copenhagen, Billund, Aalborg

Helsinki

Oslo, Tromsø, Ålesund, Haugesund, Bergen, Stavanger, Molde, Kristiansand, Evenes, Trondheim

Stockholm, Gothenburg, Karlstad, Växjö

 

Where have you been on your last Sydenferie? Any tips?

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Welcome to Wanderful Wednesdays!

My favourite from last week was the post "MISTY FJORDS OF KETCHIKAN, ALASKA" by DIARY OF A TOURIST.

Alaska is on top of my US bucket list and even though I live in Norway and have visited Greenland, I really feel like Alaska would even top both countries! Anyway, I loved virtually participating on a fjord cruise in Ketchikan - Upeksha's photos were just so pretty!

Thanks for linking up with us Upeksha!

Consider yourself a wanderer?! Well then, this Blog Hop is for you!

Meet your hosts: Lauren of Lauren on Location, Van of Snow in Tromso, Isabel of The Sunny Side of This and Marcella of What a Wonderful World.

Here on Wanderful Wednesday’s we hope to promote an open and supportive community for like-minded bloggers, expats, travelers and all kinds of wanderers!

The linkup will take place every Wednesday at 8:00am GMT.

Wanderful Wednesday Guidelines:

1. Link up a wanderful travel related post below! One per blogger per week please!

2. Spread the LOVE! Blog Hops are all about hopping around & getting to know others within the community! At the very least please try to comment on one other post before you go!

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Happy Hopping!