Saturated journey through Costa Blanca
We arrived in Alicante in Easter Sunday. All events dedicated to Easter passed at night and walking around the city, we saw many traces of the holiday, that’s what remains on the asphalt after the Easter celebration
That’s what remains on the asphalt after the celebration of Easter
as well as people eating a typical Spanish Easter dish called "Mona". The dish is an egg hidden in the dough, sometimes all this is still decorated.
The city of Alicante – the capital of the province of Alicante, which is in the autonomous community Valencia. It was founded in 324 BC.NS. Alicante is wide and narrow streets, clamped between the snow-white sandy beach and the Benacantil Mountain, on which one of the main attractions of the city is the fortress of Santa Barbara.
View of the fortress from the port
The fortress of St. Barbar – one of the largest medieval fortresses of the country – located at an altitude of 166 m above sea level. You can get here either by using embedded in the rock with an elevator (the elevator is opposite the beach befeet), or on the road on the north side of the cliff. Entrance to the fortress is free. Local guides compare this fortress with a matrychka, because it consists of three levels of structures built in three different epochs and, the deeper we move, the more ancient buildings you get. The earliest facilities belong to the XII century, and the latest to XVIII. From here a beautiful view.
View from the fortress of Saint Barbara
And if you lower your eyes to the floor, you will see many drawings and words. In those days, when the fortress served as a prison, it was for each prisoner "Enchanted" Place on the street and many left traces in history.
Like any decent fortress, Santa Barbara has a legend of love, and ghost!
Let’s start, perhaps, from the legend. Of course, there are many options, but the key points are the same. According to the legend I heard, a long time ago, Moorish king, who had a beautiful daughter. Once, during a walk in the garden, she met an excellent young man and they immediately fell in love with each other, but the young man was not noble blood and therefore the king could not go to such a union. However, he did not refuse immediately, but said that if the next morning in Alicante falls snow, he will allow them to enter into marriage. Is it worth saying that at an average temperature +18, the ability to fall out of snow is extremely small. Therefore, when the princess woke up the next morning and saw that there was no limit on the window all the white-white. It turned out that all night young people shake flowering trees throughout the district, and everything was covered with their white petals. Did not have time in the princess headses hope for happiness, as a strong wind rose and blown off the whole "snow". Princess saw in this sign of the impossibility of the Union with his beloved, despite any efforts, and in despair dropped from the rock down. Seeing it, the young man rushed after her. And the king, maybe and upset because of the death of his daughter, but he was more angry because of her act and the rock forever retained his evil profile!
Cara del Moro ("Face Mad")
And the local ghost is kind! According to the next legend of the local legend, the last defenders of the fortress were killed by defending every stone fortress, and Nicholas Paris died, squeezing his sword in one hand, and in the other – the keys from the fortress, which the invaders were able to get, only bangs his hand. Since then, on the coat of arms of the fortress there is a symbol of a hand compressing in his hand the keys from the gate, as a sign of the resistance of her defenders.
Monument to Nicolas Paris
Opposite the fortress is clearly visible so-called ceramic mountain. During the excavations, there were many ceramics and the most ancient about 2 thousand years! Ceramics found there is kept in the fortress of Saint Barbara.
Pieces of ceramics
Departed a ceramic mountain
There are also preserved exhibits.
Contemporary statues of defenders of the fortress are scattered throughout the fortress.
And for children on one of the top sites there are units of ancient guns.
Alicante – Beautiful City! It’s nice to walk here and there is something to admire. There are temples, and beautiful houses in modern style.
Beautiful modern house
Go well on the EXPLANADA embankment, which is beautifully laid out with mosaic.
Where to eat in Alicante? You can go in a simple way and eat in the port. There are many cafes and beautiful view. We mainly tried tapas – snacks. For example, a very simple but delicious and diet option "Pattaas Bravas" – Fried potatoes with spicy sauce. Portion is usually about 5 euros.
Do not be afraid to eat right on the street! During festivals and holidays (which are here very often), a huge amount of food appears on the streets!
Street food in Alicante
If you want to try something more exquisite, you can combine it with shopping in the Corte Ingles department store. Here there is a department of Gourmet Experiencia, where you can eat very tasty, and most of the products from which these beautiful dishes are cooked, can be purchased right there in the store.
Next to Alicante many towns that stand on. Undoubtedly, one Elche. On the car here you can get some minutes for 30 minutes.
You could hear the Elche call due to shoes – the city has developed a shoe industry – but this city can offer much more.
Despite the fact that the city is small and bypassing the entire center is possible enough, here, really, there is something to see. The city has three symbols: Palm Grove, which in 2000 was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a lady from Elche and another heritage of mankind – Mystery. Now about everything in order.
It is in Elche that the largest palm grove is located in the whole of Europe (5 square meters km).
Palm trees were here even with iberas in V in BC.uh, but the existing palm system with an irrigation system was created at the end of the th century by Moors. Palm trees gave the inhabitants of the shadow and coolness and allowed to grow to other agricultural crops.
In fact, it would be more correct to say that the city is in the grove, because it goes beyond the city. In the urban draw, you will not be able to pass by the park. In addition to palm trees, which, by the way, there are 2 species (differ in the trunk):
On the territory of the park there is a pigeon.
Also there is a tourist center that I recommend to visit the sake of one attraction. Here you can wear something on the like helmet while you will see all the main sights of Elche. Interestingly, in this helmet you are fully immersed in what is happening, because the lowering head down or turning it to the left or to the right, you see what is happening there. It is especially valuable that in this way it is possible from a very close distance to see Mysteria Elche, which I will tell a little later. Also near the tourist center you can rent a bike.
The city is divided into 2 parts by the Vinalopo River, or rather, that it remains from it. A few years ago, within the framework of the city social project, the beds were painted by residents of the city and this beauty turned out!
Only one part of the palm grove is fenced and for the entrance you need to pay (5 euro adult ticket, 2.5 – children’s). it "Werto Del Kura", that in translation means the garden of the priest. In reality, this is a whole botanical garden.
Among other things, the famous "Imperial palm" With seven branches!
The branches of this 300-year-old palm tree support special designs, otherwise it will fall apart.
Palma received his name thanks to the Austro-Hungarian Empress Sissi, which during his visit in 1894 called her symbol of the empire. By the way, like that Palma looked in 1900 g.
Postal Del Eclipse (shot taken during solar eclipse in 1900 g)
Interestingly, on some pallets hang plates with the names of famous and not very people, as well as year. Once a year of one or two people note for their special merits and is fixed on the palm trees.
King’s palm trees Juan Carlos 1 and Queen Sofia – 1976
By the way, there is a souvenir shop where you can buy plants, palm leavers and anything with the image of the Lady Elche.
Palm Leaf Souvenirs
Lada Elche is a bust of stone found in 1897. He dates back to 4 century BC.NS. Nakhodka was sold to the French collector, exhibited in Louvre, then returned to Spain and is now kept in the Archaeological Museum of Madrid, as an ancient Iberian masterpiece masterpiece. But here are still waiting for the return of the lady to her real house – Elche.
The most ambitious event in Elche is a mystery, which takes place annually on August 14-15 in the Basilica of Santa Maria, and in even years, additional performances are held in the fall.
Basilica Santa Maria
Basilica Santa Maria
The entrance to the event is completely free, but it is difficult to break through. The line occupy from early morning, and the event begins only at 5 pm. Mystery itself is a theatrical idea that tells about the Assumption, taking into heavenly glory and the coronation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Consists of 2 parts: the evening (August 14) and the day of Our Lady (August 15).
Inside the basilica – here and the Mystery
Drama is executed in Valencian language unprofessional singers. And the uniqueness of the event is that this is the only permitted catholic church in the world’s presentation on a religious topic. Moreover, technically is a difficult event, as the equipment for tricks in the air is used.
In Elche, many museums: Museum of palm grove, archeology and history, mysteries, contemporary art, etc.D. So here you can easily spend all day.
Museum of Archeology and History
El Campelo is just 20 minutes from Alicante in the direction of Benidorm. What can go here?
View some of the most important excavations of the Mediterranean "La Ileta Dels Bayets". It is believed that there were a bathing of the Moorish queen.
Top view on excavation
The emblem of the city is considered one of the steady towers – "La Ilelet"
Typically, the tower is closed for tourists, but we were lucky, and we still got inside and the view from there opens the breathtaking!
Here you will definitely have to visit during the most colorful and famous holiday of the entire Costa Blanca "Maurus and Christians", which takes place in mid-October (this year October 11-15). During this period, the whole city will refine the most important milestones of reconquitors – the seven-year war, which occurred between the Moors (Arabs) and Christians in the territory of the Pyrenean Peninsula in the VIII-XIII centuries. Festive events take place everywhere, including a sentier tower.
The town is famous for its calm family atmosphere, which has to a measured holiday on all sorts of beaches, the total length of which is 23 km here. There are sand, and pebble, and rocky.
Immediately located marine club "El Campelo", where you can, how to rent a water vehicle and pass the courses on the management of a sailing yacht or academic rowing. Courses are serious, so allocate on this day or even a week from vacation will not work, because they last for several weeks and even months.
Refueling for water vehicles
If you decide to stay in this town, you can classize, for example, in the hotel and town of Pueblo Acantilado. There is everything here, including a small antique amphitheater.
For lunch we chose the place "Jova" on promenade. From an unusual, I would notice coals from cod and a variety of Palelia, where instead of rice usual horns – La Fideua!
Corches from cod
Benidorm stands out against the background of the rest of the coast with its high-altitude buildings.
Here is the highest residential building in Tempo, whose height is 200 meters! By the way, the form of the building was chosen in memory of the terrorist attacks in Madrid on March 11, 2004: it looks like a letter M and on a twisted figure of 11.
The city is famous for its parties, and not even in the season here you can hang, of course, not with such a scope, as in the summer, but nevertheless. At the same time around Benidorm 5 thematic parks, so you can come here with children.
What parks are nearby? The largest water park in Europe – "Aquavedia"; Another Park Water Entertainment – "Scumanatura"; "Mundomar" – Park, where sea and exotic animals are presented; "Terra Mitika" – amusement park; "Terra Natura" – a giant open-air zoo. Visit all five of us did not allow time, but 2 still managed to!
Entrance to the park costs 38 euros for adults and 28 for children up to 12 years. This ticket includes all rides and shows in the park, which is divided into 3 zones: Egypt, Greece and Rome.
Ourselves in ancient Egypt, where among other things you can ride a boat and sail past the lighthouse of Alexandria.
We recommend to go to the Labyrinth of the Minotaur – an attraction that has won many awards. It turned shooter where passing through a maze full of monsters you need to aim at them from a laser gun and kill.
Attraction Labyrinth Minotaur
By the way, many attractions include a children’s version.
Many cafes, and there’s even a full-fledged restaurant with a full menu and wine.
Roller coasters or as they are called here "ours" slides, presented in the assortment, moreover, here is Europe’s longest wooden roller coaster "magnus Colossus". It is located in the depths of the park. Incidentally, the rides are open gradually: first, those which are closest to the entrance (at 10:00), and then long (12:00). So, if you come to the opening of the park, it makes no sense to go to the far end of the park, because there still rides will not work.
Between the park and the city is surrounded by greenery created in a Balinese style, the Hotel Asia Gardens – the only hotel in the Asian style in Spain.
One of the swimming pools
View of the hotel from Benidorm Asia Gardens
We stayed here many celebrities, maybe you want in a bright, noisy and restless in Spain to experience the tranquility of the east.
next park "Terra Natura". Admission is 29 euros for adults and 23 euros for a child, but often there are discounts and special offers (for example, a combined ticket to visit "Aqua nature" and "Terra Natura"). The park covers an area – 320 thousand square meters, which is divided into four thematic areas: Europe, Asia, America and Pangea. Each zone presents animals living in the area, as well as recreated architecture and flora.
In general, more than 1500 species of animals are presented in the park, 50 of which are on the verge of extinction.
The most cool is that most of the helgers are made so that visitors have the impression that animals are not at all in the zoo!
Elephants live in a huge similarity Taj Mahal.
For a fee (10 euros), you can see how the elephants make spa treatments (shower, pedicure and all that). We were lucky, and we were allowed to feed 2 elephant apples.
With all my love for elephants, in this zoo my pets became Neri! They turned out to be very fussy and squeaky beggars!
And here there are many wild birds! Seem to be very mimy, and I remember Hogwarts with Harry Potter, but they are very dangerous!
The most fearless can take pictures with these predators!
Of course, in the park there are a show with the involvement of these animals. And finally, we showed a lynx!
Benidorms we examined from the height of Sigwe and I must say that it is very comfortable to travel on it on this city! Price 2-hour excursion 39 Euro.
At the time of the excursion, everyone was given bright vests with reflective elements, helmet and headphone to hear the story and tours of the guide.
And around that’s what:
As always, we are very tasty ate: delicious Tapas in La Caya Aragonesa and the author’s cuisine in the restaurant SOL!
Typical Spanish Tapas Poland Di Gallago (octopus with potatoes) in La Caya Aragonesa
Pork, which languished 36 hours with crispy noodles in SOL
Next in the program Lost in the mountains of the town of Guadalest. In essence, Guadalist is a fortress on the mountain and happing it at home. The population does not exceed 200 people.
A narrow street with souvenir bears and shops of local craftsmen will lead you to the museum "Casa Orduna", from which it begins to rise to the highest point of the fortress. The house was built after the earthquake of 1644 by the Basque Family by the Orduny family. In the house of 4 floors and cellar. What is worth paying attention to? First, on a bilateral picture written by an unknown artist. We see the front of Jesus Christ with a stick and a red coat on the shoulders, and in reflection we see the opposite side of the picture that wears the name "wounds on the back of the Savior", And this in religious art the theme is quite rare.
Secondly, pay attention to the figure of the Virgin Mary under the glass dome. This is a copy of the script, which was destroyed in 1936. During the festive events in September, this figure gives "hire" to participate in the procession.
Figure Virgin Mary
However, the most valuable exhibit is the picture hanging in the figure of the Virgin Mary. it "End of the Earth Life and the Assumption of the Virgin Mary". It is believed that this picture was part of the altar of the initial church of the village of Guadalest.
But nothing compares with the view that opens from here!
And what awaits us on the top? Silence and calm of the local cemetery
Interestingly, with a total area of only 16 kV.km in Guadalest a lot of museums. Probably the most noticeable – this is the Museum of Salon and List (WWW.museodesalerosypimenteros.ES), in which there were more than 20 thousand items at the time of our visit! I wonder what "legs" This museum is growing from the USA, where a family of 4 people made up so many straps and the list that they had nowhere to put, and in the end they first created a museum at home and then in Spain. In principle, anyone can sacrifice the museum of exhibits, but, it seems to me, here it is all.
Exhibits are divided thematically or by material from which they are made, for example, wooden, christmas, food, fruits, vegetables and t.D.
There are even earrings in the form of solonks and peppers!
In half an hour from Guadlesta are the sources of the Algar – this is a two-year-old route along the river of the same name, and water flows from the cliffs around you. Adult entrance costs 4 euros.
Here you can arrange a picnic (in specially designated places), you can redeem or just walk in a picturesque place.
But enough to study "Deposit", it’s time to return to the sea, namely, in the town of Altea.
It is believed that there is very correct, soft light and therefore many artists who either write beautiful landscapes in the evenings to the streets, or exhibit and sell their works. But we did not find any artist.
Small white houses stretching around the slope of the mountain, narrow streets, sea shops and, of course, the main cathedral with blue domes.
In a pair of steps from the Cathedral, the sightseeing area, from where a beautiful panorama opens.
The most favorite city on the coast has become beautiful – Calpe. Maybe the fault of the hotel Sol Y MAR, in which we stopped, and maybe just local air. Since we are talking about the hotel, then a few words about Sol Y Mar. So the hotel is located on the coast, and remembered by attention to the trifles and constant little surprises.
For example, the room showed a set for adults. As we later explained, this is the chip of the hotel and there are such sets in the rooms of the categories of Junior Suit and above, and the rest of the guests can order themselves something from the adult menu at the reception. But it should be noted that everything is done with taste and without a hint of vulgarity.
There is everything for relaxes: incense, a special spray that will improve your dream and so on. And in the hotel there is, of course, the spa.
In general, the hotel has every possible rest. And prices are very pleasant: in the low season you can live in a standard room overlooking the courtyard about 50 euros. The highest season at prices here from the second half of July until the end of August and the cost of numbers begins from 110 euros.
But enough about the hotel, the city is also very pleasant. His story is inextricably linked with the symbol of the entire coast of the Costa Blanca – Rock Yafach, which means you need to climb her!
Rock height 332 meters, length – 1 km and all this natural reserve. You can safely climb the observation platform, from where you have a cool look, and rather even 2 types: on the one hand, the beach was aged-Bol, and on the other La Fossa. If there is a desire to go higher, then climbing trails to help you.
They speak the rocks tried to build a hotel, but stumbled upon archaeologically valuable ruins and destroyed the built.
From the cliff you can see the local port.
Once you go down to the port, you get to the paradise for fans of fish and seafood! Fish restaurants are walking along the port, which are replaced by fresh fish and seafood, and the names will be happy to drink you Sangria!
If in Calpe you will stop in the apartment with the kitchen, then be sure to go to the local attraction – Fish Exchange!
Fish and seafood restaurants and hotels are purchased here, and simple mortals can participate in the process.
By the way, one more local entertainment is ethnic tourism, namely, the boat excursions in the underwater winery in search of bottles stored in the chests, with the possibility of trying them on board together with local gastronomic products. Yes yes, underwater winery! It turns out, due to the pressure and absence of light under water, the wine is well withstand. But pleasure is not cheap. Excursion costs at least 200 euros per person.
Winery under water
And in Calpe not far from the beach of La Fossa there is a salt lake. And in the lake – Flamingo! But they are far from the shore.
Salt Lake Salinas del Calpe
Be sure to fit the old town, because in addition to just beautiful houses and cozy narrow streets here are unusual places. For example, Church of Nuestra Señora de la nieve.
Remember the lady Elche? She is here, however, just a drawing on the wall of the house.
Pay attention to the balconies, they are also beautiful below!
But, in the end, all roads will lead you to one of the sandy beaches of Calpe!
Valencia became the end point of our journey. I wanted to visit this city when I drove by by by train on the way from Alicante to Barcelona. The train stopped at some semi-eyed structures (as it turned out later, it was the city of science and art) and I realized that I needed here! Finally, the dream was carried out! But we started walking around the city not from the city of science and art, but from the Cathedral and Basilica.
Cathedral and Basil
The cathedral, as usual, was built on the site of the Roman temple, which in turn managed to visit the mosque, so the building of the cathedral was performed in different styles: Baroque, Gothic and Romanesque.
Here the same vessel is kept here, from which by legend Jesus drank wine at the secret evening – the Holy Grail, and the pictures of Goya hang. So that you must necessarily need! The cost of the entrance ticket – 5 euros, this amount includes an audio activity, and I recommend not to neglect them, so that you do not miss anything interesting.
By the way, in 2015, for the first time in Valencia, celebrations dedicated to the anniversary of St. Grail will be held. It will happen in the last Thursday of October. It should be interesting.
The architecture of Valencia is diverse and beautiful. There are a lot of beautiful buildings around.
By the way, on the asphalt of the city you can get caught a lace path – this is a route on Baroque in Valencia.
Another attraction of Valencia is a round area (Plaza Redonda). In the midst of clear lines of the city, this area surprises its perfect round form!
And right with the neighborhood with this area there is an area of Lope de Vega, where the narrower house is located in Europe! Its width is only 105 cm!
Local Central Market – also the landmark! First, he is one of the largest Europe! A, secondly, this is a real work of Art Nouveau Art!
Central Valencia Market
Interestingly, here you can make an order and via the Internet.
Not far from the market is an object that received UNESCO World Heritage Status – Silk Exchange. Exchange is a few rooms open to visit, plus the courtyard with orange trees.
Column Hall of Silk Exchange
At the entrance to the column room, a rather curious thread was detected.
Passing through the orange court, you will find yourself in front of the ladder leading to the consular pavilion, the ceiling of which is decorated with a magnificent carving.
Consular Pavilion ceiling
And then, finally, we come to the very same structure that originally lured me in Valencia – City of Arts and Sciences! The complex was built in the former bed of the River Turia and takes almost 2 km. The authors of this amazing cultural and gaming complex – famous valensiets Sanyago Calatrava and Felix Candela.
City of Arts and Sciences
The complex includes the Palace of Arts Reina Sofia, Prince Felipe Science Museum, the largest cinema in Spain Gemisferik, Garden Umbrakle and Europe’s largest aquarium.
Adult ticket here costs about 28 euros, but it definitely makes sense to buy a combined ticket. To visit this place will place at least a couple of hours, because there really is something to do! Okeanarum alone contains 500 different species of animals and 45,000 plants! The cool thing here – this, of course, a glass tube under water! Sharks swim above you, by rushing somewhere stingrays and lots of fish!
A walrus! Well, you can not lose them!
We did not have time to drop in anywhere except the Oceanarium, but even walk through the territory of the City of Arts and Sciences brings a lot of pleasure!
By the way, there is a tray with local products, in particular drink horchata. This drink is typical for this region, so it is worth a try! It is prepared from comminuted tuber chufy sweetened and served chilled.
If we are talking about the drinks, it is logical to think about food! Where to eat in Valencia? Most importantly, remember that the paella – is first of all Valencian dishes, which means that it must without fail then try. One of the best restaurants in Valencia, where paella cooked on coals – is Casa Carmela.
Valencia is very serious about the paella, and they believe in it in any case should not present products such as onions, peppers, chorizo sausage and attention, seafood! But, in this paella should be chicken, rabbit, and large bean.
Each guest gets their own wooden spoon. I guess you can eat paella and her, but we decided to take a souvenir spoons. By the way, the size of Paelia is one here, so it is better to come the company
After the delicious Palery, you can go to the dessert. Since we are in Valencia, it needs to eat in the network cafe Valor. Here they cook a typical Spanish dessert – Churros with hot chocolate!
Spain – the country is hot and rivers here have a drying property, but the Spaniards are well done and use the channel perfectly. In Valencia, for example, in line, you can find a football field, a park and even the festival of local products!
The last thing we had enough time in Valencia is a biopark barrier. Park is dedicated to Africa and here, really, at some point you forget that you are in Spain. There are giraffes, rhinos, zebras, flamingos, hyena, mangoshos, elephants – yes, all inhabitants of Africa here!
And also – luxurious baobab!
Valencia – the city is not one day! He is so diverse and interesting that I want to spend here at least a week, although museums are enough for a whole year!
Thank you for organizing a trip to the tourism department of the Spanish Embassy in Moscow, tourist administrations of the Valencia Community, the city of Valencia, the coast of Costa Blanca and the city of Benidorm.