For many Alicante is the gateway to the resorts of the Costa Blanca, a place to pass by en route to Benidorm. A little closer investigation reveals one of Spain’s most distinctive cities, a destination rich in history and culture.
It’s an ideal choice for a relaxing city break in the cooler months, when the Mediterranean sun isn’t quite so daunting. Today’s Big Deal offers the chance to get up close and personal with Alicante’s charms, explore its atmospheric Moorish heart and enjoy the small bars and restaurants of the Barrio Santa Cruz.
The Big Deal, exclusive to 5pm customers, flies you to Alicante, a jewel of the Costa Blanca, with colourful streets clustered beneath its medieval fortress.
The Big Deal offers return flights with Ryanair from Edinburgh or Glasgow Prestwick with luggage allowance and three nights B&B accommodation, based on two sharing, in the 4 Star Abba Centrum Hotel.
The city breaks are for a three night stay, flying out Fridays and Sundays only from Edinburgh and Glasgow Prestwick. Available dates are from Friday 15th January up to and including Sunday 28th February 2016.
The modern and inviting Abba Centrum Hotel is centrally-located, within easy reach of the city beach and a short stroll from the main train station.
Air-conditioned guest rooms feature bright, contemporary décor. Amenities include satellite TV, free WiFi and bathrooms with tub and hydro-massage.
Breakfast is included in the deal and can be taken in guest rooms or in the spacious restaurant. Guests may also want to enjoy the hotel’s typical Mediterranean cuisine on offer for lunch and dinner.
Facilities available to guests include a state-of-the-art gym, steam rooms, sauna and massage treatments.
The hotel’s sun terrace is a popular spot for relaxing with a book, a drink or afternoon tea.
The beaches of the Costa Blanca might be the main draw for millions of package tourists, but culture and heritage are the highlights for visitors to Alicante.
The dramatic medieval Castillo de Santa Barbara is an obvious focus. Most of the fortress dates from the 16th century and can be reached via a lift from the seaward side. The castle gardens are an attractive expanse of olive groves, walking trails and superb vistas over the coast.
The cultural hub is the Museum of Contemporary Art, an elegant modern gallery housed in the historic Asegurada building. The impressive collection includes works by Dali and Picasso.
A considerable part of the city’s charm lies in the attractive warren of streets of the Barrio Santa Cruz around the cathedral, with late-opening bars, live music and atmospheric clubs.
View the city break guide here.
The Abba Centrum Hotel has plenty of enthusiastic reviews on TripAdvisor. Recent contributions include the following, edited for length:
‘Lovely welcome from the staff and always very helpful. Excellent room with very comfy bed and crisp cotton sheets. Our room was spotless and cleaned to a very high standard. Breakfast was very good with a good choice of hot and cold food.’
‘The staff are very friendly and helpful, the rooms are big and well furnished and the public areas are nicely done. I really liked the sun terrace on the roof.’
The Costa Blanca holiday is a familiar option for Scots travellers, but this Big Deal city break to Alicante offers the chance to see a less frenetic side of Spain’s Mediterranean coast and appreciate the laid-back charms of a fascinating city.
With plenty of sunshine and Alicante temperatures in the comfortable teens, it’s also the perfect chance to escape Scotland’s winter chill for a pre-festive getaway or for a welcome break in the new year.