I took our kids to Spain in June on a holiday with mum & dad. We haven’t seem them for months before that, so a holiday together was just perfect for catching up and spending some quality time together.
Just a short flight from anywhere in Europe and with warm temperatures all year around, Spain is a perfect destination for a short break or a weekend away.
During the summer, there are direct flights from Cork (twice a week) and from Dublin as well. I went for a week with the kids and my parents and we stayed in a beautiful apartment on the Playa Flamenca a 40min drive south of Alicante. It’s a perfect location if you are looking for a place away from all the hustle and bustle but you are never to far to anywhere.
When to go
Spain is a fabulous destination all year around – depending on what kind of holiday you are after. I love a good mix of sight seeing and relaxing by the pool and beach. Therefor June was ideal with temperature around high twenties where you can enjoy both. Later in summer the temperatures get quite hot – perfect for a beach holiday.
Where to stay
There are plenty of hotel in and around Alicante. We were lucky to stay in a friends apartment south of Alicante. It was in a apartment complex with two pools and beautiful surroundings. The apartment was fully equipped with a kitchen, two bedrooms, a patio and The pool was right outside our apartment. If have also found numerous places on Airbnb or some great deals on Agoda.com and Bookings.com
Hire a car. Full stop. It;s really affordable and you have the freedom to explore the region. For where we stayed, even to get to the supermarket was a 20min and longer walk. So if you are travelling with kids especially, it just makes it so much easier. Make sure your car has a sat nav, it makes getting around so much easier! Most rental cars have one already but make sure to double check when collecting your car.
Parking is quite easy to find and a lot cheaper than in Ireland.
Top 5 things to do
Wander around the little streets of Ermita de la Santa Cruz
We walk around forever to find them! It’s a small area in Alicante full of colourful Spanish homes. You feel like you arrived in Spain what must have been like 50 years and longer ago. Stop for a drink and some live music in one of the local cafes or simply take in the atmosphere.
2. Have tapas & local wine
You cannot go to Spain without trying their famous tapas! When eating out, we always ordered a selection of tapas and shared them between us – there were so many tasty dishes and most restaurants have a nice selection so go ahead and try some! Rioja is probably the best known Spanish wine but there are many great small wineries in the region so try some Spanish wine with your tapas.
Calle San Francisco is a vibrant street with plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from. There are play areas for the kids, so while you enjoy your tapas and vino, the kids are entertained as well.
3. Enjoy the views from Castillo de Santa Bárbara
The castle is overlooking Alicante and the 360° views are just stunning! You can drive almost all the way up and park just outside the castle. There is plenty of history to be explored and the kids loved exploring the grounds!
4. Shop at El Mercado
Do as the locals do and shop for some tasty olives, chorizo, cheese, fruit and fresh bread and sit outside the mercado and enjoy those delicacies while soaking in the Spanish sunshine.
5. Take a stroll along Explanada de España
Stop for an ice cream or frozen yogurt and stroll along Explanada de España. Shop in the little shops along the way and have a drink at sunset at one of their many bars and cafes along the strip.
I really enjoyed Alicante and it sure wasn’t my last visit!