aa61hvy
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Alicante, Spain-any Good?

Wed Nov 10, 2010 12:50 am

Hi all,

I'm in the midst of planning my honeymoon and stumbled upon this city while doing some research. The beach looks good, town looks safe, food looks good. How is the area, is it pretty fun? We like to go to pubs mingle with the locals and have fun on vacation, would Alicante be the right place for us?

I've also looked at Ibiza (eh, didn't really strike my fancy). I've also looked at Malaga.

Ideally we'd like a city where we can connect via MAD and a city that isn't flooding with tourists (which is why I'm nervous about Malaga). The trip will be in Sept of 2011. Anyone have any insights or suggestions?

Thanks.
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Sabena332
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RE: Alicante, Spain-any Good?

Wed Nov 10, 2010 12:53 am

You can meet Johan (founder of A.net), he lives close by in Althea (from what I know).   I've been to Alicante and Althea (la vecha) quite a few times and it was always very cool!

More tomorrow, it is almost 2AM here.

Patrick
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aa61hvy
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RE: Alicante, Spain-any Good?

Wed Nov 10, 2010 3:29 am

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 1):
You can meet Johan (founder of A.net), he lives close by in Althea (from what I know). I've been to Alicante and Althea (la vecha) quite a few times and it was always very cool!

After the altercations me and him got into I doubt he'd want to meet me  

Patrick, your family has a place in Spain, Malaga, right? I remember trying to set a meet up with you years ago when I was supposed to go to AGP.
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JJJ
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RE: Alicante, Spain-any Good?

Wed Nov 10, 2010 12:08 pm

Alicante is a standard medium-sized city, with many nearby beaches and other activities to choose from.

Not the usual tourist place (there's nearby Dènia/Altea/Benidorm to the north and the Murcia beaches south) but it will have less of a tourist flavour than either of those.

Nearby Valencia has more of a character than Alicante, but the beaches and nightlife are worse, and is also more of a city than Alicante (and by that I mean historical heritage, museums, architecture, etc.). Food is also marginally better at Alicante (though there's a great choice in both, Alicante generally being better value). None of them will be particularly packed in September.

A strange choice for a first time visitor but depending on your priorities it might not be a bad decission at all.

By Sept. 2011, the AVE (high-speed rail) Madrid-Valencia will already be working, don't know for Alicante though current air connections are adequate and generally cheap.
 
aa61hvy
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RE: Alicante, Spain-any Good?

Wed Nov 10, 2010 4:48 pm

Quoting JJJ (Reply 3):
A strange choice for a first time visitor but depending on your priorities it might not be a bad decission at all

Thanks for the info.

And that's sort of our m-o. We like to travel to "not the norm" places. When we went to Australia we went to Brisbane and Cairns. Avoided Sydney outright. When I tell Aussies that, they laugh and say "interesting choices."
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fxramper
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RE: Alicante, Spain-any Good?

Wed Nov 10, 2010 5:18 pm

I don't live in Spain, but I've been around the country. Asturias is nice but north. We stayed in Granada (Alhambra) and visited Nerja. It's located on the coast, but I'm not sure how much tourist traffic it gets. Cadiz? Gandia is up the coast from Alicante.
 
Sabena332
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RE: Alicante, Spain-any Good?

Wed Nov 10, 2010 5:37 pm

Quoting aa61hvy (Reply 2):
After the altercations me and him got into I doubt he'd want to meet me

  

Quoting aa61hvy (Reply 2):
Patrick, your family has a place in Spain, Malaga, right? I remember trying to set a meet up with you years ago when I was supposed to go to AGP.

Yes, my parents will fly down to AGP in two weeks to enjoy a bit sun.

As for the Alicante area... I've been there a few times and it was always great. We had a rental car to get around. Benidorm is great for party and nightlife and of course also for swimming and relaxing on the beach, Altea is a bit quieter but it also has lots of bars and good restaurants. You can also take a trip to the nearby mountains, I remember New Year's Day 2000, we were invited somewhere in the mountains to eat Spanish ham and drinking wine, the return trip was fun, we drove utterly drunk via these narrow mountain streets back to Altea. Calpe is another place with great beaches and nightlife... and do not wonder when you see flamingos there, they are for real (I still have a picture that shows me in Calpe with a can of beer in between a flock of flamingos).

In short: There are so many things to do and to see, I can really recommend a trip and while I am writing this, I fancy to go there again as well.

Patrick
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JJJ
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RE: Alicante, Spain-any Good?

Thu Nov 11, 2010 9:39 am

Quoting aa61hvy (Reply 4):
And that's sort of our m-o. We like to travel to "not the norm" places. When we went to Australia we went to Brisbane and Cairns. Avoided Sydney outright. When I tell Aussies that, they laugh and say "interesting choices."

Good to know  

In any case, make sure you visit Valencia at least as a day trip. If you have the slightest interest in architecture Calatrava's new buildings as well as the different roman, medieval, baroque and art-nouveau buildings will surely interest you, all with a cold glass of orxata with fartons 
 
aa61hvy
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RE: Alicante, Spain-any Good?

Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:34 pm

Quoting JJJ (Reply 7):
In any case, make sure you visit Valencia at least as a day trip. If you have the slightest interest in architecture Calatrava's new buildings as well as the different roman, medieval, baroque and art-nouveau buildings will surely interest you, all with a cold glass of orxata with fartons

Noted. Thanks for that tip!

Now naturally, FXramper put some more thoughts in my head for a honeymoon spot. All of a sudden Tahiti looks good. Huahine in particular. I need to get my business in order and figure out something.

Thanks again for all of the help. Will keep you guys posted.
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UPS707
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RE: Alicante, Spain-any Good?

Fri Nov 12, 2010 6:25 am

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 6):
Calpe is another place with great beaches and nightlife... and do not wonder when you see flamingos there, they are for real (I still have a picture that shows me in Calpe with a can of beer in between a flock of flamingos).

I was waiting for someone to say Calpe. We used to have an apartment there from 1984-1995 and used to go down there at least 4 times/year and loved it. Haven't been there in 15 years, so no idea how busy it is now, but we liked it because there was life there and it wasn't completely deserted, but it wasn't another Benidorm which felt like still being in England, but with better weather.

We used to fly in to ALC on all the good old charters (Britannia, Monarch, Air Europe and I want to say Orion a couple of times), and then rent a car from Victoria Rent-A-Car to drive up to Calpe. I have to say this thread is bringing back a ton of good memories... enjoy your trip!
 
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OA260
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RE: Alicante, Spain-any Good?

Fri Nov 12, 2010 9:01 am

Its nice enough I was there one Christmas. Nice marina area and castle. Not the usual tourist thing but enjoyable all the same. Id maybe hire a car and travel around.
 
airtrainer
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RE: Alicante, Spain-any Good?

Sun Nov 14, 2010 9:08 pm

I've spend 3 days there and wasn't very impressed by the city... Would I recommend to go there for a honeymoon ? Not really 
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Asturias
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RE: Alicante, Spain-any Good?

Tue Nov 16, 2010 4:32 pm

Ah Alicante! It is my city in Spain (though I don't live there any more) but I've spent a lot of time there. It's certainly off the beaten path, mostly because it serves as a center for the surrounding tourist areas, while Alicante itself is not a tourist area (except for the Madrileños in the summer who use the beach in Alicante a lot).

The Good:

It is a small-ish city and has a cozy enough city center. It has a wide variety of restaurants, a good market and many many places for drinking, dancing and partying. Like the city, most places are small and not geared to super-tourism, which I find quite nice. The city is relatively cheap (compared to BCN and MAD) and safe to be in. The main beach is directly in the city center and as such very convenient, but a much better beach is only 15 minutes away by tram. It is a clean and simple city in most aspects. People are polite and friendly, but nobody speaks English. Well hardly anybody. Great communications with the rest of Spain, be it by train, tram, bus, ship or airplane.

The Bad:

There isn't much to see in Alicante if you want to spend your time in museums and parks. Culturally it is rather poor, and if you need to be entertained to be happy it isn't all that great (however if you can entertain yourself, as in enjoying the good life, walking on sandy beaches and like to try the local food, then no problems!) Also, like in most of Spain, all movies and TV are in Spanish, so perhaps not the best place to go to the movies unless you speak fluent Spanish.

The Ugly:

Alicante is an ugly city, for the most part. Excepting the old part (el Barrio) most of the city was built in the 50s and 60s and it shows. The main beach can be very dirty as well during peak hours, but it is cleaned every day. However the beach 15 minutes north is large and clean.

All in all Alicante is actually a nice city, pretty cheap, it has good morale, good people, good food and busy nightlife but it is not a cultural center of Spain. I recommend it very much if that's what you're looking for. Despite all its flaws, Alicante has a soft spot in my heart. It is a good representation of Mediterranean Spain.

Hope this helps!!

asturias
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jwenting
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RE: Alicante, Spain-any Good?

Wed Nov 17, 2010 3:46 pm

Nice city. We go there once in a while when we're at our property further south (though more usually we stop in Torrevieja, it's also nice and closer).
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aa61hvy
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RE: Alicante, Spain-any Good?

Wed Nov 17, 2010 5:14 pm

Quoting Asturias (Reply 12):
There isn't much to see in Alicante if you want to spend your time in museums and parks. Culturally it is rather poor, and if you need to be entertained to be happy it isn't all that great (however if you can entertain yourself, as in enjoying the good life, walking on sandy beaches and like to try the local food, then no problems!) Also, like in most of Spain, all movies and TV are in Spanish, so perhaps not the best place to go to the movies unless you speak fluent Spanish.

The Ugly:

Alicante is an ugly city, for the most part. Excepting the old part (el Barrio) most of the city was built in the 50s and 60s and it shows. The main beach can be very dirty as well during peak hours, but it is cleaned every day. However the beach 15 minutes north is large and clean.

Good info. We can always find something to do no matter where we are. We speak fairly good Spanish, especially my fiance. As for the look of the city, I had a feeling that the pictures I saw weren't lying. It looks a little drab, but I'm sure the local flavor makes it interesting.
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