Vamos a España: Alicante  

It’s been way too long since we’ve posted an update here. Shame on us!! The reason being obvious of course: COVID-19. Let’s be honest, who hasn’t used that excuse a least a dozen of times 😊? Since we were forced to evacuate back from Malaysia (Mabul island) in march 2020, our far away travel and diving adventures came to an end quite brutally and I just couldn’t find enough courage to start writing again. 

Whilst some parts of Europe, and probably other places as well, are slightly opening up again, we have to admit it’s been hell of a 1,5 past year. Being used to work outside of the house, lots of commuting, and traveling around the globe constantly; we were suddenly both homeworking 5 days a week fulltime for over a year, which is far too long. I’ll spare you the details but I can guarantee you that over a year of homeworking, both in the same office space, various lockdowns and some personal matters on top are far more of a relationship challenge than any kind of ‘Temptation Island’ sh*t. 

But hey, despites some difficult and sometimes dark times, blood has been proven thicker than water!  

Vamos a la playa

After a short trip to the North of France, which was quite ok, and one to Italy, which was nice as well, we ‘discovered’ Spain, or at least a small part of it. In my mind, sorry to anyone I might offend by my wordings, Spain was a synonym for Benidorm.  Old toothless people drinking weak coffee, eating tasteless food, overcooked for obvious reasons. Crowded esplanades and beaches, ‘bikini fish’ of all ages having one thing in common: way overcooked as well. Cheap and vapid tourism, a place I would go to when I was too old for the real stuff. This image could be correct of course, in case you end up in the wrong place😊  

October 2020, we flew out to Alicante for the first time, for a ‘long’ weekend. Quite stressful actually to arrange all necessary stuff. Negative COVID tests of maximum 72h old, tons of paperwork, coping with all different rules in different countries and often even in different areas. One would think Europe should be more harmonized by now, right? 

Foodporn

Although being very skeptical at first, we saw a nice country, mostly open people, very good food and exquisite wines. Alicante actually has much more to offer than we were hoping for, there’s the historical city center with magnificent ‘Plaza’s’, palm trees and churches. Besides that, it has shopping malls and for food lovers even more important a ‘Mercado’, an indoor market place for fresh fish, meat and vegetables which is open every morning except on Sundays. #foodporn 😊 

Each of the quarters in the center has its own corners, plaza’s, bars and restaurants, that’s what makes it fun to keep on exploring. There are countless eat outs to discover. We deliberately try to move away from the tourist areas and discover the real Spanish parts of the city. We try to go where no-one speaks English, it’s a sign we’re in the right area.  

Meantime we travelled back to Alicante a couple of times and each time eat at a couple of places we already discovered before and try some places we haven’t been before. Our Spanish ‘food vocabulary’ is increasing and improving rapidly. Really, do the effort of learning some small Spanish sentences and learn some basics, ask for the menu in Spanish, it’s very much appreciated and you’ll get in contact with locals more easily.  

Besides all these things there’s also the soft climate and the nice temperatures and the sun that keeps on bringing us back.  

Recommendations

Things to do

  • Walk from Alicante to San Juan and take the tram back. 
  • Relax at the beach and drink vermouth at one of the chiringuito’s 
  • Visit the Mercado, fresh fish, meat and vegetables.  
  • Do a road trip to Pinoso, sleep and eat at mansion Taratata en visit bodegas Volver #mustbeheaven #whoooohoooooeeee
  • Valencia is not that far, the ’92 expo buildings are beautiful and the city is quite bicycle friendly 

Where to eat

  • Tapas at Lizarran: you can find them at different spots in the city, but we love the one close to the Corte Ingles
  • So tapenot: you should really try the Arroz, it’s very yummy! They don’t have a website, and you can only pay cash. 
  • Bar Manero 
  • La Crispeta: good food is a good mood really goes for this one. You can only eat inside, but the food at this restaurant is really worth it! 
  • In bocca al lupo: the best Italian restaurant in town!  Don’t tell anyone, or we won’t be able to get a table anymore! 😉 

Where to sleep

  • BGuest apartments: Our number one place to stay! Newly refurbished in the city center of Alicante, close to the shopping area and on walking distance to the beach. They have an automated check-in and you can open the door with your smartphone! 🙂 
  • MyFlat : Our number two!  
  • Mansion Taratata: After 21 years, Christoph and Dominique decided to exchange their restaurant Tarata in Hasselt with Mansion Taratata in Caballusa, only 5 minutes from the center of Pinoso. This beautiful authentic mansion is located in the midst of vineyards, almond and olive trees, and it’s a little peace of heaven. Amazing food: check. Good wines: double check. Warm and welcoming people: triple check. Thank you Dominique and Christoph, we loved staying and dining with you! 
  • Abenis: Abeniss Boutique B&B is an elegant bed and breakfast situated in Benissa and can be defined between a 5 star luxury retreat and your best friend’s home. And yes, this is another B&B run by Belgians, also worth a visit when you’re looking to combine different places on our trip to the Alicante region! We loved it over there! 

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