Please click on the pics on the right to open the galleries.
We recently had some visitors and rented a car to show them some of the surroundings of our hometown. We headed inland towards Albacete to visit the spectacular town of Alcalá del Jucár in an amazing gorge and ventured up the coast with its romantic villages and picturesque bays...
We even saw a yacht cruising the streets of Jávea.
In an impulsive decision we rented a vehicle to explore more of Spain and left Alicante in the late afternoon. We headed north into the mountains of the Sierra de Salinas and enjoyed ... to read more click here
In the Country - On the Island:
In the last few weekends we went out and explored a little bit of the backcountry and the little villages with its fortresses, but also ventured to an island off the coast of Alicante. It's a small island with a tiny fishing village and a natural reserve...
San Juan, June 25, is one of the biggest holidays in Alicante. Certainly, it is the most celebrated. This year, 1 million visitors were expected and it certainly felt like every one of them showed up.
For an entire week, the city vibrates with the hustle and bustle of music, marching bands and firecrackers. Party tents are erected all over town, children and adults stay up all night and those who don't like to party still don't get any sleep. With astonishing sadism, marching bands accompanied by firecracker-throwing maniacs walk up and down the city at 8am the next morning to awaken everyone to another day of madness.
The highlight is the "Cremá", when the 100+ figures positioned all over town are burned ceremoniously at midnight. These "hogueras", some as high as a three-story building, are built in a painstaking process throughout the previous year just to be burned to the ground to the cheers of the appreciative crowd. Check out the pictures what this looked like....
Taking advantage of another long weekend, we drove to Granada, approximately 3 hours south of Alicante, to visit its famous Alhambra, the Moorish palace and fortress from the 13th century. Granada is a wonderful city full of history and amazing architecture. Unfortunately, the unusually wet weather followed us around and so we had to scrap our plans to visit the Sierra Nevada and continued to the coast instead. In the area around Almería, countless greenhouses cover the hillside almost seamlessly. The natural park of Cabo de Gata offers beautiful vistas of a rugged coastline and secluded coves. A beautiful neck of Spain to which we hope to return under blue skies one day!
In Spain Easter is the biggest holiday with parades and all kinds of fiestas. We visited friends in Madrid and checked out the city since we hadn't been there before. On Friday we drove to Toledo to see the famous parades in the amazing setting of this old town. Unfortunately, due to the rain, everything was cancelled at the last minute and we had spent the afternoon getting wet without reward. :-(
However, we enjoyed our time in the capital of Spain. Click on the photo on the right to see what you missed...

In the last few days we rented a car and explored the surroundings of Alicante. We drove north to Villajoyosa with its colored buildings, Guadalest with its spectacular fortress on the ridge of a gigantic rock fin and Altea with its picturesque narrow streets.
The next day we discovered Cartagena south of Alicante and Lorca with an incredible old town. The streets are amazingly narrow and steep and thanks to our four-wheeling experience we were able to manouver them even when one wheel went up in the air because the articulation on sedans is very limited... :-))) But the main plaza is what most people come here for.
On the last day of exploration we ventured north again to Calpe and climbed the Penal d'Ifach, a shear rock reaching out into the ocean. Our tour guide described the route as a 'gentle slope' but we discovered that climbing skill and good boots were essential for mastering this 900-foot rock-tower.

January 6th, Epiphany, is a major holiday in Spain. It's the day that children receive their gifts, delivered by the Three Wise Men from the Orient. Most cities will host a parade the night before to celebrate the arrival of the Kings and their consorts. Some of these parades comprise more than a thousand participants and the floats are very elaborate. Needless to say, this spectacle draws huge crowds. Enjoy!
Some general pics we shot of Alicante.