SANTA BARBARA CASTLE – ALICANTE

This historical castle is located on Mount Benacantil with 166 meters of altitude bordering the sea. The entire bay of Alicante is clearly visible and gives some spectacular panoramic views. The Museum of the City of Alicante is located in the Castle of Santa Barbara and offers a journey through the history of the City. Here you will find ten exhibition halls that have been restored and refurbished, each showcasing different archaeological materials found in various historical eras from archaeological sites in the city. Tel: 965 927 715 www.castillodesantabarbara.com

EL PALMERAL – ALICANTE

El Palmeral Park in Alicante, found just off the N332 as you enter Alicante, is a mini oasis with stunning views of the mediterranean sea. Park “El Palmeral” is, as the name suggests, a park full of different palm trees. It is made up of several levels because the park is built against a hill. A picturesque waterfall provides refreshment and gives an extra dimension to the park. As you walk along the gravel paths, over wooden bridges, pass beautiful flower beds and rare palms, you will feel a sense of pure relaxation. The park has a boating lake and plenty of shaded seating spots, ideal for a picnic. Entrance is free and opening times are from 9 am to 10 pm.

EL PALMERAL – ELCHE

elche park

The famous palm groves are the most characteristic cityscape of Elche also well known as the “Mediterranean Oasis”. They surround the city with a wash of vibrant green tropic, covering two miles long and a mile wide encasing around 200,000 palms. El Palmeral Park is one of the highlights of Elche, a perfect place for enjoyment and relaxation. Amongst the various types of palms, you can see a variety of plant species, waterfalls, fountains and small ponds, including one with ducks and swans. El Palmeral park has a large children’s adventure playground, making it an ideal day out for families. Tel: 966 658 196

PANTANO DE ELCHE – COSTA BLANCA

The Elche dam known as the “Pantano de Elche” was built in the 17th century on the Vinapoló River as a means of retaining its waters. It was the first dam to be built in Europe in the shape of a vault, and is even considered to be the first arch shaped dam built since Roman times. Today it has become a popular trekking route for nature lovers, as the ambience is tranquil and picturesque with waterfalls, lakes, wooden bridges and local wildlife. The walking route has sign posts to guide you along the trail and there is a parking area with picnic benches, to relax, have a snack and continue enjoying the views after your walk. The best place to park up and start is at Aparcamiento Pantano de Elche, 03205 Elche. Tel: 966 658 751 www.pantanodeelche.es

PARQUE REINA SOFIA – GUARDAMAR

Parque Reina Sofia is a beautiful public park situated in the heart of Guardamar del Segura, just a few meters from the beach. With a natural setting and an ambience of tranquility, the park has an abundance of established trees creating plenty of shade in the summer. There are picnic benches and seated viewpoints for rest, a lake with bridges and waterfalls providing picturesque scenery and a large adventure playground for the children. From here you can watch the ducks and swans swimming in the pond and admire the peacocks and squirrels walking freely around the park. There is a delightful cafeteria offering snacks and refreshments with a spacious and comfortable outdoor seating area. Parque Reina Sofia can be found on Avenida dels Pins 03140 Guardamar del Segura.

SALT LAKES – TORREVIEJA

The salt lakes of Torrevieja are one of the most tranquil and healthiest places to visit in the Alicante region. The high concentration of salt, together with the temperature forms a microclimate recommended by medical specialists for its beneficial health properties, in particular for heart disease, skin disorders, rheumatism, bronchial illness, arthritis and other climatically influenced health problems. Take a magical journey on the Salt Lake Tourist Train to discover this historical region and be amazed by its picturesque pink lakes. The tour is approximately one hour and leaves everyday from the Paseo de la Liberdad, Torrevieja. Tel: 653 918 709

CANELOBRE CAVES – BUSOT

The Canelobre Caves, known in Spanish as the Cuevas del Canelobre, are  one of the best kept treasures of the Costa Blanca. These spectacular caves are located in the small village of Busot in the Alicante province, an area with excellent hiking routes. The Cuevas del Canelobre are accessed through a tunnel, that during the Civil War, was used as a shelter and repair shop for aircraft engines. As you enter the 70 meter high main cave, one of the tallest in Spain, you will be amazed by the striking formations, colourful lighting effects, incredible acoustics and the pleasant temperature of 18 degrees which remains constant throughout the year. Tel: 615 171 485 www.turismobusot.com

LES FONTS D’ALGAR – CALLOSA D’EN SARRIÁ

The Fonts D’Algar is a picturesque nature reserve with a spectacular landscape featuring waterfalls, crystal clear pools, lush greenery and picnic spots. A visit to the Fonts D’Algar consists of a 1.5km walk way meandering along the Algar River, where you can stop and rest at viewpoints or take a refreshing swim in the natural springs. Located just 15km from Benidorm and 3km from the town centre of Callosa d’en Sarriá, the Fonts D’Algar is an ideal location for a day out, a short break away and for tourists visiting the Costa Blanca. Within close proximity is Camping Fonts de L’Algar offering friendly and comfortable accommodation, and the famous theme park Dino Park Algar, which is full of fun for all the family. Tel: 965 880 153 www.lasfuentesdelalgar.com

ZENIA BOULEVARD – LA ZENIA

This modern, open air shopping mall is the largest in the province and is considered a shopaholics paradise. It is designed for visitors to enjoy and have fun with something for every type of shopper, including a whole area dedicated to children with bumper cars, carousels and train rides around the mall. Its boulevard style is represented through the pretty streets & squares, palm trees & fountains, and the concerts and daily events give life to Zenia Boulevard making it special and surprising. The extensive and popular food hall on the top floor offers a variety of top quality restaurants alongside some spectacular views of the Orihuela Costa coastline. Tel: 966 761 530 www.zeniaboulevard.es

TEATRO ROMANO – CARTAGENA

The Roman Theatre of Cartagena (Teatro Romano) with the Roman Theatre Museum is one of Spain’s many beautiful and historical places to visit. The discovery and excavation of the Roman Theatre in Cartagena in recent years has been one of the most surprising discoveries of archeology of the city. Its monumental remains have come to certify the important role it played in the history of ancient Hispania. When we contemplate the splendid architecture of the theatre, we wonder how it was ever possible that a monument of this category and dimensions had been hidden for centuries. The recovery of the Roman Theatre in Cartagena, funded by the Foundation Teatro Romano, has provided many benefits for educational and cultural purposes. In addition, the considerable wealth of the pieces found during subsequent excavations at the Theatre has created a new museum space, the “Roman Theatre Museum”. Tel: 968 504 802 www.teatroromanocartagena.org

LORCA CASTLE – MURCIA

The Castle of Lorca in Lorca, Murcia, is a fortress of medieval origin constructed between the 9th and 15th centuries. It consists of a series of defensive structures that, during the Middle Ages, made the town and the fortress an impregnable point in the southeast part of the Iberian Peninsula. You can also find some remains of Islamic buildings, the ruins of the Jewish quarter and its synagogue, together with the 19th century military buildings, all reflecting an extensive sequence of human occupation. The castle visit makes an interesting and memorable day out with its panoramic views, guided tours, restaurant, exhibitions and activities for children. Tel: 968 959 646 www.lorcatallerdeltiempo.es