So as most of your probably already know due to my incessant
posts on social media, my last adventure this summer was heading to the
Mediterranean coast of Spain for a week of beach and site seeing. This trip closely
resembled the trip we took in March to Galicia and Portugal, where we made many
side trips to make the most of site seeing. I LOVE seeing news things; it’s
like an addiction for me.
My boyfriend and I went to a little town called Guardamar
del Segura, a bit south of Alicante, and in the region of Valencia, but in reality, the whole Mediterranean
coast of Spain is not only stunning, but also extremely underrated. When people
think beaches in Europe, they generally think of Greece and Italy, but Spain is
my favorite (obviously).
What we did for the week was go to the beach during the
morning/early afternoon, shower and eat some lunch around 2 or 3 p.m., and then
do some site seeing in the afternoon/evening. If you ever find yourself on the
Mediterranean coast of Spain near Alicante, here are the spots we visited:
-Elche: about a 30 minute drive inland from Guardamar, Elche
is known for its extensive collection of palm trees, even having one from the
U.S. It is also here where archaeologists found a bust known as the “Dama de
Elche”. The original is in Madrid, but there is a replica in the palm tree park
(which also has a shit ton of cactus).
-Santa Pola: a nice little seaside town, a bit bigger than
Guardamar, it had a wonderful look out point where you could see Alicante in
the distance to the north and the island of Tabarca to the south.
-Murcia: the capital of the region of Murcia, when we went
it was a dead town, with everyone being at the beach. Murcia is known for being
the hottest region in Spain, and it didn’t disappoint when we were there; it
was nearly 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Murcia has the second-tallest bell tower in
Spain after La Giralda in Sevilla, and also a beautiful cathedral. Surrounding
the city are various castles and old fortresses; we ended up going to see the
castle of Monteagudo, which has a very Christ the Redeemer-like feel to it.
-Torrevieja: Torrevieja turned out to be a lively town with
a book fair and a couple of art exhibitions (one of Van Gogh) going on. It has
a lovely bit of coast, an old Moorish tower (Torrevieja=old tower), and a
statue called La Bella Lola, so you know I loved that. Plus, with lots of fun
Pokemon, Torrevieja is a definite must see.
-Cartagena: this old city was favorite place we saw on the
whole trip. Inspiration for the Colombian city of the same name, Cartagena is
absolutely breathtaking. Its castle has a lovely view of the city center and
also the sea, and its main tourist attraction is a Roman theater. The main square
is lovely and right next to the port, and it just gave me this feeling that I
will go back again someday, which not all places give me. With most of the
places I visit, I have a satisfactory sense of completion, but with Cartagena,
I know I want to return.
-La Manga: for all of you U.S. readers, La Manga is a strip
of land in between the Mediterranean Sea and the Mar Menor, kind of like the
Outerbanks in North Carolina. It is populated by hotels, little stores, and
restaurants, and is super touristy. Unlike the OBX, you can quite literally go
to the Mediterranean, and when you’ve had enough, cross the street and go to
the Mar Menor. We did it a few times, and in bare feet, too 😉
-Castle of Chinchilla: Upon our departure from Guardamar at
the end of the week, we planned two stops before finally heading home, and this
castle was the first one. Located on the top of a hill overlooking the city,
the Chinchilla Castle was well-preserved and offered a wonderful view of the surrounding
-Albacete: While not touristy in the traditional sense,
Albacete is a nicely organized city with a small-town feel. My favorites were
the large cathedral and the statue of Isabel of Portugal, Isabel la Católica’s granddaughter
and señora de Albacete.
Whether it’s a whole new country or just a trip to the
beach, seeing new places and experiencing new things is my favorite part about
living. I will never not be able to see new things. Hope this inspires you to
see something you’ve never seen and to go somewhere you’ve never been, and if
you need inspiration, I’m always waiting for you here! 🙂