Alicante, Spain cruise holidays
Built around a natural harbour, the main city and cruise port on Spain's Costa Blanca, Alicante, is also a top beach resort in its own right. It has a sophisticated Mediterranean feel with its restored old town adding to its charm and the attraction of its sandy beaches. When choosing a stretch of sand in Alicante, but the white-sand, blueflag El Postiguet is a good place to start. Its proximity to the Old Quarter adds to the charm – stretch your legs on the palm-lined promenade, guided by its pretty, wavy patchwork of marble tiles. Dubbed the 'City of Light' when founded by the Romans, Alicante is still a relaxing place to walk around.
Down from the impressive Castillo de Santa Barbara fortress, which offers impressive views across the city, most activity centres in the streets around the Ayuntamiento, a plaza area buzzing with restaurants and tapas bars. There are also many cafes along the seafront. Works by artists including Dali, Miro and Picasso are on show at the Museo de Arte Siglo and there is also an archaeological museum.
An easy day trip from Alicante cruise port, Guadalest is reputedly the most visited village in Spain. Photo opportunities abound: stunning mountain vistas, a turquoise reservoir and the village itself, which has a castle and a handful of museums. In Alicante, where standout museums come up trumps: MARQ puts a 21st-century spin on displaying exquisite archaeological finds, while 20th-century gems brighten the walls in MACA, including works by Spanish Surrealist supremos Salvador Dalí and Joan Miró.