One of the things I most love about living in Valencia is the number of free or affordable things to do!
We have dozens of incredible museums (running the gamut from art, history, science, curiosities, etc.) most of which charge 2 euros. And if that doesn’t fit your budget, just wait until Sunday when it is free! There are walking tours, there are Facebook and Meetup groups hosting almost anything you can think of (food, fitness, culture, language, etc.) mostly at affordable prices.
I think it helps that there are a lot of universities (and therefore, students) in the city. You remember when you were in college… Top Ramen was a perfectly acceptable meal… four nights in a row, if necessary!
Well, on Sunday, we took advantage of one of the many groups hosting day trips out of the city. They run year-round and explore all over the region from some of the best beaches along the Mediterranean coast to quaint mountain villages, hiking trails with amazing views… you get the picture.
For 18 euros per person, we got an all-day excursion to Alicante and Guadalest which included bus transport, tours of the city and castle in Alicante and plenty of free time to explore, lunch or drink adult beverages (if you so desire).
Our partially-guided day trip from Valencia was divided between the following three areas…
El Castell de Santa Barbara
The Castle of Santa Barbara is one of the largest medieval fortresses in Spain. It sits atop a large rocky outcrop 166 meters above the Mediterranean Sea in modern-day Alicante. The fortress was originally built by the Moors in the 9th century but was used and extended by the Christians over the centuries even up to the 18th century.
Alicante has a beautiful, wide, palm-tree-lined pedestrian promenade along its yacht-filled harbor. Exquisite baroque buildings line the streets. These spaces are meant for leisurely drinks al fresco and slow strolls any time of day.
Guadalest is a quaint, hilltop village in the mountains above Altea on Spain’s eastern coast. This tiny pueblo of fewer than 200 inhabitants has been voted one of the most beautiful villages in the world! The small fortress was originally built by the Moors in the 11th century. That original fortress was built onto over the centuries and eventually passed into Christian hands with the conquest of this region in the 13th century.
Today, on the site, you can visit the remnants of two castles, a noble’s home, a small church, and prison in addition to the village and some amazing views of the dammed reservoir below the village and the beautiful countryside dotted with olive groves.
Alicante and Guadalest made a wonderful day trip from Valencia. We saw some amazing new places in the region and had plenty of time to explore at our own pace. I’m sure we will take advantage of more trips like this in the future. I’m am enjoying my exploration of Valencia by mountain bike but I’d also like to do some light hiking to explore the natural beauty that Valencia has on offer… especially its mountains!
- Stay tuned for more adventures in Spain.
- If you enjoyed this post, check out my other articles on Spanish Culture, European Budget Travel, and Financial Independence right here on Travel Inspire Connect
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