Things to do in Alicante

Of all the wonderful Spanish cities Alicante is not the most obvious destination for a weekend break, however on a recent girls getaway I discovered delicious food, stunning sights and a heavenly hotel. With 300 days of sunshine a year and very cheap daily flights from London airports, Alicante is sure to suit those in need of a warm minibreak, all year round.

STAY ATAsia Gardens is an oasis of calm and luxury 30 minutes drive from Alicante city centre. This Asian inspired exotic hotel offers indulgent rooms, sparkling pools and a traditional Thai spa. Of the restaurants on site, Koh Samui was my favourite, serving the finest Oriental cuisine.

LOOK ATCoves del Canelobre is known as the largest and deepest cave system in Spain. Millions of years old and glistening with impressive stalagmites and stalactites, it is a magical sight.

EAT ATLa Taberna del Gourmet  won best tapas restaurant in Spain in 2009 and the food still excels. Hams hang from the ceiling, locals chat at the bar and the smell of garlicky alioli tints the air. Charming service and phenomenal traditional tapas make this restaurant a must in Alicante. Very reasonably priced too.

DRINK AT … If you can bear the blare of Benidorm head down to the concrete coastal town to watch a hysterical drag show and enjoy some Sangria.

SHOP AT … Visit a Spanish supermarket and stock up on local delicacies. I left with a bag full of Manchego cheese and Iberico ham! If you are only travelling with hand luggage Alicante airport is a good place to buy a bottle of Rioja to savour once you get home.

More information on things to do in Alicante here.

Asia Gardens, Alicante

 A guarantee of 300 days of sunshine a year makes Asia Gardens in Alicante the perfect winter sun destination. You may not return to Blighty tanned and glowing but you are sure to get a bit of Vitamin D brightening up your body.

Just a two hour plane journey away, Alicante is an unlikely but wonderful place to spend a weekend, when you have a hotel like Asia Gardens as your home. On the final few days of November I visited the hotel for a girls getaway hoping for some much needed rest and relaxation. We enjoyed sitting by the exotic pools, soaking in the luxuriously big baths in our huge bedrooms, and dipping strawberries in the chocolate fountain at breakfast. For supper we indulged at the fine Thai restaurant (Koh Samui) where I’d recommend the Pad Thai and the curries, which were spicy, thick and wonderfully flavoured.

Near to the property there are caves and mountains, vineyards and seaside wonders to discover. We treated ourselves to a decadently delicious tapas meal at Alicante’s top eatery, La Taberna del Gourmet where we gorged on the very best red wine, Iberico ham and Paella. When night fell we braved Benidorm, the local party town, and spent the evening hanging out with the locals, watching a hilarious drag show and embarrassing ourselves at karaoke.

If you’re fed up with the English winter, you could book a holiday in Asia Gardens where it feels like summer every day.

More information and book here.