Top 10 Free Things To Do In Alicante

Keeping family and visitors amused during the summer holidays or long weekend breaks can be fun but tough on the bank balance. If you want a day away from the beach, there are many free activities you can enjoy in the Alicante province.These range from cultural tours of museums, churches and galleries to keep fit and getting involved in all the fun of the fiestas. 

Spain-Holiday has compiled a Top 10 guide to free things to do in Alicante and the Costa Blanca. 

Fiesta Fun 

Grab the bull by the horns (perhaps not literally!) and take part in the fiestas. You can dress in traditional regional costumes for the fallas fiestas, choose whether to be a Moor or a Christian for the annual battles between the two groups, or test your nerve for the running of the bulls.Many towns have bull-running as part of their fiestas but two of the finest are in Javea and Denia. Denia’s bous a la mar (bulls to the sea) is held at the beginning of July. Young revellers get ready to be chased by bulls down the main streets and into a makeshift bullring by the port. They then have to try to entice the bulls to jump into the sea. 

Traditional costumes for the Alicante fiestas

Follow in their footsteps 

The tourist information offices in each resort will be able to tell you about the walks on offer, either through the countryside or the historic quarters of the town. For some, you can join a guided walk while others you can enjoy at your own pace. Some of the finest walks around town are in Orihuela, which is a grand city with plenty of history. One walk takes you through the old town so you can visit museums and churches including the Easter Museum with impressive statues and icons used during Holy Week, the 16th century Santa Domingo church, which is a national monument, plus three palaces, one of which is now the public library and another is the tourism office. 

Torrevieja Park of Nations 

People from more than 120 countries have settled in Torrevieja, so it is only fitting that the resort should have a magnificent 40,000m2 Park of Nations, flying the flag for many countries with a lake which has been designed to resemble a scaled map of the European continent. It is a popular place for families as there is a children’s playground with a large dinosaur slide, train ride and pedalos on the lake, which has also found favour with migrating birds, ducks and geese as well as thousands of fish such as carp. There is also a small area for reptiles such as tortoises and iguanas. 

Barrels at Bodega Xalo, Jalon, Alicante

Wine tasting at Bodegas Xalo 

A day trip to the Jalon Valley is definitely worth putting on the agenda if you are in the north Costa Blanca area. It’s a great drive with impressive mountain and valley views down to the sea. You will drive alongside vineyards and fruit orchards, with the blossom providing a sweet fragrance in springtime. Bodegas Xalo is opposite the car park by the riverbed in Jalon. In the bodega are large vats of wine. Customers are offered the chance to taste the wines, mistelas(sweet wines) and vermouth. Some of the wines have won national awards and the cava is particularly good for the price. 

Keep fit on the beaches

Some resorts have free exercise equipment in the parks or on the beach so you can keep fit and toned in the sunshine. There are various exercise machines for toning arms and legs, as well as weights. Two exercise parks can be found in Denia – one at Las Marinas and the other opposite Marineta Casiana beach.During the summer, or throughout the year in Benidorm, exercise classes are held on the beaches in some resorts including yoga and keep fit. 

Alicante castle from the marina

Panoramic views from the castle

The imposing Santa Barbara Castle in the centre of Alicante is the perfect place for enjoying a journey through the city’s history. The castle stands 166 metres above sea level so you can enjoy outstanding views of almost the entire Alicante bay. The origins of the castle date back to the 9th century when the Moors controlled this area of Spain and is one of the largest medieval fortresses in Europe. If you want a guided tour or a dramatised tour, you will have to pay a few euros. 

A date with Dali

Fabulous collection of modern art is housed in a 17th century building which is a fine example of Valencian Baroque architecture, so it is worth visiting this art gallery to take a look at the building itself, which has been a granary, jail and school in the past. Works by some of the most important 20th century artists are here including Picasso, Cocteau, Miro, Dali, Max Ernst, and Francis Bacon. 

Free trips from Benidorm 

From Benidorm, you can enjoy free coach trips to neighbouring resorts or inland towns. The only drawback is that you have to stop at a showroom for a short demonstration on woollen blankets. However, you do get a trip to amazing resorts such as Moraira or to the Jalon Valley for wine tasting. 


Enjoy fireworks at Altea 

One of the biggest and best fireworks display in the world is held each year in the spectacular setting on special platforms set out to sea at l’Olla, near Altea.The best place to watch this magical display is on the beach or out to sea.Each August, more than 50,000 head to Altea for this exciting midnight show of light, fireworks and music by the Mediterranean. The incorporation of dance into the show has further increased the aesthetic value of watching fireworks set to music, on a sultry, summer evening beside the sea. A special train runs between Denia and Altea for the evening.   

Religious art and architecture   

Many churches have magnificent altars and paintings but one of the most impressive is Orihuela Cathedral, which houses a painting by Velazquez. The church was begun in the 13th century but has developed over time so many different architectural styles can be seen, particularly at the three entrances. The Door of Chains is in Islamic styles, the Loreto Door is Gothic and the Annunciation gate is Renaissance. Inside, is a magnificent Baroque organ, which was made in the 1730s by Valencian craftsmen. Next to the cathedral is a museum where you can see the Temptation of St Thomas painting by Velazquez as well as works by Murcian sculptor Salzillo.