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Retired and Rewired

Aliante,spain and elche

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This is what I wrote in reply to your post on the HAL board

 

 

"Yes, my husband and I (now that gives a clue to my gender) live in Alicante.

 

So I can give more information, when will you be here? What day of the week? How long are you in port?

 

It might be better if we move this thread to the ports of call page as other people going to Alicante are more likely to be reading there.

 

If you like to post there the details of your stop I will try to answer your queries"

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This is what I wrote in reply to your post on the HAL board

 

 

"Yes, my husband and I (now that gives a clue to my gender) live in Alicante.

 

So I can give more information, when will you be here? What day of the week? How long are you in port?

 

It might be better if we move this thread to the ports of call page as other people going to Alicante are more likely to be reading there.

 

If you like to post there the details of your stop I will try to answer your queries"

 

 

Sorry for the misspelling of Alicante. We will be on Oosterdam October 19 from 8:00AM to 4:00PM and have considered going to Guadalest or Elche which is my DH desire as he is great fan of palm trees. Any advice along these lines? Thank you so much.

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We will also be in Alicante for a full day, but in July, and are considering a half day Princess tour to Guadalest. Have thought about Elche as well. Any thoughts on this? Is Guadalest worth the long drive? Is there much worth seeing on the drive? Any and all help on Alicante and surrounding areas would be very much appreciated as there is not much information available on the boards or elsewhere.

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I will put a few notes together for you.

 

Meanwhile, idcruisers, can you tell me what day of the week you will be here and how long you will be in port.

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English in Spain,

 

Thanks so much for your time in responding. We will be in port on Wednesday, July 22nd on the Grand Princess from 9:00am - 6:00 pm.

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Alicante is not really a ‘tourist’ town like Barcelona but there are a few nice things to see and do in the area.

 

ALICANTE

 

There is a castle called Castle Santa Barbara. This is a 13th century castle on a hilltop over 500 feet above Alicante. There is not a great deal to do there but it is worth going if only for the magnificent views. There is an elevator not far from the port which costs €2.40. Otherwise there is no entrance fee.

 

Back down at sea level you can take a walk along the nearby Explanada de España.This palm tree lined promenade is composed of 6.6 million colourful marble tiles and is a lovely walk. One point though, there will be repair works to the paving tiles this summer. I do not know how much disruption this will cause.

 

If you are interested, there is MARQ (Alicante's Archaeological Museum). A couple of years ago it won an award for Best European Museum. I must confess I have not been there but keep meaning to.

Until the 13th October they have the famous sculpture Discobolus (the Discus Thrower) by Miron on loan from the British Museum.

Unfortunately for those on the Oosterdam on 19th October, this Museum is closed on a Monday.

 

For those that like to shop, there are some nice shops within walking distance of the port. These are not tourist shops. If you want more details let me know.

 

You can get more information on Alicante from this website

http://www.alicanteturismo.com

 

with a street map here

http://www.alicanteturismo.com/generales/callejero.asp

 

On this map, underneath the copyright in the bottom right hand corner, you will see a strip of land going out to sea. The cruise terminal is down there. How far it is depends on where your ship docks. Smaller ships dock within walking distance of the port gates but for larger ships there will be a shuttle bus.

 

 

GUADALEST

 

Guadalest is a village up in the mountains about 65km (40 miles) north of Alicante about one and half hours drive. The drive there depends on which route the driver takes. It is possible to get there by a fairly direct, not very interesting, main road. There is also a more scenic route.

 

If you decide to go to Guadalest, I would recommend taking the ship’s tour. There is a company that does private tours. I do not have any experience of them and I think they look rather expensive. Here is a link to their web page

http://www.privateshoretrips.com/alicante.html

 

Guadalest is one of the first places we take people who come to stay with us. Apart from being very scenic there are a couple of very interesting small museums there.

 

You can get more information about Guadalest here

http://www.guadalest.eu

 

One thing I would ask the shore excursions people on the ship is how many people will be on the ship’s tours. The reason I say this is that Guadalest gets very crowded in summer and if you add to that several buses from a large cruise ship it might spoil the enjoyment. Having said this, I am sure that is true of many places we all visit while on our cruises.

 

 

ELCHE

 

The town of Elche is about 25 km (15 miles) from Alicante. It is known as “The Palm Forest of Europe”.

 

There you can visit the Huerto del Cura(Priest's Garden).The garden features a large variety of palm trees and cactuses as well as other typical Mediterranean species, such as lemon and orange trees, pomegranate trees, carob trees and jujube trees along with other subtropical species gathered throughout the years to create a stunning collection of plants from the most unexpected places. The garden’s focal point is the magnificent eight trunked ‘Imperial Palm’ .

 

The entrance fee to the garden is €5.

 

You can get a taxi at the port to go to Elche. I am not sure how much it would cost as I have never had to use the taxi. You can always ask the taxi driver.

To return, the best place to get a taxi is at the Hotel Huerto del Cura which is opposite the gardens.

 

If you have time in Elche there are other interesting things to do including a visit to the Municipal Park.

 

More information about Elche here

http://www.turismedelx.com/en

 

 

BEACHES

 

There are some wonderful beaches in the area. There is one right by the exit from the port (behind the Melia Hotel) but that will probably be very crowded.

There are other (in my opinion better) beaches nearby. If you are interested in this let me know and I will let you have details.

 

 

When deciding what to do bear in mind the weather.

 

Idcruisers, you will be here in July when it is likely to be very hot at that time. It will be cooler in Guadalest than in Alicante or Elche.

 

For Retired and Rewired, in October is will be a lot cooler and could also possibly rain as October is one of our wetter months.

 

If you have any questions on Alicante and the surrounding area please let me know and I will try to answer them.

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English in Spain,

 

Thank you so much for all the information. It is very helpful and we look forward to visiting Alicante even more now that we know more.

 

Ilise

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English in Spain,

 

You mentioned a port shuttle. I had not heard about this before and have a couple of questions:

 

Is the shuttle provided by the port or the cruise line?

 

Is is a doable walk w/o taking the shuttle?

 

What is the cost of the shuttle? Is this one way or round trip?

 

How long does it take to get into town from the ship on the shuttle?

 

Where does the shuttle drop you off at in Alicante?

 

Is there any shopping, the castle, or Explanada near the drop off point?

 

You also mentioned shopping near port. Do you take the shuttle to reach this as well?

 

Also what how much of a walk is it in Guadalest from where the buses park? Are there a lot of stairs in Guadalest? My MIL has some mobility issues and it would be good to know in advance what to expect.

 

Also at this point our plan is as follows. Do you think this would work?

 

take the morning ship tour to Guadalest returning at 2:40 pm. Eat quick lunch on the ship then take shuttle into town to see castle & explanada for about 1.5 hours. As I write this is seems very tight. What are your thoughts?

 

I so appreciate your help. I am in charge of planning entire trip for our group of 6 and I need all the help I can get. ;)

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I have not stopped at Alicante on a cruise ship (will be disembarking here next year but that’s another story) but we know 2 lots of people who have.

 

Firstly, the Wind Surf (small ship) docked right by the port gates so the passengers walked right off the ship, through the gates and were then almost in town.

 

Secondly, Grand Princess stopped right down the other end of the dock and our friends had to take a shuttle to the point where Wind Surf had docked.

 

Is the shuttle provided by the port or the cruise line? Provided by port authorities.

 

Is is a doable walk w/o taking the shuttle? Depending on where your ship docks, it is not that far but our friends said they were not allowed to walk from the ship to the port gates. They had to take the shuttle.

 

What is the cost of the shuttle? Is this one way or round trip? As far as I know it is free. Our friends did not mention they had to pay.

 

How long does it take to get into town from the ship on the shuttle? The shuttle drops you just outside the port gates (takes just a couple of minutes). That is just across the road from the Explanada de España. Centre of town not more than 5-10 minutes walk. It is one of the nearest ports I know to a town.

 

Where does the shuttle drop you off at in Alicante? See above

 

Is there any shopping, the castle, or Explanada near the drop off point? Explanada very close. Elevator up to the castle a few hundred yards. Shops 5-10 minute walk.

 

You also mentioned shopping near port. Do you take the shuttle to reach this as well? You have to take the shuttle to everywhere. It is just the way you get out of the port area. As I said above, shops about 5-10 minutes away. Don’t forget that we have a siesta here. Although the big stores do not close a lot of the smaller shops will be closed from about 1.30 or 2pm to about 5pm.

 

Also what how much of a walk is it in Guadalest from where the buses park? Are there a lot of stairs in Guadalest? My MIL has some mobility issues and it would be good to know in advance what to expect. It is quite hilly and there are quite a few steps if you go up to the monastery. It depends how serious the mobility issues are. She would probably not want to walk all the way up to the top but there are quite a few things to do not far from the car park. She would have to be able to walk a bit. Unless she has major mobility problems I would say she would still enjoy seeing Guadalest if only for the view. There are also a couple of nice shops there that sell handicraft and pottery objects. You can get some wonderful, colourful Spanish plates there.

 

Also at this point our plan is as follows. Do you think this would work?

 

take the morning ship tour to Guadalest returning at 2:40 pm. Eat quick lunch on the ship then take shuttle into town to see castle & explanada for about 1.5 hours. As I write this is seems very tight. What are your thoughts? I would not recommend taking MIL up to the castle. She would probably have difficulty walking around up there (steep and uneven surfaces). Also, IMHO, apart from the view there is not really a lot up there.

 

I would do the Guadalest tour then see how you feel when you get back to the ship. By then you will see how quick the shuttle journey is and you will have some idea how often they are running.

 

You could then go back into town, take a stroll along the Explanada and then maybe have a coffee or a glass of wine at one of the many cafes around the marina (very near the port gates, just behind the casino). Very nice to sit there and admire some of the boats.

 

Hope that all makes sense. If you have any more questions just ask. I am only too happy to help if I can.

 

I hope you will give me a feedback when you return. I am always interested to hear what people think of my adopted home.

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Here are a few photos for you

 

Alicante04.jpg

Castle Santa Barbara, Alicante

 

 

SantaBarbara2.jpg

View from Castle Santa Barbara

 

 

SantaBarbara8.jpg

View from Castle Santa Barbara

 

 

alicante06.jpg

Esplanada de España, Alicante

 

 

guadalest2.jpg

Guadalest - this shows how steep it is up to the monastery

 

 

royalpalmelche.jpg

Royal Palm, Huerto del Cura, Elche

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WOW!! Thanks so much for the detailed response. I feel like I am really prepared to go to Alicante now and help my group get the most out of our time there. I will post when we return and let you know of our experiences.

 

THANKS AGAIN!!!!

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English in Spain,

 

Princees has a tour that goes to Canelobre Caves. Is it worth going? Do you recommend Canelobre Caves? or Guadalest?

 

Thanks in advance for your suggestion.

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English in Spain,

 

Princees has a tour that goes to Canelobre Caves. Is it worth going? Do you recommend Canelobre Caves? or Guadalest?

 

Thanks in advance for your suggestion.

 

Although Canelobre Caves are very nice, I would say Guadalest is better.

 

Does the caves excursion combine with anything else as it would not take very long to visit the caves. It is a shame they don't do a combined tour as Canelobre is more or less on the way to Guadalest.

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We will also be in Aliante on the Oosterdam in Oct. You mentioned a beach near the cruise pier.....is it warm enough for swimming then. Of course it better not be raining.

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It is difficult to tell in October. It is one of those months when anything can happen with the weather. It could be cool, hot or raining. You will have to wait and hope for the best.

 

If it is warm and you want the beach there is one there in Alicante but there are nicer beaches a short journey away on the tram.

 

The tram stop is right by the exit from the port. You can take the tram to Playa San Juan where there is 7 miles of very nice beach with cafes and bars. It is really is very nice.

 

Of course, you may prefer to stay on the city beach which is within a copule of minutes of getting back to the ship.

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Thanks, English, for the info. You mentioned siesta, which of course is not something we are at all accustomed to. I understand the shops close, but I hope that doesn't mean that everything comes to a standstill. Is it possible to find somewhere near the beach to have a drink and enjoy the scenery?

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How much siesta is observed depends where you are. In small towns and villages everything closes during the afternoon (not bars and restaurants though).

 

In larger cities like Alicante and in tourist areas only a few small shops close.

 

The sort of things you are likely to want to do will probably be open. Large stores and shops will be open. Tourist shops will be open (not that we have that many of these). Bars and restaurants will be open.

 

You would not be able to buy cigarettes in the afternoon as these are giovernment controlled shops and they all close. You will also probably find things like pharmacies will be closed.

 

I also know that the HoHo bus in Alicante stops during siesta. Although, maybe, if there is a large ship in port it might change its hours.

 

IMHO, I don't think it is worth bothering with the HoHo bus as it only runs once an hour and most of what it covers can be done on foot.

 

Don't worry too much about the siesta. You probably will not notice it. I just wanted you all to be aware of it so that if there is any specific shopping you need to do then do it in the morning.

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Thanks very much for a quick reply. I think that shopping will take a back seat to scenery and sangria. :D

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Thanks very much for a quick reply. I think that shopping will take a back seat to scenery and sangria. :D

 

Sounds good to me.

 

Watch the sangria. It can be desceptively strong ;)

 

Hope you enjoy Alicante. When you get back please post and let me know what you thought of it. I like to hear honest feedback from visitors.

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Is it worth taking a ship's excursion there for 1/2 day while in Alicante?

 

There is not really much to see and do in Altea. It is quite a nice small town but I cannot see what there would be to do for 1/2 day.

 

Can you give me some idea what the ship's excusion says.

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English in Spain - not too much. We'll skip it and spend the day in Alicante.

Do you recommend any shops in Alicante for handicrafts? Also is there a specific order of visiting the city?

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