Alicante: The Essence Of Spain
If Spain isn’t on your list of possible retirement destinations, you really should pay it a visit. While it isn’t as cheap as Southeast Asia or parts of Latin America, the cost of living is quite reasonable, and Spain today is a modern, developed country—nothing Third World about it. You might just be pleasantly surprised, as I was.
This week, we continue our exploration of Spain’s Mediterranean coast, heading southward from Valencia to lovely little Alicante. There is a small but solid expat community there, built around a core of Brits. (Brits are pretty much everywhere, I notice.)
Madrid, with 3.2 million inhabitants, is Spain’s largest city. Barcelona is about half the size of Madrid. Valencia is about half of Barcelona, and Alicante about half of Valencia, with fewer than 350,000 in the city proper. But with each step down in size, I didn’t notice that anything was lost. Rather, the essence of Spain just seemed to become more distilled.
Alicante, also known as Alacant in Valencian, sits on the Costa Blanca of Spain. Although its roots are ancient, today Alicante is a modern city, with a bustling centro filled with chic designer shops and department stores, equally chic people, a harbor crowded with envy-arousing yachts, and a sleek tram/light-rail system.
And yet, Alicante still retains the feel of Old Spain. Most businesses observe the afternoon siesta. Friends who meet by chance on the sidewalk stop to …
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