Strolling along the Promenades of Alicante City
The heart and soul of Alicante is the grand La Explanada de España. Stretching around the marina, this elegant boulevard with its red, black and cream tiles, all 6.6 million of them, refuses to be ignored. It is the most famous of all Alicante's promenades and the most historic. It was the brain-child of the municipal architect José Guardiola Picó who, in 1867, created the ideal area to perfect the romantic Spanish custom of the paseo (an evening stroll). With dramatic marble tiles depicting the waves of the Mediterranean and four rows of palm trees offering shade even in the heat of summer, it is a sight to behold!
Meander along the Explanada and you will discover the essence of the city, stalls selling local handicrafts jostle with pavement cafes, whilst locals meeting up with friends for coffee mingle with tourists soaking up the atmosphere. During the summer months, while away your afternoon or Sunday morning sitting in the shade at the music pavilion where you can listen to the free concerts held there or during the city's many fiestas immerse yourself in the party atmosphere that is often centred around La Explanada.
Less famous, but no less interesting, three other Promenades deserve a mention. On the Paseo de Gadea an art market is held each evening and is a great place to ponder exciting displays of works by local artists. The Conde de Vallellano runs parallel to the La Explanada. Here you can stroll in the refreshing sea breeze or watch the comings and goings of the marina. Watch out for the interesting sculpture by Esperanza d'Ors entitled Icarus Returns with a Surfboard, which appears to be floating on the water!
Finally the Paseo de Gomiz, that hugs the sweeping golden sands of the Playa del Postiguet, becomes the centre of attention during the firework displays held on the beach during the Fiesta of San Juan over five consecutive nights!
With the choice of so many promenades by the time you leave Alicante you will be paseoing like a local!
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