Alcoy – The Christmas Town in Alicante

Alcoy is a wonderful place to spend time during Christmas.

xmas town alicante.png

You’re probably thinking that a White Christmas in Alicante is absolutely impossible. If we’re talking about the beach, you’re more than likely correct. You might find a scattering of snow on the beach or catch a glimpse of it far off in the mountains if you’re lucky, but none of that crunchy, building snowmen snow. Unless you know where to find it.

It goes by the name Alcoy, or Alcoi.  What if I told you that just an hour drive from Benidorm, there is a beautiful inland town where the snow blankets and the Spanish tradition was born. Are you ready to discover Christmas Town?

Screen Shot 2018-11-17 at 18.38.41.png
Copyright of Alcoy Turismo

Alcoy is an inland town in the province of Alicante. Filled with more than 20 bridges, it is also known as “The Town of the Bridges”. Due to its wonderful Christmas celebrations and blankets of crispy snow in the winter, it has also adopted the name: “The Christmas Town”.

It is one of the most important towns in the Comunidad Valenciana and it is where the Moors and Christians festivities were first celebrated too. It also is home to a well-loved university.

Screen Shot 2018-11-17 at 18.39.49.png
Copyright of Alcoy Turismo 

Alcoy boomed in the Industrial Revolution, specialising in the textile, metal and paper industry. It grew and developed into a wealthy area which is evident from its modern, architectural buildings.

What makes Alcoy so unique and special for Christmas is that it was the first place in the world to celebrate Cavalcade of Magi, a traditional parade of king coaches for King’s Day. Nowadays, practically every city in Spain and most in Mexico hold their own Cavalcade of Magi. The Cavalcade of Magi is a parade where the three kings, Melchior, Gaspar and Baltasar ride through the streets throwing sweets to the children. You may have celebrated this before in Benidorm, but what about celebrating it in the place it was first ever born?

Alcoy has a huge pull for international tourism for Spain, due to being the oldest Cavalcade of Magi in the world. 

Throughout December and early January, Alcoy has a large Christmas market and in Plaza de España, there is a large nativity scene that is erected in front of Santa Maria Church. There you’ll find a statue of one of the three kings, in giant form, sitting on his throne with the sounds of children laughing as they jump on his knee for a photo.

Screen Shot 2018-11-17 at 18.39.30.png
Copyright of Alcoy Turismo

Alcoy is a wonderful place to spend time during Christmas. It is around 90km away from Benidorm taking the AP-7 roads, or 60km along the CV-70. Although the CV-70 is a shorter route, it does take longer, though the drive is much easier than the country roads that may come with some steep drops that might make your stomach flip!

In Alcoy, there is also “The Casal de Nadal”, meaning the House of Christmas, which is dedicated to the Christmas celebrations of Alcoy. If you’re unable to attend the actual festivities, it’s great to look around to get an idea about what’s to offer!

I know where I will be heading this winter. What about you?

Feliz Navidad,

laurensignature-final

Ice Skating and Christmas Market

Christmas is a feeling and here you’re sure to feel it. 

christmas village beni.png

Christmas Village in Benidorm comes up every December to mark the Christmas celebrations. Where the magic comes to life and the cold air adds to the atmosphere, it’s a slice of Christmas tucked away ready for locals and tourists alike to enjoy and truly grab Christmas with both hands.

You might not think of Benidorm as being a Winter Wonderland, because after all, how can a place that gives the impression of summer all-year round be able to host its own Winter Wonderland. With blue skies and a burning day-time sun, it’s far from the traditional Christmas feel.

IMG_6556

Though, once the sun dips, Benidorm feels the chill of the air and Christmas starts to come around. From the 6th of December until the 9th of January, a Christmas tree stands proud with its twinkling lights, lighting up the Town Hall square. The Christmas market comes to life and the sound of Christmas music fills the air. Christmas comes back to life once more.

The little ones will be kept amused by the old-fashioned carousel and mini-fair, whilst the teens and adults can skate around on the artificial ice-rink. There might not be snow softly falling, but there will be a very Christmassy atmosphere, which gives a contrast to the afternoon lazying around the pool. Who says you can’t have the best of both worlds?

The ice-skating rink is open in the mornings until 14:00 before it closes for a little siesta. It comes back into service again from 17:00 until long after dark. The ice-skating is a beautiful place to go during the hours of darkness, skating under the stars with the twinkling of the Christmas lights from the tree. Skating boots are available to hire and included in the price, but you must wear gloves to be allowed on the rink. They are also available to buy for around 1€ if you don’t have any with you! You will need to have your legs covered too, either trousers, leggings or tights.

26196084_2087327798162032_187065241150697244_n

Now, I’m not promising it will be anything on par with Rockefeller New York or even The National History Museum at London, but if you’re in Benidorm for Christmas, it’s a great place to go and enjoy a laugh and get into the Christmas Spirit. After all, who doesn’t like skating around hand-in-hand, falling over a few times whilst the local pro skater glides gracefully past you, backwards on one leg? I guess I won’t be on Dancing on Ice anytime soon…

You’ll also find a small, but equally as lovely, Christmas market. It might not match up to the likes of Berlin and Birmingham, but you’ll still be able to find a novelty gift or a Christmas delight, roasted chestnuts. Nothing smells more like Christmas than the smell of chestnuts roasting on an open fire. You’ll also find German hot dog stands and mulled wine bars.

Christmas Village doesn’t just stop there though, inside the Town Hall, you’ll find the beautiful traditional nativity scene which will have you marvelling at it for longer than you’ll anticipate.

If you’re lacking in Christmas spirit whilst you’re in Benidorm, that will soon be whooshed away when you’re dancing to the Christmas songs and skating around the rink whilst waving at the huge inflatable Santa and Snowman whilst hearing the squeals of excitement from the children. Christmas is a feeling and here you’re sure to feel it.

The Town Hall is located at the end of Avenida Mediterraneo, under the bridge near the Pet Shop in the Old Town.

Feliz Navidad,

laurensignature-final

 

 

%d bloggers like this: