exploring the layers of history with Turiguias
Alicante has been a major port for thousands of years with layer upon layer of history. The city’s warm, fertile climate and strategic position in the Mediterranean basin (relatively close to Africa) ensured the city’s historic importance.
Mount Benacantil dominates the city’s skyline and is topped by the Castle of Santa Barbara. I learned a great deal about the city’s history from Maria Jose Aparicio, the owner of Turiguias, who gave me a personal tour of the Castle and the old fishermen’s quarter of Santa Cruz.
Maria Jose, Mireia Aldeguer (Mandarinablue Travel Experience) and I started our tour in the town centre. Maria Jose had a wealth of information that added depth to my understanding of the city. For example, the waterfront used to be much further in, but they gradually extended the land surface by dumping waste at the water’s edge.
We made our way down from the Castle by following the old fortifications. There are various routes that you can take as well as outlooks and small parks and even a fancy restaurant.
When I’m travelling, I try to learn something of the history and culture of the places I visit, usually by reading books and internet sites. But it’s so easy to misunderstand or to miss the quirky anecdotes that bring the place to life.
Maria Jose is a knowledgeable advocate for her city, and I would highly recommend her tours, which are both informative and interesting.
Her company, Turiguias, offers group tours for cruise ships, conventions and other large groups. She also offers small group tours in both English and Spanish for anyone who is interested every Saturday (check the website for schedule changes on holiday weekends).
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