Costa Blanca
The Costa Blanca is one of Spain's most popular holiday destinations due to its miles of white sandy beaches, many of which have been awarded the prestigious EU blue flag. The region boasts a wide variety of sports facilities, the most popular being golf and sailing, and for families a visit to the Terra Mítica theme park near Benidorm is recommended. Be warned, the coast gets very busy especially in the high season and some areas are very built-up, but Little Hotels has gone to great lengths to find hotels away from the madding crowd.

You can always head inland to the quieter non-touristy villages or head north to the coast near Dénia to find picturesque hidden coves. It features an 11th/12th century castle on a steep cliff-top which overlooks the city. The castle is also home to the Palau del Governador which has a museum of archaeology, divided into four eras: Iberian, Roman, Moorish and Christian. The city also has an ethnological museum, a toy museum and the Cervantes Esplanade in honour of the famous writer who set sail in 1580 from here after his imprisonment in Argelia.

Going south, we can look at some of the other towns and cities that make Alicante so attractive. A little inland (around 30km from the coast), Benimaurell is notable for being the last bastion of the descendants of the Moors when they were expelled in 1609. In fact, legend has it that these moriscos threw themselves from the precipice of Cavall Vert, preferring that to being captured by Spanish forces. The village is surrounded by excellent mountain scenery, superb for hiking (with various marked routes), abseiling and caving (there are several with prehistoric paintings). 275 metres above sea level and one of the oldest towns on the Costa Blanca, Benissa is a fine to spot to relax and take in the scenery, and the Fuentes Del Algar waterfalls are not far away. Calp in Catalan or Calpe in Spanish is in the Marina Alta comarca, and sits at the foot of the Peñon de Ifach (Ifach Rock). The ruins of Los baños de la Reina (the Queen's baths) are well worth a look. There is also a Gothic Catholic church and the 18th century tower La Peça. There are some excellent beaches along this stretch of Alicante. It is not far north of Benidorm, so it is within range of the attractions that this has to offer, whilst being comfortably away from the tourist hub, in a more scenic and less-discovered spot. All around here, there are some fine landscapes to explore. Guadalest ( El Castell de Guadalest is its full name) is a picturesque mountain town south of Alicante city and in the comarca Marina Baixa. Here, visitors can go to see a 12th century jail with a dungeon. There is also a museum of torture instruments! Outside the Ribera Girona Museum, there is a 'magic garden' of figures. There is a also a museum of doll houses, an ethnological museum displaying ancient tools and musical instruments, and the Museum of Miniatures of Manuel Ussa, featuring such oddities as the Guernica of Picasso painted on a seed and the Statue of Liberty in the hole of a needle.

Also inland, Bolulla is often the venue for one of the stages of the Vuelta de España cycle race. Naturally then, there are some excellent cycling roads, and there is plenty of good countryside for mountain biking too. This area has a profusion of golf courses- nine in total. Just five miles away is the former fishing town of Altea, endowed with a church which has a marvellous blue Byzantine-style dome, found in the old quarter. There are plenty of whitewashed buildings and limited large hotel development, keeping it beautiful for those who wish to appreciate Spain as it long has been, with all the benefits of Costa Blanca sun, but away from soulless resorts. This town has become particularly known for its art and artists, with plenty of exhibitions and galleries there. The Terra Mítica theme park is not far away either.

The city of Alicante is one of the most popular along the Costa Blanca with its Moorish Castle of Santa Barbara dominating the town. It has an impressive seafront promenade stretching around the harbour shaded with palm trees and lined with shops and cafes. There are a number of interesting museums to visit, one of which is the Hogueras Museum which is dedicated to Alicante's most famous festival, the Hogueras de San Juan (St. John's Bonfires). It is a little bit like Falles in the way that papier mâché and wooden figures are burnt at the festival's conclusion. The event takes place in June with colourful processions, marching bands and dancing, culminating in a huge fireworks display and the bonfire at midnight.