What to do in Southern Alicante in December

What to do in Southern Alicante in December

Recently I spent 10 days Southern Alicante in our holiday home Villa Balea. I try to go in the winter season as much as I can. Villa Balea is also a rental property with a tourist license but in the winter time I rent it out less. Most of the guests would ask about what to do in southern Alicante in December during winter. So, here I am explaining what I did in those 10 days.

It is more popular to go to Ciudad Quesada in the summer time. However, for me, winter time is just the perfect time to go. The clear skies, the winter sun and the empty beaches. I love it. Four friends, as well as my husband come along. All in all, we were in total 6 people staying in Villa Balea.

Bringing along new and old friends

For this occasion, I asked along a set of new and old visitors to Villa Balea if they wanted to join me. New in the sense that they had never been to Villa Balea before. The so called old ones had been here already several times over the years. The so called old ones included my husband. He has of course been many times in the villa.

We used to come during Christmas time with the kids. Nevertheless, with our sons leading their own lives, we have both realized that the best way to enjoy the villa is to find a cheap flight in the low season and just work away in the sun. Another “oldie” was Iwona, who some years ago came along on a “let’s learn about Spanish food” trip.

I must admit I was a bit exhausted after 10 days playing the hostess, but at the same time super happy. We had such a lovely time. Sitting in the glazed terrace mid-day or in the afternoon when the winter sun had made it warm was my favorite activity.

1. Lunches under the winter sun

I just love my stays at Villa Balea. It gives me so much energy. Instead of the everyday obligations in Sweden, I esacped to the villa. I was working, but at the same time enjoying slow winter days with friends coming over or staying with me.

On one of the week-ends my friend Gunilla (one of the recurring visitors to Villa Balea) invited some Spanish friends over for a Swedish style lunch.  Gunilla brought along from Sweden some cheese and smoked elk’s heart. She is from the beautiful county of Dalarna in Sweden and hunting is a very common feature in many of the households.

She also made a Swedish potato dish called the “Jansson frestelse”. It was not clear if our Spanish friends would enjoy oven-baked potatoes, Swedish anchovy and cream, but it turned out to be a success.

2. Working remote and the good life. How to make it happen

Most of us had a business to run. It was indeed a bit of challange to adjust to everyone’s agenda and need. Nevertheless it worked out beautifully.

Gunilla sells Spanish shoes from Elche and wanted to roam the Elche “Shoe wholesaler area” to look at the lastest summer fashion, as well as to buy shoes to ship to Sweden. We picked her up and had lunch in excellent lunch restaurant in the shoe district. Elche is a very nice city with a lot of shoe manufactures and outlets. It was a great outing and excursion.

She was also in need to take some photos for her website, So, one day she and Jeanette arranged an outdoor photo shoot in Villa Balea garden. It turned out that Jeanette is a good photographer and she offered to help out.

My husband needed to work every day on his computer, but came along for lunches and dinners. We tried to eat lunch out as often as we could. You can get good value lunches in the local restaurants. Other days we just made a sallad at home.

3. Walk and talk on the beach

As for my friend Iwona, who runs a tourist agency, she needed to make an important forestry learning trip to Poland, so she needed space and time to focus and at the same time get an energy boost.

The other visitor, Ove, was planning for the renovation of his new flat and spent some time in the sunny terrace going through designs and ideas.

Me, Ove and Iwona took walks on the beaches nearby Ciudad Quesada. Great for walk and talk. Some days we just walked in silence and felt the sand between our toes.

One day we walked all the way from the Guardamar beach, starting from the blue hotel, all the way to the La Mata beach. It was a sunny, but quite windy day. It was beautiful and I walked barefoot. Another day we went from the La Marina beach to Los Pinos beach. We also checked out the Salinas de Santa Pola before having a sea side lunch at one of the beach restaurants.

4. Personal fitness session around the pool

One of the new visitors Jeanette is actually the best friend of my sister. She needed a break from the cold Swedish winter. In addition, she wanted to create content for her fitness YouTube channel and Instagram account. Sweden, in the winter time can be, apart from cold, somewhat bleak. There is just not any light and to produce good content you need light.

We took Jeanette to the river mouth of the Rio Segura, where it flows into the Mediterranean Sea. We drove as it was already late afternoon. I had walked to the river mouth before so I knew that you could get there with a car. I was just not sure how. Luckily we found it and managed to get there just before sunset. The evening sun was absolutely stunning and Jeanette managed to find inspiration for her content production and, at the same time enjoyed the gorgeous sunset.

Jeanette is a personal trainer and gave us all an energy boost. She had one of her online training session with Swedish clients in the Villa Balea garden. We were very glad to go along as she also offered us a pool side training session and it was great exercise for our bodies! I will definitely follow her online training programmes that she offers. The digital world at its best. To keep fit wherever you go.

5. Commercial Center Ciudad Quesada

Meals and drinks in Ciudad Quesada Center

As the hostess, I was relieved to have the center so close to the house. I showed my guest how to walk to the different places of interest. Only 800 meters from Villa Balea, you will find the center of Ciudad Quesada. On the main street you will find bars and a variety of restaurants. I have tried several of them and most have good quality dishes.

You can try Spanish, Indian, Asian and Argentine cuisine. There are also several restaurants serving tapas and great “cafe con leche” with a breakfast croissant. In the winter time, Ciudad Quesada is busy during day-time, but it can seem a little bit empty after sunset. Many people just prefer to be outside when there is sunshine and you can sit and enjoy a meal on the restaurant terrace rather than inside.

In the commercial center there are also bars, beauty saloons, bike rental, banks and supermarkets. in the center of Ciudad Quesada, you have the supermarkets “Más y Más” and Lidl. There are also several international drug store chains.

Up the hill from Villa Balea, you will find another small commercial center with a well-stocked family run super-market and some restaurants and bars.

Other services in Ciudad Quesada center

You will find the square with the local town hall office. Here you can talk to a town hall official and there is also a police certain days a week. At the town hall you can book the tennis courts and pickup information lefleats.

It is also possible to dispose of batteries here. There are several recycle stations in the center, or on your way to the center. One is outside the Norwegian school and the other one on the same street as the pharmacy, but a bit further up. There are some banks on the main street with ATMs. However, If you need cash the banks are better than the ATMs that you find all over – better rates and less fees.

Ciudad Quesada Municipal center

Walking distance from the commercial center, on your way to Benijófar, you have a huge Chinese “buy it all “ shop and the supermarket Mercadona. 

6. Hiking and walking during winter

Towards Guardamar and the Mediterranean sea

If you like walking, you can walk to the other direction, towards Rojales. Take the hills and walk towards the municipal sport facilities. Jeanette did the 4 hours of the beaten track walk to Guardamar and the Mediterranean Sea and back to the villa. She likes all kind of fitness and ultra hard challenges.

Nevertheless, this Sunday 4-hour challenge had a deeper meaning. It was the Sunday of the Swedish cross-country skiing event called Vasaloppet. The participants ski 90 km and Jeanette wanted to honor the participants, as well as get prepared for her own participation of a summer version of the Vasaloppet (running instead of skiing). We greeted her with laurels and hugs as she came back. She walked for over 4 hours.

I regularly take my guests out for several walks. I wanted to show them my favorite hiking trails and places to enjoy an active holiday. Now I know that for our next trip to Villa Balea, they will find their way around.

One of the days we stopped at the local boule club for some refreshments before continuing down to the large parking where the Rojales outdoor market takes place. The aim was to hit up the Rio Segura. On our way back we had a bite at the restaurant on the other side of the market area.

7. Towards Rojales, Benijofar and Fomentera del Segura

Spanish villages

Gunilla and I both like the Spanish lifestyle a lot. In our youth we both lived in Spain for several years. We both miss the days when we enjoyed lazy Sunday mornings with a late breakfast (after a night out) and a Spanish Sunday newspaper.

So this Sunday, after showing Jeanette the river Segura Bank for her super walk, we decided to hike along the river in the other direction towards Rojales center. Gunilla wanted to buy a Sunday newspaper, so we found our way up the small streets of Rojales and then started to head back home to pick flowers and have breakfast.

You can walk across Rojales in a short time and reach the next village, Benijofar. You can go from village to village along the river Segura. As you leave Rojales and enters Benijofar, you will find the supermarket Consum, a great place to buy some water and snacks before you continue along the river.

If you prefer to rest, you will find several bars and restaurants at the entrance of Benijofar. There are quite amazing amount of places you can find to enjoy a coffee or a meal in the vicinity. 

If you continue along the River, you will hike towards Fomentera de Segura. A great little town along the river bank with nice town square. You have to cross the river and there is only one small pedestrian bridge.

If you continue on the Benijofar side of the River bank, you will reach the water wheel. One of the most interesting features of this region in Spain, La Vega Baja is where water and irrigation system is located. It has a long and interesting history back in the day. Hopefully these carefully built up systems will now serve the local agriculture well. With draught and climate change, there are many challenges ahead.

8. Final recommendations

I would recommend you to rent a bike and you will be able to reach all the above mentioned places in no time. Make a small trip or excursion each day and take your time at each destination. Make stops to enjoy a coffee or tapas. You can rent a bike in the Ciudad Quesada center.

If you speak Spanish, talk to a local. This is what I love about Spain, the friendly chats with local people. Each time you will learn a lot about Alicante and Spain.

For example, we met this man who told us how he used to fish in the 80s. He was a diver and caught fish around the Tabarca island which he sold. This is not permitted any longer.

Map of excursions

I tried to embed a map but I did not manage. Sorry! So please click on this screenshot of the map and you will see some of the places mentioned in this text.