Alicante was a strange destination for a Christmas break. There was no sunbathing by the pool. The days were short, and twilight was distinctly chilly. Still, in the middle of the day, it was warm enough for a walk on the beach, and a trip up to the castle on top of the bulbous Mount Benacantil.
Peppered by several pauses to catch breath, I eventually reached the Castle of Santa Bárbara. The castle has been there in one form or another since the 9th century, and it dominates the landscape. You wouldn’t know that it was derelict only 50 years ago. From it, you could see all of Alicante as well as the mountains in the west, eight miles away.