I just came back from a holiday in Alicante, and I have to tell you about this place. Barrio de Santa Cruz is probably the most charming part of Alicante, a small, colorful quarter in the old town, filled with traditional Spanish houses along peaceful, narrow streets.
The district is located right next to the wall of Santa Barbara Castle and you’ll find it on Google Maps under the name of Barri Vell Santa Creu. If you’re asking people for directions, try asking about the old town, Barri Vell, Barrio Santa Cruz – I was surprised to see not many people know about it. To start exploring it, you go at the public transport station Estacion de Mercado (for tram or bus), walk towards the castle some 200 meters and let the magic begin.
The first thing you’ll notice is the picturesque architecture of the quaint, small houses with flowers everywhere.
Then, you will see the poetry. Yes, they have poems painted on the walls. I’m not sure about their origin, but they sure look lovely:
El Barrio is not really crowded during the day, or at least it wasn’t during my visit in July, probably because of the heat. Yet, you will see some tourists and some locals wandering on its labyrinth streets. Trying to shoot some street photography there proved to be a real challenge.
By the way, just a friendly warning: be prepared to climb lots of stairs. And I mean lots of stairs. That’s how you go from one tiny street to another. And sometimes, you’ll find the stairs are only going to someone’s house and you have to turn back.
Yet, I think it’s worth it. It came a little unexpected, as the quarter is not heavily promoted as a touristic attraction in Alicante, but Barrio de Santa Cruz is definitely one of the most charming places I have seen in years. And I travel a lot.