L / 19º
What’s going on?
The home of the Volvo Ocean Race since 2008, Alicante will host the first stopover of the 2017-18 edition. Stand-by for another glorious eight months of storms, speed, life-changing stories, stunning images and nail-biting finishes as the teams race around the world.
Where do I have to be?
Alicante: half-way down Spain’s party coast…I mean, Mediterranean coast, situated south of Valencia on the Costa Blanca. Home to just short of half a million people, it will be the fourth time Alicante has opened the action, and the third since the race set up its permanent HQ in the port.
So what happens - is it just about the boats leaving?
Nope! In fact, in 2014-15, there was a full week of preliminary action before the teams set out for Cape Town. So getting there early won’t leave you feeling like you’re the first one to arrive at the party. The action normally begins on the water with the In-Port Race.
Anything for my Bucket List?
The start is obviously not to be missed, it’s an iconic sporting event. There’s also plenty of other stuff to do if you get to town a few days before the main event. Apart from the great tapas and paella (walk the Esplanade and follow your nose), there are the eight kilometres of sun-baked sand and azure water that’s the Playa de San Juan. Not forgetting some kick-ass nightlife in El Barrio. And Vogue magazine called Las Manolitas Cupcake Boutique a ‘must visit’ – full of quaint furniture and super-treats for those with a sweet tooth.
Should I pack the umbrella?
Probably not: Alicante has an exceptional climate of mild winters and hot summers – averaging around 3,000 hours of sunshine per year. And while October is one of the wetter months, that still only means rain on one day in every four. The average daytime temperature is 24C in October, but bring a jacket for the evening tapas-stroll as it cools off to 15C at night.