Alicante Street Markets

A great way for holidaymakers to find gifts to take home for family and friends is to explore the bustling Alicante street markets. Many visitors to Spain take advantage of the savings to be made in the various duty free shops at the airport to stock up on essentials and gifts, however the type of items to be found in duty free shops are not very ‘Spanish' and although savings can be made, these items can be found in any high street retailer. Alicante street markets however offer the chance to purchase more traditional products at a fraction of the cost than if you were able to find them in the UK for instance.

Alicante Street Markets
Source: Flickr / José Morcillo Valenciano

Alicante Street Market Products

Some of the things to look out for when browsing the Alicante street markets that make great gift ideas include a delightful range of hand embroidered cotton and linen such as serviettes, table cloths and pillow cases. Handmade leather goods are usually of exceptional quality and offer good value for money, although it is a good idea to check the quality of the leather as well as the stitching and lining in leather jackets, handbags and wallets for instance. Leather shoes are also of superior quality in the Alicante region, coming from the famous footwear factories in the nearby city of Elche which boasts Spain's largest footwear industry.

As far as consumables go, Spain's fantastic range of olive oils is an obvious choice and some market stalls offer tasters, usually served on a small slice of baguette or piece of crusty bread. Like good wine, olive oil is a matter of personal taste which can range from salty to fruity and even bitter which is quite an acquired taste. Alicante produces some great quality red wines at exceptionally good prices, so make sure you take back your allowance when heading home. Standard quality Serrano ham can be found on the market delicatessen stalls for as little as 9€ per kilogram, although this can be a bit tough or fatty so it may be worth spending that little extra and going for a more superior quality of which there are many different grades.

Alicante Street Markets

Benalúa Market – Aside from the wonderful Central Market that is open daily and offers mainly consumables and fresh products, Benalúa is the largest and most popular of the Alicante street markets. Benalúa is a residential area just outside the city centre and market days are Thursday and Saturday from around 09:00 – 14:00. Here you will find the usual offerings of fresh fruit & veg stalls, delicious bakery items such as freshly baked bread, rolls, baguettes, cakes and pastries, and a good range of fragrant herbs and spices including good value Spanish saffron and a number of medicinal herbs. Further consumables include fresh meat and delicatessen vans as well as cooked food vans enticing visitors with their delicious aromas of rotisserie chicken, ribs and ham hocks. Other stalls to be found at Benalúa Market include a great range of clothing, leather goods, footwear, fake designer wear, arts & crafts, electronics, toys, accessories, home & garden ware, DIY products, plants and flowers.

Artisans Market – Centrally located in the Plaza de Santa Faz behind the town hall, opening times during the summer months until mid September are Friday, Saturday and Sunday from around 19:00 – midnight, and in the winter months from mid September are Sunday from 10:00 – 15:00. This is a super little market for collectors or those that just like to brows for that special something. It's all about hand crafted items here, some of the stall holders actually working on their crafts while customers are browsing. Here you will find beautiful jewellery, antiques & collectables, embroidery, textiles, leather goods, pottery, ceramics, glass and brass.

Medieval Market – Holidaymakers lucky enough to be visiting during the last week of June or first week of July can enjoy the most exciting of the Alicante street markets, the flamboyant and colourful Medieval Market. Held in the streets of the old town, visitors are transported back in time where the stall holders, and the more adventurous market goers dress up in the clothing of the period and have a jolly old time with street performers, jugglers, jesters, street urchins and knights of old adding an authentic feel to the festivities. Market goers can watch various artisans using age old tools and techniques of their trade, and among the assortment of market stalls visitors can enjoy a variety of traditional Medieval food and drink.

Alicante Central Market

Browsing market stalls can be fascinating and a highlight for many holidaymakers looking to find gifts for friends and family back home, and for serious foodies, it doesn't get much better than Alicante Central Market.