Alicante Parks and Gardens
Alicante looks towards the sea, and does so from its famous Paseo de la Explanada, one of the most beautiful seafront promenades in Spain. There is nothing as pleasant as strolling along this quayside promenade lined by four rows of palms, tessellated with marble in Alicante red, cream and black in imitation of the neighbouring waves of the Mediterranean.
Along the Explanada there is a music pavilion where the Municipal Band gives concerts on feast days.
Other parks in the city are the Canalejas, with an important display of giant fichus; el Palmeral, located on the seafront along the Murcia road; Lo Morant, with an auditorium: and el Benacantil, with extensive pine groves on the slopes of the Santa Bárbara castle.
Paseo de la Explanada
The most popular of Alicante promenades is without doubt La Explanada de España. Built over the ancient port quay, this promenade was conceived in 1867 by the municipal architect José Guardiola Picó.
The current three-colour pavoirs dating from 1958 show the varieties of marble found in the area: Alicante red, Ivory cream and Marquina black. There are 6.6 million 4x4cm tiles tessellated together to form a gigantic mosaic measuring over half a kilometre in length, flanked by four rows of palm trees forming one central and two side walkways, ending in a monumental fountain (1960) by Carlos Buigas, who also designed the Montjuich fountains in Barcelona. Close at hand is a modern sculpture by Carlos García Muela entitled Agamemnon's Torso (1999), and a monument to the assassinated turn-of-the-century liberal party leader Canalejas (1914) by the Alicante sculptor Vicente Bañuls
On the northwestern fringe of the city, far from the centre, is the largest green zone for leisure and recreation in Alicante, called Parque de Lo Morant, with promenades, playgrounds, an open-air auditorium, etc
Parque de la Ereta
On one of the slopes running down to the old quarter of town towards the southwest, an innovative area to be called Parque de La Ereta is soon to be completed. Designed by the French architects Marc Bigarnet and Frédéric Bonnet, winners of the European architecture competition EUROPAN, this park will be a natural kind of recreation area to be kept as rough and wild as possible, with terraced slopes, and populated with native plant species in keeping with the colours of the local terrain. There will be plants, shrubs and trees, stone pathways flanked by shady trees, fountains with drinking water, a kiosk with a pergola, a café on the flat central area of the park (a former threshing ground), which will be used for open-air shows, and a multifunctional classroom, with all buildings fitting in appropriately with the natural surroundings.