Nuremberg for £4 RETURN or Alicante for £35? Day-tripping from Manchester could be just the ticket…

A day out to Spain may seem like a bizarre idea, but in a world of plentiful budget flights, a well-planned continental outing could soon become an addiction if you’re a keen traveller.

MM travelled to the Costa Blanca port of Alicante with Steven Rittey – a keen travel blogger who has a penchant for combining short trips and exploration by bike.

In October, Rittey spent a day out cycling around Geneva in Switzerland and last month took advantage of cheap deals to promote the new Ryanair route direct to Bavaria from Manchester.

He told MM: “I went to Nuremberg for £4 return which is probably my cheapest ‘per mile’ trip to date and, for me, that’s a modern day miracle.

“Today it’s only £35 to go to Alicante. I noticed that Ryanair do flights in the morning and in the evening so it was possible to book an early morning outbound departure and then a late one coming back in order to create a day trip in Spain.”

An early but manageable 6:30am flight meant that we were on a beach in Alicante for soon after 11am local time and with a full eight hours to explore the city.

PEDAL POWER: Hired bikes for cycling along the coast

As the sun emerged for the afternoon, we hired bikes and cycled along the promenade for a few kilometres before making a challenging 554 foot ascent in the saddle to the top of Mount Benacantil – on which stands the impressive Santa Bárbara Castle overlooking the city.

After meandering through the bustling local market and enjoying some traditional Spanish tapas (which was arguably worth the trip alone), we visited the Estadio José Rico Pérez, a 1982 Football World Cup venue and the current home of Hércules CF. 

TAPAS TIME: Enjoying the local cuisine on the Costa Brava

Another notable stopping point was the museum for the Volvo Ocean Race – the triennial round-the-world yacht race which was inaugurated in Portsmouth in 1973 but which has set off from Spain for the last decade.

The harbour also docks a full-size replica of the Santísima Trinidad – the world’s largest warship in its time until it was wrecked in the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805.

It was certainly a busy day, but never stressful and without the time pressures that a day trip might normally put on you.

TRANQUIL: The Santísima Trinidad replica with the Santa Bárbara Castle in the background

There are no worries about accommodation, you can travel light and the return flight at 9pm meant that we were back in Manchester city centre before midnight – all for the same price as a day-return on the train to Birmingham.

It’s a novel concept, but one which Rittey is keen to encourage people to get involved in.

“I mainly use the Skyscanner website, I also check the email newsletters that main airlines send out regularly and I generally just look for myself.

“With a bit of planning and a bit of knowledge about the destination through research in travel guides prior to going, anyone can easily do the same trip as we’ve done today.”

For more travel and cycling ideas, visit Steven Rittey’s blog:

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