Top 10 Souvenirs

1. Paella kit

You can recreate a taste of Spain in your kitchen by picking up a small paella kit. You will get a small paella pan, rice and stock. You can add more ingredients when you get home. You can pick these kits up at Alicante airport.

2. Mistela wine

A great way to round off a meal is with a small glass of Mistela or Muscatel wine. The wine is aged in oak barrels to produce a fortified sweet wine. It can be drunk as an aperitif, like sherry, to round off a meal or whenever it takes your fancy. The best place to pick up a bottle of Mistela is in one of the bodegas in the Jalon valley.

3. Valor chocolate

Various towns on the Costa Blanca have Valor cafes where you can drink thick hot chocolate and buy a variety of chocolates. Even if you have not visited the Valor museum and factory in Villajoyosa, you may be tempted to buy some of their delicious confectionery or drinking chocolate.

4. Wicker basket

Gata de Gorgos is a sweet little town with a long high street. Outside many stores you will find fantastic examples of the locally-produced wickerwork such as baskets, chairs and tables. They make lovely baskets of all shapes, sizes and colours which will make an unusual gift or souvenir.

5. Olive Oil

The golden olive oils are used in abundance in Spain. Some are produced on the Costa Blanca. It is believed to be healthier than other fats. You can also find olive oil in cosmetic products such as soap, shower gels and moisturisers. You can pick up bottles in the supermarkets or delicatessens for a fraction of the price you would pay in England.

6. Honey

Honey is widely used in the Mediterranean diet in both sweet and savoury dishes. It is especially good when used in a paste to smother chicken or with chorizo. On the Costa Blanca, you will find many flavours such as orange blossom, rosemary and thyme.

7. Leather goods

Leather handbags, man bags, wallets and belts are good quality and much cheaper than in Britain. Check that they are Made in Spain and not imports though. In the street markets, you can pick up a bag or wallet which will last for years.

8. Paintings

The Costa Blanca has inspired artists throughout the decades who are drawn to its magnificent landscapes and unusual colours. There are many galleries where you can buy an original painting depicting the Costa Blanca, either as a landscape or a more surreal interpretation by the artist.

9. Ceramics

Spanish ceramics are beautiful as well as practical. Little dishes for tapas or olives tend to be brightly painted with extensive use of oranges, reds and yellows, which depict the Spanish sunset and flag.

10. Silk fan

Have you watched Spanish women fold and unfold their fans which such grace? It's not as easy as it looks. Many artesan shops and Costa Blanca markets have intricately-drawn silk fans to remind you of your stay.