Alicante
About

Located in the middle of the Costa Blanca by the Mediterranean sea, this port town has adapted to the modern day with a well-developed tourism industry and famous nightlife scene with parties rocking well into the morning. It is a dynamic, lively, friendly and year-round bustling city that still manages to keep its charming natural appeal with lovely beaches, parks, waterfronts and promenades, historical architecture, traditional roots and exciting cuisine.

Resorts and tourist lures aside, Alicante’s history dates back some 7000 years and has seen the rule of many Mediterranean civilizations, including Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and Arabs, each leaving their unique historical and cultural traces in the area, which adds to Alicante’s unique eclectic character. Besides the mighty castle on the hill overlooking the city, Alicante has a fair number of beautiful historical gems to show off and museums to let you in on it’s story.

To no surprise, one of the greatest appeals of Alicante is the weather – the area is spoiled by semi-arid climate, meaning long, hot summers and mild winters. That just adds to the attractiveness of Alicante’s pristine blue-flag beaches, which range from fine and soft-sanded to rocky. Get some excellent beachtime fun at El Postiguet or head to the excellent San Juan beach the longest beach around with exquisitely clean water. The surrounding area is also rich with some stunning natural landmarks and reserves, including Mata and Torrevieja lagoons, Santa Pola salt marshes and palm groves in Elche.

Alicante is also known for great golf courses. If you have never played before, you might as well give it a shot and never get bored with the excellent surrounding views.

Facts
  • The Roman name of Alicante was “Lucentum”, meaning “The City of Light”
  • Costa Blanca, including Alicante, is said to have one of the healthiest climates in Europe
  • The rice fields around Alicante produce 115,000 tons each year
  • Alicante’s Explanada de Espana is paved with 6.6 million marble tiles and lined by 400 palm trees
Flights to Alicante
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Eat

Arròs a banda

A simple and tasty staple dish of Alicante – rice, fish and seafood cooked in strong fish stock and usually served with aioli sauce.

Pan de higo

The traditional Spanish fig cake, made predominantly from dried figs and almonds, is a truly tasty experience. Typically served with cheese.
Drink

Orxata d'Ametlla

A refreshing milky drink made from almonds, water, and sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and sesame seeds. Usually served cold together with desserts.

Fondillón

An Alicante specialty, this red wine is made from overripe grapes and aged for at least 10 years. Pairs great with cheese or chocolate.
See

Explanada de España

Take a relaxing stroll on one of Spain’s most beautiful promenades – a magnificent, wavy marble-tiled, palm lined boulevard along the coast.

Archaeological Museum

See an impressive and beautifully presented collection of Iberian, Greek and Roman artefacts from the ancient city.
Perfect for
Architecture
Bar Tours
Beach Leisure
Boat Rides
Boat Trips
Cafes
Cocktails
Concerts
Culture
Golf
History
Hotel Resort
Museums
Nightlife
Photography
Restaurants
Sailing
Sightseeing
Sunbathing
Swimming
Tapas
Walks
Wine Tours
Places

Castle of Santa Bárbara

Sitting atop of the 166 m high Benacantil mountain, one of Spain’s largest fortresses crowns Alicante and provides a breathtaking panorama of the city and bay. Originally built by the Arabs in the 9th century, it has been scarred in battles and rebuilt throughout the next centuries, with most parts dating to the 16th century. The castle is accessible by foot, lift or car. Inside you’ll find a history museum of Alicante and some chambers with temporary exhibits. On the way down you can take a pleasant stroll through the Parque de la Ereta with its many routes and rest stops, from where you can enjoy more views of the city and ultimately descend to Alicante’s old town. Lastly – if you happen to take a look at Mount Benacantil from El Postiguet beach, you’ll see Alicante’s iconic “Moor’s Face” on the side of the mountain.

Old Town Quarter

The old town lies at the foot of the Santa Bárbara fortress walls and is a lovely, tranquil place to wander around. The vivid Barrio de la Santa Cruz quarter is particularly eye-pleasing with narrow, winding streets and alleys climbing up the mountain. The highlight here is the Gothic 16th century Santa María church. It is Alicante’s oldest church and was built on the remains of a mosque in the 13th century and later outfitted in Baroque and Rococo finishes in the 18th century, with an impressive front image of the Virgin. Next to it you’ll find the 17th century Casa de la Asegurada Museum with an outstanding collection of art, including Joan Miró and Pablo Picasso. Don’t miss the the co-cathedral of San Nicolas, completed in 1662 and combining Herrera and Baroque styles. Inside the cathedral there is a lovely 15th century cloister. At the spacious plaza del Ayuntamiento you can see more great architectural sights, especially the local the impressive Baroque facade of the Town Hall.

Tabarca

The small island of Tabarca is a must-see in the area, lying 22 km south of Alicante. It is reachable only by boat, but the trip will let you enjoy some lovely coastline views. Tabarca measures only 2 km in length, and about a quarter of the island is taken up by a small walled town with a beautiful church and plenty of good restaurants and hotels, should you wish to spend more time here. During the colonial age the island used to be a frequent Barbary pirate target until it was fortified in the 18th century. The city walls and the massive defensive tower still stand today, and the absence of cars, chain shops, high-rise structures and ATMs gives the place a unique feel, as if you’ve been thrown back in time. The whole island is a Mediterranean Marine Reserve with incredibly clear surrounding waters to swim in, beautiful water flora and fauna to explore by snorkeling and great beaches to leisure about on.
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