AlicanteCopyright: Alicante Tourist Board
AlicanteDifferent civilizations have passed through these lands, leaving their mark which can be seen in all corners of this emblematic city. All of this adds to the appeal of this modern city with a primary focus on tourism, but also a special interest in industry and commerce. Alicante, situated on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea, offers not only a great variety of services but also a wide range of cultural activities, with its museums, its festivals and its nature areas, in particular the Island of Tabarca (Mediterranean Marine Reserve).
Beach LifeSome of Alicante’s best tourist attractions are its excellent beaches. Year after year they receive the Blue Flag award by the European Union, which earns them well deserved international recognition. During the summer season, beaches like San Juan, Postiguet and Urbanova have an educational leisure area for the mentally handicapped and an access point for the physically disabled. Alicante is also the perfect destination for the year-round enjoyment of water sports such as jet skiing, yacht charters, sailing, diving, snorkelling, surfing, windsurfing, competition fishing and water skiing.
The CityWith shattered mountains in the background, the city is located in a bay with a cosmopolitan harbour. Tropical palms line the avenues. From the sea front you can look up towards Mount Benacantil, where the historic Castillo de Santa Bárbara, open to the public, is located. You will find small narrow streets near big avenues with lively business activities in the area of Rambla Méndez Núñez. Elegant pubs and sophisticated restaurants can be found in the more modern part of the city between the sea front, Explanada de España and Avenida Alfonso "X" El Sabio. In the evenings in “El Barrio”, a pedestrian area in the Old Town around the Cathedral, locals meet up with visitors of all ages and from all over the world. Spanish and English, along with some sign language and lively gestures, are apparent among the conversations that often end in a mutual toast. Salud!
5 Hot Tips
GolfThe city of Alicante, the capital of the Costa Blanca, has become, through its own worth, one of the most popular destinations for playing golf. The key factors of its success, apart from its magnificent 18 hole golf courses, are its first rate hotels and restaurants, its culture and entertainment found in the city, its proximity to the Alicante-Elche International Airport, just 12 kilometres from the city centre, and the mild Mediterranean climate which it enjoys throughout the year, with an average annual temperature of 18 degrees centigrade an more than 3,000 hours of sun a year. Alicante's golf courses are located in natural surroundings with sea, mountain and nature spot views, and they enjoy the privileged Mediterranean microclimate, which is characterised by its mild winters and warm summers. We hope you enjoy the wide range of options available, presented hereafter.
AccommodationsAlicante offers anything from 5-star hotels to pensions and guest houses, all to be decided depending on your budget and preferences. You will find accommodation in every category from cosy and exclusive guest houses, to very simply decorated pensions and youth hostels.
Do & See
The ideal location of Alicante on the Mediterranean coast makes it an attractive destination for beach-lovers, golfers and outdoors enthusiasts, but the city offers so much more than fun in the sun. The old quarter is rife with beautiful architecture, from the cathedral and the cloisters to the town hall and many winding alleys, and a wealth of fascinating museums can keep even the most ambitious visitors busy for days.
Alicante’s most famous dishes contain rice. There are more than a hundred different rice recipes in the region, and they are all delicious! At an “arrocería”, or rice restaurant, you’ll find one of the Spanish national dishes, “paella”, saffron rice mixed with local ingredients such as shellfish and vegetables among other dishes. Fish and shellfish are fresh every day while sausage and meat is produced in the mountains near Alicante. Salads are served with salted accompaniments and olives. The tasty and unusual local drink made with tiger nuts, “horchata”, is very popular and served in many bars and “horchaterías”, which you will find nearly everywhere in the city — you will love it! Another local delicacy is “turrón”, a dessert made with whole almonds, honey, sugar and egg whites that is served everywhere. Apart from buying bars of “turrón”, you can try “turrón” flavoured ice-cream. Alicante offers a wide range of restaurants of every category from elegant to fashionable, from exclusive to snack-bars. Meal times are usually somewhat later than in the rest of Europe: breakfast from 7:30 am to 10 am. The main meal or lunch is served in restaurants from 2 pm and 3:30 pm and dinner is from 9 pm to 10:30 pm.
Would you like to take a rest after walking through the old town or shopping? In that case, the terraces alongside Explanada de España are the best choice. Here you’ll find cafés and bars, which are open air and offer some of the best views in the city, namely of the harbour.
Bars & Nightlife
The nightlife is best and most abundant in the part of Alicante known as “el Barrio”, located around the Cathedral and the Rambla de Méndez Núñez. All sorts of pubs, terraces and nightclubs are to be found here. Fashionable clubs with imported DJs are located next door to bars for customers with different ages and music preferences. Night owls will have few problems to decide where to go as there is a variety of music bars open all night. La marcha alicantina, as Alicante’s nightlife is known, has become one of the city's main attractions in itself, as well as being a major contributor to the local economy. There are more bars on the Muelle de Levante wharf next to the marina and also an area in Playa San Juan known as the Golf Course.
By day, the city’s shops and shopping centres offer a huge selection of goods, and many businesses specialise in different manufactured and handmade products to satisfy everyone’s needs. The main shopping streets can be found in the city centre, in particular Avenida Maisonnave, Avenida Alfonso X el Sabio and their surrounding streets. There are also several shopping centres, with a great selection of shops, spread out over the rest of the city (Puerta de Alicante, Gran Vía, Parque Vistahermosa, Plaza Mar 2 and Torre Golf). There is an even wider choice of goods on offer if we include the fresh produce sold at the Mercado Central, as well as the different local markets which are held on Thursdays and Saturdays in different parts of the city (Benalúa, Babel, Carolinas and Calle Teulada). The handicraft stalls on the famous Explanada promenade can also be added to this list as well as the popular antiques market held on Sundays in front of the Town Hall and which specialises in antiques and philately. In addition to the wide choice of shops, Alicante has plenty of cultural offerings too, ranging from a good choice of traditional cinemas (such as the Navas cinemas) to the larger multiplex cinemas in the shopping centres, as well as various exhibition centres and rooms with an extensive offer for visitors to enjoy.