Alicante

Alicante

  • About Alicante

    Alicante is the Valencia region's second biggest city offering a lively mix of tourist activities while retaining its earthy atmosphere which is based largely around traditional industries such as wine production and its seaport. Beaches, bars, museums and shopping are some of the main attractions and a cosmopolitan feel ensues due to its significant African population. Popular tourist areas include San Juan offering a good variety of villas, hotels and restaurants. The town, sited on a bay between two capes on the east coast of Spain, and has developed into the main Costa Blanca holiday resort and one of the fastest-growing cities in Spain.

  • Attractions

    Castell de Santa Barbara

    Massive castle towering over Alicante built by the Carthaginians in 400BC and later used by the Romans and Moors. Wander the drawbridges and dungeons and enjoy a wonderful view of the bay and city from its ramparts.[/P]

    The Rambla

    Main thoroughfare lined with palm trees, cafes, ice-cream parlours and shops. Great for people watching.

    Elche

    Europe's only palm forest 12 miles inland west of Alicante forms a dramatic oasis around the city of Elche. The city also has several nice parks and public gardens.

    Ayuntamiento

    At the foot of the main staircase of the Ayuntamiento (City Hall Building) is the 'cota cero' which is used as the point of reference for measuring the height above or below sea level of anywhere in Spain.

    Isla Tabarca

    Small islet provides a popular day/ferry trip from Alicante. A quiet pretty fishing village, old fort, excellent restaurants and several good beaches and pools to swim in are the main attractions. Only ten miles south of Alicante.

    Lucentum

    Vast remains of the Roman town of Lucentum. The most noticeable features are the remains of the fortifying wall, defensive towers, the baths and forum.

    Museu de Arte del Siglo XX Asegurada

    Alicante's oldest building, a former granary dating from 1685. Works by Picasso, Dali, Calder and Miro are on display.

    Terra Mitica Theme Park

    World famous theme park suitable for a day. Ancient theme worlds of Rome, Egypt, Greece and Spain offer pageants, history and spectacle. The many rides including the park's tremendous wooden rollercoaster.

    The Museo de Bellas Artes Gravina

    Fine arts museum in an 18th Century mansion.

    Iglesia de Santa María

    Near to the Museo de Bellas Artes Gravina is the Iglesia de Santa María which includes an ornate façade and gilded altarpiece.

    The Museo Arqueológico Provincial

    In Santa Cruz this museum was nominated as the European Museum of the Year in 2004 for its high tech displays and collection of ceramics and Iberian art.

    Festivals

    The cities festivals include the annual and lively Bonfires of Saint John which takes place at summer solstice at the end of June.

    Explanada de España

    This elegant boulevard is the city's main pedestrian zone. It curls around the harbour, is shaded with palm trees and lined with shops, bars and cafés. Leads on to Alicante's old centre which is crammed with beautiful Baroque buildings.

  • Travel

    El Altet International Airport is 10km from the city centre and usually the first destination for visitors. A bus service can take you to the the Plaza del Mar just south west of the centre or you can catch a taxi. There are good rail, tram and bus networks within the city and the region as a whole. Significantly there is also a narrow gauge train service called the trenet (little train) which travels a scenic coastal route. Alicante's Marina offers regular ferry services to the Balearic Islands and elsewhere. Car hire is readily available.

  • Climate

    The Mediterranean Coast receives a little more rain than Madrid but Alicante provides Spain's warmest waters. Sunshine is perennial but Alicante also has the advantage of usually not being excessively hot compared to the more southern resorts. Winters are mild with fresh coastal winds.

  • Outdoor Attractions

    The mountains around Alicante are superb for walking and mountain biking. The rugged mountains of the Costa Blanca include spectacular ridges, shaded pine forest and orange and almond groves. Attractive mountain villages with hospitable inns will tempt you on the way.

  • Key Facts

    • Full Name - Alicante
    • Population - 285,000
    • Time Zone - GMT 1
    • Languages - Spanish, Catalan, Basque, Gallegan
    • Currency - Euro