The capital of the province that bears its name and one of the most popular Spanish tourist cities, Alicante is ideal for short breaks and long, relaxing holidays. The city's fantastic location means easy access to over 200 miles of stunning Costa Blanca beaches and dozens of quaint towns and villages.
Alicante is the second-largest city in the Valencia region and a busy Mediterranean port as well as a thriving tourist resort. It's a place that appeals to all ages and it is known for its great museums and galleries, trendy districts and fine dining. Events like Las Hogueras de San Juan attract visitors from all over Spain and further afield, while friendly locals ensure that everyone feels welcome.
Shopping fans will love the diverse range of retail outlets on offer, while gourmet-lovers can sample some of the best Valencian and international cuisine in the city's stylish restaurants. History enthusiasts certainly won't feel left out with landmarks like the Basilica of Santa Maria to explore and nature lovers are sure to fall in love with the unspoilt island of Tabarca. Whether you want to see Icarus rising from the waves or dance with locals in the Barrio, there's never a dull moment in this exciting town.
Things to Do
Beaches, nature reserves, historic landmarks and great museums -- Alicante has them all... and more!
A local landmark, Mount Benacantil can be seen from any part of the city. The 166-metre hill is topped by one of the largest medieval fortresses in Spain: the Castle of Santa Barbara. Walk to the top from Plaza del Carmen and enjoy amazing scenery and views or take the elevator that rises through the core of the mountain.
Heaven for beach lovers
Soak up the sun on Postiguet Beach close to the city centre or hop on a train to the less busy La Playa de San Juan. Good local transport links also make it easy to reach the fabulous beaches in resorts like Benidorm and Calpe.
Attractions for, well, everyone!
Retail fans can shop in the Mercado Central or explore the market stalls that line the Explanada de España and foodies can try authentic Valencian paella at restaurants throughout the city. Spend the day at the Archaeological Museum of Alicante or take a boat trip to Tabarca -- once a haunt of Barbary Pirates, the island is now a tranquil nature reserve!
Calendar of Events
Visitors can enjoy lots of exciting events in Alicante throughout the year. Some of the most popular include:
Las Hogueras de San Juan (Bonfires of Saint John). Plan a stay over the last two weeks in June to see burning monuments, street musicians and nightly fireworks displays at the city's most famous festival.
Carnival. Holy Week parades, outdoor concerts and colourful celebrations can be enjoyed each February/March. The carnival takes place just before Lent, so dates can vary.
Moros y Cristianos (Moors and Christians). Locals wear colourful Moorish or Christian costumes to parade through the streets each October.