Lying on the Eastern coast of Spain, south of Valencia , the city of Alicante is one of the more popular towns of the Costa Blanca.
Alicante in Castillian Spanish, or Alacant in Valencian Catalan, is the capital of the province of Alicante and of the comarca of the Alacantí, in the southern coast of the Land of Valencia in Spain.
Alicante lies 81 km (50 miles) north of Murcia, 40 km (25 miles) south of Benidorm, 172 km (107 miles) south of Valencia, and 417 km (259 miles) southeast of Madrid.
The population of the city of Alicante proper was 334,757, estimated as of 2009[update], ranking as the second-largest Valencian city.
Alicante has some of the finest beaches, stretching for several kilometres and attracting countless sun worshippers and pleasure seekers. Indeed, the sun in Alicante shines endlessly.
It is best to start exploring Alicante from the beachfront, along the Explanada de España , the citys main pedestrian pathway. This beautiful boulevard stretches around the
harbour and is shaded with palm trees and lined with shops, restaurants and cafés.
Northwest of the elegant boulevard, towards the heart of the city, you will see the impressive Cathedral de San Nicolas . Around it are the narrow streets of the El Barro , or old quarter, which has most of the economical accommodation and the best of nightlife – from 5 star restaurants to glam casinos (very popular with the German people who go to play
poker), this coast has it all. Meanwhile, southwest near Calle de Italia , are the central tourist office, post office, and the citys main train and bus stations.
You should also witness the Paseo de la Explanada . With its rows of street cafes and red, cream and black marble, strolling and shopping is such a pleasant activity in this exquisite, seafront promenade. Check out the music pavilion and enjoy a free al fresco concert beside the sea. Musical performances are held in the afternoons, on feast days and on Sunday mornings during summer.
Alicante Alacant is the capitol of the Costa Blanca and has grown from a village under many sieges of war under the watchful eyes of Castillo de Santa Barbara to the second largest city in the Valencia providence. This bustling City of the Sun is nestled between the mountains and the sea and its microclimate makes for a wonderful visit year round.
Alicante Sun, sea and sand is what attracts visitors to the beaches of Alicante, such as the Playa de San Juan with 5km of golden sand with all facilities. Venture past its clear, clean aqua colour water and take a stroll in the city along the Explanada promenade surrounded by softly swaying palms, terrace cafes and tri-colour marble mosaic tiles below your feet.
Alicante the impressive newly renovated Paseo Maritimo port was the starting point of the Volvo 2008 Alicante and consists of shops, an entertainment centre and a cinema.
Alicante the city presents a wealth of history with numerous major and minor museums so you can not go wrong with a holiday in Alicante it offers a good selection of hotel accommodation and self catering apartments in Alicante.
The Teatro Principal, with its sumptuous interiors, is the throbbing heart of Alicante’s performing arts. Teatro Principal stages plays, opera and ballet and often hosts free musical and dance performances. There is also the Obras Sociales by Cam Cultural (Tel No: 90 210 01 12, Website: www.cam.es, Address: Avenida Doctor Gadea 1).
Many famous residents have spoken lovingly of the city; in the words of the poet and novelist, Juan Gil-Albert, “Alicante looks uninterruptedly to the Mediterranean”. Author Gabriel Miró wrote, “my city is pierced through and through by the Mediterranean” and another native author, Joan Fuster, wrote that Alicante “is without a doubt, the friendliest of all Valencian cities, a city one would choose to live in if one were to exchange a village for a city”.
Alicante looks towards the sea, and does so from its famous Paseo de la Explanada, one of the most beautiful seafront promenades in Spain.
Alicante is also a university city, with various faculties and a series of technical colleges. In summer a variety of Spanish courses for foreigners are held.
Alicante city offers an interesting range of cultural activities in various centres around town, such as the Casa de la Cultura (cultural centre), which has a well-stocked library, a historical archive and keeps locals and visitors abreast of cultural events such as expositions, conferences and films. ?
The Teatro Principal (Principal Theatre) is a neo-classical building dating from the 19th century, which runs an extensive programme of shows and plays throughout the year.
The exhibition centre Lonja del Pescado, located on the site of the former fish market, stages important art exhibitions and other cultural events throughout the year. ?During the month of September the National Theatre meeting “Alicante a Escena” is held, along with the International Contemporary Music Festival. In December there is an International Puppet Festival.
For lovers of abstract and modern art, a visit to the Eusebio Sempere exhibition in the Casa de la Asegurada is a must, where you’ll find an art collection donated to the city by this local sculptor and painter.
Music lovers can attend a daily concert on the esplanade (Paseo de la Explanada) in the afternoons. In summertime, the concerts are given on Sunday mornings.
The mild Alicante climate makes beach-life accessible practically all year round, and there are plenty of fantastic beaches to choose from:?La Playa de San Juan, with seven kilometres of golden sand flanked by a road enabling you to stop wherever you want;?La Albufereta, an intimate, residential stretch of sand, protected by the headland of the Serra Grossa, El Postiguet located almost within the city itself, at the foot of the Benacantil mountain, next to the port and Los Saladares, Iying south of the city, in the area known as Agua Amarga.
The sands simply never run out in Alicante; but if you prefer a rocky beach with crystal clear waters, at the Cabo de las Huertas, you’ll find a rugged, rocky area with coves such as Los Cantarales, Los Judios and Palmera. El Saladar and Los Judios both have nudist sections.
Panoramic views of the city and sea can be enjoyed from the Castillo de Santa Bárbara, which sits 166m above the beach atop the Benacantil Mountain, which can be reached by road or by using the lift from the Postiguet beach.
For scuba divers the sea around the Isla de Tabarca located off the coast are teeming with interesting sealife.
Alicante also offers an extensive range of sports facilities, with installations for football, volleyball, basketball, tennis, shooting, a riding school, swimming pools and gyms, and for sailing enthusiasts, choose from the Real Club Náutico de Regatas, Alicante marina and the Alicante-Costa Blanca Nautical Club, which offer over 800 moorings.
If you are into mountaineering, then the Maigmó Mountain (1296 m) is a challenge that you will enjoy. Taking the road to Castalla, you can drive up a track that will lead you almost to the top. However, the energetic can ascend on foot and have a pleasant rest on the Balcón de Alicante, which offers a magnificent panorama of the Castalla Mountains and the Alicante plain, with the blue Mediterranean Sea in the background.
There are many golf courses within an hour’s drive of the city, and still more are being constructed.
In the nearby town of Muchamiel there is a local airport for private sports aircraft and ultra light aircraft.
There are boat trips available to the Island of Tabarca, ?Jijona is only 26 km from Alicante, the birthplace of Turrón, a sticky almond sweet very popular in Spain and served at Christmas.
Close at hand are the Caves of Canelobre, a marvel of nature and just outside Alicante you can see the largest Palm Forest in Europe; on a trip to Elche you can enjoy a stroll through the subtropical environment.
Orihuela with its wide variety of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque buildings is just 54 km from Alicante.
The mountainous town of Ibi, 40 km to the north of Alicante, is a great place to take the children, as it has a toy museum and is at the centre of the toy industry in Spain. It is affectionately known as the headquarters of the Reyes Magos (Three Kings of Orient), who bring gifts at to Spanish children at Christmas time.
The village of Agost is also closeby; famous for its pottery, the village makes more earthenware Botijos (clay pot) than any other place in Spain. The authentic souvenir is the Botijo de Novia
There are several beautiful green spaces to enjoy in the city centre. Including the Canalejas Park, which is home to an important display of giant fuchus. El Palmeral, located on the seafront along the Murcia road, Lo Morant, which incorporates an auditorium where you can enjoy concerts and El Benacantil, with its extensive pine groves, which is located on the slopes of the Santa Bárbara castle.
Alicante offers an excellent choice of nightlife all year round, with many bars and discos open until the small hours of the morning. ??There are many places to have a drink or a bite to eat around town. The old city centre, known as El Barrio, offers some of the finest restaurants and tapas bars, offering both authentic Valencian and International cuisine.
Indeed you’ll find bars, cafés, taverns, cervecerías, pizza joints, and mesones, each with its own style and personality. Plus music bars and discos galore, from salsa to jazz, rock to sevillanas and much more. The “modern” zone (between Alfonso El Sabio and the Explanada) offers elegant pubs and restaurants with famed cuisine.
Discotheques and dance salons vie for your custom with the most sophisticated of décors, and pulsating music.
In the summertime, enjoy seasonal nightlife on the Playa de San Juan.
Don’t miss the magic and charm of Les Fogueres de Sant Joan. On the night of 24 June, the flames from blazing bonfires illuminate the Alicante sky.
The Habaneras and Polyphony Festival and competition held in nearby Torrevieja every year in August is now one of the largest festivals of the year in Spain. With its Cuban flavour and folklore theme, it has both Spanish and international residents celebrating together.
Try any of the delicious varieties of rice dishes, combined with shellfish, fish or meat that are renowned in the region of Alicante.
To complete your meal, Alicante has some excellent local wine denominations, and for dessert, don’t forget the famous ice creams, Turrón and dates.
Alicante enjoys a privileged location and an excellent mild climate, with an average year round temperature of 18-20° C.