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Are you craving for stunning beaches with amazing locales in the European lap? Well, the wish has been answered and answer is Alicante, a Spanish retreat that gives you an insight into the history and culture of Spain but not without engulfing you in the effervescent Spanish vibe. Fantastic weather, breathtaking scenic beauty and a great location are just some of the ways we define Alicante. The port city has many reasons to attract a huge crowd every year to its shores. Sun, sea and sand- the three killer combinations that make Alicante a great destination for beach lovers! It is home to some of the very famous beaches of the world that include the likes of the Playa del Postiguet, Playa del Coco and San Juan beach. The city is definitely vibrant but not really overwhelmingly commercial. You can have a quiet experience here at many locations. There are plenty of bars, shops and a number of activities. If you want a piece of Spanish tradition, Art and culture, then you are really in the right place. If you are looking for things to do in Alicante then you will definitely enjoy reading this post because there is so much to explore!
Castillo De Santa Barbara.....History and Views
The grand castle of Santa Barbara invites you to travel through the marvelous history of Spain and experience the aura of Iberian and Roman empires here. Travelers can feel the history unfold and lay their eyes on some ancient artifacts of the Bronze Age. Constructed in the 9th century the Tower of the castle has been witness to many goods and bads of the Human civilization. Once under the Muslim rule, it was captured by Castilians in the mid-1200s. The Castle grounds are worth exploring as the they stand way above the Alicante city giving magnificent views of the city below! The castle is a milestone in History. Visitors can explore the epic views and can understand the layout of the city in the most interesting manner. After a complete tour visitors can enjoy strong brews available at the quaint coffee shop and a tiny souvenir shop within the precincts of this place. A "coffeelicious" end to a great day of soaking into the history and sun!
Alicante Town Hall- The unmissable landmark
When you are in Alicante you just can’t ignore the chimes of Town hall bells. In every 15 minutes, you can hear its presence while touring the city. This Town hall is one of the greatest examples of 18th century Baroque Architecture. The building has two towers that rise to dizzying heights of 165 feet. The interior of the town hall is equally grand and impressive as it houses a chapel and two beautifully decorated rooms. The mind blowing paintings from local artists are a definite draw here. You will find a replica of very popular Dali sculpture when you enter the first floor of Town Hall. On the second floor of the building, you can be a part of the historical exhibits related to the city and the building. In these exhibitions, you can see some rare photographs and various illustrations in both English and Spanish that will take you down the hallways of history. The Town Hall is situated in the center of the Old Town and can be reached on foot from most areas. You can enjoy the visit a lot more if you are here in the morning on any day. But La Ciudad Descubierta is not open for visitors on weekends. You can easily locate Dozens of cafes and other shops within an easy walking distance of the square. These cafes are a perfect place to grab a drink, have a cup of coffee or indulge in a scoop of ice cream while watching the localspassing by on the streets.
Alcoy....the Old World Charm
Alcoy is enchanting right from the word go. One can experience impressive bridges and viaducts that look like they have come from another time! The place is best known for the famous fiesta of the Moors and Christians which is celebrated on 23rd of April every year. Don't miss it if you are here around this date. Visit the famous museum, Museum De Fiestas and discover why the world loves Alcoy for its biggest celebration of Moros y Cristianos. The visit to old town city centre is not an easy one in summers as the streets are crowded with a lot of visitors and their vehicles. If you are looking for a peaceful area to visit then walk up the Sant Nicolau road and you will find two beautiful gardens: the “la Glorieta” and the “Parc De Cant Agal let". The city has its own historical value too as you can observe from the number of architectural structures here.
Alicante Port is waiting for you to enjoy the best scenic attractions and Spain’s most popular Mediterranean resorts. Alicante has long been an important cruise destination and the gateway to the famous Costa Blanca. An average of 88,000 cruise passengers pass through Alicante port each year! The port is built around a natural harbor too. It is linked to the city by the very famous Esplanada de Espana and few minutes’ walk from the greatest attractions like the Santa Maria Basilica, El Postiguet Beach, and Castillo de Santa Barbara.
The earlier Muslim rulers put up a great resistance at this watch tower for the longest of time. It was only by 1240s that Castillian forces finally got a decisive victory and made this place theirs! Today this absolutely charismatic structure is open for visitors. There is an interior courtyard within the sky-high walls and a second storey. On the second floor, a reproduction of a Khamsa (a popular Muslim and North African image of an open hand) is on display. In the evenings when the sun is just setting and the blanket of night comes up, the entire castle glows in the bath of nightlights- one of the best times to see it in all its glory.
Basilica of Saint Mary
Basilica of Saint Mary is another great example of ornate Baroque architecture. The very famous Basilicais best known for its theatrical offering of Mystery of Elche play which is an annual affair here. The traditional play displays the demise of the Virgin Mary and her assumption into heaven. The play features more than 300 performers and successfully draws huge crowds. This basilica is the only catholic church that is allowed to host a theatrical event such as this. It also enjoys the privilege of being part of the UNESCO Intangible Heritage list. Basilica of Saint Mary is built on the site of an ancient mosque and offers panoramic views over the city to the visitors.
Casa Carbonell......an interesting story teller?!
Exceptionally brilliant white façade and towering blue domes of Casa Carbonell which were built in the 1920s has now become an iconic landmark. Legend has it that after World War I, a wealthy businessman was denied entry into a hotel in Alicante as he was not dressed properly. He vowed to avenge the humiliation by building the best and the most beautiful structure of Alicante which is Casa Carbonell. Locals dismiss it as a story nevertheless Casa Carbonell is definitely a sight you would remember all your life. Iron, glass, and marble come together on this building to create nothing short of magic. You will love to click some photographs to mark your presence in this beautiful building.
Elche is an exotic spot of lined by fine museums, Moorish domes, archaeological treasures, and beautiful churches. There are over 300,000 date palms that guard the ancient city of Elche even today! One can experience the soft-lit stone arches of the Arab Baths, artistic gardens of the Huerto del Cura, and the ruins of La Alcudia. If you are a Beach lover then you can have a great time nearby. The nightlife is truly happening and dining options will have you confused because there just soooo many of them! Elche is also known as "Footwear Capital of the World" as more than half of Spain's shoes are produced here. Definitely a very different destination!
Explanada de España
Laid out by the famous architect José Guardiola Picó in the 20th century and later restored in the 1990s, the grand promenade is among the most beautiful promenades in Spain The wide walkway is famous for the use of 6.5 million marble tiles that create a dramatic wave-like mosaic of red, white and blue. The walkway is hemmed in by rows of towering palm trees and elegant streetlamps. The very famous landmarks like the Royal Casino de Alicante, the Casa Carbonell, and theHotel Gran Sol are situated here. During summers the street is full of people, live entertainers and full of life. You can enjoy a great evening alone or with some one special, either ways there is no chance of getting bored!
San Nicolas Cathedral
The famous cathedral was designed by Agustin Bernardino and built between 1614 and 1662 as a historic mosque. One can experience an impressive nave and six side chapels surrounding the sky-high blue dome at the center of the altar. For many people, the chapel of the Holy Communion is one of the best examples of Spanish Baroque architecture and design. And it is not the exteriors but the interiors that are stunningly impressive!
How to Reach Alicante
By Air: Alicante has an international airport El Altet which about 7 miles from the main city and is well connected from major cities of Europe as well as Spain. There are plenty of taxis and buses available to go to city.
By Bus: Alicante City has international bus terminal that connects Alicante to Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, UK, Polland and even Russia!
By Train: There are three train stations in Alicante and connect Alicante to coastal and other local destinations.
Where to Stay in Alicante
Alicante has amazing options when it comes to accommodation. Here are our top picks across the budget spectrum, so whether you are on a tight budget or looking for luxurious indulgence we have it all here.Or you many simply type Alicante in the nice little hotel search box given here for a complete list of hotels.
If you want to look at more options then do visit our awesome hotel page!
Following are the tours handpicked by us for your next visit to Alicante
For a complete list of all tours and activities in Alicante click here
These were some of the amazing attractions of Alicante, a city that can make you fall in love with it again and again. There is a lot to see here and so you will find people returning. For us too, it was just not possible to cover everything at one go, so guess its a promise made to do one more on Alicante!