Visit Alicante, Spain, a 2000 yr old city on the beautiful Costa Blanca coastline of the Mediterranean Sea.
What to see in Alicante
Beaches are the main draw to Alicante. Postiguet beach is right in the heart of the city again. This is the main beach of Alicante and can be busy all day long. It is located very near the marina and the promenade (Explanada).
Besides other beaches nearby, there is an 8 km stretch of beach from San Juan to El Campello. The playa is huge and not packed like some beaches. It is lovely to stroll along the promenade or right along the water’s edge. There are multiple high rise apartment buildings along San Juan Playa with stunning views. Many restaurants and bars inhabit the promenade as well.
The main marina is right in the heart of the city, very close to Postiguet beach, hotels and bars, with huge yachts and pleasure craft.
Across from the marina is The Explanada, the most popular walkway in the city. The ground is made of marble and it is lined with palms, restaurants, bars and market stalls.
Several restaurants run alongside the explanada, mostly geared to tourists. There are apparently 1400 restaurants and bars in Alicante. Spanish people love to meet friends for a drink or a meal, on a terrace, any time of year.
You must try Paella as Alicante is reputed to have the best in Spain. Traditionally it is cooked over an open fire. Another goody to sample is turron, especially if made in Jijona, a nearby town. Turron is a sweet soft nougat like treat. You can even sample turron ice-cream.
Besides the beaches, the number one attraction in Alicante is Santa Barbara Castle, built in the 9th century. There are many routes to the top and the views are magnificent. You can hop on an elevator across from Postiguet beach as well if you don’t care to ascend one of the many paths to the top. Here is a short video with more information on Santa Barbara Castle.
Parks and Plazas
The city has many parks and Gabriel Miro Plaza is one of them. It is a small park, just off the Explanada and happens to be my favourite. Surrounded by interesting buildings like the post office, it is dominated by a lovely fountain and huge and amazing ficus trees that almost completely cover the park.
There are many plazas, fountains, and monuments in the centre of the city. One of the most popular is Plaza de los Luceros with a monumental fountain in the center built in 1930. This is where most parades and processions start from. Just a few blocks away is The Central Market. Nearly 300 stalls offer almost anything you could eat. It is open 6 days a week until 2pm. There are several florists in the square just behind the market.
Architecture and Archaeology
Some examples of the beautiful architecture of Alicante including Medieval, Gothic, Baroque, Renaissance and others. The old town offers a very interesting mix. If you get a chance to pop in for 5 minutes to Santa Maria Basilica or St Nicholas cathedral, they are both beautiful and I am sure you will not be disappointed.
Those interested in archaeology, be sure to pay a visit to the Museum of Archaeology. It won the European Museum of the Year Award in 2004 and is very impressive.
Attached to the main city hall building are some Roman ruins. There are also other places to see roman ruins as well scattered around the city. Lucentum is an archaeological site in the city and was the original name of Alicante.
Spanish love their fiestas! The most important festival, the Hogueras takes place in the weeks before St John the Baptist day on 24th of June. Several processions take place as well as fireworks and firecrackers at all hours of the day and night during this time. Loud music and parties go until 430 am for a week or so. it all culminates with huge statues in every neighbourhood, about 90, being set on fire at midnight on St John the Baptist day.
For a city of only 330,000 inhabitants, Alicante offers great beaches, restaurants, nightlife, history and culture. Here is a video about what you can see when you Visit Alicante.