Alive in Alicante
Beautiful beaches, a charming atmosphere and plenty of love to give - there's nothing Alicante wouldn't do to provide you with a holiday of a lifetime.
Alicante is located within the beautiful Costa Blanca region of southern Spain. This exciting city is a major travel destination for many European tourists, and it’s no wonder with its array of bars, nightclubs, shops, restaurants, beautiful buildings and fascinating walking trails. The city is famed and much admired for having some of the most magnificent beaches in Spain and is renowned for its idyllic charm. Basking in a delightfully hot Mediterranean climate with temperatures reaching up to 30C between May and October, and rarely dipping below 12c during the winter months, you'll find a buzzing atmosphere whether you choose to go for a summer break or a bit of winter sun.
Dance the night away
Alicante will present you with an array of exciting and well appointed 2-5 star hotels where standard amenities include gyms, swimming pools, restaurants, and bars.
The charming old town area of Alicante has a number of city centre hotels, studios and apartments to suit all budgets and tastes. The area is home to many traditional restaurants, cafes, local markets and a large shopping centre, making it a great choice for a family getaway.
The lively areas of Levante and Poniente Beach are known for their buzzing nightlife. Many hotels have their own bars, restaurants, and entertainment options and you can enjoy panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea.
The charming Spanish promenade
Alicante holidays are filled with a fantastic selection of places to visit. Two of its top visitor attractions are the stunning medieval Santa Barbara Castle and L'Ereta Park. This dramatic hilltop castle, built on the imposing Mount Benacantil, is one of the biggest castles in Spain. Here you can enjoy stunning panoramic views of the city, visit the Museum of the City of Alicante, view exquisite modern Spanish statues and walk through the park from the castle to the old part of the city. The old city is packed with beautiful buildings including the Gravina Palace, which is now the site of the Gravina Museum of Fine Arts.
After drinking in the beauty of the city, head to the marina and explore Alicante's stunning beaches. Here you can admire the beautiful boats while grabbing a bite to eat at one of its reasonably priced cafes and restaurants. A visit to Postiguet Beach is a must for beach lovers. Famous for its soft, golden, sandy beach and clear blue waters, it offers a range of fun sporting activities for all on a holiday in Alicante to enjoy.
Things to do in Alicante
Towering over Alicante – in the region of Costa Blanca – is Mount Benacantil, whose Castle of Santa Barbara is one of the leading attractions in Alicante. Having served as everything from a city fortification to a prison, this medieval fortress’s history-soaked walls and fabulous views towards Benidorm are among the key things to do in Alicante.
Alicante is blessed with miles of glorious Mediterranean coastline. Sunny beaches here are among the most beautiful in the region, and Playa del Postiguet is particularly recommended. This beach stands almost a kilometre wide, its palm-fringed promenade bustling with bars and restaurants.
Wine and Dine
It goes without saying that some of the top Alicante attractions consist of tapas bars and divine Spanish restaurants. While the city offers the best of local cuisine, there is also an abundance of Italian and Greek restaurants as well. For authentic tapas head to the area around the Town Hall Square, where there are many tapas bars dotted around to start your gastronomic tour.
For a taste of the exotic, head for Carmen del Campillo Tea House. Landscaped gardens and fountains mirror the intricacy of this Moroccan-themed house’s extensive architectural detailing. Unusual teas and delicious pastries are served in generous quantities, and this hidden gem is among the most evocative things to do in Alicante.
Action and Adventure
Rancho La Ofra is a must-see Alicante attraction for anyone who loves horses. From riding in the woods to trekking, the ranch’s immaculately-presented horses provide ideal companions. Treks through the surrounding valley are particularly recommended, with informative guides offering commentaries on the journey before serving tapas back at the ranch.
If you prefer horsepower of a different kind, Karting Alacant offers a series of winding and interconnected tracks that can be tackled in vehicles of varying power and size. The two-person parent-and-child karts are a particularly nice touch with twin steering wheels for backseat drivers, while the 270cc Senior Karts are guaranteed to get your pulse racing.
For a slice of fun that all the family can enjoy, jump on the city’s impressive tram service and head for the secluded splendour of Playa de San Juan. This is one of the finest beaches anywhere in Spain, and it among one of the best things to do in Alicante. As well as bars and restaurants, it’s also host to an 18-hole golf course – although most people come here with a picnic and a beach towel rather than a set of clubs.
Playa de San Juan stands halfway between Alicante and El Campello, which is a highly recommended location accessible along the local tram line. The quiet fishing town also has two beautiful beaches and water sports activities that visitors of all ages can enjoy. The pace of life is more relaxing here, and you can spend a whole day wandering around El Campello’s historic buildings, such as a 16th-century watchtower overlooking the charming harbour and marina.
Alicante’s Old Town offers a collection of narrow, winding streets whose buildings ooze Mediterranean charm and tradition. Getting pleasantly lost amid these unmistakably Spanish surroundings is one of the more original things to do in Alicante, and it gives you a real sense of this city’s character.
The landmark buildings in the area include the prestigious contemporary art museum and the town hall – a traditional complex capped by octagonal towers and accommodating some truly grand internal rooms. This is also a very popular wedding destination, with a Dali sculpture and regal staterooms providing ideal backdrops to photographs.
This corner of Spain has a rich and lengthy history of occupation, and the MARQ museum charts the archaeological timeline of the region across a sprawling complex that requires at least half a day to fully appreciate. Its collection of over 80,000 locally-sourced pieces will fascinate history buffs, with interactive displays and videos underpinning the numerous exhibits.
Recharge and Relax
In terms of Alicante attractions, there is nowhere better for relaxing and unwinding than the island of Tabarca. Just five kilometres off the mainland, its waters are a protected marine reserve while the island itself offers a time-capsule glimpse into Spanish history. Known as the ‘pirate island’ due to its long years of occupancy by pirates, the island was then fortified and is now Spain’s smallest inhabited island.
Thick walls circle around a collection of quirky buildings including a solitary church and a lighthouse, with museums and hotels reflecting Tabarca’s significance as a tourist hotspot. With a population of fewer than 60 people, this tranquil island represents one of the most memorable things to do in the area– it can be reached in 45 minutes from the city’s harbour.