The sunny capital of the Costa Blanca — the city of Alicante has taken the best Spanish beaches on the Mediterranean coast, which is marked by special “blue flags”, which are awarded the cleanest beaches in the European Union with well-developed infrastructure. In the summer, guests from all over Spain and Europe come here who want to swim and warm up on the beaches, participate in mass city festivals and have fun in local night clubs. You can drive to the city of Benidorm, located just 40 km away, in order to visit four amusement parks at once. Alicante, obliged to its appearances by the Carthaginians, keeps traces of its rich history, willingly revealing its secrets to visiting travelers.
Alicante International Airport (Alicante-Elche International Airport) — download scheme
УThe following companies provide a car rental service at Alicante Airport: Autoclick, Centauro, Dickmanns Rent a car, Drivalia Car Rental, Europcar, Firefly, Flizzr, GoldCar, Interrent, Keddy, Ok Rent a Car, Record Go, Rhodium, Sixt. Rental car rental desks are located in the arrivals hall. The airport has a short-term (no more than 15 minutes) and a long-term paid parking zone. In some distance from the airport there is an extensive budget parking, from where transfers to the airport building are organized.
The Santa Barbara Fortress is the hallmark of Alicante. Once it was of great strategic importance, and so far it offers the best views of the city and the sea. The first settlement on the site of the fortress on Mount Benacantil appeared in the 9th century. In the XIII century, on the day of St. Barbara, who gave the name of the fortress, the city was conquered by Christians. The ancient fort consists of several levels left over from different historical periods: the Moorish Watchtower, the medieval middle level with a hall, the governor's house and the English bastion, the 16th century armory square with cast-iron cannons and the military corps with a museum of torture. At the bottom is a dungeon. For those arriving at the fortress in a personal or rental car, its walls have a dedicated parking lot.
Plaça Dr. Gómez Ulla
In 2004, the Archaeological Museum of Alicante was awarded the title of the best museum in the world. The walls of the former San Juan hospital contain more than 81 thousand exhibits that open to the visitor in chronological order. A carefully thought-out exposition of the museum using multimedia technologies tells the history of the peoples who inhabited these places: ancient people, Phoenicians, Iberian tribes, Romans; introduces the times of early Christianity and the dark Middle Ages. Of particular interest is the natural cave with rock paintings and the sunken Viking ship.
Plaza Sta. Maria
Basilica of Santa Maria — Alicante's oldest church, built in the 14th century. The old building burned down and the church was rebuilt in the city center on the site of the destroyed mosque. The temple, created in the style of Gothic and Spanish Baroque, has kept works of art from the 15th century. It is especially pleasant to hide in the cool walls of the basilica and examine its decoration, the golden altar of the 18th century and the wonderful organ of the 16th century, during the summer heat.
6801 Hollywood Blvd
The oldest quarter of Alicante, Santa Cruz has retained its unique flavor in its winding streets. In the XIII century, this area was inhabited by Moors, which were supplanted by Christians in the XIV century, immortalizing this in the construction of the Basilica of Santa Maria. Small white houses no higher than three floors, wrought iron grates and many flower pots — here is the image of the quarter of Santa Cruz, whose charm is forever remembered. Particularly noteworthy is the flowering street of Calejon del Agua, over which an aqueduct once passed, due to which courtyards buried in the vegetation appeared.
Calle Ronda del Castillo, 14
San Fernando Castle was built in the 19th century to defend Napoleon’s army, but his defensive capabilities were not useful — Bonaparte deployed troops towards Russia. The powerful fortress, built by Pablo Ordovas Sastre, consists of northern and southern bastions, barracks, bunkers and cellars for long defense and protection against shelling. The castle is surrounded by a vast park — favorite place for locals to walk — Families and teams of football players gather here, romantic dates are appointed. Take the opportunity to climb to the top of the southern bastion for free and enjoy the sunset over the city.
Calle Ronda del Castillo, 14
The central market of Mercado attracts tourists with the interesting architecture of the building, built in 1921, and an abundance of various Spanish products. A walk to it through the historical part of the city through the narrow old streets gives an unforgettable experience and acquaintance with the atmosphere of the Spanish town. In Mercado you can buy meat and delicacies such as jamon, fish and seafood, cheeses, vegetables and fruits. Before closing (closer to 13.00) you can buy at a discount. Market — also a great place to experience the true color of Spain.
20 km from Alicante are former pirate possessions — Island of Tabarka. Now the inhabitants of the picturesque village with snow-white houses live mainly in tourism and fishing, so this place is worthy of using the services of car rental companies and getting here by car, at least for the sake of delicious inexpensive fish and seafood dishes. The island holds many architectural sights of the XIX century. Fans of secrets and legends will appreciate the cave (you can swim to it by boat), where, according to legend, there lived a monster abducting fishermen. The well-equipped sandy beaches, where you can calmly swim in clear water before going to dinner in one of the restaurants on the beach, also attract attention.
For vivid impressions you need to go to the city of Benidorm, 40 km from Alicante. The city housed four parks for every taste and interest: Terra Mitica — amusement park along the way telling about the civilizations that lived in the region, Aqualandia — one of the largest seawater water parks on the Costa Brava, Mundomar — The zoo, which features local marine and exotic animals, can be seen on shows with their participation, and Terra Natura and Aqua Natura — in fact, two parts of one huge park, where the habitat of more than one and a half thousand animals was recreated. You can get from Alicante by tram and it is advantageous to buy a ticket to the parks themselves. On the way, beautiful sea views open. You can also use the car for rent, which is especially convenient when traveling with a large family.
Entertainment — accessible only to car owners or their temporary owners, thanks to the rental companies, since there is no public transport here. Visit to the safari park — a vivid impression that is difficult to forget, because driving through its territory you find yourself almost flush with predatory and herbivores — only the glass of the car separates you. At the end of the trip, you can feed herbivores with food sold in the park. It is worth taking care of insurance from representatives of rental companies, so as not to worry that some playing goat will leave a dent in the car.
The small town of Elche is famous for the fact that its palm grove was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Indeed, such an abundance and variety of palm trees can not be found anywhere. Another attraction of the city rises next to the park — Altamira Castle, preserved from the 13th century. The local cathedral of St. Mary with a spectacular bas-relief at the entrance and a bright blue dome attracts attention.
The city of Alcoy became famous for its vibrant festival “Moors and Christians”, reminiscent of the victory of Christian knights over Muslims on April 23, 1276. On this day, you can see a dramatization of a significant battle and a large-scale costume procession with songs and dances. The festival stretches for several days and attracts not only tourists, but also the Spaniards themselves from all over the country, so seats in the stands should be taken in advance. On the first day, brass bands and acrobats walk around the city, on the second — troops of the Moors and Christians in hand-crafted armor. The third day is dedicated to the patron saint of the city — St. George, in whose honor the church service and theatrical performances in the streets. The holiday ends with Thunder Day, with a cannon fire and a firework exploding the sky. All the following night, citizens and visitors celebrate in local bars until the morning.
Paseo Explanada de Espana 11
On the promenade of Alicante, the restaurant Terre is almost always greets guests. The restrained interior gives way to a bright variety of tastes of Mediterranean dishes. In the evenings, three musicians play jazz. It is worth ordering fish and seafood, which are immediately cooked in an open kitchen and elegantly served to you. To facilitate waiting for an order in a restaurant full of aromas, bring a hot loaf with local butter.
Calle Rafael Altamira 8
You can’t come to Spain and not try the local tapas. Although it’s just snacks for a glass of wine or beer, the chefs have been working for many centuries to create their chefs, creating more and more combinations of tastes. Enjoy Spanish tapas in Alicante at Restaurant D’Tablas, where the true spirit of the bars of Spain reigns. Waiters scrambling with trays constantly offer all new types of tapas, making it possible to get acquainted with almost all Spanish products in one evening.
Avenida Albufereta 98
Restaurant Asador Los Troncos attracts with its cozy fireplace and impressive views. Most locals especially appreciate this place for excellent lively beer and juicy steaks of impressive size. Hamburgers with no less juicy cutlets also deserve attention. Here you can also try local grilled seafood and finish your meal with cinnamon pancakes and chocolate sauce or homemade pie.
2121 E 7th Pl
Daikichi Restaurant is located in the center of Alicante, where the Japanese serve the freshest local fish in the form of sashimi and sushi. Unusual cuisine for these places is popular among residents of the city, so it was worth it to book in advance. Friendly staff will help you deal with exotic dishes and make the right choice based on your preference. Pleasant prices for plentiful portions.
Avenida Elche No 114
Double Room — from € 29
Ibis Budget Hotel is for those who prefer a budget holiday — If you book in advance, you can get a significant discount. The room is always clean, the price includes breakfast. The hotel is convenient for those who rent a car, as Ibis Budget is located near the airport and you need to drive about 5 — 10 minutes. Car parking is free at the hotel.
Rambla Mendez Nunez 9
Double Room — from € 35
Even in the center of Alicante you can find a place for a budget holiday — for example, at the Hotel Rambla, from where you can easily walk to the main attractions of the city. The nearest beach near the mountainside with Santa Barbara Fortress is a 10-minute walk away. In the morning you can have breakfast at the hotel or have a cup of coffee on the promenade in one of the many cafes. Compact rooms are equipped with everything necessary for living.
A small two-star hotel on the outskirts of Alicante offers to spend time in comfortable rooms with a balcony and a swim in the pool located in the courtyard. 5 minutes from the hotel there is also a quiet clean beach. The city center can be reached by bus (about 15 minutes), which stops near the hotel. Locals often choose Mio Cid for weddings and other family gatherings.
If you prefer a luxurious stay in high-end hotels, pay attention to the Porta Maris Hotel & Spa, with access to the beach and beautiful panoramic views of the city and the sea. During the rich varied breakfast you can enjoy the scenery through the glass walls. The old town starts a few meters from the hotel. Relaxation options include a relaxing sauna and spa pool.
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© Anastasiia Goryacheva, 2017