Tourist Information: Alicante
Alicante - a maritime city
Alicante, with more than 320,000 inhabitants, is a traditional maritime city located on the Mediterranean Sea. The old part of the city integrates Postiguet Beach with two marinas and a large commercial port. Whilst strolling along the promenades you will discover other places of interest such as the almost 500 metres-long Explanada with its magnificent palms , its intricate marble inlays of red, cream and black tiles, representing the colours of Alicante; the Canalejas park where hundred-year-old ficus trees stand out between lush greenery; the gardens of Pedro Herrero, from where you can access the Sala Municipal de Exposiciones de la Lonja del Pescado (a large exhibition room in a building where traditionally the fish market used to be), located in a building decorated in 20th century Arabic style which is known as the largest building of the Valencian Community.
The Castillo de Santa Bárbara (Santa Barabara Castle) is by area and amenities one of the biggest castles on the Mediterranean. The castle sits on the summit of the Monte Benacantil, a rocky mass rising imposingly at 166 metres right next to the sea. Its privileged location attracted tribes from ancient times as is shown by the numerous Iberian and Roman traces discovered in this area stemming from the Bronze Age.
The slopes of Monte Benacantil surround the old part of Alicante like a shield. The old part of the city unveils traces from the late Romans, remains of walls from the Medieval times and streets from the Modern Age. El Barrio, as this part of the city is called, is where history meets art and which is well known for its vibrant nightlife. We can begin our tour at the Plaza de la Santísima Faz, situated behind the town hall, walking up the street San Agustín until we reach the Plaza de Quijano which is one of the most ancient squares in Alicante. By crossing the street Pedro Sebastiá, we then reach the street of San Roque, which is the name of the saint of Alicante and where you find the hermitage of the same name which was erected in 1559, rebuilt in 1875 and has recently been restored. Inside San Roque you can admire the Suffering Gipsy Christ – El Patético Cristo Gitano - a statue worshipped greatly by the people living in the quarter of Santa Cruz, the most historic quarter of Alicante.
The island Tabarca is situated opposite the Cape of Santa Pola at a distance of only 11 nautical miles from Alicante. It is the only inhabited island in the autonomous region of Valencia. The most popular beach is the Playa de Levante which stretches over roughly 250 metres. Various ferry lines and boats leave from the harbour and will take you over to the island.
Accommodation, Food & Beverage and Leisure time
Alicante offers a wide range of accommodation possibilities: 1- to 5-star hotels, guest and boarding houses as well as apartments.
In Alicante you can enjoy Mediterranean cuisine at its finest. Fish and seafood fresh from the bay of Alicante, fruit and vegetables from a kitchen garden, a huge choice of rice dishes together with the vinos alicantinos, wines of exceptional quality, which all together make up a complete menu à la carte.
The Hogueras de San Juan, Alicante's main festival which takes place between the 20th and 29th of June, has been officially declared as “of International Tourist Interest”: large wooden and papier-maché figures are displayed in the city's main squares and are set alight on the night of San Juan (24th of June). In the same month the Moros y Cristianos (Moors and Christians) festival is celebrated in various districts of the capital Alicante. In the last week of June the old part of the city recreates ancient times with its Medieval Market.
Other recreational activities include opportunities such as sailing, cruising and diving. Boat hire is also available.
The province of Alicante, endless opportunities
Beach or mountains. Hiking, balloon or airship rides. Alicante offers endless opportunities to enjoy your leisure time.
Elche is the third most important city in the Valencian Community thanks to its population and where the Instituto Bernabeu have a clinic. The town of Elche, with the marvellous Palmeral de Elche (Europe’s largest palm tree plantation) and the sacred representation of the Mystery of Elche, has been declared “Human Patrimony” by UNESCO as well as “Masterpiece of Oral Heritage and Intangible by Humanity”.
The mountains of Alicante are a good choice for those who love nature and hiking or hill-walking. In 1987, the Generalitat Valencia established the 2450 acre Natural Park of Carrascar de la Font Roja, situated close to the city of Alcoy, in the north of Alicante.
Alcoy, with more than 60,000 inhabitants, is only a few kilometres away from Alicante. It is famous for the Sant Jordi festivals of Moros y Cristianos which are declared as of “International Tourist Interest” and are celebrated in April.