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Your Alicante holiday

The first small town in the area that is now Alicante began as far back as 7000 years ago. Most primitive human beings settled near the mountain of Benacantil, where these Iberians were in close proximity to the sea and hill enough above to maintain safety from invasion.

Around 6th century BCE, the armies of Rome and Carthage fought over control of the area of Southern Spain. The Romans gained control and built the city of Lucentum, which is located in present day Alicante. The Moors then arrived and built the Castle of Santa Barbara to protect their stake.

The Castilian King Alfonso conquered the city in 1246. The city was added to the Kingdom of Valencia 50 years later. During the reign of King Fernando, Alicante was an important port for sea trade and the local population increased.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, Alicante was the target of many wars and conflicts due to its position on the coast. It was bombarded during the Spanish Succession as it was in alliance with the Bourbon family, and then suffered destruction during the War of Independence in 1804-1814.

By the 19th century, a railroad had been established and it became connected to the rest of the country. It has since acted as an important port city for commerce. The Spanish Civil War and Franco’s rule hurt Alicante like the rest of the country economically, but today Alicante is the second largest city in Valencia with over 340,000 residents, and has become a primary summer tourist destination for people from all over Europe.

Nothing beats a summer weekend in Alicante along the southern Mediterranean rim. One of Spain’s most popular tourist spots, Alicante combines warm weather with great beaches, swinging nightlife and antique cultural relics.

It is well worth the stop in Alicante to see the stunning views of the city from Santa Barbara Castle and the ageless architecture at some of the many old Christian Cathedrals, and to spend a day golfing, biking, or swimming the beautiful Mediterranean.

Don’t miss the sizzling summer and book your flight to Alicante today.

Top Alicante attractions

El Castillo de Santa Barbara

As one of the largest and most impressive medieval castles in all of Europe, the Santa Barbara Castle rest above the Benacantil Mountain overlooking the city. The Moors constructed the castle in the 10th century, yet its name comes from Castilian Spain’s conquest of the area on Saint Barbara’s feast day.

Cannons, dungeons, and old church artefacts can be seen at the castle. Athletic visitors can hike up the mountain, or the more relaxed can take a car up to the special site. Visitor during the late summer months, you might also be able to enjoy a concert in the castle courtyard.

Ayuntamiento

Architect Lorenzo Chápuli constructed this monumental Baroque architectural work in the 18th century on top of the old central city house. Ornamental elements such as large columns and two towers give this site notoriety.

The interior has large rooms and a chapel for mass. The monument also has different rooms with artwork by celebrated Spanish artists such as Padilla, Cabrera, Amoros, and the local artist Gastón Castelló.

Teatro Principal

This neoclassic theatre gives a history to the arts scene in Alicante. Inaugurated in 1847, the theatre interior is divided into three distinct parts according to contemporary Italian theatre style. The three parts include the dressing rooms, the lower pit, and the stage. The capacity of the theatre is 1072, and is located near Plaza Ruperto Chapí. Guests can see a bit of Alicante history and enjoy a world-class performance from theatre productions, ballet companies, and renowned musicians.

El Museo de Bellas Artes Gravina (MUBAG)

This museum acts as a space for expositions in the Gravina Palace, a building constructed more than 200 years ago. Alicante locals have made all of the artworks shown in the museum from the early periods of the Middle Ages up until the beginning of the 20th century. The great local artwork also comes free of charge for budget travellers.

Tip * Booking your Tours, Transfers & Airport Parking before you go will save your money & time and ensure a stress free start to your holiday

Castle of Santa Bárbara

Ride up the elevator inside the mountain to reach this 16th-century castle that stands on Mount Benacantil in the heart of the city.

Lucentum

Visit the archaeological site where you can see the forum, baths, and houses of the Roman city that preceded Alicante.

Gravina Museum of Fine Arts

This art museum houses paintings and sculptures from the Middle Ages to the 1920s, including works by some of the most important painters from the area.

Explanada de España

This promenade is one of the most beautiful in Spain. It is lined with palm trees and tiled with 6.5 million marble tiles.

Basilica of Santa María

The oldest active church in Alicante is an impressive example of Gothic architecture.

Alicante Museum of Contemporary Art

More than 800 pieces of contemporary art are part of the permanent exhibits in this museum, including works by Picasso and Salvador Dali.

Nativity Scene Museum

A favourite attraction during the Christmas season, this museum is dedicated to nativity scenes depicting the birth of Jesus Christ.

Co-Cathedral of Saint Nicholas of Bari

The primary church of Alicante is also the seat of the bishop.

MARQ

The Museo Arqueológico Provincial has a fine collection of Iberian art and ceramics.

Caves of Canelobre

These tall caves are located just outside of Busot and offer both incredible formations and impressive acoustics.

Insider tips for Alicante travel

El Palmeral Park

The locals love this park that has walking trails, playgrounds, and a concert auditorium.

Alicante City Beach

This beach is very clean and is rarely frequented by anyone but locals, making it especially empty during the middle of the week.

Restaurant Amalia

This restaurant does not cater to tourists, as evidenced by the lack of an English menu, but Amalia is fine dining at its best.

Canalejas Park

This quiet park is perfect for a morning jog or a picnic lunch.

Portal de Elche

This small, green oasis of flowers and stone walkways is tucked between the buildings in Alicante's commercial area.

Best time to go on holiday to Alicante

Alicante has a dry climate, with only about 37 days each year having any significant rainfall. Temperatures during the summer tourist season are hot, averaging over 30°C during the hottest parts of the days. The average lows during the winter stay above 6°C. The city has a vibrant nightlife throughout the year, but much of the social scene tends to drift toward Playa de San Juan during the summer. The Bonfires of Saint John kicks off around the summer solstice and is the most popular festival in Alicante.

Alicante highlights

Soak up the Sun

The first thing visitors to Alicante should do on a nice day is catching some rays and waves along Alicante’s Mediterranean coast. With seven great beaches just in and around the city, tourists from Spain and the world come to Alicante for its warm culture and climate.

One relaxed beach is Calas de Cabo de las Huertas. Just east of the city, this is the spot to avoid crowds and let loose as it is the municipal spot for nudists.

The beach for most locals is the Playa del Postiguet. Located at the base of the Santa Barbara Castle, this beach is known for its palm trees and soft sand. This is a popular spot to see people playing sports like volleyball, and is the easiest to access.

Take a Boat to Tabarca Island

This island is located directly south of the city and can be reached by several boat transports, perfect for a day trip. The boat takes approximately one hour, and once visitors have landed they can enjoy some of the most transparent beaches and coves in the area.

The marine port also has a variety of fine eateries where guest can try the typical island plate called Caldero. Recent developments on the island now offer lodging for guests wishing to escape city life.

Enjoy the Excellent View at C.C. Panoramis

The C.C. Panoramis is a large shopping centre facing the Alicante Bay. All of the top of the line shopping, dining, movie theatres, and arcades for the kids can be found in and around the mall. The best aspect of the shopping centre is its second floor, which offers a great view of the bay, port and Santa Barbara Castle in the background.

Walk the Explanada

A large walkway constructed at the end of the 19th century after the destruction of the walls surrounding the city, this passage way consists of 6,600,000 tiles of three colours, one being the local red Alicante marble. Large palm trees and cosy cafes also line the walkway, which looks out toward the city’s harbour and the Mediterranean Sea.

How to move around in Alicante

Common Forms of Transportation

While Alicante may have desired a better infrastructure of public transportation in the past, the city has recently dramatically improved its transportation infrastructure, with the recent construction of the city tram. In addition to the tram, guests to Alicante can choose between a variety of public transport such as train, buses, and taxis.

Airport Services

The Alicante Airport El Altet is only 11 kilometres from the city centre. To get back and forth, there are various transportation options like taxis or buses. A bus ticket to the centre costs around 2 Euros and a taxi is 15 to 25 Euros depending on the company and location.

Buses

No matter where visitors need to go, taking a bus is always a good option because they go just about everywhere in Alicante. The Alicante bus company is called TAM, and has more than 25 routes throughout the city. The buses also have night schedules allowing for cheap travel at all hours. Cards can be purchases and charged with money for travel.

Trains

The city has two train stations, but the RENFE is the central hub. From RENFE, visitors can catch a train to almost any other city throughout Spain.

Tram

The tram is the most used public transport in the city. Due to the increase in population and tourism, the tram has made visiting important monuments, the beach, and the historic centre of the city easy and cheap. The principal tram station is Marina at Postiguet beach.

Check out our car hire in Alicante offers.

MORE Alicante Hotels

See all 3,684 properties in Alicante
Melia Alicante

Melia Alicante

Plaza del Puerto, 3, Alicante
    4.0 out of 5.0
     
     
    3.9 out of 5 (56 reviews)

    Located in Alicante, this beachfront hotel is in the city centre, 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Postiguet Beach and 1.5 mi (2.4 km) from Castle of Santa Barbara. Alicante ...

    Melia Alicante£114

    Melia Alicante£114
    Eurostars Lucentum

    Eurostars Lucentum

    Alfonso X El Sabio, 11, Alicante
      4.0 out of 5.0
       
       
      4.1 out of 5 (39 reviews)

      Located in Alicante City Centre, this hotel is 0.1 mi (0.1 km) from Central Market and 1.2 mi (2 km) from Castle of Santa Barbara. Alicante Principal Theatre ...

      Grand Luxor Hotel

      Grand Luxor Hotel

      Carretera Benidorm a Finestrat, Benidorm
        4.0 out of 5.0
         
         
        4.5 out of 5 (2 reviews)

        Situated near the beach, this spa hotel is within 1 mile (2 km) of Terra Mitica and Villaitana Golf Course. Terra Natura and Magic Natura are also within 3 miles ...

        Hotel Bahía Calpe by Pierre & Vacances

        Hotel Bahía Calpe by Pierre & Vacances

        Avenida Valencia, 24, Calpe
          4.0 out of 5.0
           
           
          3.6 out of 5 (7 reviews)

          Located in Calpe City Centre, this beachfront hotel is on the boardwalk and within a 15-minute walk of Arenal-Bol Beach and Llavador de la Font. Cala Manzanera ...

          Hotel Bahía Calpe by Pierre & Vacances£71

          Hotel Bahía Calpe by Pierre & Vacances£71
          Hotel Maya

          Hotel Maya

          Canónigo Manuel Penalva, 2, Alicante
            3.0 out of 5.0
             
             
            3.5 out of 5 (8 reviews)

            This family-friendly Alicante hotel is located near the beach, within 1 mi (2 km) of Archaeological Museum of Alicante and Castle of Santa Barbara. Plaza Mar ...

            Hotel Maya£63

            Hotel Maya£63
            Hotel Sercotel Spa Porta Maris

            Hotel Sercotel Spa Porta Maris

            Plaza Puerta del Mar, 3, Alicante
              4.0 out of 5.0
               
               
              4.2 out of 5 (23 reviews)

              Located in Alicante, this beachfront hotel is in the city centre, 0.1 mi (0.2 km) from Postiguet Beach and 1.5 mi (2.5 km) from Castle of Santa Barbara. Alicante ...

              Hotel Sercotel Spa Porta Maris£102

              Hotel Sercotel Spa Porta Maris£102
              El Plantio Golf Resort

              El Plantio Golf Resort

              Ctra Antigua Alicante, Elche km3 (A-79), Alicante
                4.0 out of 5.0
                 
                 
                4.2 out of 5 (15 reviews)

                This family-friendly Alicante resort is located near the airport, 3.1 mi (5 km) from Puerta de Alicante Shopping Center, and within 6 mi (10 km) of Postiguet ...

                El Plantio Golf Resort£58

                El Plantio Golf Resort£58
                Magic Aqua Rock Gardens

                Magic Aqua Rock Gardens

                Calle de Bonn, 6, Benidorm
                  4.0 out of 5.0
                   
                   

                  This family-friendly Benidorm hotel is located by the sea, within a 10-minute walk of Levante Beach, Cala La Almadrava and Casino Mediterraneo Benidorm. Aqualandia ...

                  Magic Aqua Rock Gardens£174

                  Magic Aqua Rock Gardens£174
                  Hotel Playas de Guardamar

                  Hotel Playas de Guardamar

                  Calle Grecia, 1, Playa el Moncayo, Guardamar del Segura
                    3.0 out of 5.0
                     
                     
                    4.5 out of 5 (2 reviews)

                    Nestled on the beach, this Guardamar del Segura hotel is just steps away from Moncayo Beach and Guardamar Dunes Beach. Guardamar Beach and Guardamar Castle are ...

                    Hotel Playas de Guardamar£70

                    Hotel Playas de Guardamar£70
                    Hotel Castilla Alicante

                    Hotel Castilla Alicante

                    Av. de los Paises Escandinavos, 7, Alicante
                      3.5 out of 5.0
                       
                       
                      4.0 out of 5 (7 reviews)

                      Situated in Alicante, this golf hotel is 0.9 mi (1.5 km) from Arena Alicante and within 3 miles (5 km) of Lucentum and Almadraba Beach. Albufereta Beach and ...

                      Hotel Castilla Alicante£74

                      Hotel Castilla Alicante£74
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                      Prices reflect the lowest "base rate" found over the next 30 days. Rates are subject to change and may not include taxes and fees, hotel service charges, extra person charges, or incidentals, such as room service. Converted rates are provided for your convenience. They are based on today's exchange rate, but the hotel will charge you in the local currency. Local charges may apply