Alicante and the Costa Blanca
An important tourist destination of the Costa Blanca, Alicante is a seaside town nestled along the Mediterranean coast, called the Spanish Levant.
On the heights of Mount Benacantil, a fortified promontory, Santa Bárbara Castle dominates the old town of Alicante, the port and the marina.
The agricultural and industrial hinterland stimulates the commercial activity of the region without forgetting its tourist riches.
Situated in the Sierra del Menejedor, discover the natural park of Carrascal de la Font Roja, as well as those that dot the surroundings of Alicante.
Alicante perpetuates very deep-rooted folk traditions such as the’ Moros y Cristianos’ festival or the feast of Saint John.
Numerous restaurants and bars run alongside the pier of the port, next to which lies the urban beach of El Postiguet. A few culinary specialities including seafood paella and, of course, turrón will delight visitors’ taste buds.
In gastronomy, the region is very fond of rice preparations and has made them into specialities that go well with seafood: fish’ arroz a banda’, cuttlefish cooked in their ink ‘arroz negro’, ‘ arroz al horno’ oven… all accompanied by wines from the Alicante appellation of origin.
A stay in Alicante combines sea activities, historical walks, golf and gastronomy…
Esplanade of Spain
The Esplanada, as it is called here, is considered to be one of the most beautiful walks in the city. It is dotted with palm trees and bordered by a basin of the port.
A popular destination for alicantinos and tourists alike, it has many bars, ice-cream shops and restaurants as well as an open-air auditorium. Six million pieces of three-coloured mosaics in three colours, drawing undulations, line the floor.
Nestled on one side of the Benacantil hill, the park is divided into several areas from where it is possible to walk to the castle of Santa Bàrbara.
To admire the vestiges of the ancient walls of Alicante just a stone’s throw from the Postiguet beach.
This park is located in the extension of the Esplanade de España. Close to the sea, it offers a quiet place in the middle of ficus hundred years old, about twenty meters high.
Located at the southern entrance of the city, it shelters hundreds of palm trees and abundant local vegetation surrounding a lake and waterfalls that can be visited in small boats.
Las Hogueras de San Juan festivities
These festivities dedicated to the fires of St. John’s Day are the most important cultural event in Alicante. These begin on June 20th with the cremation of statues-personnages to finish on the 24th at midnight with the cremà, the coronation of the feast.
After the’ white palm tree’ fireworks, the hogueras throughout the city are burned in a general cheerfulness accompanied by dances and songs, while the fire brigade water the crowd copiously according to the tradition of the banyá.
Elected in May by the district commissions, the festival is endowed with a queen called La Bellea del Foc, the beauty of fire.
Santa Barbara Castle
Caught to the Muslims on the day of the Holy Barbara by the Infant Alphonse of Castile, the castle inherited its name. Renovated under Philip II and bombed several times from the seventeenth to eighteenth century, it was opened to the public in 1963, the same year that two elevators were inaugurated allowing to climb directly inside.
The building consisted of three enclosures: the Torreta with the old keep, in the second one there were the outbuildings, the court of arms, the living room of Philip II, the Revellín del Bon Repós being housed in the third part of the XVIIIth century.
Opening hours: every day from 10am to 8pm, until 10pm from April to September.
Admission: 2,70 €. Free access by the Calle Vázquez de Mella, by the elevator Avenida Juan Bautista Lafora: 2,70 €. Cafeteria. Guided tours.
Provincial Archaeological Museum
Doctor Gomez Plaza
The different rooms of the Archaeological Museum present more than 300 objects from prehistory, Iberian and Roman cultures as well as from the Middle Ages. It also provides information on the archaeological sites of Lucentum, Petracos and Illeta.
Opening hours: Tuesday to Friday from 10am to 7pm (10am to 7pm (10am to 2pm and then 6pm to 9pm from June 15 to September 16, including Saturday), Saturdays from 10am to 8.30pm, Sundays and holidays from 10am to 2pm.
Admission: 3 €, reduced price: 1,50 €. Audio guide, locker room.
Basilica of Santa María
Plaza de Santa María
Built in Gothic style on an ancient mosque in the 13th century, it is the oldest church in town. Reconstructed in the 15th century after a fire, its facade, which stands out thanks to its portal and an image of a Virgin sculpted by Juan Bautista Boria, has adopted a Baroque style. Among its inner treasures: a mastery
65 km northeast of Alicante.
Located in a mountainous massif, Guadalest, whose old quarter is classified as a Historic Site, is about twenty kilometres from Benidorm. You can reach the old 11th century Muslim fortress overlooking the town, San José Castle, through a tunnel dug into the rock.
Guadalest is home to several original museums, such as the Museum of Nurseries and Doll’s Houses, the Museum of Torture Instruments and the Museum of Micro-miniatures. An ethnographic museum and the Municipal Museum’ Casa Orduña’, housed in an ancient stately mansion, complete this journey into the culture of the Guadalest region.
45 km northeast of Alicante.
Known to be a festive destination without any particular charm, Benidorm concentrates the largest number of buildings on the Costa Blanca. A major tourist center of the Spanish Mediterranean coasts, you can find all along its coastline a very large number of tourist accommodations, bars, discotheques…
Callosa d’ En Sarriá
15 km north of Benidorm, 60 km from Alicante.
Surrounded by sierras, this small town was formed around a farm located near the Algar River, known as the river of health for the abundance and purity of its waters and for its waterfalls: the Fountains of the Algar.
You can still admire the remains of the ramparts of the ancient castle occupied by the lords of Callosa until the 18th century.
Renowned, the Callosa medlar plantations have their own appellation of origin. The Moros and Cristianos festival is classified of national tourist interest.
15 km northeast of Benidor.
Casco Antiguo de Altea is a nice fishing village with steep alleys bordered by white houses. From the church square nestled on a hill, the view over the surrounding area is of great beauty. Beaches, restaurants and tapas bars are the assets of this seaside town.
15 km east of Alicante.
Between Alicante and Benidorm, El Campello is a seaside resort with 23 kilometres of coastline divided between beaches and coves, a marina and a yacht club. Large expanses of sand like Muchavista alternate with famous cliffs and coves such as the Coveta Fuma and Venta La Nuza.
On the programme, in addition to swimming: scuba diving in transparent waters, sailing, windsurfing, hiking and visits to the Canalobre caves of great speleological value.
10 kilometers north of Benidorm.
Enclaved in a picturesque and fertile valley of fruit trees and pine forests at the foot of the Sierra d’ Aitana, La Nucia is known throughout the region for its large flea market, which is held every Sunday on one of the main arteries of the locality: Porvilla Avenue.
Its old urban core, structured around the parish church, is made up of a maze of white house alleys from which it is easy to visit the beautiful sites of the Fountain of La Favara or Puig Campana on foot or by bike.
110 km northeast of Alicante.
With its port founded by the Romans in honour of the goddess Diana, Denia, Denia, the main embarkation point for the Balearic archipelago, is nestled between the rocky peak of El Mango and the Mediterranean Sea.
Overcrowded during the summer season, Denia, which has 20 kilometres of coastline, is located at the gates of the Montgó Natural Park, whose cape shows a cliff 163 metres high.
55 km northwest of Alicante.
It was only in the mid-19th century that the ducal city of Villena was included in the province of Alicante. The city is structured around the castle of La Atalaya, first stage on the road to the fortified towns of Castile.
Going down the alleys bordered by white houses of the old town, two Gothic churches are discovered: the Archpresbyteral Church of Santiago (15th century) and the Archbishop’s Church of Santa María (16th century). The Town Hall houses the Municipal Archaeological Museum where you can admire pieces of late Bronze Age silversmithing from the famous Villena Treasure.
55 km north of Alicante.
Enclaved in the landscape of the natural parks of Serra de Mariola and Font Roja, Alcoy is distinguished by its emblematic bridges and medieval heritage. Do not miss the two museums, the Moros y Cristianos and the Archaeological Museum.
The town, marked by its role as a pioneer city of the industrial revolution, has seen its artistic and monumental heritage, inherited from this period, attached to the European Route of Art Nouveau.
In April, Alcoy celebrates the Moros y Cristianos, music, dances and various animations transport the public in the 13th century, more precisely in 1276, the day of the Battle of Alcoy.
The Alcoy area offers numerous hikes along the Green Way in the Barranc del Cint, El Salt, Els Canalons or Racó Sant Bonaventura, ideal places for nature activities.
20 km west of Alicante.
Capital of the Bajo Vinalopó region, Elche preserves in its old town important vestiges of its Muslim past and Baroque architecture.
On the banks of the Vinalopó River, the Vila Murada district, classified as a Historic Site, is the oldest part of Elche. The palace of Altamira, which houses the Museum of Municipal Archaeology, seigniorial houses and the Santa María Basilica, built on the former mosque of the city, is visible.
Inscribed on the World Heritage List, the Elche palm grove, which is part of the 200,000 palm trees, surrounds the old urban layout of Elche. The Huerta del Cura, the parish priest’s garden, which is listed as a National Historic Garden, houses palm trees from all over the world. With its eight arms, the Imperial Palm tree is the most impressive of all.
20 km south of Alicante.
Facing the island of Tabarca, Santa Pola is a small seaside resort that is increasingly frequented by retired people and many British tourists. Santa Pola offers long beaches and an amusement park.