Located on the southeastern Costa Blanca of Spain, Alicante is a well-known port city with miles of sandy beaches. Famous for its pleasant weather and climate, Alicante is a popular tourist destination that offers countless attractions, from historical buildings and beautiful cathedrals to medieval castles and art galleries. There is also an abundance of activities to choose from, whether you’re interested in museum hopping, catching sun on the beach, going wine tasting, or enjoying huge fireworks displays.
One of the most visited sites in Alicante, the Castle of Santa Barbara is perched atop Mount Benacantil and offers incredible panoramic views of Alicante and the coastal area. After being renovated in the ‘60s, the castle was reopened to the public as a tourist attraction. Explanada de Espana is the center point of Alicante where many locals and tourists come in the evening to stroll around, enjoy the scenery, and watch the sunset. El Palmeral Park is a great place to bring children due to its extensive playgrounds, but it is also a good place for the avid runner or outdoor enthusiast thanks to its multiple walking trails, lakes and brooks. Alicante Port is a popular spot to walk around and enjoy the scenery, along with Guadalest Valley and Castle. The castle is part of a cute tourist village that offers stunning views of the valley below, and at Guadalest Monastery you’ll catch glimpses of the monks working in the fields surrounded by the gorgeous scenery. Many come to enjoy a tasting and tour of the vineyard and winery at La Bodega del Garroferal, which is on the edge of the Murla village.
Tabarca Island is accessible via daily boat trips and is a popular destination for tourists who come to see the former pirate haunt. The island is now famous for its marine reserve and also has a fishing village, an old fort, a rocky beach, and various seafood restaurants. Ferries depart daily from Alicante’s Santa Pola port and going one-way the boat trip takes approximately one hour. The beautiful city of Murcia is just under an hour south of Alicante by car and has many historical buildings and sites. Cartagena is slightly further, just under an hour and a half south by car, and is a popular port city that thrived during the Roman period.
Depending on the type of accommodation you’re looking for, Alicante has a variety of neighborhoods that each have something to offer. The city’s historic quarter (El Barrio) is close to the beach and is where all of the top restaurants and bars are located, along with boutiques and high-end stores. The central La Zona district is behind the Explanada de Espana and is known for its popular nightlife and entertainment scene. The El Puerto district also is a popular going out spot with bars and clubs and is centered around the marina. Many people also like to stay near the main beach, Playa del Postiguet, which tends to be one of the busiest areas. San Juan de Alicante is a slightly quieter beach area that is near the shops and bars, along with Playa Arenales beach.
Walking is a great and convenient way to get around Alicante, especially since everything is within close proximity. There is also a reliable but route network that connects all of the city’s major points of interest, and there is also a bus service that runs between the airport and city center every 20 minutes. Alicante is also part of the high-speed train network The AVE, and the other common form of transportation is via taxi, of which numerous taxi ranks can be found throughout the city.
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