Alicante Travel Guide

Introduction to Alicante

Alicante is both the capital city, and the name of the largest province on the Costa Blanca. Benidorm, Torrevieja and El Campello are just a few of the picture perfect beach resorts scattered along the coastline.

Alicante has always been linked beach holidays and villas on the coast, but now the city is a hot weekend destination too: cathedrals, caves and castles have given Alicante real cultural clout. Paired with a wide choice of hotels, hostels and apartments in the city and on the sea, Alicante and the surrounding area make excellent travel destinations.

Other things to do in Alicante

You can't ignore Alicante's beautiful beaches and coast line. Whilst La Granadella in Javea has won multiple awards for being Spain's best beach, there are sandy bays all down the coast line to Torrevieja. Santa Pola is also popular destination with windsurfers and kitesurfers.

If you get a little hot under the sun, a trip to Spain's largest underground caves, the Canelobre Caves, are sure to cool you off. These are located 23km away from the city of Alicante.

A little stroll through the Old Town is a great way to be introduced to Alicante, and all it has to offer. Finding your way through the narrow laneways and stopping off at tapas bars along the way could easily take up your whole weekend. The city is set alight, literally, during the Festival of Saint John, when bonfires are lit all up and down the coast. You could also check out Alicante's impressive churches – the Basilica of Santa Maria and Concatedral of San Nicholas provide plenty of photo opportunities.

There are plenty of museums and galleries to choose from in the city of Alicante too. The Archaeological Museum of Alicante and the Gravina Museum of Fine Arts are a window into Spain's royal and artistic past – the Gravina is built inside an 18th Century Palace! Continue your walking tour into the Museum of Contemporary Art to see works from Picasso, Dali and Joan Miro.

If you're ready to leave the city of Alicante, the surrounding countryside has plenty to offer – especially for the kids! The theme parks and aquariums like Mundomar, Aqualandia and Terra Mitica are all within driving distance of Alicante.

The countryside around the city also has plenty of great hiking trails, especially in Aitana and Montgo Massif (it's certainly one way to burn off all the paella!). Keen rock climbers will also find plenty of suitable cliffs in the vicinity.

Ready to jet off? See the top 10 things to see and do in Alicante.

Eating and drinking in Alicante

Whilst the Old Town is beautiful in the day time, it can be just as fun after hours – especially on the weekends. Grab a late dinner in the centre, then make your way down to the marina to wind through the many bars and clubs Alicante has to offer. If you packed your dancing shoes, head to El Puerto, but if you prefer bar hopping until the early hours, El Barrio is ideal for finding late night drinks. Both Spanish locals and travelling crowds head here to let off some steam on Fridays and Saturdays.

Beach bums can enjoy the party too, as it usually carries on to Postiguet and San Juan beaches during the summer months. Kiosks sell drinks right on the beach, so there's no need to leave the shore!

Real foodies should head to the main Mercat off Avenue Alfonso El Sabio. Here, they pile the locally produced veggies, fruits, meats and cheeses high, which make for tasty picnics (and plenty of sampling opportunities!).

La Taberna del Gourmet has actually been voted as Spain's best tapas bar, which has a perfect location on the sea front. Whilst you're here, see if you can find arroz a banda too – this is a rice dish from the Costa Blanca, and often seen as an 'alternative' to paella.

When it comes to dessert, the local favourite is 'turron', a nougat-like sweet made of almonds, honey, sugar and egg whites. You can find these at small sweet shops and confectioners all over the city.

Alicante climate

There's a reason Alicante is so popular, especially the beaches. The city has a mild climate year round, with more than 2,800 hours of sunshine a year. August is the hottest month, whereas January is the coolest at 12°C. You should definitely pack a jumper if travelling in winter, as temperatures can drop fast, particularly at night time. The most rain falls in late September and October.

When to go to Alicante

The best time to visit is between May and October, and whilst the summer months may draw in the family crowds, it's the best time to top up your tan. Renting a car is a great way to move from place to place along Alicante's beautiful coast and countryside.

The Bonfires of San Juan are also a great time to visit Alicante: this is one of Spain's biggest festivals, and it takes place over summer solstice.

Flying to Alicante

Alicante Airport is 16km from the city centre of Alicante, and there are buses to the city from the Airport. There are direct flights here from Kerry, Knock, Cork, Dublin and Shannon. Check flights to Alicante now.

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