The new and improved Alicante is now an excellent destination for holidaymakers of all kinds...
With the well-served Alicante Airport (ALC) on the doorstep, Alicante holidays are just a couple of hours away for most UK visitors, with reasonably priced hotels and villas in abundance. Beaches, restaurants and activities are also plentiful in this city destination, meaning that couples and groups are spoiled for choice, while mums and dads have plenty of options, whatever their kids enjoy doing.
Alicante itself is a bustling metropolis located centrally on the Mediterranean coastline of Spain at the foot of the skyline-dominating Mount Benacantil. Its host of attractions are mostly within easy walking distance of each other. Even the historic castle of Santa Barbara at the top of Benacantil has an elevator to take you there and, at just a couple of euros each, makes an inexpensive day out.
Shopping too is serious business in Alicante, which is home to some of the best boutiques, stores and arcades outside of Madrid and Barcelona. And just about every international cuisine imaginable is on offer in the city's restaurants - although local specialities such as paella or cocina levantina should not be missed.
For most visitors, however, Postiguet Beach is by far the biggest draw. Set right in the heart of town it is popular both during the day and at night, when streetlights illuminate the sands.
Alicante's sheltered position means it enjoys hot summers and mild winters...
From May to September, the region basks in average temperatures of around 28C during the day and 19C at night. And while winter evenings can be cool and drop to 5C, daytime temperatures often hit double figures.
Alicante takes great pride in its annual calendar of events...
St Anthony's Day; January: The market of the San Anton neighbourhood comes alive to honour Alicante's patron saint. Farmers lead their prized animals to the bullring to be blessed.
Carnival; February: As carnival season kicks off across Spain, Alicante throws a three-week party. Costumes, floats, parades, food and drink get the streets buzzing with excitement.
Pilgrimage of the Holy Visage; April: One of the most important pilgrimages in the whole of Spain culminates in Alicante, where tens of thousands of people leave offerings at the shrine at the Monastery of Santa Faz.
Bonfires of Saint John; June: In honour of St John, locals herald the start of summer with bonfires and fireworks. Be sure to toast the fires with fondillon - a strong local wine.
Fiesta de Virgen del Carmen; July/August: As the patron saint of sailors, Carmen is enthusiastically honoured in the port city of Alicante. Many fishermen decorate their boats and place a small statue of her on the bow.
There's plenty to see and do in this corner of Spain...
Families: For a break from the beach or lively Alicante streets, try a day at the Monte Tossal Theme Park, where the kids are free to explore an abundance of tiring activities.
Nightlife: If you like staying up late and dancing the night away, Alicante's famous nightclubs are the place to be. The big ones stay open until the sun comes up.
Relaxing: Chill out by spending an easy day at the marina, where you can sit in one of the restaurants or cafés and watch the world go by.