It's got sun, sea and sand, but there is much more to Alicante than traditional holiday enjoyment...
The city boasts the reputation of being one of the sunniest on the entire Spanish coast and there are beautiful beaches and promenades to walk along.
With stunning landmarks such as Santa Barbara Castle, which appears illuminated at night, it's a place that's steeped in history as well as having a zesty nightlife offering.
Eating out is a rich and varied experience as the local cuisine relies on the most delicious fresh foods. Regional specialities include fish stews and grilled fish with olive oil. Cured sausages are a delicacy, as is a local soup called oleta. The other main feature of Alicante's food heritage is rice. There are whole restaurants dedicated to producing meals that include this ingredient. The Marina Complex within the city offers some of the best places to eat out. Visitors might want to take note of the blackboards outside of the restaurants that detail the deals and dishes of the day. Of course, visiting anywhere in Spain means that tapas should be sampled at some point and the best places are in the Town Hall Square and the Plaza de Montaceta.
Finding somewhere to stay is simplicity itself. Hotels in Alicante are varied, plentiful and can meet many different requirements...
There is a good range of accommodation in Alicante, from comfortable B&Bs right through to luxurious five-star hotels. Alicante hotels are well known for offering good value for money. Wherever visitors choose to stay within the city, they will always be well positioned to visit some of the best sights and attractions on offer.
For those wishing to have a holiday that takes in artistic, historical or cultural attractions, Alicante is ideal. The best hotels if you want to go sightseeing are in the city centre, near to the attractions themselves, on streets such as Rambla de Mendez Nunez or Plaza Del Ayuntamiento.
You could take a trip to San Fernando Castle, a 10th-century fortress built by the Moors. It is completely free to visit and has everything you would expect from a traditional castle. It's set amongst some of the finest views Alicante has to offer. Similarly, Alicante Cathedral, in Calle de San Nicolas, is well worth a visit. Recently renovated but originally completed in 1662, it offers a sober and atmospheric view of Alicante. It's peaceful, quiet and perfect for moments of solitude.
Other attractions include the Bullfighting Museum, which is situated on Plaza de Toros and the Bonfire Festivities Museum (Museo de Fogueres) on Rambla de Mendez Nunez, where you will find an explanation of the traditions behind the Festival of San Juan, in which intricately made papier-mâché heads are sacrificed to the flames. This festival is held in June to coincide with the summer solstice. It's one of the best times to visit the city for a short break or holiday. However, visitors are best advised to book their flights and accommodation early for this to avoid disappointment.
Any holidaymakers who have more than a passing interest in art might want to pay a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art on Plaza de Santa Maria 3. Hotels near this destination are plentiful and can be found in places such as the Plaza del Puerto. This museum was established in 1976 and houses some of the best examples of 20th-century art by Spanish artists.
However, if a beach holiday for rest and recuperation is what you are looking for then one of the nicest areas to stay is on the Explanada de Espana, which offers a wealth of different hotels that have unrivalled access to the promenade. Areas such as Calle De San Francisco or Calle San Fernanda are perfect for the holidaymaker who wants to be able to enjoy the best in shopping and nightlife but have easy access to the beaches too. For those travellers who are interested in boating or aquatic pursuits, there is a marina, harbour and esplanade that are all within walking distance of the city centre.
When you've had enough of lounging in the sun, consider visiting the attractions of this Spanish city...
Alicante is renowned for shopping, dining, wonderful city beaches and a magnificent array of cultural attractions.
Top five attractions
Santa Barbara Castle
Overlooking the city from its rocky outcrop and home to sublime views of the coast, entrance to the castle is free.
Known in Spanish as the Concatedral de San Nicolas, visitors are wowed by the ornate façade and equally enthralled by the majesty of the interior.
The Museo Taurino is located next to the Plaza de Toros bullfighting ring and offers a look at the world of bullfighting. It is open early until late from Tuesday to Saturday and is closed for the siesta every afternoon.
Museum of Contemporary Art
The MACA, Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Alicante, is a thoughtful space that houses a good number of modern pieces. It's closed on Mondays.
Alicante Provincial Archaeological Museum
The MARQ, Museo Arqueologico Provincial de Alicante, permits a look at a Spain that was via a series of interesting exhibits, with some hands-on multimedia.
There's always something worth celebrating in Spain. Discover what's on in Alicante...
Party nights are frequent in this city of good times and sunshine. These are three of the biggest annual events:
Carnival; February: As is customary across Spain, the arrival of the carnival means weeks of parades, fairground rides and traditional food, drink, music, song and costume.
Bonfires of Saint John (San Juan); June: Bonfires burn and effigies drown in the flames before locals and visitors take a midnight dip in the sea - it's said to defend against evil spirits.
Fiesta de Virgen del Carmen; July/August: Men and women of the sea decorate their fishing boats and honour the patron saint of sailors. A statue of the lady is paraded through the streets before setting sail on the waves, where she is joined by hundreds of onlookers who wade in to join her on the journey.