Most visitors to Benidorm will have flown into Alicante Airport, yet many have never seen the city as they’re heading to other holiday destinations on the Costa Blanca. Alicante City offers some excellent attractions and activities for those visiting on a holiday, as well as those visiting on a day out from Benidorm and other holiday spots on the Costa Blanca. The city is less than a 50 minute drive from Benidorm and can be reached via the AP-7 motorway (has tolls) or the N-332 coastal road. There is also a daily bus service from Benidorm that runs approximately every 40 minutes and costs a very reasonable 4.00€
Alicante City lies at the foot of Mount Benacantil with the Santa Bárbara Castle crowning its summit. Most visitors wishing to explore the castle and take in the lovely views over the city and out to sea start in the old part of the city where the beginning of L’Ereta Park is. From here the park makes its way uphill and offers several routes and levels with view points and shady resting areas. The city’s main park, El Palmeral Park is the perfect spot for a picnic with picturesque streams and ponds, various walking trails, children’s play area, and if you are lucky enough to be visiting at the right time, you can enjoy a music concert in the auditorium.
Alicante’s historic past is displayed in a number of museums and art galleries that include the impressive Archaeological Museum of Alicante and the Gravina Museum of Fine Arts, housed in the Gravina Palace. Visitors may also wish to visit the Gothic style Basilica of Santa Maria, Castle of San Fernando and the Baroque Casa de la Asegurada that dates back to 1685 and houses the Museum of Contemporary Art of Alicante.
Wining & Dining
Throughout the city, marina and old quarter there are hundreds of cafes, bars, tapas bars and restaurants where visitors can enjoy a fantastic range of culinary delights, from a free tapa with their drink to a sumptuous meal in a Michelin Star restaurant. Alicante City also offers some of the best shopping on the Costa Blanca and has an abundance if chic boutiques and high street brand shops, as well as large shopping complexes with bars, restaurants and entertainment for all ages.
The large port and cosmopolitan marina area is a lively place to visit both day and night, with regular ferries to the Balearic Islands from the port, and some stunning yachts moored in the marina. The port area is also home to the Casino Mediterráneo and the city’s modern bus terminus. Alicante’s main promenade, Explanada de Espana is one of the most beautiful in Spain and its wave shaped colourful tiles total a staggering 6.5 million. Extending from the port, the promenade is lined with rows of palm trees and all sorts of market type stalls, and is a favourite place with locals and tourists alike for an evening stroll. Here, visitors can view the famous statue of Mark Hersch, and on some evenings be treated to an outdoor concert.
Alicante City Beaches
Beach lovers are in for a treat when visiting Alicante City, with its main beach, Playa de San Juan extending for over 6 kilometres and comprising fine golden sand. There are several other beaches to enjoy, as well as the area of Cabo de las Huertas that has a mix of rocky coves and small bays, excellent for snorkelling. Naturists can choose from 2 areas where they can get an all over tan, Los Judios and El Saladar. All sorts of excellent sporting activities and facilities are available and the marina area has 2 sailing clubs. Indeed, Alicante serves as the headquarters and starting point for the world famous Volvo Ocean Race.