Alicante, a city on Spain’s stunning Costa Blanca, is a treasure trove of history, culture, and natural beauty. With its pristine beaches, historic landmarks, and vibrant culinary scene, there’s no shortage of experiences to satisfy every traveler’s taste. Are you ready to uncover the secrets of this Mediterranean gem? Let’s embark on a journey to explore 20+ must-see attractions in Alicante, Spain!
- Explore Alicante’s rich history, culture and attractions with Santa Barbara Castle, Postiguet Beach & the Archaeological Museum.
- Taste local flavors at Mercado Central or explore Elche Palmeral – Europe’s largest palm grove.
- Experience a unique adventure in Alicante with golfing, boat trips and Las Hogueras de San Juan Festival!
Santa Barbara Castle: A Historic Landmark
Perched high above Alicante, the Castillo de Santa Barbara offers a fascinating glimpse into the city’s history. This 9th-century fortress, with its unique blend of Islamic and Renaissance influences, was initiated by King Alfonso X of Castile in the 13th century. Marvel at the castle’s stunning architecture as you explore its ancient halls and courtyards, but don’t forget to take in the breathtaking panorama of the city and the Mediterranean Sea from the battlements.
A visit to Santa Barbara Castle isn’t complete without experiencing its delightful beer tasting. Sip on local brews as you enjoy the spectacular views of Playa del Postiguet and Alicante city center. If you’re in the mood for a leisurely stroll, the castle is just a short walk from the charming Barrio Santa Cruz, where you’ll find narrow, winding streets lined with colorful houses and lively cafes.
Postiguet Beach: Sun, Sand, and Scenery
Located in the heart of Alicante, Playa del Postiguet is an urban beach that boasts golden sand and inviting warm waters, perfect for sunbathing and swimming. Conveniently situated near the majestic Castillo de Santa Barbara, the beach offers a range of exciting amenities such as restaurants, public toilets, showers, and beach volleyball areas, making it a popular spot for both tourists and locals alike.
The atmosphere at Postiguet Beach is both tranquil and picturesque, with stunning views back to the majestic walls of Santa Barbara and breathtaking coastal vistas. After a day of sun and surf, take a leisurely stroll along the nearby Explanada de España promenade, lined with palm trees and offering an array of dining options.
Experiencing Alicante’s Old Town: Casco Antiguo
Step back in time as you wander the charming streets of Alicante’s old town, Casco Antiguo. This picturesque area, including the Santa Cruz neighborhood, is known for its narrow streets, colorful houses, and beautiful views. As you stroll through the cobblestone lanes and admire the whitewashed walls, you’ll feel the vibrant energy of Alicante’s past come alive.
Casco Antiguo is home to several historic landmarks, including the stunning Basilica de Santa Maria and the iconic Alicante Town Hall. Stop by one of the cozy cafes or restaurants to sample delicious local cuisine and soak up the delightful atmosphere of this enchanting part of the city.
Delve into History at the Archaeological Museum
Unearth Alicante’s rich history at the Museo Arqueológico Provincial de Alicante (MARQ). This incredible museum covers prehistory, the classical period of antiquity with Greek, Roman, and Iberian artifacts, and the Middle Ages, offering a treasure trove of knowledge about the local culture and history of Alicante.
The museum offers a variety of exhibits, ranging from common everyday objects to intricate gold jewelry and stunning works of art. In particular, the museum displays tools, weapons, and pottery. Enhance your experience with the museum’s interactive displays, audio-visual presentations, and educational programs, providing an engaging and immersive exploration of Alicante’s past.
Contemporary Art Museum: A Modern Masterpiece
Experience the vibrant world of modern art at the Contemporary Art Museum, housed in Alicante’s oldest secular building and founded by renowned sculptor Eusebio Sempere. The museum’s permanent collection features an impressive array of paintings, sculptures, and drawings by celebrated artists such as Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Salvador Dali, Juan Gris, and Julio González.
With a focus on talented artists from the Valencia region, the museum proudly showcases art from the 20th and 21st centuries, offering a captivating insight into the evolution of contemporary art. Don’t miss this modern masterpiece when you visit Alicante.
Taste Local Flavors at Mercado Central
For a true taste of Alicante’s culinary culture, head to the Mercado Central de Alicante. This lively indoor market is situated in the vibrant heart of the old town and features an incredible selection of over 300 stalls offering fresh produce, seafood, meats, cheeses, and other local delicacies.
The market is divided into sections, with the delightful fish market, scrumptious meat market, and vibrant fruit and vegetable stalls offering a feast for the senses. After browsing the market’s offerings, stop by one of its restaurants or tapas bars to sample traditional Spanish dishes, or take home some wonderful local products to enjoy later.
Basilica of Santa María: Alicante’s Oldest Church
Visit the Basilica of Santa Maria, the oldest church in Alicante, built in the 13th century to commemorate the recapturing of the mosque from the Moors. Admire the stunning baroque facade, majestic gothic arches, and spectacular rococo altar that showcase the church’s rich architectural history.
Inside the Basilica, discover remarkable artifacts such as a stunning 14th-century statue of Santa Maria and an impressive book printed in the 13th century. Don’t forget to marvel at the exquisite image of the Virgin Mary outside the church, crafted by talented local sculptor Juan Bautista Borja.
Coastal Watchtowers: Defending Alicante’s Shores
Travel back to a time when Alicante’s shores were protected by a series of coastal watchtowers. Built from the 1500s onwards, these towers were strategically placed to defend the city from Barbary Pirates. Today, thirty of these impressive structures still stand strong in the Huerta de Alicante, offering a glimpse into the city’s turbulent past.
As you explore these historic sites, imagine the watchful eyes of the tower guards scanning the horizon for pirate ships and the echoing sound of warning bells ringing through the air. The coastal watchtowers serve as a reminder of Alicante’s history and the ever-present need to protect its shores.
Golfing in Alicante: Tee Off in Style
Alicante is a golfer’s paradise, boasting 15 courses located around the province, each offering a unique challenge and spectacular scenery. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, there’s a course to suit every skill level and preference.
Some of the incredible courses available include Las Colinas Golf & Country Club, Font del Llop Golf Resort, and La Finca Golf. So grab your clubs and tee off in style, surrounded by the natural beauty of Alicante’s stunning landscapes.
Boat Trips: Cruise the Mediterranean
Discover the sparkling Mediterranean Sea from a new perspective with a boat trip in Alicante. Choose from short cruises that explore different parts of the coast, or embark on a day trip to the enchanting Tabarca Island.
Tabarca, a small walled community, is renowned for its clear waters and excellent snorkeling opportunities, with a marine reserve teeming with a variety of fish and marine life. Stroll through the island’s charming narrow streets, admire the beautiful harbor, and savor delicious fresh seafood at one of the island’s local restaurants.
For more adventurous travelers, consider combining your boat trip with other exciting water activities, such as kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding. No matter your preference, a boat trip in Alicante promises a memorable experience on the Mediterranean Sea.
Elche Palmeral: Europe’s Largest Palm Grove
Take a break from the bustling city and immerse yourself in the serene beauty of Elche Palmeral, Europe’s largest palm grove. Located just a short drive from Alicante, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is home to over 200,000 palm trees, creating a tranquil oasis amid the region’s arid landscape.
To fully appreciate the natural beauty of Elche Palmeral, follow the walking route that meanders through the grove, passing by historic buildings and picturesque gardens. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the unique sight of these majestic palms swaying gently in the breeze.
Alicante’s Culinary Scene: Savor Local Cuisine
In Alicante, the late lunch is the biggest meal of the day, while dinner is light and typically enjoyed in the company of family and friends. The city’s culinary scene reflects its rich history and diverse influences, with rice dishes being a local specialty. Be sure to try arroz a banda and arroz al horno, two delicious rice preparations that showcase the region’s flavors.
Another popular local treat is turrón, a delectable nougat made from honey and almonds. This sweet delicacy makes for a perfect souvenir to bring back home or enjoy as a tasty snack while exploring Alicante.
For a more immersive culinary experience, consider embarking on a vineyard tour to sample a variety of Spanish wines, learn about the history of winemaking in the region, and discover the unique characteristics of Alicante’s local wines.
Beach Excursions: Discover Hidden Gems
Venture beyond the city center to uncover some of Alicante’s hidden beach gems. To the south, you’ll find Saladar Beach, a 1600-meter-long stretch of golden sand with little tourist development. This tranquil beach offers a peaceful escape from the bustling city, allowing you to unwind and soak up the sun in a more secluded setting.
Head north to discover Playa de la Albufereta, a spotless bay framed by resort towers and offering gentle, inviting waters. While not as secluded as Saladar Beach, Playa de la Albufereta’s pristine shoreline and calm atmosphere make it a perfect destination for a relaxing beach day.
Adventure Activities: Get Active in Alicante
Alicante offers a plethora of adventure activities for thrill-seekers and outdoor enthusiasts. From sea kayaking along the rugged coastline to canyoning in the breathtaking L’Estret de les Penyes gorge, there are no shortage of exciting ways to explore the region’s natural beauty.
For a truly unforgettable experience, take to the skies with a tandem paragliding flight, soaring above Alicante’s stunning landscapes and capturing breathtaking views of the city and the Mediterranean Sea.
If you prefer a more leisurely adventure, join a vineyard tour to sample some of Alicante’s finest wines and learn about the region’s rich winemaking history. No matter your interests, Alicante offers a wealth of adventure activities to suit every traveler’s taste.
Celebrate Tradition at Las Hogueras de San Juan Festival
Experience the vibrant spirit of Alicante during Las Hogueras de San Juan, a four-day festival celebrated with large bonfires and the burning of specially-designed cardboard sculptures. The festival, which takes place up to the 24th of June, is a time for locals and visitors alike to come together and celebrate Alicante’s rich culture and traditions.
One of the festival’s highlights is the Cremà, an exciting event where the carefully crafted sculptures are set ablaze, filling the night sky with a mesmerizing display of light and color.
To make the most of your visit during Las Hogueras de San Juan, be sure to book your accommodation well in advance, as the city fills with eager festival-goers.
From historic landmarks and pristine beaches to vibrant festivals and thrilling adventure activities, Alicante truly offers something for everyone. With its rich history, diverse culture, and stunning natural beauty, this Mediterranean gem is waiting to be discovered. So pack your bags and get ready to explore the captivating world of Alicante – a journey you’ll never forget!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Alicante worth going to?
Alicante is a must-visit destination! It offers its visitors a chance to experience its rich history and heritage, magnificent castles, stunning beaches and coves, amazing restaurants with contained prices, wonderful nightlife, amazing weather throughout the year, charming old towns, beautiful landscape, incredible sunsets, friendly locals, shopping opportunities, exciting festivals and golf courses, and more. You’ll have an unforgettable trip to Alicante!
Is Alicante a nice part of Spain?
Alicante is an incredibly captivating and charming part of Spain, renowned for its stunning beaches and vibrant atmosphere. Its diverse attractions such as its historical sights, spectacular art galleries and delicious cuisine make it the perfect destination for a holiday! Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach break or an action-packed adventure, Alicante has something for everyone. With its stunning coastline, vibrant nightlife and rich cultural heritage, it’s no wonder.
Which is better Alicante or Benidorm?
Alicante and Benidorm are both beautiful cities in the province of Valencia with a lot to offer visitors. However, if you’re looking for a more sophisticated atmosphere, Alicante is the better choice as it offers a culturally rich and historically significant environment. Benidorm, on the other hand, is best suited for those seeking more of an old-fashioned fishing village vibe. Ultimately, both offer their own unique experiences and charm, so it’s really up to you which one you choose!
Is Alicante city good for a holiday?
Alicante city is a perfect destination for those who enjoy relaxation, sightseeing and great food. With stunning golden sand beaches, rich cultural attractions and vibrant atmosphere, it’s a delightful destination offering something for everyone. Whether you are looking for fun days out or more laid-back activities, Alicante is the place to be!
Hotels in Alicante
Discover Valencian CommunityEach region of Spain is divided into provinces. Their names often coincide with the names of their main cities. Valencian Community is divided into three provinces, each of which has different tourist attractions and interesting places to offer:
|Province||Tourist attractions and interesting places|
|Valencia||City of Arts and Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias), Valencia Oceanarium, BIOPARC Valencia, Mercado Central in Valencia, Turia Gardens. Popular cities: Valencia|
|Alicante||Santa Barbara Castle (Castillo de Bárbara), Canelobre Caves, Explanada de España, Volvo Ocean Race Museum, Puerto de Alicante, Terra Mítica Amusement Park, El Peñón de Ifach Natural park, beaches in Alicante (i.e. Playa del Postiguet, Playa de San Juan), beaches in Torrevieja (i.e. El Cura, Playa de la Mata, Playa de los Locos), Granadella (Playa de la Granadella) in Jávea.Popular cities: Alicante, Benidorm, Torrevieja, Jávea, Santa Pola, Elche, Villajoyosa, Calpe, El Campello, Altea, San Juan de Alicante, Guardamar del Segura, La Marina, San Miguel de Salinas, Sant Vicent del Raspeig, Pilar de la Horadada, Cabo Roig, Ciudad Quesada, L'Alfàs del Pi, komarka Baix Vinalopó|
|Castellón||Popular cities: Castellón de la Plana|