Travel Guide Europe Spain Valencia Alicante

edit

Introduction

Watching Life Go By

Watching Life Go By

© All Rights Reserved robjwood

Alicante is a city in the autonomous region of the Valencian Community and is the capital of the province with the same name. The city itself has about 335,000 inhabitants and is a historical Mediterranean port city, while the total urban population would be over 750,000 according to recent statistics, making it the 8th largest metropolitan area in Spain.

Top

edit

Sights and Activities

The old town of Alicante is roughly the triangular area enclosed by the Rambla de Méndez Núnez, the Explanada de Espanya, and Mount Benacantil. Largely tourist-friendly, the old, narrow streets make for an enjoyable wander provided you don't get yourself lost. Here you'll find the town hall, cathedral, an old covent, and several art museums.

  • Castle of Santa Bárbara – This castle was built in the 9th century and was a fortress for the city when Muslims were in control of Iberian Peninsula. It has gone through many sieges, and was even a prison at one time, but it is now open to visitors.
  • Archaeological Museum of Alicante - This museum, which is also known as MARQ, displays many archaeological artefacts, with some being permanent displays and other being temporary. There is also an area which is dedicated to teaching archaeological techniques, for those who are interested.
  • Gravina Museum of Fine Arts - This museum is located in the grounds of the Gravina Palace and it is dedicated to artists and artwork around Alicante. As well as paintings, you will also find sculptures, with all the displays ranging anywhere from the middles ages until the 20th century.
  • Tabarca Island - Located around 18 kilometres from the mainland is Tabarca Island, which is a marine reserve. This is a great place to see many different species of fish. There are boats located in the Alicante harbour that will take you to this island daily, with a trips taking around 1 hour each way.
  • Canelobre Caves - Located approximately 20 kilometres from Alicante are the Canelobre Caves. These are the largest and deepest caves in the whole of Spain, and it has a famous vault that is 70 metres in height, which is shaped like a Cathedral. You will find many stalactites and stalagmites in these caves as well as small insects and animals. This is great to visit in the summer months as the caves are cool and damp.
  • San Juan Playa - This is the most famous beach in the city and it is well worth a visit if you are on a beach holiday. The sand is white, with many palm trees dotted around, and in the background, you have views of the Sierra Mariola and Sierra de Callosa mountain ranges.
  • Basilica of Santa Maria - This is one of the most famous churches in the city and it has a complex history. It was built somewhere between the 14th and 16th century, but on top of a ruins of a mosque. This church is still active today (it is the oldest active church in Alicante), so whilst it is open to visitors, visitation times are outside of the hours when masses are held.

Top

edit

Events and Festivals

Top

edit

Weather

Alicante has a warm Mediterranean climate. Summers last from late May to September when average daytime temperatures are between 28 °C and 32 °C (highest recorded is over 40 °C though) and nights are around 18 °C to 20 °C. Hardly any rain falls during the months of July and August. Winters last from December to February with daytime temperatures just below 20 °C! Nights are between 6 °C and 8 °C with an all-time low of -4.6 °C. September to November sees most of the rain, averaging around 45 mm a month, though it can be dry as a bone, as recent years proved. Because of its climate it's a popular place for many Northern Europeans to spend winter.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max16.8 °C17.8 °C19.2 °C20.9 °C23.6 °C27.2 °C30.1 °C30.6 °C28.4 °C24.4 °C20.4 °C17.6 °C
Avg Min6.2 °C7 °C8.2 °C10.1 °C13.3 °C17.1 °C19.7 °C20.4 °C17.8 °C13.7 °C10 °C7.3 °C
Rainfall22 mm26 mm26 mm30 mm33 mm17 mm6 mm8 mm47 mm52 mm42 mm26 mm
Rain Days656774224666

Top

edit

Getting There

By Plane

Alicante Airport (ALC), about 9 kilometres from Alicante, is even bigger than the airport in Valencia, making this a good alternative if you are going to visit the region.

Many lowcost airlines serve the city with Ryanair having flights to/from Aarhus, Basel, Billund, Birmingham, Bologna, Bournemouth, Bratislava, Bremen, Bristol, Brussels South-Charleroi, Derry, Sheffield, Dublin, Durham Tees Valley, East Midlands, Edinburgh, Fez, Gdańsk, Glasgow-Prestwick, Gothenburg, Frankfurt-Hahn, Haugesund, Karlsruhe, Knock, Leeds, Lille, Liverpool, London-Gatwick, London-Stansted, Lübeck, Maastricht/Aachen, Marrakech, Memmingen, Milan-Orio al Serio, Oslo, Palma de Mallorca, Paris-Beauvais, Pisa, Santander, Santiago de Compostela, Shannon, Stockholm-Skavsta, Airport Weeze (near Düsseldorf), Wroclaw, Zaragoza.

Easjet has quite a few flights as well, and there are many more budget airlines and some regular airlines that have flights, mainly to countries in the west and north of Europe and some domestic flights.

To/from the airport

  • Bus: Subus and Alsa provide excess to the airport by bus. The first one to/from Alicante and Elche, the latter one to/from Benidorm and Murcia.
  • Taxis and car rental facilities are available at the airport as well.

By Train

RENFE Cercanias (Cercanias are commuter rail systems in metropolitan areas in Spain) has services from Alicante to its suburbs and to Murcia. RENFE has regular services to Madrid and Barcelona. Alicante Tram has services along the Costa Blanca to Benidorm and further on to Denia in the near future.

Tram Alicante (el Trenet) operates a light rail train connecting all major settlements along the coast between Alicante and Dénia, with the exception of Xábia. Benidorm is a changeover point for destinations further north. For travelers with smartphones, there is a helpful official app (iPhone and Android) with a route planner and timetables. A single journey costs €1.35-7.15, depending on distance. Guide dogs and small pets in carriers are permitted. The tram service along the coast is enjoyable and reasonably priced. When going from Alicante to Benidorm, sit on the right side of the tram to get a sea view. The ticket price between Alicante and Benidorm is €3.75 (2013). In case you don't want to practise Spanish (why? You're in Spain!), get a ticket from automatic vending machines, which are equipped with an English-language interface. If you plan to return the same working day, get a round-trip ticket right away with small discount. As always, keep the ticket until the end of journey. On some stations (including all stations in Alicante) you will need the ticket to exit from the system.

By Bus

Eurolines has buses to other places in Spain and quite a few cities/countries in Europe, as well as to Morocco.

By Boat

Algeria

Balearic Islands

Top

edit

Getting Around

By Car

Taxi rates are regulated and most tourists find them affordable. A number of taxi stands (sitios) are located in various places, including by the bus station, the train station, and the Explanada de España.

By Public Transport

Public transportation is provided by trams (described above) and buses. Visitors intending to use both systems may want to consider purchasing a rechargeable Bono Móbilis Multiviaje card, which costs €8.70 for 10 rides plus €2 for the plastic card; discounted youth and senior Móbilis cards are also available.

The card can be purchased at the main 7 TAM Office (C/ Díaz Moreu 6, tel. +34 965 140 936, M-F 09:00-19:00, Sa 10:00-13:00), at the central bus station (M-F 08:30-14:00, 17:00-19:00), and at a number of shops throughout the city.

Subus Alicante operates an expansive network of bus routes, with bus stops at key locations including the train station, airport, shopping centres, and major sights. On most routes, buses run from 06:30-22:30, with extended hours on weekends. There are also a number of night routes. A single ride costs €1.45 (2016), payable in cash directly to the driver on entry; drivers can give change for bills €20 or less.

Top

edit

Eat

As with the rest of Spain, breakfast is usually light, usually some sort of bread (e.g. toast) or piece of bakery. Traditionally, a hearty meal in the early afternoon is followed by a siesta as the heat builds. Many restaurants are then closed between 16:00-21:00. A light meal is taken once the sun goes down, often in the local tapería if you are a visitor. Many restaurants don't open before 21:00 for dinner, so bear this in mind when planning your dinner schedule.

As elsewhere in the region, seafood and rice dominates, with paella in the frontline. In almost every restaurant, you will find a menú del día ('menu of the day') or a similar special for €10, a three- or four-course meal with or without a drink. This is an excellent way to economise if you want to splash out later.

In tourist areas, you'll have no problem finding UK fare served at earlier times, if you find yourself intimidated by the local cuisine. Restaurants of all price ranges are clustered around Carrer Castaños (near the theatre), Calle San Francisco and Calle Mayor (near the cathedral).

Top

edit

Drink

El botellón, literally, 'the large bottle', is a custom among young people in Spain, in which they buy 2-litre bottles of soft drinks and mix into them hard liquor, and then stand or sit around drinking in parking lots and other public places. This is to avoid the high cost of drinks in some bars and clubs. There are many organizations which organise and advertise the party scene of the Barrio, such as BarrioLife.

The Barrio (aka Casco Antiguo) is the centre of nightlife in Alicante, with bars like John Mulligan's, Carpe Diem, La Antigua, and ¡¡Ay, Carmela!!; there is never a dull night in this small Spanish city. Drinks are cheap, and shots are sometimes free.

Another focal point is the eastern rim of the marina, called Puerto, in and around the Casino Mediterráneo, where things start and end later - a typical night can end at around 07:00 or 08:00. As this part of town has a bad reputation at night, most nightclubs here hire their own security who also act as bouncers. Especially at dawn party goers should take care, as theft is common.

Top

edit

Sleep

View our map of accommodation in Alicante or use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

Top

Top

edit

Keep Connected

Internet

Internet is widely available within Spain. Most airports have wifi-zones and in most towns there are internet cafés or shops where you can use internet for a fixed price. Wi-Fi points in bars and cafeterias are available after ordering, and most hotels offer Wi-Fi connection in common areas for their guests.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The international access code for Spain is +34. The emergency number for police, ambulance and the fire brigade is 112.

In cities you can find plenty of public phones, and 'locutorios'. The latter are small shops where you can use the phone and use internet. Most of them also sell prepaid cards for mobile telephones. These shops are used a lot by foreigners to call to their mother country.

The main mobile network operators in Spain are Yoigo, Vodafone, Movistar and Orange, as in most of Europe voice and data coverage is generally good in urban areas however it can be patchy in rural locations. Cheap mobile phones (less than €50) with some pre-paid minutes are sold at FNAC or any phone operator's shop (Vodafone, Movistar, Orange). Topping-up is then done by buying scratch cards from the small stores, supermarkets, vending points (often found in tobacco shops) or kiosks.

Post

If you want to post a card, you can head to the post office (Correos). The Spanish post is not yet as efficient as colleagues in other countries so receiving a card can take a bit longer than the number of days that it should take. On the website of Correos, you can find the locations of nearby post offices.
Post offices are generally open from 8:30am to 2:00pm, although times will vary according to the size of the city/town and the main post offices might be open until the early evening. Most will also open again on Saturday mornings, but in the smaller towns will close as early as 12 noon. When posting a letter, look for a yellow box and, if possible, post at the post office itself where there will also be divisions for local, national and international mail. Be prepared for long queues at the post office. This is why tobacco shops sell stamps and many will also have the facility to weigh packages. Standard letters/postcards of up to 20 grams sent within Spain are €0.34. However, non-standard letters/postcards of up to 20g are €0.39. Letters/postcards of 20 to 50 grams are €0.45. In the case of international shipping, the price is €0.64 to most countries within Europe for standard envelopes (letters/postcards) up to 20g, for a few European countries and outside Europe it is €0.78. If you want to send a package you are probably better off with a private courier company like TNT, DHL or UPS, as they offer quick and reliable services against competitive prices.

Top

Quick Facts

[edit]

Coordinates
  • Latitude: 38.346041
  • Longitude: -0.484756

Accommodation in Alicante

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Alicante searchable right here on Travellerspoint. You can use our map to quickly compare budget, mid-range or top of the range accommodation in Alicante and areas nearby.

Contributors

as well as ClaudiaFu (10%), Hien (5%), Peter (2%)

Alicante Travel Helpers

We don't currently have any Travel Helpers for Alicante

This is version 90. Last edited at 8:35 on Nov 20, 17 by Utrecht. 100 articles link to this page.

Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, content of this article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License