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Alicante is located on the east Mediterranean coast of Spain, bathed by the waves of the Mediterranean Sea. The coastline in Alicante and the area of Valencia is known as Costa Blanca. Many internationally renowned tourist destinations as Benidorm, Calpe, Jávea and Altea are located in the surroundings.
As a Mediterranean city, it has its own distinct personality and a characteristic climate which, together with its beaches and areas of outstanding natural beauty, have made Alicante one of the leading tourist destinations in Spain and Europe.
The average yearly temperature in Alicante is over 18º C and the city enjoys nearly 3,000 hours of sunshine a year. The mild winters and hot summers in Alicante attracts tourists all around the year. The weather in Alicante offers sunshine, beaches and nice bathes and swims in the Mediterranean Sea almost all year, even in autumn and winter. No comments about the summer in Alicante: Everyone knows that summer on Costa Blanca means sunshine, beaches, nightlife and fun.
The city Alicante is open to the rest of the world by way of its port and modern infrastructures such as its international airport, train station and network of roads and motorways, which furnish the city with a constant stream of visitors. Alicante has always known how to adapt to changing times, as demonstrated by its having become the headquarters of the European Union's Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM). It also boasts a comprehensive and varied range of hotels and accommodation that is constantly being renewed and updated, plus modern facilities for hosting conferences. Not to mention a great university tradition. A healthy present and a promising future meld seamlessly with its intense history, which has seen Iberian, Roman and other cultures welcomed to its lands over the centuries: cultures which have left their mark visibly in the area's numerous archaeological sites and in the museums dedicated to keeping their memory alive.
The city of Alicante is accessible by land, sea and air. Motorways, highways and other minor roads enable visitors to reach Alicante by car or coach from the major Spanish and European cities. The international airport of El Altet is located just 10 minutes from the city centre and is one of the main entry points for visitors to Alicante. Travelling by train is a comfortable way to get to the Costa Blanca capital, but if you prefer you can also sail in by boat, as there are crossings between Alicante and a number of Mediterranean cities. In fact, from the ports in Alicante and Denia (a town 90 kilometers to the north), a direct route is run to the Balearic Islands.
The city of Alicante is home to a large selection of museums capable of satisfying the most curious and demanding of intellects. The leading institutions include the MARQ Archaeological Museum, one of Spain's most avant-garde museums due to the innovative way in which archaeology is presented using the most hi-tech audiovisual techniques, earning it the European Museum of the Year Award in 2004. Meanwhile, the MUBAG Museum of Fine Arts has an outstanding collection by Alicante artists from the 16th to the early 20th century. Both museums are housed in traditional Alicante buildings, which have been refurbished for use as cultural spaces.
Other museums in Alicante include the Nativity Scene Museum (Museo de Belenes), which explores Alicante's great nativity scene tradition, the Bullfighting Museum (Museo Taurino) devoted to the world of bulls and bullfighters; the MUA University of Alicante Museum dedicated to contemporary art and the Fogueres Museum, which focuses on the city's biggest and most popular festival, the Hogueras de San Juan.
Most of these museums are located in the old town of Alicante; therefore visiting them is really easy and accessible. As well as museums, Alicante also has a great monumental heritage. Examples include: Santa Bárbara Castle overlooking the Mediterranean atop Mount Benacantil and providing unrivalled sea views; the Santa María Church, a 14th century Gothic temple that houses a priceless documental and artistic collection whose oldest piece is an incunable dating back to the 13th century; the San Nicolás Co-cathedral in the city's historic quarter, which is a church used as a cathedral and a clear example of Spanish Enlightment from the first half of the 18th century; the Town Hall, an 18th century baroque-style palace interesting in that it houses the reference point for measuring the height above sea level of any place in Spain which is known as “cota cero”, and can be found on the first step of the building's main staircase; and the Santa Faz Monastery just 5 kilometers outside the city centre, which is home to a relic brought from the Vatican in the 15th century, which, according to popular tradition, is part of a veil that Veronica used to wipe the bloodied face of Christ on his way to Calvary.
From Santa Bárbara Castle, visitors can walk down to the historic quarter, where most of these buildings are to be found along the route that runs through the Ereta Park, on the same side of the mountain, via the typical picturesque neighbourhood of Santa Cruz. To avoid the steep path that links Santa Bárbara Castle to the bottom of Mount Benacantil, another option is to walk along the remains of the walls that used to surround the castle and now end at the hermitage in the Santa Cruz neighbourhood. Eleven nautical miles from the city of Alicante lies the island known as La Isla de Tabarca, the only inhabited island in the whole Region of Valencia. The excellent quality of its waters and the biodiversity of its fauna have led to its official designation as a Mediterranean Marine Reserve.
The island's most striking feature is its fine-sand beaches and rocky coves, with their crystal-clear waters. Another major attraction is its delicious local Spanish cuisine based on a combination of rice and freshly caught seafood.
Internationally renowned for its health-benefits, the Mediterranean diet is particularly prominent in Alicante thanks to the produce cultivated in its fertile soil and to the fresh fish and seafood caught in its waters. Rice is undoubtedly the main ingredient in most dishes, accompanied by fish and shellfish on some occasions and by meat or vegetables on others. Furthermore, the renowned and highly prestigious local wines complement this exquisite cuisine. Specialities such as “coca amb tonyina”, a succulent tuna pasty, the “coca boba” (sweet) and “coca de molletes” (savoury) are just a few examples of Alicante's culinary richness: a richness that extends to a range of “montaditos” (small sandwiches combining meats and salted fish with vegetables) and, of course, the typically Spanish “tapas”.
The Nature has blessed Alicante with a large number of beaches, which constitute the province's major tourist attraction. Their popularity is owed to the quality of the waters and sand as well as the beauty of the surrounding landscapes. Year after year they are awarded the European Union's blue flag status, whose merited international prestige is evidenced by the thousands of bathers who visit all year round. Summer is naturally the height of tourist activity, with visitors enjoying not only the beaches' natural charms but also the many services on offer (lifeguards, medical services, bars, public transport and such like). From the busiest to the most quiet and remote, Alicante's beaches are undoubtedly the most photographed feature in postcards sent from this city. The best Alicante beaches include El Postiguet, San Juan, El Saladar-Urbanova, La Albufereta, El Cocó, La Almadraba and the beaches at El Cabo de Las Huertas.Visitors to the city of Alicante have many an opportunity to make their trip coincide with one of the many Spanish fiestas dotting the calendar throughout the year. The Hogueras de San Juan bonfire celebrations, the Moors and Christians parades, Carnival, Holy Week, the pilgrimage to the Santa Faz Monastery and Christmas are just some of the occasions to remember on the Alicante fiestas calendar.
Festivals and Fiestas in Alicante
Alicante's most important festival and celebration is Hogueras de San Juan, which kick off on 20th June and last to 29th June. This festival and fiestas are devoted entirely to fire, and the highlight takes place on June 24, the day of Saint John the Baptist, when flames tear through satiric wood and paper mâché figures.
Officially declared Of International Tourist Interest, these fiestas also include one of Spain's greatest bullfighting celebrations. Another very popular festival in Alicante is the Moors and Christians fiestas that are held all over the city throughout the year. These fiestas are commemorations of the battles in Spain between the Christians and the Muslims in the 13th century. Some of the city's most popular neighbourhoods spend several days to celebrate these fiestas, offering a great chance to discover one of the most widespread traditions on Costa Blanca.
Read more about Spanish festivals and fiestas in Alicante: Click HERE!
Shopping in Alicante
Alicante's shop windows offer a blend of modernity and tradition, from the most fashionable and cutting-edge labels to typical local products with a great cultural heritage. All of this is available in luxury boutiques, modern shopping centres and an extensive network of small and medium-sized shops where you will find such local products as “turrón” (nougat), chocolates, sugared almonds, dates, regional wines and spirits, fruit and vegetables and canned fish. Other economic sectors from around the province are also represented here, offering products such as toys and games, footwear, leather goods, rugs, ceramics and wicker goods.
Sports in Alicante
The sunshine and the beaches on Costa Blanca are perfectly complemented by a wide and varied range of sports activities that visitors can enjoy all year round thanks to Alicante's privileged climate. Water sports and golf are among the most popular, and Alicante's many marinas and coastline guarantees possibilities for diving, boat hire, windsurfing and jet biking. The city and its surrounding areas offers no less than four great 18-hole golf courses.
Elche is the Region of Valencia's third largest city in terms of population and is the Spanish footwear capital: Almost all Spanish shoes are made in Elche.
The mere mention of Elche immediately evokes images of its spectacular palm tree grove, El Palmeral, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and of the Misteri, one of Spain's most important cultural events, which has also been acknowledged by UNESCO as an Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity and involves the staging of a sung two-part mediaeval drama held every year on the 14th and 15th August.
Altea is one of the prettiest towns on the whole of the Mediterranean, and is blessed with over 6 kilometers of coastline: long, sandy beaches alternate with secluded coves where sea-lovers can quietly enjoy the views. Altea's old quarter is perfect for ambling through the narrow streets, popping into arts and crafts shops and trying out some of the most charming restaurants in the whole of the province.
Benidorm's raison d'être is tourism which is the focus of daily activity in this fishing village turned cosmopolitan hotspot on the shores of the Mediterranean. Lively by day, at night its beaches are places for heady entertainment, while the Terra Mítica theme park epitomises Benidorm's tourist attractions. Young, old and anywhere in between, Benidorm has a time and a place for everyone.
El Castell de Guadalest
Officially declared a Historical and Artistic Site in 1974, this town boasts a huge number and variety of museums, spectacular views of one of the most stunning valleys on the Costa Blanca and fantastic cuisine so typical of the Alicante mountain areas. It is also home to the popular and iconic San José Castle, accessed through a crack in the mountainside that functions as the gateway to this unique spot.
City Centre Tourist Information Offices in Alicante
Tourist Info Alicante Centro C/ Portugal, 17 bajo Bus Station Tlf. (+34) 965 929 802 Fax (+34) 965 920 112
EXPLANADA DE ESPAÑA Tourist Information Explanada de España, 1, Edificio Carbonell Tlf. (+34) 965 147 038 Fax (+34) 965 215 694
RENFE Train Company Tourist Information Avda. de Salamanca, s/n RENFE Train Station Tlf.: (+34) 965 125 633
Tourist Info Alicante Rambla Méndez Núñez, 23 Tlf. (+34) 965 200 000 Fax (+34) 965 200 243
Tourist Info Playa San Juan, on San Juan beach OPEN DURING SUMMER Playa de San Juan Avda. de Niza, s/n
Tourist Info Alicante Universidad Sociedad de Relaciones Internacionales Universidad de Alicante Campus San Vicente del Raspeig
Alicante Tourist Information - Tourist Information in the City Centre of Alicante Alicante tourist information official website: www.alicanteturismo.com Alicante official tourist information E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Addresses to local tourist offices in Alicante
Calle Portugal number 17 at the Bus Station Phone: (+34) 965 929 802 Fax: (+34) 965 920 112 E-mail:
Explanada de España number 1, Edificio Carbonell Phone: (+34) 965 147 038 Fax: (+34) 965 215 694
Tourist information at the Train Station / Railway Station in Alicante
RENFE Central Train Station Alicante Address: Central Train Station Alicante. Avda. de Salamanca, s/n Phone: (+34) 965 125 633 Website: www.alicanteturismo.com E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Other tourist information offices in Alicante
Tourist Information Office Alicante Centre Rambla Méndez Núñez, 23 Phone: (+34) 965 200 000 Fax (+34) 965 200 243
Tourist Information office Playa San Juan, on San Juan beach in Alicante Please note: The Tourist Information Office at Playa San Juan is open only in high season, through the summer months.
Address to the Tourist information office in Playa de San Juan in Alicante
Avda. de Niza, s/n email@example.com www.alicanteturismo.com Read more about Alicante: Alicante - Visit Alicante - Alicante Travel and Tours >>