The city: Alicante
A top flight holiday destination, lapped by Mediterranean waters, Alicante offers splendid beaches, with a wonderful, unbeatable climate, with an annual average temperature of 18ºC and more than 2,900 hours of sunshine every year.The city is a mixture of traditionalism and modernity, leisure and business, fun and studying, combining beaches and mountains within the same urban landscape, not to mention its nearby island, Tabarca, the only inhabited island in the Comunidad Valenciana and home to an exquisite sealife centre.
Beaches and Coves:
All 8 of its beaches have been awarded European Union blue flags, for the quality of their waters, their cleanliness and the facilities they offer. Of these, it is particularly worth mentioning Playa de San Juan with 8km of fine sand, considered one of the most beautiful beaches in Spain.
Alicante is home to the spectacular OAMI office block (European Union's Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market), overlooking the Mediterranean, as well as the Institución Ferial Alicantina and the University of Alicante. Over the last few years the great dynamism of its business, commerce and university has encouraged conferences and festivities to take place there, which have gained considerable prestige as a result of the city's professionalism.Numerous golf courses are located on the outskirts of Alicante (Alicante Golf, Golf Club Alenda, Campo de Golf Bonalba, and Club de Golf El Plantio), with the nearest one situated at Playa San Juan.
Alicante sailing club provides watersports fun for everyone and offers a whole range of sailing and sporting activities. You can go on an excursion to the isle of Tabarca on a motorcycle, take diving and sailing lessons, and much more.
The local cuisine plays an important role in what the city has to offer, with paella, fish and salted meat and fish revealing the city's seafaring character.
The city comes alive at night:
El Barrio, the name by which the old town is known, has pubs, bars and restaurants with a friendly atmosphere, as well as nightclubs playing live music, especially jazz. The younger people congregate in La Zona, which backs onto the Explanada.
The Ruta de la Madera, behind the Mercado Central, offers more alternative venues.
The Port offers the latest in entertainment, with a wide range of venues that cater for everyone’s taste, whilst over the warmest months, the Playa de San Juan becomes electric.
Places of interest
Museo Arqueológico, MARQ
Prepare yourself for a trip back in time, exploring the Prehistory of Alicante province; submerge yourself in Iberian and Roman civilisations and find out what life was like in the Middle Ages. This is a new cultural and leisure centre where state-of-the-art technology will help you gain an insight into other eras and cultures.
Castillo Santa Bárbara
Located at the top of Monte Benacantil, it is accessed from Playa del Postiguet via a lift carved into the side of the mountain. Its summit, the site of the old fortress, offers panoramic views over the city and La Bahía.Further information
This museum is located at Alicante Bullring. It is a permanent exhibition devoted to the best-known matadors of the region, including Vicente Blau, Francisco Antón, José María Manzanares and Luís Francisco Esplá.
Festivals of interest
Semana Santa [Holy Week]
Nearly thirty hermandades and cofradías (brotherhoods and fraternities) take part in the event. The most moving procession passes through the district of Santa Cruz on Holy Wednesday: people go shoulder-to-shoulder through the narrow streets, retracing the steps of Christ the Captive, Christ Expiring, Christ Descending from the Cross and Our Lady of Sorrow. On Holy Thursday, the Procession of Silence takes place and the city's most treasured images are exhibited.
Hogueras de San Juan (20th to 24th June):
These festivals have been declared of international touristic interest and first took place in 1928. El Pregón, la Cabalgata del Ninot and La "Plantá" de Hogueras and the "Ninots de Carrer" mark the beginning of the festival. Fireworks, "mascletaes", municipal street bands with their "Bellea del Foc", music concerts, processions and the Feria Taurina add to the festivities, the climax being "Nit del Foc" on 24th June, in which the "Cremá de Hogueras" takes place.