Alicante

About Alicante

SKYLINES AND AERIALS:        
   
Skylines and views        

CENTRAL ALICANTE::
       
   
City Centre (Centro)  

Old Town (El Barrio)

  Castello de Santa Bárbara and it's views
La Expalanda de España
Plaza de los Luceros
Avenida Alfonso X El Sabio
Playa de Postiguet

  Concatedral de San Nicolas
Town Hall Square (Ayuntamiento)
Barrio de Santa Cruz
  Santa Barbara Castle
Lord of the Rings exhibition
     
Playa de San Juan        

San Juan Beach

 

 

   



ALICANTE BY NIGHT:

       

 

Alicante by night,
sunrise and sunset

 


   


OUTSKIRTS:

       
   

Alicante-Elche Airport

 

South Alicante

  EL CAMPELLO

  - driving to the city center from the airport   bordering beach town/suburb

SPECIALS:
       
   
Road Alicante-Benidorm   The hotels   Cuevas de Canelobre, Busot
Alicante, Benidorm, Villajoyosa, El Campello   Tryp Gran Sol, Estudiotel Alicante. Hotels in the city centre.   Canelobre Caves, BUSOT

ABOUT Alicante:

Population: 332 000 (metro 757 000)
Other names: Alacant (Valencian)
Tallest building: Estudiotel Alicante (117 m, built 1962)
Language: Spanish, Valenciano
Founded: 324 BC
Province: Alicante
Autonomous community: Valencia
Area: 201 km²

Year visited: 2016


Alicante is situated in southeastern Spain, along the Mediterranean coast of Costa Blanca, surrounded by mountains. Alicante (Spanish), or Alacant (Valencian) are both official names of this city, that might
be mostly known as a tourist destination with large beaches. But Alicante, Spain's 8th largest city and Valencia's 2nd largest, is much more then that. Here you find stunning nature, great architecture (both historic buildings and modern ones), nice restaurants, beautiful promenades, interesting stores and museums. The city has a long history more then 2300 years old. Nice palm boulevards and plazas with fountains make it a typical grandiose mid sized Spanish city. The name Alicante comes from the Arabic name Al-Laqant. Alicante has a fairly high immigrant population and is a popular place for Northern Europeans to move to because of it's mild climat, you will here much British English in Alicant.

La Explanada de España is the most grandiose boulevard parallel to the port at the Mediterranean Sea. It is known for it's many palms and tile patterns on the ground, and features many open-air restaurants and market stalls. You also find a casino and hotels here. On the West end of La Explanada you find Plaza de Canalejas with the Canalejas statue, and to the East Plaza Puerta del Mar, where you find fountains and sculptures.
Next to Plaza de Canalejas is Parque de Canalejas, a small, odd but beautiful park with nice illuminated trees.

Plaza de las Luceros is the most centrally situated square and traffic circle, where 4 boulevards connect, with the one leading to the railway station to the west, to La Expalanda and the port to the south, to Castillo San Fernando to the North and to Castillo de Santa Barbara to the East.

In the Old Town (El Barrio) you find historic buildings like the Town Hall, the Principal Theater, the Santa Maria Basilica and the Cocathedral of St Nicholas. The most picturesque part is Barrio del Santa Cruz, that is hilly and more residential.

Hotels in all classes and sizes can be found, as well as several casinos. There are about 3 skyscrapers with 27-35 floors in the city center. Tryp Gran Sol and Estudiotel Alicante are the tallest hotels, we stayed at both. The latter is also the tallest building in the city.

In the port you find the Melia hotel and Casino Mediterraneo. There is also a copy of a historic ship, Santisisma Trinidad, that can be visited.

Santa Bárbara Castle (Castello de Santa Bárbara) is a fortification founded by the Arabs, situated on Mount Becantil, a 166m high mountain that overlooks the city and borders the old town. It can be reached on foot, by car or by elevator that can be reached through a tunnel. It is free to visit.

There are two very nice beaches in Alicante; Playa de Postiguet is the one that is closest to the city center, but Playa de San Juan in the Northern outskirs is much larger and considered even better. Playa de San Juan is also a large district of its own with many highrise hotels and residential buildings, forming a small skyline.

Alicante borders the city of Elche (Elx) to the West (that shares the airport), El Campello and Sant Joan d'Alacant to the North and Sant Vincent de Raspeig to the West. Benidorm and Villajoyosa are just about 20km to the North, and Valencia about 2 hours to the North by train.

TRANSPORT: The railway station is a terminal station and is situated in the west part of the city center, fairly small but modern. Alicante has local buses (red) and trams, that partly go underground, and a few biking lanes here and there. Driving in Alicante is calm compared to Valencia (speed limits are not very high and the traffic circles "only" have 3 lanes), but it is really a nightmare to find parking. The airport, Alicante-Elche, has one brand new terminal and is very modern. This is where we arrived.

 

MY EXPERIENCE:

In February 2016, we made a trip to Costa Blanca, Murcia and Valencia. Alicante was the first and last city we visited, since the airport is situated right outside the city. At first we stayed for one afternoon and one hole day after leaving and passing by the outskirts at Playa de San Juan with our rental car. Alicante was the first city I drove in in Spain. After 10 days we returned from Valencia by train, in the late afternoon.

We explorered the historic Santa Barbara Castle on Mount Becantil, watched the views and a temporary exhibition about the Lord of the Rings. We also visited the Old Town, the port and most parts of the city center, and of course we walked on La Explanada several times, a very nice palm promenade. We looked around for Spanish food at the restaurants, but mostly found Italian restaurants. In general, Alicante is a very attractive city to visit with its beautiful fountains, historic buildings and boulevards. It feels surprisingly more like a normal Spanish city then a typical tourist destinaiton, except for the harbour promenade (La Explanada )and beaches. The majority of the city center is modern, just like most other Spanish cities the majority of the city consists modernist residential buildings and not historic churches.

We stayed in February so we didn't see many tourists, but a lot of English people who moved there. The weather was mild compared to Sweden, 15-18 degrees and mostly sunny, but the second day it started to blow a lot since Spain had somewhat of a cold period, there was even snow in other parts of southern Spain during our visit, so I guess we were lucky. About 2 days are recommended to see Alicante, no more or no less.

We stayed at two different hotels, Tryp Gran Sol and Estudiotel Alicante, you can read the views here.

We also visited Benidorm and other cites at Costa Blanca; Elche, Calpe, Altea, Villajoyosa.

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