Alicante is more than just a gateway to the coastline of the Costa Blanca: it's a dynamic regional capital with a very Spanish feel! Most of the interesting sights (the 16th Century castle of Santa Barbara, the Museum of Contemporary Arts) and many of the best places to stay in Alicante are found in the historic quarter; but Alicante also offers unmistakably Spanish nightlife, including some excellent tasting opportunities.
Alicante's impressively lovely city beach, Playa del Postiguet, is right opposite the Casco Antiguo (Old Town), which is below the castle and the Santa Cruz district. Get your bearings by walking along Alicante's gorgeous seaside promenade, the Parque de Canalejas, and you'll see many of the city's highlights.
This area also has many of Alicante's restaurants, cafes and tapas bars. There's an endless choice with plenty to offer all wallet sizes - just remember, you're on Spanish time.
Alicante's market is hidden in amongst the narrow streets, but if you don't see it you'll smell out its cheese and charcuterie. It's open in the mornings, until about siesta time.
If you want to shop further you're right around the corner from the Avenida Maisonnave - but beware the siesta here too, some stores don't reopen until quite late in the day.
If you're here for the beaches, then as well as the city beach, it's worth taking the tram out to the Play de San Juan, which is larger and usually less crowded. And if you're up for a train journey, it's only a short jaunt to Benidorm from here.
Alicante's proximity to the airport is what lends this provincial capital popularity with the package holiday operators, but this also makes it a great destination for a winter-sun city break.
Still not sure? Browse through our list of all the best places to stay in Alicante, or contact, one of our friendly gurus for advice. Alternatively look at all our recommendations for the Costa Blanca.
A sweet six bedroom home in the Xalo valley, offering elegant white on white interiors and rooms with private balconies and spectacular views. The hosts are very warm and helpful and prepare a wonderful set menu for meals. Guests may wine, dine, cycle or hike in the area. Chic and comfortable.
Gourmet cuisine and pool-side pampering at this chic hotel. Centrally positioned in the historic district of Alicante with stunning views of the cathedral and Santa Barbara Castle - and only 300 metres from the beach. Sophisticated city style.