Spain's Alicante Awaits

Sunsets from the Castillo Santa Barbara are stunning and well worth the steep hike. Nellie Winter photos.
The tram is the best way of transportation along the north coast of Alicante.

All you need to know about Alicante, Spain

By Nellie Winter

Are you planning a weekend in Alicante? Or are you looking for a short trip holiday in Spain, but you are not set on the destination yet? In this short travel guide, you will learn all you need to know for your trip to my favorite Spanish city.

A Couple of Things Up Front

WHEN TO GO

With an average annual temperature of 18-20 degrees, Alicante is one of these perfect travel destinations where your chances of having to deal with bad whether are quite slim all year around.

However, in January and February, even I won’t volunteer to set up on the beach in my bathing suit. July and August are particularly hot and crowded with tourists, so best to avoid these months as well if you have the freedom to do so.

COMMUNICATION

In Alicante, people speak Spanish. Not English, not German, not French. Of course, most waiters and public services will talk to you in English if there was no way around it, but the majority, the older generation especially, would rather not.

Which means it can be very useful and will be appreciated if you know a few Spanish words and phrases by heart.

The picturesque esplanade along Alicante's harbour is great for an afternoon walk.
The picturesque esplanade along Alicante's harbour is great for an afternoon walk.

Getting there and around

THE AIRPORT

A number of international airlines (Lufthansa, Easyjet, Ryanair, Norwegian Air) offer direct flights to low fares from all major cities in Europe to Alicante, which is why it is becoming an increasingly popular destination for last minute vacation or short weekend trips.

The modern airport is situated about 12 km out of the city center and will cost you 20-25 (including night fare) € to get into town taking a taxi. There’s also a very convenient local bus that runs every half hour and drops you right on the esplanade of Alicante.

BY FOOT

Within the center of our coastal town, most sights and the city beach are within walking distance and you won’t need a car to get around.

BY TRAM

For day trips along the coast to San Juan Beach or Villajoyosa, I can recommend taking the subway from either Luceros or Mercado station. The ride is very affordable (1,45€ single ticket) and offers some beautiful panoramic views of the ocean.

RENTAL CAR

If you are staying a week or longer, it is definitely an option to rent a car for a couple of days. The rolling hills around the city are covered in olive, almond and orange trees and there is a number of great hiking and mountain biking paths to explore.    

Sightseeing

The Castillo de Santa Barbara is considered the icon of Alicante for a reason. Built in the 15 th century the castle is an impressive ancient building full of interesting history.

Once you have climbed the steep 166 meters to the top, the little exercise is rewarded by some stunning views of the city and its surroundings. This place is especially popular for sunset and an absolute must-see when visiting Alicante.

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Insider Tip: From a few points in the old town you can spot a man’s face in the rock that holds the castle. They call it “cara del moro”, which means “face of the moor”.

The Best Museum

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MACA) can be visited completely free of charge and holds some great pieces by local (national and regional) artists

Address: Plaza Sta. María, 3, 03002 Alicante, España

Opening Hours: Thursday – Saturday 10.00 am – 8 pm

Sonntag & Feiertage 10.00 am – 2 pm

Mondays closed

Website

 The tram is the best way of transportation along the north coast of Alicante.
The tram is the best way of transportation along the north coast of Alicante.

Where to go for a day

WITHOUT A CAR

Taking the Tram Line L1 towards Benidorm, it will take travelers 50 minutes to get to Villajoyosa, a small and adorable coastal town with colorful houses and a beautiful, palm covered beach. The local chocolate factory Valor entails a museum that offers tours and tastings to the public.

Website: http://www.valor.es/

Telephone: +34 965 89 09 50

Bocadillos are the go to appetizer in Alicante: Cheap and incredibly tasty!
Bocadillos are the go to appetizer in Alicante: Cheap and incredibly tasty!

WITH A CAR

For those who like a good drop of wine, there is nothing better than visiting some of the local vineyards that produce local white, red and dessert wine and will do tours and tastings on request. The price for the tours and tastings usually lies between 6€ and 10€, while bottles of wine and other local products can be purchased after the tour.

Hiking Alicante's surrounding hills is the perfect activity for the winter months.
Hiking Alicante's surrounding hills is the perfect activity for the winter months.

There is a number of wineries who take part in the RUTA DE VINO , a wine route around the region, but here are my top 2 places to go to:

BODEGA CASA CESILIA

C/ PARAJE ALCAYDIAS, 4

03660 - NOVELDA

TELEFONO: 965 603 763 / 608 199 259

EMAIL: enoturismo@casasicilia1707.es

WEB: www.casacesilia.es

 Explore the old town centre "El Barrio" with its narrow alleys and colourful houses.
Explore the old town center "El Barrio" with its narrow alleys and colorful houses.

BODEGAS FRANCISCO GOMEZ

C/ HACIENDA LA SERRATA. CTRA. VILLENA – PINOSO. KM. 8,8

03400 - VILLENA

TELEFONO: 965 979 196 – 965 979 555

EMAIL: info@bodegasfranciscogomez.es

enoturismo@bodegasfranciscogomez.es

WEB: www.bodegasfranciscogomez.es

Where to stay

Because Alicante can be explored entirely by foot and public transport, finding a place to stay in the center is key. Unless you are coming during peak season in July and August, you won’t have too much trouble finding a reasonable accommodation.

Villa Joyosa is a very photogenic village just north of Alicante and well worth a day trip.
Villa Joyosa is a very photogenic village just north of Alicante and well worth a day trip.

LA MILAGROSA BED & BREAKFAST

Calle Villavieja, 8, 03002 Alicante (Spain)

Telephone: (+34) 965 216 918

E-mail: info@lamilagrosa.eu

WEB: http://lamilagrosa.eu

HOSTAL OLÉ

C/ Poeta Quintana, 26   03004 Alicante

Raise a cerveza to Alicante!
Raise a cerveza to Alicante!

Telephone: (+34) 695 518 263

E-mail: info@hostelole.com

WEB: http://www.hostelole.com/

MELIÁ HOTEL

Plaza del Puerto, 3, 03001 Alicante

Telephone: (+34) 912 76 47 47

https://www.melia.com/en/hotels/spain/alicante/melia-alicante/index.html

Where to eat

Tapas

One of the most authentic tapas bars in town is the Cervezeria Sento, a tiny place just off the main street (La Rambla) that offers a vast variety of Montaditos, small sandwiches with delicious toppings for 2,50€ each.

The place is very popular and it is unlikely to find a seated spot, but the atmosphere and the quality of the food make up for the queueing and standing.

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CERVECERIA SENTO RAMBLA

C/ Ministra Federica Montsenye 1

(Esquina Rambla)

Alicante – 03001

Tel: (+34) 646 932 213 & (+34) 636 464 001

WEB: http://somossento.com/cerveceria-sento-rambla/

La Marina is a great spot to watch the sunset or have a drink overlooking the harbor of Alicante.
La Marina is a great spot to watch the sunset or have a drink overlooking the harbor of Alicante.

Paella

For those who prefer to sit down and enjoy a classic Spanish meal, it is recommendable to order Paella. This Spanish rice dish is well known all over the world, but has its origins in the state of Valencia, to which Alicante belongs. In consequence, every second restaurant in town will serve a decent Paella, which is usually shared between 2 or more people.

These are two places where you will be guaranteed a perfect paella:

NYORA

Calle Lonja de Caballeros 10, Alicante

Telephone: (+34) 865 64 40 36

Opening Hours: 11.30am -   5.30pm & 7.30pm -11.00pm

  Closed on sundays

CASA JULIO

Avda. de Niza s/n

03570 - Playa de San Juan (Alicante)

Telephone: (+34) 965 65 10 70

Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday 09:30am - 5:30pm

WEB: http://www.restaurantecasajulio.es/

Entertainment & Events

Regional and national festivals play a vital role in Spanish communities. The Semana Santa, the week around Easter, is usually celebrated in April, with daily religious processions that involve young and old, locals and tourists equally.

Speaking for Alicante, the most important festival is held during the week from the 19th to the 25 th of June. Everyone who gets the chance to visit the city for the Hogueras de Alicante, will not only witness the spectacular masquerades and burning of the giant statues in the night of the 24 th but become part of an exceptional series of celebration and party for 5 days straight.

Unique fireworks lasting for 5 nights after the burning can be enjoyed at the beach and give the event a worthy ending.

Visa Requirements

EU standards, valid Passport or ID.

Best Resources

http://www.alicanteturismo.com/?lang=en

http://www.alicante.es/es

http://en.comunitatvalenciana.com/places-to-visit/alicante-costa-blanca

Nellie Winter is a freelancing writer & photographer from Germany with a strong passion for travel and the diversity of cultures. Since graduating from University, where she completed her Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Studies and Tourism, Nellie has been running a small Media Production Company with her partner Greg Snell. Both are devoted travelers & digital nomads and work as creative content creators in the tourism industry.

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