Alicante is not a huge city, having a population of approximately 335,000 and is often overlooked as a destination to visit. Many tourists land at Alicante El Altet Airport but then continue on their journey to elsewhere on the Costa Blanca without realising what they are missing. Alicante is a university town and is one of the fastest growing in Spain.
If you do have the opportunity to visit or maybe you have some time to kill whilst doing your NIE or Certificado application or other important paperwork then here are some of the delights that Alicante has to offer.
Alicante the Province covers an area of 200 square kilometres and includes four other towns within its boundaries. These suburbs are called Mutxamel (Muchamiel), San Juan de Alicante, El Campello and San Vicente del Raspeig. A short trip away is the city of Elche, which has the largest palm grove in Europe with more than 11,000 palm trees. some of which are 300 years old.
If you want to spend a few hours on the beach in Alicante then you can take your pick of several. From El Postiguet which is a small but beautiful beach located right next to The Marina, Playa San Juan, about a 5km drive up the coast but definitely worth the trip or go a little further to the South and you have Altet and Gran Alacant.
The Marina in Alicante is surrounded by restaurants and bars. There is a long promenade which comes alive at night time as the Spanish take to the streets to enjoy walking up and down or simply sitting and partaking in some “people watching”. Stalls on the pavement across the road from the promenade selling allsorts of items open up in the afternoon and stay open until late.
There are many types of restaurants where you can enjoy a “menu del dia” very reasonably or sample a cerveza and sample a few of the local tapas. Choose between Arabic, Argentinian, Italian, Spanish, Thai, German, Dutch and so on.
If some shopping is more your cup of tea then there is the large department store Corte Ingles or if you prefer, you can wander the back streets and find lots of boutiques or tiny shops offering unique items.
Lastly, no trip to Alicante would be complete without seeing the famous Santa Barbara Castle. This is one of the largest medieval fortresses in Europe and covers the whole summit of the Benacantil Mountain. Built in the 10th Century by the Moors, the Castle has dungeons, a moat, cannons and ruins. Enjoy the amazing views from the lookout tower over all of Alicante and the Mediterranean Sea.
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