Spain Guide


Alicante Tourist Attractions

Alicante is a hive of activity throughout the year, not just in the summer months. It's a city where the sand seems to go on forever and so does the entertainment. It's a city steeped in history, rich in culture, awash with every kind of shop and restaurant imaginable and literally bursting with beach life.

Stroll along the palm fringed Paseo de la Explanada the impressive seafront promenade lined with street cafes and inlaid with red, cream and black marble. Stop at the music pavilion and enjoy a free al fresco (outdoor) concert by the sea. Concerts are held in the afternoons, on feast days and on Sunday mornings during the summer months.

Visit the municipal museum, the Casa de la Asegurada. The 17th century building itself is of interest having been used variously in the past as a municipal granary, a prison, artillery depot and the city hall. It now houses a 20th century art collection donated to the city in 1976 by the artist and sculptor Eusebio Sempere. The collection includes abstract works by the major Spanish artists of the 1950s and also paintings by earlier avant garde artists Miro and Picasso).

The Provincial Archeological Museum, located within the Palace of the Provincial Council, has such a large collection of archaeological remains that only a selection of the most significant pieces are actually on public display for the public. The collection includes finds from the Bronze Age, Iberian and Roman ceramics and Roman statues.

If you pay a visit to the Santa Barbara Castle, make sure you take a look inside the Museo de les Fogueres (the Museum of the Bonfires). Here you'll see the magnificent papier mache effigies which have been saved from the flames of the Fogueres fiestas. The Fogueres effigies are true works of art, taking months to construct, but the majority are doomed to burn to a cinder in one of the most spectacular fiestas of the year. The fiesta of Les Fogeuere de San Joan takes place in June culminating in the extraordinary street fires on June 24th. If you're able to, think about planning your holiday around this fiesta because it truly is a sight to behold!

You can reach the castle either by road or use the lift from Postiguet Beach.

Some wise city planning decisions have allowed plenty of space for numerous parks, gardens and walkways which make this a singularly attractive town to visit. There's the El Palmeral palm gardens, located on the seafront along the Murcia road; the gardens at Lo Morant, with an auditorium; and on the slopes of the castle there are the extensive pine groves of El Bencantil.

For day trips and excursions, try the nearby town of Jijona, the home of the famous Spanish turron (a sweet delicacy which comes in a variety of forms from chocolate and nougat to bars crammed with nuts and liqueurs).

There's Europe's biggest palm garden at Elche, 22 kilometres south of Alicante, the nearby Caves of Canalobre with their magnificent stalactites and stalagmites and the salt flats at Torrevieja, 42 kilometres south and home to flamingoes and a myriad of other sea birds.

Visit the toy factories and toy museum in the inland town of Ibi, 40 kilometres away reputedly the Spanish headquarters of the Three Kings of the Orient who distribute gifts to children throughout Spain on the night of January 5th. This may not be true but it's good PR for the toy factories!

In the city of Orihuela, 54 kilometres from Alicante, you'll find an impressive variety of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque buildings.