Alicante is a widely beloved coastal destination, taking pride of place in the middle of Spain’s Costa Blanca. Each summer, the port city welcomes over half a million international overnight tourists, cementing its place as one of Europe’s most popular holiday locations.
An Alicante holiday is a memorable one from start to finish. From that first journey to your accommodation from the airport to the final evening between the sand and the stars. Alicante has a lot to offer, and it’s impossible to catch it all in a single holiday. However, there are some must-see places that should be placed on the top of your list.
Santa Barbara Castle
The Castillo de Santa Barbara sits proudly at the centre of Alicante, atop Mount Benacantil, the imposing cliff-face that overlooks the azure Balearic Sea. The castle dates back to the Muslim era of Spain, though it earned its name when the castle was captured from them in the 13th century. Its history is rich – being scarred by war, and at one point repurposed as a prison. However, today it is a popular tourist attraction. The views from its ramparts are unparalleled.
Postiguet Beach is no secret to regular visitors to Alicante, being the city’s central beach. It sits at the foot of Mount Benacantil and stretches out for just shy of a kilometre. Its impeccable sands meet inviting turquoise waters, and even in the busiest times of the year, the beach can be a prime spot for rest and relaxation. Its proximity to all the amenities of the city centre makes it a perfect spot to set up as a family.
Alicante is no stranger to culture. The city plays host to myriad museums and places of archaeological interest. Perhaps best amongst them is the MACA Contemporary Art Museum, built in the late 20th century to incorporate Alicante’s oldest civil building built in the late 17th century. The museum has permanent installations by Pablo Picasso and Salvador Dali amongst a great many other modern artists, as well as an entire exhibit dedicated to famed modern artist Eusebio Sempere.
Mercat Central d’Alacant
The Mercat Central d’Alacant is a must-visit building in the city proper, for two key reasons. First, the building itself is a monument to modern history. It’s over 110 years old and a shining example of modernist architecture in the city centre. It still wears the scars of the Spanish Civil War – a testament to the lived history of the region. Secondly, the building is still used today as it was originally intended – an indoor market, and an unmissably vibrant one to boot. Come here for a true taste of local produce!
While not strictly Alicante, the island of Tabarca is but a stone’s throw from its shore – and the perfect place to go for a more laid-back experience of what Costa Blanca has to offer. There is much to discover despite its small size – measuring around half a kilometre across as it does. The island is a marine reserve, and also home to sites of archaeological interest. After a day of exploring its shores, settle in to one of its restaurants and enjoy the best food off the coast.
Have you been to Alicante before? What are your favorite places to visit? Let us know in the comment section below!