ALICANTE "White and Mediterranean"

Alicante is a very beautiful and clean city, located directly at the sea on a hill. With sandy beaches, numerous parks and a very pleasant climate, the city offers a high quality of life, which is apparent also in the behaviour of its inhabitants: in Spain, the population of Alicante has the reputation to be especially laid-back, hospitable and welcoming.

Major Attractions

The first a visitor will probably notice is the palm-fringed boulevard "Explanada de España"  which runs parallel to the harbour and is decorated with a mosaic in wave form, consisting of not less than 6 million parts.

At the port  you will see large cruise ships most of the time, and from here exists a connection to the island ofIbiza. Very nice is also the marina of Alicante.

The port is dominated by the 169 meters high mountain, "Monte Bernacantil," on which the impressive fortress Castillo de Santa Barbara, built in the 14th to 18th century, is located. This originally Moorish castle  is one of the biggest fortresses in Europe. It can be accessed by road, but there is also an elevator and, from the beach Playa de Postiguet, a tunnel that was carved into the rock. From the top of the mountain you have a beautiful view of the city, the harbour , and, in the South, the Island of Tabarca.

We shall dedicate a special page to the Beaches of Alicante, here we will talk about the other attractions in chronological order:

The Basilica de Santa Maria  (14th - 16th century) is the oldest church in the city. It was built in Gothic style above the former Moorish Mosque of Alicante.

Also the church Concatedral de San Nicolas de Bari  (15th - 17th century), in Renaissance style, was built over the remains of a Mosque.

Five kilometers from the city center there is the monastery Monasterio de la Santa Faz  (15th century), a stone construction with very beautiful ornaments.

The Casa de La Asegurada  (17th century) is the oldest civil building in town, today it is home to the Museum of Contemporary Art.

In the Archaeological Museum you can find exhibits from the Stone Age until today, the best known is probably the Statue Dama de Cabezo Lucero,  one of the most important old-Iberian findings of all Spain.

The Casa Consistorial (town hall from 18th century)  serves as the reference for determining the altitude in Spain: it is located at exaclty 0 meters above sea level.

In the beautiful palace Palacio Gravina (18th century) there is the Museum of Arts Gravina, with regional paintings and sculptures from the 16th to the 18th century.

The market Mercado Central de Alicante (20th century)  is a beautiful modernist construction, which was built on the old town walls.

The fish market Lonja de Pescado (20th century) is a beautiful modernist construction too, since 1992 it serves as an exhibition center.

Fiestas - Festivities
Among the most important festivities in Alicante are:

Easter week (Semana Santa) with 30 processions in the streets of the town.

The festival Fiestas de Moros y Cristianos, which showcases the fights between Moors and Christians during the Reconquista, the reconquest of Spain.

A very old tradition have the Hogueras de San Juan, bonfires for the summer solstice, with everyone dancing around the fires.

Night Life
In Alicante's old town, also called "El Barrio", there are numerous pubs, cafes and bars which have a lively ambience until late in the night.

Especially during summer, the port, the beach promenade and "La Explanada" are the center of the night life of Alicante.

A great facility is the train "TRAMnochador", which runs from 9 p.m. until 5 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights during the months of July, August and the beginning of September and stops at all stations of the "Diskotheque-Mile", among them Playa de San Juan, El Campello and Benidorm. Along the line, some stations and halts have been refurbished and transformed into bars, cafés, and pubs and are open during the warm Mediterranean summer nights.

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