The Greeks called it “Akra LeuKa”, the Romans “Lucentum” and finally the current name is inherited from the Muslims: “Alicante”.
Valencian community, beautiful city on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and the Sierra de Aitana, the sunniest in all of Spain, with an average temperature of 24°C makes it one of the jewels of tourism in Spain, considering the heritage within of its popular neighborhoods, architectural monuments of great relevance, the natural environment, its festivities and gastronomy, rice being the protagonist.
Now we introduce you to Alicante, so that you prioritize it as an excellent place to visit in Spain and now EVB is launching this new destination. So, let’s see what Alicante offers us and make your reservations:
The Park of Palmera
Alicante welcomes us with a walk in the southern part of the city, the park of Palmera, where we can relax or practice some sport. Located a short distance from the Mediterranean Sea, it has walkways that accompany us with palm trees that will fill your view between lakes, waterfalls and artificial rivers that are crossed by very picturesque wooden bridges.
Leaving the park we can visit vestiges of the armed conflicts of the 20th century, these are in what was the old bus station, now the bright Seneca square, where there is an air-raid shelter for the city since the civil war.
The exhibition hall of the Loja de Pescado
As a next suggestion and a few minutes away is the exhibition hall of the Loja de Pescado. It is a building endowed with ornamental elements of the Moorish style of the 20th century. Built to house the city’s market, it is currently a meeting place for exhibitions and cultural activities.
Among the curious points to know in Alicante, is the House of the Witches, which is actually a small palace with elements of Valencian modernism of the 20th century, without a doubt a beautiful building to admire. Very close in the Elche Park, right in its center, you will also be able to see a fountain from the year 1918, which is known as Fuente de la Aguadora.
The Esplanade of Spain
A must-see just a few steps away that has a linear promenade of approximately half a kilometer, and runs parallel to the seaport. On its pavement is colorfully drawn with tesserae, mosaics depicting the waves of the sea. On your walk you will find various craft stalls and street artists. At the end of the esplanade, you will come across Casa Carbonell, one of the most emblematic buildings in Alicante, built in the 20s of the 20th century. This construction shows us the power of the bourgeoisie of the textile industry.
A marble facade denotes the waste in its design. And on the opposite side of the esplanade, we will find the Escaleras de la Reyna and from there you will be able to see a very special and emblematic sculpture. Icarus from Greek mythology with his surfboard and pretending to walk on the sea. Apart from the sculpture, you will also be able to see the port of Carthaginian origin, the port of Alicante, where fishing and pleasure boats dock. Stroll along the pier and enjoy the views of the city and the sea through the Volado promenade and once you are, visit the Ocean Race Museum where you will see everything about the nautical sport of sailing, also quite relevant in Alicante.
As a coastal city, Alicante has beaches and one of them is the one next to the promenade, the Postiguet Beach. It stands out for its fine sand and palm trees which adorn it, there you will find terraces, restaurants and everything you need to enjoy it. This is a very good place to appreciate the fireworks after the Bonfires of San Juan, which is the most important festival in Alicante in the month of June.
In the historic center
Now we are going to enter the historic center of the city, mainly the Santa Cruz neighborhood that welcomes us with its low houses, with very picturesque white facades. In this neighborhood you can visit the Museum of Contemporary Art, which is housed in a 17th-century Baroque-style building, it was a building intended to store the city’s grain. In this museum you can appreciate works by Dali, Picasso or Miro.
A few steps away is the Basilica of Santa Maria, being the oldest and largest temple in the city, it has a Baroque-style facade and vestiges that show us that it was built on the remains of a mosque between the 14th and 15th centuries. Another point within the historic center is the Museum of Fine Arts, which is where once was the palace of Count Lumiares. As a reference for those who want to know it, in this museum you will find art that represents Alicante and its history.
The town hall square and its surroundings
In the same area is the town hall square, which is preceded by the building of the same name, which belongs to the 17th century Baroque style and was built on the remains of what was the City House. It is worth visiting for its palatial-style rooms or for the so-called ground level, which is the reference for measuring the altitude of the sea in the rest of the Spanish cities. Behind it is the Square of La Santisima Faz, which by the way is the busiest and there is the Nativity Scene Museum which, as its name suggests, houses an excellent collection of wood-carved Nativity scenes.
Co-Cathedral of San Nicolas de Bari
The next point of interest and one of the most important is the Co-Cathedral of San Nicolas de Bari, built in the Herrerian Renaissance style of the 17th century and also erected on the remains of a mosque that stands out in the skyline of the city for its peculiar blue dome with a height of 45 m, be sure to visit the cloister and the communion chapel.
Now we walk north to reach the San Roque neighborhood and there we have two places of interest walking through its narrow streets. The hermitages of San Roque and Santa Cruz. From this last one you will find a viewpoint where the views are wonderful, contemplating the entire historic center of Alicante.
A walk to the castle of Santa Barbara
The next walk is to go to the castle and along the way we will stop to find the Face of the Moor among the rock formations, which refers to a legend of frustrated love that ends in the suicide of the Caliph’s daughter and later the death of him, consumed by grief. We continue ascending and we will find the Ereta Park with seven hectares of surface with very beautiful landscape and vegetation designs.
Already at the top of Mount Benacantil, you reach the imposing fortification of the castle of Santa Barbara from medieval times, mainly from the 9th century, built during the Muslim occupation, reconquered by Alfonso de Castilla on the day of Santa Barbara and therefore bears its name. This fortress served as a lookout and defense against pirates. Inside there are three areas from different periods; You will go through the reform construction of Felipe II in 1580 until the part of the 17th century, as well as its museum where archaeological remains are exhibited. Finally, on this tour, do not miss the sunset, since you will be at a viewpoint from which you will contemplate the views of the city and the bay of Alicante.
What to see outside the old town
Now we go to other points of interest, but outside the historic center, such as the Bonfire Museum, of relevance since it represents the festival of “San Juan” which is the most important in Alicante and the burning of the dolls or Ninots. They are world famous and the Ninots that were pardoned and were not burned on the magical night are exhibited here. This is a deeply rooted tradition throughout Spain. This party is every year from June 20 to 24.
If you can, do something very popular in Alicante: El Tardeo, which consists of combining the pre-lunch appetizers with the mid-afternoon drinks. It is a very specific form of leisure that combines evenings and tapas. Very close to this area, visit the main theater of Alicante, inaugurated in 1847.
Another building that should be on your list is Alicante’s Market, a jewel with a modernist facade faithful to its origin from the early years of the 20th century. And very close too, you can visit the Council Palace of 1932, this being one of the most beautiful in the city.
Visit the castle of San Fernando and Lucentum
On the visit to Cerro Tossal, you will find the Castel of San Fernando built in 1813 to be a prison, but it was never used for that purpose.
In the vicinity of the city of Alicante are the important remains of the archaeological site of Lucentum, which was the ancient city of the Romans. It is one of the best preserved and dates from the 3rd century B.C.
Santa Faz Monastery
Finally, get ready to visit the Baroque-style Santa Faz Monastery, which is well-known, since it has the relic brought from the Vatican, this is a canvas with which Jesus wiped his face on his way to Calvary.
Alicante has two more beaches; Albufereta, which is the smallest and quietest, and San Juan, which is already fully urbanized and has a promenade full of terraces, restaurants, entertainment venues and where you can practice water sports.
The Island of Tabarca
As an additional, we suggest that you take a boat to visit the island of Tabarca, a small island with only 55 inhabitants where you can walk through its walled streets, visit the lighthouse and the tower of San Jose and do not leave without taste the famous rice cauldron.
Spain has a lot to offer thanks to its vast history and traditional and picturesque towns; do not leave Alicante behind, it is a fact it will surprise you.