Spain

Exploring Alicante: A Mediterranean Gem for Family Adventures


Alicante, a coastal city in Spain, offers historic charm, beautiful beaches, delicious cuisine, and vibrant cultural experiences for visitors.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation or an adventure exploring historical sites, Alicante has something to offer for everyone.

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Alicante History:

Alicante’s history is a tapestry woven from centuries of diverse cultural influences. From its ancient origins to its contemporary vibrancy, the city’s past is a treasure trove waiting to be explored.

Ancient Origins:
Alicante’s roots trace back to the Bronze Age, with evidence of settlement in the area dating as far as 3000 BC. The Carthaginians and Romans left their marks on the city, and you can explore these ancient influences at the MARQ Archaeological Museum, which houses a wealth of artifacts from the region’s past.

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Islamic Legacy:
During the period of Islamic rule in Spain, Alicante was known as ‘Al-Laqant.’ The city’s historic district, Barrio Santa Cruz, still retains the charming narrow streets and whitewashed houses reminiscent of this era.

Spanish Reconquista:
In the late 13th century, Alicante was reconquered by the Spanish Crown. The Castle of Santa Barbara perched atop Mount Benacantil, offers a breathtaking view of the city and a glimpse into the turbulent history of this period.

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Mediterranean Sun:

Alicante boasts a Mediterranean climate, making it a popular year-round destination for sun-seekers. The city enjoys more than 3,000 hours of sunshine annually, providing the perfect backdrop for outdoor adventures and beach relaxation.

Beautiful Beaches: The Costa Blanca region, where Alicante is situated, is renowned for its stunning beaches. San Juan Beach and Postiguet Beach are the most famous, offering golden sands and crystal-clear waters, perfect for sunbathing and water sports.

Mild Winters: Alicante’s mild winters make it an ideal destination for those looking to escape the cold. With temperatures rarely dropping below 15°C (59°F), it’s a great spot for a winter sun getaway.

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Family Trip:

Alicante is an excellent choice for a family vacation, offering a wide range of family-friendly activities and attractions to keep everyone entertained.

  • Terra Mitica:
    This theme park is a must-visit for families. With thrilling rides and attractions inspired by ancient civilizations, it promises a day of fun and adventure.
  • Santa Barbara Castle:
    A visit to this historic castle is not only educational but also exciting for kids. The castle’s panoramic views are sure to amaze children and adults alike.
  • Explanada de España:
    This iconic promenade along the waterfront is perfect for leisurely strolls, enjoying local cuisine, and people-watching. Street performers often entertain passersby, making it an ideal spot for families.

Safety:

Alicante is generally considered a safe destination for tourists, but it’s essential to take precautions and be aware of the following safety tips:

  • Petty Theft:
    Like many tourist destinations, Alicante experiences petty theft, so keep an eye on your belongings, especially in crowded areas and on public transportation.
  • Emergency Services:
    Familiarize yourself with emergency numbers and local services. The European emergency number is 112, which will connect you to police, fire, or medical assistance.

Alicante Sights and Must-See Attractions

Alicante boasts a plethora of must-see sights that capture the essence of this captivating Spanish city. Here are some of the top attractions to explore:

Santa Bárbara Castle

Perched high on Mount Benacantil, Santa Bárbara Castle is a symbol of Alicante and offers panoramic views of the city, harbor, and the Mediterranean Sea. The castle’s history dates back centuries, making it a fascinating site for history enthusiasts. You can reach the castle by taking a leisurely walk or the elevator from Postiguet Beach.

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Explanada de España

Alicante’s vibrant promenade, Explanada de España, is a delightful place to take a stroll, enjoy the sea breeze, and admire the palm-lined walkway. The distinctive mosaic pattern, created with over six million red, black, and cream tiles, makes it an iconic landmark. The promenade is also dotted with open-air cafes where you can savor Spanish cuisine.

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Old Town (Casco Antiguo)

Alicante’s Old Town, or Casco Antiguo, is a charming district known for its narrow, winding streets, historic buildings, and lively atmosphere. It’s a great place to explore local shops, and boutiques, and indulge in traditional Spanish tapas. Don’t miss the Barrio Santa Cruz, a picturesque neighborhood with whitewashed houses adorned with colorful flowers.

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MARQ Archaeological Museum

The MARQ Archaeological Museum is a treasure trove of historical artifacts that provide insight into the rich history of the Alicante region. From ancient Iberian artifacts to Roman remains, this museum is a fascinating journey through time.

Postiguet Beach

Alicante is renowned for its beautiful beaches, and Postiguet Beach is one of the city’s most popular. This urban beach, located at the foot of Santa Bárbara Castle, offers soft golden sands and clear waters for sunbathing and swimming. The nearby promenade is lined with restaurants and bars.

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Basilica of Santa Maria

The Basilica of Santa Maria, situated in the heart of Alicante’s Old Town, is a stunning example of Spanish Gothic architecture. Its history dates back to the 14th century, and it’s a beautiful place to explore the city’s spiritual heritage.

Places to Visit Near Alicante

Alicante’s strategic location on the Costa Blanca offers easy access to various attractive destinations nearby. Whether you’re interested in exploring picturesque towns, enjoying outdoor adventures, or experiencing cultural gems, there’s much to discover just a short journey from the city.

Villajoyosa

Villajoyosa, a colorful coastal town, is a short drive from Alicante. Famous for its brightly painted houses, it’s a great place to explore the old town, visit the Valor Chocolate Museum, and relax on beautiful beaches.

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Elche

Elche, also known as Elx in the local Valencian dialect, is renowned for its stunning palm groves, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visitors can explore the Palmeral of Elche and immerse themselves in a unique blend of nature and culture.

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Guadalest

A picturesque mountain village, Guadalest is nestled in the mountains and is known for its stunning views, the ancient castle, and the picturesque reservoir.

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Altea

Altea is a charming coastal town famous for its beautiful old town, the Church of La Mare de Déu del Consol, and a waterfront promenade with artistic and cultural offerings.

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Tabarca Island

Just a short boat ride from Alicante, Tabarca Island is a small, captivating destination with crystal-clear waters for snorkeling and a historic town that was once a refuge for pirates.

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Accommodation and Hostel World in Alicante

Accommodation options in the city cater to a wide range of budgets and preferences, from luxury resorts to cozy hostels. If you’re a traveler looking for a budget-friendly stay, there are several hostels in Alicante that provide comfort and a chance to meet fellow travelers. Websites like Hostelworld can be an excellent resource for finding and booking hostels in the city. Here are a few popular options:

X Hostel Alicante

X Hostel Alicante offers a lively atmosphere, friendly staff, and a convenient location in the heart of the city. It’s a great choice for budget-conscious travelers who want to meet other like-minded individuals.

Old Centre Inn Alicante

Located in the Old Town, the Old Centre Inn offers easy access to many of Alicante’s top attractions. This cozy hostel provides a comfortable place to stay and is within walking distance of bars, restaurants, and cultural sites.

La Milagrosa Bed & Breakfast

La Milagrosa Bed & Breakfast is a charming and affordable accommodation option situated near Postiguet Beach. With clean and cozy rooms, it’s an excellent choice for those who want to enjoy the beach and the city’s sights.

The Market Hostel

The Market Hostel is a stylish and modern option located near Central Market and the Explanada de España. The hostel provides a social atmosphere and a variety of room types to suit different travelers.

4. Alicante: A City for Clicking and Capturing Memories

Alicante is a paradise for photographers and Instagram enthusiasts. The city’s vibrant colors, historic architecture, and stunning coastal landscapes provide a picturesque backdrop for creating memorable travel photos. Here are some of the best spots to capture Instagram-worthy shots in Alicante:

Santa Bárbara Castle: The panoramic views from the castle, especially during sunset, offer an incredible backdrop for photos.

Explanada de España: The colorful tiles, palm trees, and seafront views create an ideal setting for capturing the essence of Alicante.

Old Town Streets: The narrow, winding streets of the Old Town, adorned with flowers and quaint balconies, provide countless opportunities for charming photos.

Postiguet Beach: The combination of soft sands, blue waters, and the backdrop of Santa Bárbara Castle makes for perfect beach photos.

Tabarca Island: The crystal-clear waters, historic town, and coastal landscapes on Tabarca Island make it a treasure trove of photography opportunities.

5. Oslo to Alicante: Planning Your Journey

Traveling to Alicante from Oslo, the capital of Norway offers a fantastic opportunity to explore the sunny side of Spain. Here’s a practical guide to planning your journey:

Flight Options: There are several airlines that operate direct and connecting flights from Oslo Gardermoen Airport (

OSL) to Alicante-Elche Airport (ALC). The flight duration for direct flights is approximately 3.5 to 4 hours.

Best Time to Visit: Alicante enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with hot summers and mild winters. The best time to visit is during the spring and early autumn to enjoy pleasant weather and avoid the peak tourist season.

Currency and Exchange: The currency in Alicante is the Euro (EUR). It’s advisable to exchange some currency before your trip or withdraw money from ATMs in Alicante for the most favorable exchange rates.

Language: The official language is Spanish, but many people in the tourism industry speak English. Learning a few basic Spanish phrases can enhance your travel experience.

Transportation: Alicante-Elche Airport is well-connected to the city center by buses and taxis. Public transportation within Alicante includes trams and buses, making it easy to navigate the city.

Travel Insurance: It’s always a good idea to have travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and other unforeseen events.

Conclusion

The city, with its blend of historical charm, picturesque landscapes, and coastal beauty, offers a rich tapestry of experiences for travelers. Whether you’re exploring the iconic Santa Bárbara Castle, savoring the flavors of the Old Town, or capturing moments at the Explanada de España, this Spanish gem has something for everyone. Additionally, the convenience of exploring nearby attractions and the availability of diverse accommodations, including hostels, ensures a well-rounded and memorable trip to this Mediterranean paradise. From Oslo to Alicante, your journey will be filled with new discoveries and unforgettable moments.

The city, with its Mediterranean sun, rich history, family-friendly attractions, and diverse cultural influences, is a captivating destination for travelers of all ages. From exploring ancient archaeological sites to enjoying the beautiful beaches and savoring the fusion of Chinese and Spanish culture, this vibrant city offers a wealth of experiences waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re traveling with family or friends, Alicante’s warm hospitality and enchanting beauty make it a remarkable destination for your next adventure.