Situated on the Mediterranean Sea in south east Spain lies the vibrant city of Alicante, well known for a bustling bar scene, great restaurants and an expansive coastline. However, there is much more to this modern day metropolis that dates back millions of years and is guarded by the imposing medieval fortress of Santa Bárbara.
Here are five of the best landmarks for you to discover:
- Santa Bárbara Castle
Capture the full splendour of Alicante and its captivating coast from the vantage point of Santa Bárbara Castle, one of the largest medieval fortressesin the country that sits high above the urban sprawl on Mount Benacantil.This has been the site of many a siege and battle, and for a time was used as a prison. Discover more about Alicante’s colourful past and original settlements at the city museum, which is locatedinside the mountain.
- The Marina
It’s almost impossible to visit Alicante without being drawn to the port and its marina, where you will find yachts gently bobbing on the water, and can stroll along the promenade or enjoy refreshments at one of the harbour side bars or restaurants.
- The Contemporary Arts Museum
Head into the city centre and you might stumble acrossits oldest surviving civic building, the Contemporary Arts Museum (MACA). Here in this former granary, which is located at the heart of Alicante’s Old Quarter and dates back to the 1600s, you can view work by some of the best artists of the 20thCentury, including Dali, Miro, Bacon and Picasso.
- Island of Tabarca
Located 11 nautical miles from Alicante is Tabarca Island, the largest inhabited island in Valencia that can be reached within the hourby boat on one of the regular scheduled services. Snorkel in the crystal clear waters, enjoy local stewed fish dish ‘caldero’ or take in the views from the tower of Saint Joseph, a baroque-style look-out point.
- Central Market
No visit to Alicante is complete without a trip to the sprawling central market that is spread out over two storeys and located beneath a spectacular Art Deco domed roof of a building constructed on top of the ruins of the city walls.
Alicante is a city of surprises, with a glorious coast waiting to be discovered. For those wanting to take a scenic drive along the water’s edge, visit unspoilt coastal coves such as Cartagena, beautiful beaches and illustrious landscapes we have several car rental pick-up locations, including one at the airport.