Alicante / Alacant is a popular tourist city in the Valencia Region of Spain. It is the capital of Alicante Province.
Alicante Airport (ALC), also known as L'Altet Airport, is located 11 km (6.8 miles) south of the city centre.
Alicante is served by a number of airlines including easyJet, Ryanair, Air Berlin, Iberia, Spanair, Monarch, Germanwings, Aerlingus, Finnair, Thomsonfly, Cimber Sterling, Transavia.com and Jet2.com.
Bus No C-6 connects airport with the city . It departs every 40 minutes from Bus stop No 30 (the closest bus stop to the exit from Terminal 1), and it takes less than 30 minutes to the centre. One-way ride costs €2.60 (2010). (In the past, the bus followed a circular route Alicante-Torrellano-Airport-Alicante. Nowadays, it takes a shorter direct route Alicante-Airport-Alicante ).
A taxi to the city will cost approximately €20. Cabs are located just outside of arrivals. A dozen car rental agencies are located at the ground floor of Terminal 1 including Avis , Budget , Hertz and Europcar .
RENFE runs a number of trains per day from Madrid and Barcelona. A ride from Madrid takes three and a half hours, and from Barcelona it takes five hours. Commuter trains connect Alicante with Murcia and neighborhoods. The RENFE Train Station is in the city centre at Avenida de Salamanca 1 (38°20'40"N 0°29'42"W).
Alicante has a modern and still-expanding tram system . It runs along the coast of Costa Blanca up to Benidorm, from where you can connect to Altea, Calpe, and Denia by a diesel train. Railway electrification from Benidorm to Denia is under construction.
The tram is somewhat reasonably priced. It's cost-efficient to buy a round-trip ticket. Keep the ticket until the end of journey. On underground stations in Alicante (but not on the other stations) you will need it to exit from the system.
If you stay in the old town, most areas of interest are within walking distance.
Public transportation is provided by buses and trams . On most routes, buses run from 6:30 until 23:00. There are a number of night routes. One ride costs €1.20 (2010). Bus drivers give change. A rechargeable card for 10 rides costs €7.00 plus €2 for the card (2010). The card can be purchased at the TAM office near the Mercado Station.
On the top of Mount Benacantil at a height of 166 metres, there is one of the largest medieval fortresses in Spain, built in the ninth century by Muslims. An amazing view of town and harbour. If you feel fit, the walk from Plaza de Carmen is a .sight in itself, through some narrow winding streets. If not, there is an elevator in the core of Mount Benacantil itself. The castle can also be reached by a car, but the number of parking slots is scarce.
The elevator runs from the ground level near the main road of Avenue de Juan Bautista Lafora (38°20'48.17"N 0°28'36.71"W) and stops at two levels in the castle. It may not be easy to spot the entrance! The easiest route is to follow Postiguet beach to the footbridge, then cross the road and pick your way West along the pavement until you see the sign for the castle and the tunnel entrance.
Entry to the castle is free. A round-way trip by the elevator from the ground floor costs € 2.40. The ticket machine is near the end of the tunnel. Insert your money, press the large green "A" button, then "Ticket", and your ticket will be printed. Maps are provided. Traveling between the two castle levels is free.
From April to September, the castle is open from 10:00 to 22:00, while the elevator runs from 10:00 to 20:00. From October to March, the castle is open from 10:00 to 20:00, and the elevator from 10:00 to 19:30. Always note the "last elevator" times at the ticket machine, though. Currently (June 2009) there is some restoration work in progress on the castle, so some areas are inaccessible and you might have to dodge some light traffic.
Castle of San Fernando, in the north part of Alicante center, built at the beginning of the 19th century on Tossal hill.
Archaeological Museum of Alicante (MARQ), founded in 1932, has avant-garde design and uses modern audiovisual techniques, with more than 80,000 pieces found in local archaeological sites. Shows educational movies about the history of Alicante area from the Stone Age, through Iberian and Roman eras, to the medieval times.
The museum is located at Plaza del Doctor Gómez Ulla. It is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 to 19:00, and Sunday and holidays from 10:00 to 14:00. On Mondays it's closed. Telephone: (+34)965149000.
Gravina Museum of Fine Arts (MUBAG), Calle Gravera 9, Old Town, Local fine arts museum.
The "old town" of Alicante is roughly the triangular area enclosed by the Rambla de Méndez Núnez, the Explanada de Espanya, and Mount Benacantil. Largely tourist-friendly, the old, narrow streets make for an enjoyable wander provided you don't get yourself lost. Here you'll find the town hall, cathedral, an old covent, and several art museums. The main contemporary art museum is currently (June 2009) closed for renovacion, though.
In the heart of the city there is Postiguet Beach. The sandy beach is popular during the day and fairly busy during the evening when it's illuminated by sodium street lights. These give the beach and breaking waves a surreal effect. With a bit of traveling (by bus or tram), you can reach a spacious 7km long San Juan Beach, which is considered to be one of the finest in Spain.
There are several companies near the port which offer boat trips, from 45-minute excursions on a catamaran to all-day trips to the island of Tabarca. Prices vary.
As with the rest of Spain, breakfast is usually light, usually some sort of bread (e.g. toast) or churros. Traditionally, a hearty meal in the early afternoon is followed by a siesta as the heat builds, then a light meal is taken once the sun goes down, so bear this in mind when picking dining times. As elsewhere in the region, seafood and rice dominates, with paella in the frontline.
In tourist-friendly areas, you will easily find restaurants with a "menu of the day" or a similar special for €10, a three- or four-course meal with or without a drink. This is an excellent way to economise if you want to splash out later.
In tourist areas, you'll have no problem finding UK fare served at UK-standard times, if you find yourself intimidated by the local cuisine.
Nightlife is concentrated in Old Town, called El Barrio or El Casco Antiguo, with dozens of bars and clubs along the narrow streets:
Another focal point is the eastern rim of the marina, called Puerto, in and around the casino, where things start and end later.
The "Barrio" is the center of nightlife in Alicante, with bars like Dos Gringos, Mulligans, Carpe Diem, and Swing; there is never a dull night in the small spanish town. Drinks are cheap, and shots are sometimes free. Pregame of "Botellon" on the castel or on the beach, then head over to the barrio at around midnight. Then head over to swing or the puerto at 4am. A typical night should end at around 7 or 8am,
NH Alicante Mexico, 18 (esquina Rosa Chacel), 03008, Tel: +34 96 5108140 Fax: +34 96 5110655 NH Alicante Hotel is situated in the new commercial zone, 5 minutes away from the city centre. There are some superb holiday villas to rent in Alicante
NH Cristal Tomás López Torregrosa, 11, 03002, Tel.: +34 96 5143659 Fax: +34 96 5206696 Close to the 'Rambla de Méndez Núñez' and 'Esplanada de España', In the heart of the city's commercial and service district, it is close to the Historic Centre and Town Hall.
There are market stalls along the Explanda d'Espanya selling beads, clothes, flags etc.
If you want to see how the locals shop, head into town down the Rambla de Méndez Núnez then turn West on the Avenue de Alfonso El Sabio, and you'll find the city's main market, the Mercado Central de Alicante (38°20'52.5"N 0°29'9.6"W). It is open until about 14:30 or so most days, the two levels sell all the fresh meat, seafood, cheeses, fruit and vegetables anyone could need. If you exit the market through the back, you'll find the flower sellers in a small outdoor square.
Benidorm (Aqualandia, Mundomar, Terra Mitica)
Calpe (Peñon de Ifach)
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