Alicante is a wonderful, laid-back beach city with plenty of things to see and do, not to mention hundreds of years of history under its belt. A guided Alicante tour will provide you with great background information as well as introduce you to the city's neighborhoods and top sights. Your Alicante tour is likely to include:
Santa Bárbara Castle
With parts dating back to the 9th century, this hill top fortification kept watch for centuries over the city and its port. Its strategic location, sprawled across the rockyf Mount Benacantil, which was perfect for keeping an eye on any approaching merchants, armies or pirates, is now a wonderful vantage point providing a birds eye view of Alicante and its surroundings. The castle itself, complete with dungeons, a keep, look-out towers and formidable walls, has been turned into a cultural venue; it's home to a prestigious sculpture collection, a revolving door of temporary art exhibitions as well as evening concerts during the summer months.
Alicante's Old Quarter, built beneath the protection of the Santa Bárbara Castle, is a neighborhood of winding streets that span out around the City Hall and the Cathedral. Just a few decades ago, El Barrio was in a sorry state of disrepair, but a few government initiatives cleaned up the streets and brought the area's cozy charm back to its former glory. Colorful façades, winding alleys, vibrant potted flowers and intimate plazas grace the neighborhood, as do such sights as the Cathedral, the City Hall, a handful of churches and convents, the Municipal Archives, numerous museums and much more.
Speaking of museums, the award-winning MARQ archaeological museum is by far the star of the show. It was voted the best European museum in 2004, and it doesn't take long to figure out why. Archaeology is brought to life and made accessible with interactive exhibitions, top-notch technology, lifelike recreations, audiovisual projections and much more.
Explanada de España
This iconic seaside promenade, which wraps around the harbor and continues up the shorelien, is beloved by locals and visitors alike. Well over 6 million tiny colorful tiles compose the walkway, which also boasts swaying palm trees, sidewalk cafés and impeccable views. Perfect for strolling, relaxing, people-watching and breathing in that fresh sea air.
Playa de San Juan
While Alicante has two urban beaches - El Postiguet and El Saladar - the most popular sandy stretch is the Playa de San Juan, located slight north of the city. The beach's seven kilometers of soft golden sand and tranquil Mediterranean waves can be reached by Alicante's buses or trams. Once there you'll find everything you possibly need for a day - or more! - of fun in the sun: beachside restaurants, shops, hotels, water sports and more!