Alicante, with both Valencian and Spanish official designations, is a city and port on the Costa Blanca in Spain, the seat of the province of Alicante and the comarca of Alacant, in the Valencian Community’s south. It is also a historically significant Mediterranean port. The city of Alicante proper has a population of 328,648, according to 2015 estimates, making it the second-largest Valencian city. The Alicante conurbation has 452,462 people when including adjacent municipalities. According to 2014 estimates, the metropolitan area’s population (including Elche and satellite towns) was 757,085 people, putting it as Spain’s eighth-largest metropolitan region.
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Alicante | Introduction
Alicante – Info Card
|FOUNDED :||324 BC|
|TIME ZONE :||• Time zone CET (UTC+1)
• Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
|AREA :||201.27 km2 (77.71 sq mi)|
|ELEVATION :||3 m (10 ft)|
|COORDINATES :||38°20′43″N 0°28′59″W|
|SEX RATIO :||• Male: 49.5%
• Female: 50.5%
|AREA CODE :||96|
|POSTAL CODE :||03000–03016|
|DIALING CODE :||+34 96|
Tourism in Alicante
The city is said to have been built by the Carthaginian commander Hamilcar Barca, who created the fortified town of Akra Leuka (Greek:, meaning ‘White Mountain’ or ‘White Point’), which is now Alicante. Later, it was taken by the Romans, who called it Lucentum. Alicante was an important Mediterranean commercial hub throughout the Middle Ages, exporting rice, wine, olive oil, oranges, and wool. More recently, the city has become a tourist centre for the Costa Blanca’s beaches.
Platja del Postiguet is located in the centre of the city (Playa de Postiguet). The sandy beach is popular throughout the day and becomes rather crowded in the evening when it is lit up by sodium street lights. These provide a strange appearance on the beach and breaking waves.
With a short trip by bus 22 or tram (L3, stop ‘Costa Blanca,’ you can reach the vast 7-kilometer-long Platja del San Juan (Playa de San Juan), which is regarded as one of the best in Spain.
The less busy Platja del Saladar (Playa del Saladar/Urbanova, bus 27) is situated south of the harbour, along the Alicante-Cartagena route. Platja dels Arenals del Sol (Playa de los Arenales) is little farther away, features sand dunes, and is less busy. An hourly bus service from the major bus terminal takes you to this beach.
Las Hogueras de San Juan is the city’s most prominent event. The festival takes place around the 20th of June, although residents start setting up approximately a week before. Massive structures (up to and including three floors tall) are built across Alicante and destroyed at the conclusion of the celebration on the night of the 24th to 25th, after the launch of the extremely huge “Palmera” firework from the top of the Castillo de Alicant. The explosion resembles palm tree leaves (hence the name, Palmera). This is the sign that starts the burning of the Hogueras monuments, which will persist until late at night. Following that, a week of night fireworks on the seashore will take place. You won’t have to walk far to discover music, drinks, and dancing throughout the event, which normally lasts until the early hours.
Carnival (in February–March, right before Lent) features parades of individuals dressed in disguise and open-air performances (yes, if the weather permits!).
, Holy Week (with parades of religious brotherhoods carrying representations of Jesus Christ, Holy Mary, and so on), and Santa Faz (second Thursday following Good Friday), when a major pilgrimage/walk to a nearby town with a relic containing an image of Jesus is held. As in the rest of Spain, on the 6th of January, there is a procession in honor of the Three Wise Men who loved Youngster Jesus, in which every child participates (it is the equivalent to Santa Claus in the Spanish culture).
The Moros y Cristianos event takes place in numerous small villages in the Alicante area in October. The celebration commemorates the re-conquest of each town by Christian monarchs of the area by Islamic troops. Locals dress up as Medieval Moorish and Christian soldiers and knights in colorful costumes. In certain public processions, live camels and elephants may be seen. Temporary wooden castles are created in certain regions, and simulated wars are fought. Loud gunpowder arquebuses are fired into the air, and fireworks may linger all night.
Tourist Info Alicante, Rambla Méndez Núñez, 41 (near Plaza de San Cristobal), +34 965 200 000, fax: +34 965 200 243.The main tourist office is open all year and offers free maps and brochures.
- Tourist Info Alicante Ayuntamiento, Plaza del Ayuntamiento, 1 (in the city hall), +34 965 149 219, e-mail: [email protected]. M-F 09:00-14:00 16:00-18:00, Sa Su 10:00-14:00.
- Tourist info Alicante Platja del San Juan, Avda de Niza, s/n (Playa de San Juan / San Juan Beach), e-mail: [email protected]. Jul-Aug: daily 10:30-14:30 17:30-20:30.
- Tourist Info Alicante Renfe, Avda de Salamanca, s/n (in the main train station), +34 965 125 633, e-mail: [email protected]. M-F 09:30-14:00 16:30-19:00, Sa Su 10:00-14:00.
- Tourist info Alicante Aeropuerto, Aeropuerto El Altet, +34 966 919 367.Tu 09:00-19:00, W-F 09:30-15:00.
Climate of Alicante
Alicante has moderate winters, scorching summers, and minimal rain, which falls mostly during the equinoctial times. According to the Köppen climate classification, the climate of the Alicante area is hot and semi-arid (BSh). In January, the temperature varies between 17.0 °C (63 °F) and 6.5 °C (44 °F), while in August, the temperature ranges between 30.8 °C (87 °F) and 21.5 °C (71 °F), with an average yearly temperature of 18.3 °C (65 °F). Because of the stabilizing impact of the sea, daily temperature differences are normally minor, however occasional spells of westerly wind may bring temperature shifts of 15 °C (27 °F) or more. Temperature differences are also minimal, indicating that winters are mild and summers are scorching.
The average annual rainfall is 311 mm (12.2 in). Because of the cold snap, September and October are the wettest months. Rainfall may be torrential, with over 200 mm (8 in) falling in a 24-hour period, causing serious flooding. Because of this unpredictability, the average number of rainy days per year is 35, whereas the yearly number of sunny hours is 2,953.
On July 4, 1994, a high temperature of 41.4 °C (107 °F) was recorded. On December 26, 1970, a low temperature of 3.8 °C (25 °F) was recorded. On September 30, 1997, 270.2 mm (10.6 in) of rain poured in six hours, resulting in the greatest floods in modern history. Temperatures of less than 1 °C (34 °F) are very unusual.
Economy of Alicante
Alicante was one of Spain’s fastest-growing towns prior to the worldwide crisis that began in 2008. The boom was fueled in part by tourism to the Costa Blanca’s beaches, and in particular by the second residence-construction boom, which began in the 1960s and was rekindled in the late 1990s. Services and public administration are also important components of the city’s economy. The development boom has prompted several environmental issues, and the European Union is scrutinizing both the local autonomous administration and the city council. The development boom sparked heated arguments among lawmakers and public alike. The latest in a series of public confrontations involves the Port Authority of Alicante’s intentions to build an industrial estate on reclaimed ground in front of the city’s coastal strip, in violation of municipal, national, and European legislation.
The city is home to the European Union’s Office for Harmonization in the Internal Market, as well as a sizable community of European public servants.
The University of Alicante’s campus is located in San Vicente del Raspeig, which borders the city of Alicante to the north. The University has almost 27,000 students.
Ciudad de la Luz, one of Europe’s major film studios, has maintained a location in Alicante since 2005. The studio has filmed both Spanish and foreign films, including Frédéric Forestier and Thomas Langmann’s Asterix at the Olympic Games and Menno Meyjes’ Manolete.
Internet, Communication in Alicante
The city offers free wifi throughout the city center, including Plaza del Ayuntamiento, Plaza de los Luceros, Plaza de la Montaeta, as well as the Santa Barbara Castle and the Postiguet beach.