Alicante is a Spanish coastal city located on the Costa Blanca and the capital of the province of Alicante with the same name in the region of Valencia. The city with over 320,000 inhabitants is an important port for the export of central Spain and the region with its beautiful sandy beaches attracts many tourists. After Valencia, it is the largest city on the Costa Blanca.

The history of Alicante dates back to 230 BC, when the city was founded under the name 'Akra Leuke' by the Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barkas. Afterwards, the city became part of the Roman Empire and in 711 the Moors occupied the city, who also gave the current name 'Alicante' to the city. The Moors also laid the foundation for the fortress on top of the Benacantil hill, but after the conquest by Spanish troops, this grew into the castle 'Castillo de Santa Bárbara'.

If you are in Alicante around the 24th of June, visit the 'Hogueras de San Juan', a festival of several days where the Fallas-like puppets take centre stage and eventually catch fire. These days guarantee spectacle.

The main points to see are:

Castillo de Santa Bárbara

The huge castle of Santa Barbara is located on the top of the 166-metre-high Monte Benecantil.

Explanada de España

Magnificent promenade along the coast and perhaps the most beautiful promenade in Spain. Stroll along the wide path between the palm trees and stalls with a refreshing breeze from the sea.

The Barrio Santa Cruz district

The Santa Cruz district is the district you come across when you walk from the centre to Monte Benacantil hill. The district is also called 'El Barrio' and is the authentic working-class district of the city with friendly inhabitants. The district is not touristy and shows the real Spanish life of the city.

Basilica de Santa Maria

The Basílica de Santa María is the oldest church in the city, built on the remains of a mosque. The Gothic basilica was built in the 14th and 15th centuries and consists of one nave with six chapels. In the church you can see beautiful works of art and a golden altar.

Tabarca Island

Tabarca Island is an island located 15 kilometres from Alicante Spain in the Mediterranean Sea. The protected marine area is an ideal place for snorkelling and has many birds. The island (1800 by 400 metres) has a small village and a beach and three boats sail daily in 45 minutes from the port of Alicante.

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