Alicante City (Spain) Guide: Everything You Need to Know before Relocation

Tourists and Home Buyers Guide - Alicante, Costa Blanca, Spain. Location, airport, weather and climate. TOP-5 Beaches of Alicante. Hotels, Shopping, Recreation. Best Golf Clubs. Best places for buying property in Alicante. Property prices in Alicante with examples.
The province of Alicante is one of the most popular destinations for both spending a vacation or emigrating among European tourists. The province is located along the Costa Blanca, famous for its warm climate and bargain property prices. Here are Alicante (the capital), Torrevieja, Benidorm and other attractive resorts. The region has a Central European Time (CET). The area code is +34 (Spain), 96 (Alicante).

The total population of the province is gradually approaching two million (during the high season, this figure multiplies by two or three). A significant part of the population are foreign investors. The UK citizens are among the most numerous. In this article, we will discuss some remarkable features of this area in terms of travelling and buying property.

1. Location and map

Alicante is located in the eastern coast of Spain. Together with two other provinces (Valencia and Castellon), it forms the Autonomous Community of Valencia. In the west and southwest, it borders with the provinces of Murcia and Albacete, with Valencia in the north, and the Mediterranean Sea in the east.

Alicante–Elche Airport (ALC)

The Alicante-Elche Airport is located about ten kilometers south of the city. It is one of Spain's busiest airports, which welcomes over 10 million passengers each year from 120 cities around the world. The Alicante-Elche Airport is a base for Air Nostrum, Ryanair, Jet2 and other airlines. A flight to Alicante from London takes about two and a half hours.

  • Airport transfer

To get from Alicante airport to the city, you can take C6 bus which runs every 20 minutes from 7 AM to 11 PM, and every hour between 11 PM and 7 AM. This is one of the most popular types of transfers to the city, because the bus stops at some key places: Luceros and Mercado TRAM stations (lines 1, 2, 3 and 4), RENFE train station, Alfonso X el Sabio, Plaza de Los Luceros tram station, Vázquez de Mella and others. By C6 bus you can get from the airport to the center of Alicante in about 20 minutes. The ticket costs €3.85.

If you prefer to go by taxi, Alicante Airport taxi cars are operated by Radio Taxi Elche. You will easily identify them by the green stripe over a white car. Usually several cars are waiting near the Departure zone, but during rush hours, waiting times may be over 30 minutes. Taxi service runs from 9 AM to 1 AM. A taxi ride to the center of Alicante will cost about €19. Maximum 4 adults per car are allowed.

  • Car rental in Alicante airport

There are several Spanish car rental companies near the airport terminal: Goldcar Rental, Hertz, Europcar, Sixt, and others. Most offers vary from €50 to €200 per day, depending on the size and amenities of the car.

Alicante city map

Alicante stretches along the Mediterranean coast and goes deep into the continent for several kilometers. The city center is concentrated around the port and the Santa Barbara Castle on the Benacantil hill, which is considered to be the main attraction of the city.
The historical center is located in the southern part of the city. In total, the city is divided into nine administrative districts. Some of them have multi-unit buildings, others are a private housing area full of private luxurious villas. In the east, a city line goes around a rocky cape Cap de l'Horta, beyond which there is a beach and the San Juan district of the same name. Once being popular among Spaniards as a place for a vacation, now it is rapidly gaining popularity among foreign tourists. The University of Alicante is located on the north of the city.

Cities near Alicante

  • Elche (20km). The city of Elche is located to the west of Alicante. It is famous for its numerous palm groves listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The local theater of El Gran Teatro de Elche is also an attractive place for tourists.

  • Guardamar del Segura (40km). If you drive south along the coast, in half an hour you will reach this small coastal town. This is a nice resort with about 15,000 citizens, with great ecology and plenty of vegetation. Guardamar offers several wide equipped beaches.

  • Torrevieja (50km). A little further to the south and we get to Torrevieja, the largest city in this part of the Costa Blanca, a popular place of attraction for foreigners and investors. This city is perfect for both seasonal holidays and permanent residence. There you will find several sandy beaches and stone bays, as well as two salt lakes, which makes the local air truly healthy.

  • Murcia (75km). It is the capital of the province of the same name, administrative and business center, rather large city (about 450,000 people). Travelers love this place for its historical heritage, monuments of Arab and Medieval architecture, castles, bridges and parks. Murcia has a well-known prestigious University — Universidad de Murcia, founded in 1272.

  • Benidorm (40km). Benidorm, on the contrary, is located to the north of Alicante, about 30 minutes by car. This city is called Spanish Las Vegas. If you want to have a lot of fun, visit some night clubs, bars, and casinos – Benidorm is waiting for you! The population is just over 70,000, but the number of people there multiplies in summer.

  • Valencia (160 km). Finally, if you drive to the north, you will find yourself in Valencia, the capital of the region. This is the third city in Spain in terms of population (about 800 thousand people), as well as an important tourist and business center. Some travelers say that Valencia is one of the "smartest" cities in Europe for its developed transport system, a huge number of bike paths, theme parks, the famous City of Arts and Sciences and much more.
Benidorm view (Costa Blanca, Spain)
Benidorm

2. Weather and climate in Alicante

Alicante is located in the subtropical zone. The climate in this part of the Costa Blanca is one of the most pleasant on the entire Mediterranean coast (warmer than on the Costa Brava, but not as hot as on the Costa del Sol).
Alicante, Spain Average Annual Weather
Alicante, Spain Average Annual Weather
Travelers and locals enjoy mild and warm weather all year round. There are no sudden changes in temperature: even in January, the daytime temperature almost never drops below 15 degrees.

Average sea temperature

Alicante Average Water Temperature
Alicante, Spain Average Water Temperature (Source: weatherspark.com)
The beach season lasts from April to the end of October. In the hottest months, the water at the resorts warms up to + 27°C. In total, there are about 328 sunny and 37 rainy days a year in Alicante.

3. Hotels in Alicante

Alicante offers a large selection of where to stay or spend a night, from luxury five-star hotels to modest budget hostels. The cheapest options for one night start from €15, and the average price is around €100. During the high season (from May to October) prices usually rise.
Alicante: average nightly price per month (3-star hotel)
Average nightly price per month (3-star hotel). (Sourсe: kayak.com)
In Alicante, there are several tourist places. In these areas hotels are especially in demand. If you are into authentic historical views, go for the hotels near Santa Barbara Castle, an ancient fortress with a museum built by Arabs in the 9th century. For example, the Hotel Maya Alicante, which is located near the castle and next to the Marq-Castillo tram stop.

If the proximity of the beach is the most important for you, then it is better to settle near Playa Postiguet. It is the main beach of the city, which follows by the Explanada de Espana (the main boulevard of the city) with palm alleys and the marina area full of entertainment venues, including nightlife places. One of the best hotels in the area is Meliá Alicante. In the district of bars and restaurants you will find the adults-only Hotel Boutique Alicante Palacete S.XVII.

Judging by the ratings and reviews on the accommodation websites, the highest scored hotels are Smile & Co Hostal Boutique (budget option near the promenade), Hotel Hospes Amerigo (luxury hotel within walking distance to the beach) and the Sercotel Suites del Mar with panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea and the marina.

4. TOP-5 beaches in Alicante

Alicante is not the most important beach resort in Spain, but it is located by the sea. Accordingly, you will find some beaches of different kinds: stone, sand, bays, both popular and secluded. Many of them received a Blue Flag award. Here we present our Top-5 best beaches in Alicante:

  • Playa Postiguet.
The main beach of the city which is a little less than a kilometer long and 45 meters wide. Its advantage is the location in the very center of the city: the beach is at the foot of Santa Barbara, close to the Explanada de Espana, the historic district, the marina, and nightclubs. All the necessary services for a beach holiday are here for you: lifeguards, changing cabins and showers, cafes, sun loungers with umbrellas. During the high season, it is "alive" both day and night.
Playa Postiguet​
Playa Postiguet
  • Playa de la Albufereta.
A cozy beach in the southeast of Alicante and on the other side of the Benacantil hill where the castle of Santa Barbara is located. It is relatively small (about 300 meters) and narrow (25 meters). It can be reached via the A-190 highway. The infrastructure and services are not always present there, but at the peak of the season, you will find a red cross rescue post, toilets, showers and parking.
Playa de la Albufereta
Playa de la Albufereta
  • Playa de la Almadraba.
It is located perpendicular to the previous beaches, which is why the Playa de la Almadraba offers a wonderful panoramic view of the city and the castle of Santa Barbara. There is less infrastructure, but not so many tourists. Well suited for those who like to relax in privacy, while staying in the city.
Playa de la Almadraba
Playa de la Almadraba
  • Cabo de las Huertas.
In the eastern part of Alicante is a stone beach Cabo de las Huertas (Сap de l'Horta). It is three kilometers of a rocky coastline, divided into several cozy bays and secluded stripes of sand. There are no sunbeds and other infrastructure. It is rather a quiet place for those seeking some privacy.
Cabo de las Huertas
Cabo de las Huertas
  • Playa San Juan.
Just behind Cabo de las Huertas you can visit Playa de San Juan, stretching to the city of El Campello. It is clean, long (over 7 km) and wide (over 70m). Playa de San Juan can be often found in various ratings and is considered one of the best beaches on the entire Costa Blanca. Tourists and travelers from many nearby towns come here, and because of the size of the beach, it is never crowded. Vacational housing, which is popular with foreigners, is being actively constructing in this part of the city.
Playa San Juan
Playa San Juan

5. Leisure & recreation

In addition to a lazy beach holiday in Alicante, there are many other ways to spend your time. The cultural program of the city begins with the castle of Santa Barbara, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the Casco Historico. Be sure to take a walk around the Explanada de Espana and visit the Mercado Central market, which resembles a church or railway station. Not far from the market you will find the bullring and Bull Square. Battles of the toros take place every summer during the Las Hogueras festival.

After a walk, you can relax in the charming parks of Parque el Palmeral and Lo Morant. The Archaeological Museum is located in the Pla del Bon Repos quarter. Several points of attraction are in the marina area. For example, Casino Mediterráneo Alicante and a yacht marina that offers several services, including renting a boat, hiring a captain, fishing and diving.

You can order a kayak tour with snorkeling. A boat trip is a great way to spend time with family. With masks and flippers, you can dive into the diversity of underwater world along the coast, including stone grottoes and coves of Cabo de las Huertas. You can also rent a jet ski. The price per hour is about €130.

As for windsurfing and other types of surfing, you can find the necessary infrastructure on the beach of San Juan. There are several centers where you can rent surfboards, paddles or have a class with an instructor. There you can also find a surfing class.
Casino Mediterráneo Alicante​
Casino Mediterráneo Alicante

6. Best Golf Clubs & Resorts in Alicante

Golf is traditionally popular in Alicante. Most of the golf clubs are located in the eastern part of the city. Locals and tourists ride buggies and fight between 18 holes all year round. Interesting to mention, Alicante's golf resorts are even more loaded in winter. Summer days are too hot for playing, but in winter the climate perfectly suits sports: mild temperatures of around +15°С in the daytime. That is why many Brits and Scandinavians come to Spain in winter.

Moreover, in Alicante you can find the office of Costa Blanca Golf Association. There you can get familiar with all the fields of Alicante. Below we provide a summary of the most popular golf resorts within the city:

  • Alicante Golf. One of the main and busiest courses in the city, founded in 1998. It has a convenient location close to San Juan beach, not far away from the center. Here you can find a price list and book a field online.

  • Near the airport you can find El Plantío Golf Resort. The course was constructed in 1999. It occupies 49 hectares of land, 18 holes par 72 and a large area for practicing.

  • To get to Alenda Golf resort you need to drive for 10km to the west of the city. It is not just a golf course, but also a complex with a gym, sports fields, as well as a nice restaurant. Moreover, there is a huge golf school for children and adults.

  • Font de Llop is located a little to the west, ten minutes by car from the airport. This golf club is famous for its atmosphere: being at the foot of the hills, it amazes with its mountain views. Besides, the complex is surrounded by olive groves and vineyards.

7. Restaurants, Bars & Cuisine

There are hundreds of places in Alicante where you can drink and eat. But it is worth remembering that some close for siesta. The best time for lunch is 1 p.m.

Many popular places are located on the pedestrian street Calle de las Setas. It can be easily recognized by the yellow and green tiles and famous mushroom statues. There you will find tables on the street at which you can sit to try traditional Mediterranean food. Many cafes offer lunches at a reasonable price of six to eight euros. You can see numerous cosy cafes along the Calle de castaños and Calle mayor. Locals enjoy eating both meat and seafood dishes of Spain, and exotic cuisines of the world. Let's take a closer look at several restaurants and cafes for different budgets:

  • La Taberna del Gourmet. A popular gourmet restaurant near the Esplanade. Prices are high, but visitors splurge there without any regret: some admit they have never thought that a product could be cooked this way. The explanation is quite simple: the restaurant is run by Maria Jose San Roman, one of the most famous contemporary chefs in Spain and the holder of the Michelin star. Bread is baked right in the kitchen and served with an olive oil of the highest quality. We recommend trying red shrimp from Denia, oysters or scallops. If you want to taste everything in bits and do not spend too much money, the restaurant offers a set of tapas (Spanish snacks) for €29.

  • El Portal. This restaurant also specializes in refined dishes and can be hardly called an affordable place. Here come those who want to have a drink in an expensive way. In its menu you can find grilled turbot (€59.90 per kilo), red tuna tartare with wakame (€24.90) or grilled Iberian pork (€20.90).

  • La Tagliatella. Located on Calle de Castaños, which we already mentioned above. It is а cozy restaurant of urban design. There waiters serve you some Italian cuisine and the prices won't break the bank. The hungry guest is offered to choose among a variety of pasta, pizzas and desserts.

  • If you prefer something more exotic, head to Daikichi Japanese restaurant. They make various dishes with rice and traditional sushi, preparing it right in front of the guests. Try smoked eel, which is so good it does not need the soy sauce or wasabi, and octopus balls that can be described as Spanish croquettes in the Japanese interpretation.

  • Wasi (Wasi Restaurante Fusion). Another unusual place representing Peruvian cuisine. Small and quite modest in terms of service, but a decent restaurant. The most famous Peruvian dish is ceviche, a similar dish is also popular in Chile, Colombia and Mexico. It is a white fish (or seafood) under a special marinade (most often lime juice) with beans and corn. You can choose between hot and cold options.

8. Shopping

Alicante is a large modern European city. So there are no problems with shopping either. One of the largest city's market streets is Avenida Maisonnave: at the beginning and the end of the street there is a shopping center called El Corte Ingles. At the beginning you will find home appliances and household goods, in the second centre you can shop for clothes, shoes and accessories. Between the two shopping centers along the avenue, you can visit some stores of famous european brands.

In the shopping center Plaza Mar 2, there are fashion stores, cosmetics, accessories and households. Finally, a great option is el Centro comercial Gran Via, offering supermarket Carrefour and clothing stores like Primark.

To buy some ingredients for cooking at home, we strongly recommend visiting the Mercado Central (central market). It not only looks like an architectural monument from the outside but also allows you to experience the real Spanish atmosphere. Many merchants from the surrounding villages sell fresh meat, fish, vegetables, seafood and other food here.

And when you are going to buy souvenirs on the last day, visit Ale-hop store on Alfonso street.

9. Other Activities

Some tourists who have already explored Alicante are looking for attractive routes nearby. In this case, many decide to go on a mini-trip to Tabarca Island. This is the largest island of the Valencian community, where you can enjoy picturesque Spanish villages and narrow streets. This island is located 20 kilometers away from Alicante. There are no sandy beaches, but excellent diving and fishing possibilities.
Tabarca Island
Tabarca Island
In El Campello, there is a center for paragliding. An air walk lasts about 40 minutes and the cost is around €70.

In case you want some more gourmet cuisine and love to travel around Alicante, then we recommend you visiting Denia (Quique Dacosta restaurant, three Michelin stars) or Javea (Bon Amb restaurant, two Michelin stars). These cities are also perfect for walking around.

10. Property for sale in Alicante: Houses, Villas & Apartments

It should be noted that Alicante is the most popular region in Spain for buying property among foreigners. In 2019 overseas buyers purchased more than 50% of all real estate here.

In the city center, closer to the sea, you will find mostly resale housing 70-80 years old. If you move towards the continent, you may see new buildings, some of them offering sea views. Parque Avenidas and Vistahermosa Areas districts are the private housing areas, full of both modest chalets and luxury villas with private pools.

The most actively developing part of the city in terms of real estate stretches along the beach of San Juan. But the Juan XXIII area, on the contrary, is the one we can not advise, in case you do not want to live with immigrants from Morocco and Gypsies.

We would like to draw your attention to the best areas for buying a real estate in Alicante:

11. Conclusion

All in all, Alicante has a perfect location. You can fly here by plane or get by car or train from any Spanish city. Alicante offers a mild climate, warm sea and excellent beaches. There are many places for sightseeing, cafes and restaurants, and sports facilities.

Of course, this city is great both as a holiday destination and a permanent residence. It is worth noting that the demand and price of the real estate in this region is growing steadily, so if you sell your property, you will surely earn on resale.
Links:

Hotel Maya Alicante — https://www.hotelalicantemaya.com/
Meliá Alicante — https://www.melia.com/en/hotels/spain/alicante/mel...
Hotel Boutique Alicante Palacete S.XVII — https://hotelboutiquealicante.com/
Smile & Co Hostal Boutique — http://smile-co-hostal-boutique.alicantespainhotel...
Hotel Hospes Amerigo — https://www.hospes.com/en/amerigo/
Sercotel Suites del Mar — https://www.suitesdelmar.com/

Casino Mediterráneo Alicante — https://www.casinomediterraneo.es/casino-alicante/
Yacht marina — https://www.marinaalicante.com/?lang=en
Costa Blanca Golf Association — https://www.golfcostablanca.org/
El Plantío Golf Resort — http://www.elplantio.com/
Font de Llop — https://fontdelllop.com/en/

La Taberna del Gourmet — https://latabernadelgourmet.com/en/
El Portal — https://www.elportaltaberna.es/en
La Tagliatella — https://www.latagliatella.es/en/restaurants/alicante/ccastanos-alicante
Daikichi — https://www.facebook.com/restaurantedaikichi
Quique Dacosta — https://en.quiquedacosta.es/
Bon Amb — https://bonamb.com/en/
Thank you for your attention! If you are interested in real estate in Alicante, visit the catalog, choose a property in Alicante according to your needs and contact our agents!
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