ALICANTE TRAVEL GUIDE
Thank you so much to María from Free Walking Tours Alicante for her help with this video, it was invaluable. You can book a tour through here website here - http://www.freewalkingtoursalicante.com.
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Do you know the meaning of the saying, ‘Pa’lante, como los de Alicante’? If you’re from the English-speaking world, then maybe not. But you should! It means ‘Forward, like the people of Alicante’. In Spain, this popular saying defines the people of Alicante by their drive, determination and spirit. Historically, this port city on the Costa Blanca has faced many struggles - be they due to war or economic troubles - but the people of Alicante have persevered, with their heads held high, and pressed forward.
The late 1950s and 60s were a transformative time for the city. The growth of global tourism drove holidaymakers to locations like Alicante, which enjoyed beautiful climates year-round. The local economy benefited greatly from well-funded construction projects such as hotels and complexes that accompanied this increase in tourism, and in turn, the extra visitors drove an increase in the number of wonderful restaurants, bars and cafés Alicante has to offer.
At the heart of Alicante is an energy - a culture and identity that has persevered through the growth of the tourism here. The idyllic and instagrammable paved streets of the Barrio de Santa Cruz lead you on a path around the mountain at the centre of the city, Monte Benacantil, and the ancient walls of the Castillo de Santa Barbara on its peak. The castle is visible from everywhere in the city, whether you’re soaking up some sun at the beach, or shopping for fresh local produce in Alicante’s Mercado Central.
With neighbors like the infamous Benidorm, I had a few assumptions about the nature of tourism in the city, and I couldn’t have been more wrong. The real, authentic Alicante is here and waiting for you, and I could feel it from the moment we landed.
The city of Alicante is around 1,260 miles from London. To get there, we chose the way you’ll also most likely be using, which is to fly! We flew from Gatwick airport, so to start our trip in style, we booked ourselves into the Number 1 Lounge. Unlimited food and drink was a nice way to enjoy the free WiFi, which was perfect for some extra last-minute research and filling our Netflix downloads for the plane. If you fancy starting your holiday like a VIP, you can use the Holiday Extras app to book yours.
Alicante has its own airport, so getting in is easy. A flight from Gatwick to Alicante takes only around 2.5 hours. Then, the airport is just a 20 minute drive away from the town centre. Our recommendation? Book yourself a private transfer or taxi. The door to door service is the most hassle-free option. Alternatively, you can take the C6 bus from Alicante Airport into the city, which arrives every 20 minutes throughout the daytime or once an hour between midnight and 5am, and takes just 20 minutes.
We wanted to soak in as much of the Alicante experience as we could, so we’re doing most of our exploring by foot. Many of the best sights in Alicante are all within walking distance of one another. We used Google Maps to plan our routes. Perfect if you’re planning on doing a lot of walking, but it’ll also show you your public transport options too, so you’ll know if you could save time by opting to catch a tram instead.
Alicante is full of energy, so it’s no surprise that this city attracts party people, stag do’s and hen nights. But if you know where to look, it can also be serene, idyllic and a history lover’s paradise… if you know where to look.
So on our first morning in Alicante, we made our way over to the Castillo de Santa Barbara to get the best views over Alicante. On our way there, we passed the Playa del Postiguet, or Postiguet Beach, and naturally, had to stop to enjoy it.
One of Alicante’s most popular beaches, it’s only a short walk from the town centre and is renowned for the quality of the sand and gorgeous palm tree boardwalk.