While many tourists head straight out of Alicante Airport to their resort, others stop off to enjoy the seaside city of Alicante. Although it is a thriving business and commercial centre , Alicante retains a laidback, cosmopolitan feel. The castle looms over the bustling city. The Old Town is home to fine old buildings with plenty of good restaurants and bars. The marina, with its luxury yachts and boats, is also a magnet for tourists who want to enjoy a fine meal with a sea view. The lush, sandy beaches provide a relaxing haven for workers and tourists alike.
Despite its cosmopolitan air, Alicante is faithful to its Spanish roots. You can enjoy the finest paellas and seafood dishes while sampling local beers and wines. The many tapas bars offer a good range of dishes where you can sample local delicacies such as squid, meatballs, snails and plump, juicy olives, for example.
ITS OLD TOWN
Take a trip back in time with a wander around Alicante Old Town’s narrow streets. The 18th century town hall is in the Old Town and it is worth popping in to see its Salon Azul (Blue Room). Look for the metal disc on the staircase which is used for measuring the sea levels around Spain. The 17th century San Nicholas Cathedral is nearby. There are also several art galleries and and convent in the Old Town.
Alicante nightlife is centred around the Old Town with plenty of bars and restaurants from which to choose. Other night owls head for the marina area. The action starts late, possibly 23.00 or midnight, and goes on until the sun rises.
OFF TO THE MARKET
The main market is on the Avenue Alfonso El Sabio where you can buy a variety of fresh meat, seafood, fruit, vegetables and cheeses. This is a fabulous place for shopping, particularly if you like your food. Head for the fish stalls as you will not believe the variety of fish and shellfish on offer. The British supermarkets do not compare favourably, that’s for sure. The vegetables are very fresh, most are locally produced and they are also much cheaper than in the supermarkets back home. The variety of cheeses on offer is also very impressive – if you look hungry enough, you may get offered a free sample!