It’s no surprise that Alicante has so many historic houses, given its rich past. There’s something to see on every lane, as old buildings merge seamlessly with new structures. The Provincial Archaeological Museum is well worth a visit (MARQ). The Museum displays the ruins of the Tossal de Manises archaeological site, which reveal fascinating details about the ancient city during the Iberians, Greeks, and Roman periods. The Moors and Christians festivals, which are the most common in Levante, are held in Alicante. The other major fiesta is Noche de San Juan (St. John’s Night), which takes place on June 24th. The main attractions of this festivity are the bonfires. As a tradition, ninots (papier-mâché effigies or rag dolls), which had been exhibited on the street of the town during the previous days, are set ablaze on this night.
Exquisite papier maché sculptures are erected in Alicante for months prior to the Las Hogueras de San Juan celebration each June, to be admired before being ceremoniously burned in a spectacular bonfire at midnight on St Johns Night around the summer solstice. If you can’t make it to Alicante during the festival, the Museo de Fogueres will show you some of the highlights (Bonfire Festivities Museum.) The museum has artifacts that were rescued from the fire, as well as a space where visitors can watch videos and take photos of the festival.
With works by Dali, Cocteau, Miro, Bacon, and Picasso, the Museo de Arte de Siglo XX La Asegurada (Museum of Contemporary Art) is one of Spain’s most significant contemporary art collections. Its museums, galleries, temples, and monuments, which are crammed with history and culture, are the ideal foil for some time away from the beach. And they’re all easily accessible during a city break! Take a look at the walking tour we recommend.
Enjoy open-air concerts in the city’s elegant green spaces of parks and public squares on hot summer nights, while the city’s modern promenades lined with cafes, bars, and restaurants give it a cosmopolitan feel. It’s convenient to spend the whole day and evening by the Mediterranean when all is just minutes away from the clear blue seas.
The Iglesia de Santa Maria, Alicante’s oldest church, was built between the 14th and 16th centuries and is the city’s oldest church. During the Moorish era, it served as the main mosque. It has two solid-looking towers on the front, as well as exquisite Baroque stonework. Many significant works of art are located in the church. The Cathedral de San Nicolas, which stands over 45 meters tall, was designed between 1616 and 1662. Within, the Communion Chapel is regarded as one of the finest examples of Spanish Baroque architecture. Since St Nicolas is the city’s patron saint, this Cathedral is one of the city’s most significant structures.
The Archaeology Museum, which opened in 1932, has a large collection of artefacts and is considered one of Spain’s finest. The museum is now located in a new structure that features cutting-edge digital exhibits. There’s also a fine arts center, the Belenes Museum, and a one-of-a-kind museum devoted to the ‘Ninots’ of the Falles fiestas.
The Castillo de Santa Barbara is one of Europe’s most impressive medieval fortresses. It takes up the entire summit and a significant portion of the Benacantil mountain’s slopes. It has a stunning view of the coast, the Alicante Bay, and the surrounding farmland. On this site, Bronze-Age relics have been found. The castle is divided into three enclosures, each with its own set of features. The castle is reached through a road that winds its way up the mountain’s western slope, passing through pine trees.
Although the access road to the top of the castle can be difficult to find, it is possible to drive there. Signposts aren’t the best. At the top of the hill, there is free parking. The castle is free to enter, and you can easily spend an entire day wandering around it. Near the end, there is a restaurant. The castle is also accessible through an elevator that ascends from the Paseo Maritimo. The castle is free to enter, but there is a fee to use the elevator. EU Senior citizens and the disabled are exempt from paying. The castle can be seen from almost anywhere in the area. The Provincial Gallery, which houses fine 19th-century paintings, is now housed in the Gavina Palace. The main theatre dates from 1847 and is a fine example of classical architecture. The modern marina has a host of cafes and restaurants, and the further round the marina you walk, the better the view of the city across the water.
For decades, the city’s strength has been the harbour, which has sent products all over the world and brought goods in from all over the world. A vibrant center is created by combining modern facilities with tradition and history. There are pleasure craft and passenger boats, as well as nautical schools and sailing clubs, in addition to a working fishing fleet. For more than 7,000 years, people have been attracted to Alicante’s strategic position, starting with hunter-gatherer tribes who arrived from Central Europe between 5000 and 3000 BC and settled on the slopes of Mount Benacantil. Traders and conquerors were attracted to the city.Before the conquering Moors brought oranges, palm trees, and rice, the Greeks, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, and Romans all left their mark. A Carthaginian general named Hamilcar Barca founded the fortified settlement of Akra Leuka, which means “White Peak” in Greek, where Alicante now stands. During the Roman occupation, the city was known as “Lucentum,” which means “City of Light.”
Alicante’s key tourist attraction is the Castillo de Santa Barbara, a hilltop castle that overlooks the city from the summit of Mount Benacantil. It was built by the Moors in the 10th century and is one of Europe’s largest medieval fortresses. From the 14th to the 16th centuries, the Gothic Church of Santa Mara was built on top of the former main Arab mosque.
The Basilica de Santa Maria Foto is the city’s oldest church, dating from the 14th to 16th centuries. It was designed in Gothic style above Alicante’s former Moorish Mosque.
The oldest civil building in town, the Casa de La Asegurada Foto (17th century), now houses the Museum of Contemporary Art.