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Map of hotels in Alicante
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Flight and hotel Alicante

Introducing Alicante

To many British holidaymakers, Alicante might just be where they fly to when staying in Benidorm. However, this pleasant resort city, with beaches, historical buildings and fantastic bars and restaurants, is well worth a visit in its own right. Located in the south of the Valencian region on Spain's Mediterranean coast, Alicante offers visitors a warm climate and a peek at the area's rich culture.

What to know before visiting Alicante

Alicante Airport (ALC) draws holidaymakers arriving from the UK throughout the year. Visitors planning to spend the weekend in Alicante itself can easily transfer to the city centre via shuttle buses from the airport. Because of the area's popularity, package holidays in Alicante are widely available, with regular UK flights to Alicante from Manchester and London's Gatwick, Luton and Stansted airports.

The currency in Spain in the euro, While Spanish is the main language, most people working in hotels, bars and restaurants will speak some English. Alicante is one hour ahead of the UK.

When is the best time for Alicante city breaks?

You can go on city breaks in Alicante all year round, thanks to the area's warm climate. However, if you want to spend some time on the beach, the best months to visit are July, August and September, when temperatures are highest. Even in winter, temperatures regularly reach a pleasant 18°C.

What to do in Alicante

Whereas the Alicante area is home to dozens of beaches, El Postiguet beach might be the most convenient for travellers spending a weekend in Alicante. It stretches from Alicante's bustling port area to the foot of the Castillo de Santa Bárbara, which dominates the city. Take a boat trip out to Tabarca Island if you want more peace, or venture around the port to gape at the yachts moored in the harbour.

As night falls, head to Plaza de la Santísima Faz behind the city hall, where you'll be spoilt for choice of restaurants. Don't forget to enjoy a refreshing mojito at Soho Bar in Plaza Portal de Elche, under the leaves of the giant 'elephant' trees.

What places should you visit during package holidays in Alicante?

Upon arrival in Alicante, you won't miss the Castillo de Santa Bárbara, which overlooks the Old Town. Standing on the peak of Mount Benacantil, the medieval fortress offers great views of the coast and is home to fascinating exhibits telling the story of Alicante's military history. Best of all, there are no steps to climb to get to the fortress, as visitors can access it via a lift.

If you want to explore further afield, one of the best day trips you can take from Alicante is into the mountains of the Costa Brava, to the village of Guadalest. This hilltop village boasts winding streets, picturesque cottages and spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. On your return to Alicante, join the locals and take a leisurely stroll along the promenade.

What to eat in Alicante

Once you've chosen your flight to and hotel in Alicante, you need to decide where you're going to eat!

  • Make sure to try some of the area's fresh seafood – cod and prawns are particular favourites.
  • Remember that no trip to the Valencian region would be complete without trying paella, a seafood-rice dish invented in this part of Spain.
  • Start your day like the locals with a mug of thick chocolate sauce and churros – long, thin doughnuts made more decadent when dipped into the chocolate sauce.
  • Don't be surprised if your evening meal ends with a free glass of a local liqueur, which is often flavoured with fruit, herbs or even honey.

Souvenirs from Alicante

You'll likely find all the usual Spanish souvenirs in Alicante, such as decorative fans, flamenco dancing dolls and castanets. However, you can always shop around if you want to take home a more unusual gift. Why not pick up a bottle of the delicious local liqueur you've been enjoying, or a bottle of Valencian olive oil?

Foodies might consider taking home a paella kit so that they can recreate this traditional dish themselves. The kits usually contain a small paella pan, special paella rice and flavourful stock – make sure to leave some room in your luggage!