Alicante (population 290,000) – is a fantastic little city! It is like a mini version of Barcelona but without the tourists. It is very Spanish and therefore more authentic and much better value. Recently it has become a major sailing mecca, hosting the start of The Ocean Race in 2008, 2011, 2014 and 2017, with the next race set to depart January 2023!
The night life in Alicante is superb, “The Rough Guide” says it is the best in Spain, and you will find a great atmosphere in the many restaurants, cafes, music bars and nightclubs. The weather and climate plays a major part in this and the locals like nothing better than eating out, meeting friends for a drink, spending the day on the fantastic beach or just promenading along the Esplanada as only the Spanish can.
The city is full of history. Before Costa Blanca Sailing arrived in 2006 the Celto-Iberians were here in the 4th century BC, followed by the Phoenicians and then the Greeks. Along came the Romans who stayed for 400 years and then the Visigoths who governed Iberia for the next 300 years. The Moors arrived and over the next 600 years had a major influence which can still be seen today. The Reconquista, which was completed in 1492, established Spain as we now know it.
The latter centuries saw Alicante besieged by the British Navy, occupied by Napoleonic troops and it was the scene of the final defeat of the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War. Amongst the many attractions worth a visit during your stay are the local history, art and cultural museums, the Moorish castle overlooking the marina, and the Ocean Race Museum within the marina complex.
Also check out the Alicante Tourist Office website for details of the many festivals that take place within the city – they are great fun!