Is Alicante worth visiting?
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Is Alicante worth visiting?

Considering heading to the Spanish coastal gem of Alicante, or perhaps transiting through the city? Is Alicante worth visiting? Yes, I think so! Here’s why you should consider Alicante for your next holiday in Spain.

Alicante, nestled on Spain’s stunning Costa Blanca, beckons travellers with its sun-drenched beaches, historic charm, and vibrant cultural scene. While often overshadowed by its more famous Spanish counterparts, this coastal gem is a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. Although I love cities like Madrid and Barcelona which are alive with arts events and rich in heritage, the Spanish islands away from the mainland offer the perfect beach escape. With so much choice, it can make it challenging to know where to visit in Spain for your next destination. For the best of both worlds, I really recommend considering Alicante. With a wealth of attractions, exciting cultural events, and great weather, Alicante has it all. So, is Alicante worth visiting? Whether you’re travelling solo or with family, here are some reasons why Alicante is well worth a visit, and tips on making the most of your time in this coastal city.

Quick tips for visiting Alicante

Get this: discover the ‘seven secrets’ of Alicante on a guided tour, exploring, eating, and drinking your way around the very best spots that Alicante has to offer.

Don’t miss: visiting a beautiful winery in one of the best wine-producing areas of the Alicante region and take a tour of the cellars and holding tanks before enjoying an excellent wine tasting.

Bucket list experience: take in the Costa Blanca on a parasailing boat trip experience. Take to the skies and enjoy views of Alicante from high above the water, before enjoying a drink.

Flights: find the cheapest flights to Alicante with Skyscanner.

Stay: Find the most affordable hotels in Alicante on

Is Alicante worth visiting? Top reasons to visit

Here are some of the top reasons why I think Alicante is absolutely worth visiting, and why this Spanish coastal city should be top of your list to visit.

Its beautiful coastal location

Spain is blessed with thousands of kilometres of coastline, split into sections known as ‘costas’. The Costa del Sol, named for its sunny climate, and Costa Blanca with its pristine beaches are two of the most popular seaside destinations in Spain. Alicante is located in the heart of the Costa Blanca, boasting beautiful bays of white sand lapped by the azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea. Playa de San Juan is one of the best beaches to visit in Alicante, praised for its 7km stretch of golden coastline and essential facilities like sun loungers and changing rooms. 

The ocean is relatively calm during the spring and summer. It serves as the perfect setting for all sorts of water sports including sailing, child-friendly kayaking and snorkelling, and scuba diving for those with a PADI Open Water Diver certification. My absolute favourite – the Balearic Islands – are just off the coast of Alicante too. Head north to Denia and you can take an overnight ferry to Ibiza to experience the breathtaking beaches and exhilarating nightlife of this high-energy island. I also recommend hopping over to nearby Formentera to explore the beautiful beaches. Set in a strategic location for day trips, here are a few other places I recommend visiting from Alicante:

  • Altea – a beautiful town with white-washed buildings and an artsy charm
  • Tabarca – this island is a marine reserve with crystal-clear waters that make it perfect for snorkelling
  • Guadalest Valley – set in the mountains, this beautiful valley offers a scenic escape, and has a medieval castle and reservoir that’s well worth exploring
Is Alicante worth visiting?

Its unique attractions

If, like me, you’ve previously wondered where there is to do in Alicante, you won’t be disappointed. This vibrant port city has many attractions in addition to its glorious coastline. It’s a wonderful blend of ancient history and modern vitality. Enrich your itinerary by ticking off some of the best things to do in Alicante, from family-friendly activities to fascinating heritage sites. I also loved simply wandering through the cobbled streets of the Old Town (El Barrio) to witness history architecture, lively plazas, and authentic tapas bars. Don’t miss the modern Explanada de España, a palm-lined promenade along the waterfront, where you can indulge in leisurely strolls and seaside dining.

The iconic Santa Bárbara Castle, perched atop Mount Benacantil, with its colourful frescoes and centuries of history is a highlight. From here, you can enjoy panoramic views over the city and the Mediterranean Sea. You also can’t miss the striking white Casa Carbonell that was built 100 years ago. In the heart of Alicante’s Old Town, you’ll find an art nouveau marketplace bustling with trade, and a 17th-century cathedral adorned by intricate stonework and sculptures. Children will love Terra Mítica, a popular theme park in the neighbouring resort of Benidorm. The rides and rollercoasters are a great way to keep the kids entertained! Aqualandia, a waterpark with several slides and pools, is the perfect alternative for warmer days.

Streets of Alicante

Its festivals and cultural celebrations

Alicante is famous for its vibrant culture and lively festivals. These traditional annual celebrations are incredibly diverse, ranging from festivals honouring past events to fire-filled fiestas. I highly recommend timing your visit to see the Moors and Christians Festival (Fiestas de Moros y Cristianos), a popular event with a long heritage that only takes place in the Alicante and Valencia provinces. Over the course of a long weekend, historic battles are recreated with costumed actors playing out past conflicts between Muslims and Christians. This is certainly an engaging and unique way to explore the region’s Moorish heritage!

Another colourful event that’s well worth witnessing is the Bonfires of St John Festival (Hogueras de San Juan) which is held on the eve of the summer solstice to mark the arrival of the season. As night draws in, the streets of Alicante are transformed into a party with music, fireworks, traditional food, and a thousands-strong throng in this week-long celebration. This grand fiesta stems from an old local custom to dance around campfires at midnight on this day. 

Bonfires of St John Festival

The incredible weather

Still deciding ‘is Alicante worth visiting?’ I’m sure the weather will convince you! In addition to its rich culture, exciting attractions, and stunning seaside, Alicante has excellent weather for much of the year. This means that it’s a handy travel destination for off-peak months and school holidays, while also being suitable for summer. There’s relatively little rainfall in Alicante so you’re almost guaranteed clear skies, even if you visit in winter. Temperatures are mild from December to February, hovering between 7-17°C. 

Depending on your tolerance for heat, spring and summer are the best times to visit. In July and August, temperatures can soar above 30°C, while in spring it’s milder but still sunny. Beach weather lasts from April all the way into November, making Alicante a popular option for the Easter holidays and October half-term. Alicante really is a great place to visit all year round.

Alicante Promenade

Its golden beaches and crystal-clear waters

Alicante boasts some of Spain’s most picturesque beaches, where golden sands meet the turquoise hues of the Mediterranean. It’s certainly one of my favourite reasons to visit Alicante! Playa del Postiguet, nestled at the foot of the castle, is within easy reach of the city but offers a tranquil atmosphere near the sea. The beach has a scenic promenade, perfect for a stroll, and you can always stop off at a chiringuito for some drinks and snacks with a view.

For a more secluded retreat, venture to the stunning Playa de San Juan, stretching along the coastline with plenty of space for relaxation and water activities. The inviting waters and warm Mediterranean climate make Alicante a haven for anyone who loves beaches. If you fancy getting off the beaten track slightly, you’ll find some gorgeous sandy beaches with turquoise waters. I recommend heading to Playa la Fustera in the northeast of Alicante. The beach is popular with both families and couples alike. If you have a car, you can drive to the town of Moraira, which is near a number of gorgeous beaches too.

Best beaches in Alicante

Its culinary delights

Alicante’s culinary scene is a delightful journey through the flavours of the Mediterranean. Explore the Central Market, Mercado Central, to savour fresh produce, local cheeses, and aromatic spices. Indulge in traditional rice dishes, including a wonderful paella, at one of the many waterfront restaurants. The Explanada’s gelato shops and charming cafes beckon you in to sample some of the delicious sweet treats. Alicante’s gastronomy is a celebration of seafood, local wines, and the joy of eating.

As Alicante is located on the sea, you’ll find plenty of seafood. Rice is the staple ingredient for many dishes in the city, and a lot of vegetables are grown locally so unsurprisingly many dishes incorporate fresh vegetables. Here are some of the most popular local dishes and drinks to try while in Alicant:

  • Arroz a banda – rice cooked in fish stock
  • Arroz con costra – a cross between a paella and a casserole, made with rice, chicken, rabbit, sausages, and eggs
  • Olleta alicantina – a rice dish with chickpeas, chestnuts, pumpkin, stock, and bacon
  • Borreta alicantina – a stew with cod and potatoes
  • Mistela – an alcoholic drink made from Muscat of Alexandria grapes, a little like wine
  • Pericana – a savoury dish made with salted cod, peppers, garlic, and olive oil
  • Turrón de Jijona – a soft nougat made with almonds and honey
Paella and rice dishes

How to get around Alicante

Now you know just how worthwhile visiting Alicante is, you’d probably like to know how to get around the city. The good news is that it’s super easy for holidaymakers to get around Alicante. You can pre-book Alicante transfers from the airport and these will have you in the city centre in no time, ferrying you right to your hotel door. You can then use the excellent public transport options to explore further afield during your stay – the buses and trams are regular and reasonably priced – or hire a taxi for each excursion. The city itself is easy to navigate on foot because it’s relatively compact. In addition, because Alicante sprang up around its port, most holiday accommodation is no more than a short walk from the beach.

Is Alicante worth visiting in the summer?

Hell yes! It’s when I’d go back to Alicante, and unsurprisingly, the hot weather in summer is a key motivator for tourists to visit Alicante. Although it does mean Alicante is busier during the summer months, it’s the perfect time for enjoying the beach, exploring the city, and enjoying local food and drinks.

  • Average temperature in the summer: 25°C (77°F)
  • Daily high temperature: 29°C (84°F)

Is Alicante worth visiting in the autumn?

Shoulder season is another wonderful time to visit Alicante, and there’s no time like autumn. You’ll find the city is much quieter and there are often better deals on flights and hotels. Alicante is a little cooler in the autumn, making it a great time to explore the city’s landmarks and old town.

  • Average temperature in the summer: 20°C (68°F)
  • Daily high temperature: 26°C (79°F)

Is Alicante worth visiting in the winter?

Winter is the low season for tourism in Alicante, meaning you’ll find fewer crowds and even some travel bargains. Despite it being winter, the weather is still very pleasant here, and much warmer than most of Europe. When visiting at this time of year, you can experience all the most famous sights, museums, and old town without the crowds.

  • Average temperature in the summer: 11°C (52°F)
  • Daily high temperature: 16°C (61°F)

Is Alicante worth visiting in the spring?

Another shoulder season, and arguably my favourite time to travel, you find the weather in Alicante very pleasant in spring with average temperatures around 16°C (60°F). It’s still quieter in terms of tourism than in the peak season, and so you’ll find fewer crowds and better travel deals. It’s also a great time to browse the shops, museums, and explore the city’s historic sights.

  • Average temperature in the summer: 16°C (60°F)
  • Daily high temperature: 21°C (70°F)

Is Alicante worth visiting? FAQs

Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about visiting the Spanish city of Alicante.

Is Alicante worth visiting?

Oh, 100%. This coastal gem on Spain’s Costa Blanca boasts a perfect blend of historic charm, stunning beaches, and a vibrant cultural scene. Personally, I love Alicante’s golden beaches, including the iconic Playa del Postiguet and Playa de San Juan, where I can just flop with a book under the Mediterranean sun. The food is also a highlight for me as I love nothing more than fresh seafood. Another reason I love Alicante is its well positioned location for enjoying day trips to neighbouring towns and landscapes. It really offers a little something for everyone.

What is Alicante most famous for?

Alicante is most famous for its stunning beaches, including Playa del Postiguet and Playa de San Juan, with their golden sands and crystal-clear waters. The city is also renowned for its iconic Santa Bárbara Castle, perched atop Mount Benacantil, providing panoramic views of the Mediterranean. The city is also well known for its vibrant nightlife, historical sights, festivals, and shopping. It’s considered to be a vibrant and colourful city.

What is the most famous sight in Alicante?

The most famous sight in Alicante is undoubtedly the Santa Bárbara Castle, perched atop Mount Benacantil. I’d head here as one of the first things you do in Alicante to enjoy panoramic views of the city and the Mediterranean Sea. This iconic castle is a symbol of Alicante’s history and a must-visit attraction.

How many days in Alicante is enough?

Of course, the answer to this really depends on what you fancy doing when visiting Alicante. I’d recommend 2-3 days in the city so that you have sufficient time to enjoy the beaches, some great food, and explore Santa Bárbara Castle. If you fancy going on day trips, exploring beaches further afield, and visiting neighbouring cities like Murcia or Cartagena, you could quite happily spend a week in Alicante.

Is Alicante a pretty city?

Alicante is so pretty! When I think of Alicante, I think of its picturesque historic charm and coastal beauty. The iconic Santa Bárbara Castle overlooking the city, the cobbled streets of the Old Town, and the vibrant waterfront promenade all add to Alicante’s aesthetic allure. With golden beaches, palm-lined avenues, and a backdrop of mountains, Alicante’s scenic landscapes make it a truly beautiful destination.

Is Alicante better than Benidorm?

This ultimately depends on what you’re looking for. Alicante offers a rich cultural experience, historic landmarks like Santa Bárbara Castle, and a more diverse range of attractions beyond beaches. In contrast, Benidorm is famous for its lively nightlife, extensive beachfront, and a concentration of entertainment options. Both cities have their unique appeal, catering to different tastes.

Is Alicante expensive?

Alicante isn’t cheap, but it’s more affordable than bigger cities like Madrid and Barcelona. Accommodation prices will change depending on the location and season, but you can find good deals off-season. When it comes to food, you can spend an average of 12 euros per person in an inexpensive restaurant. Like any travel destination, costs can vary depending on your preferences, the time of year, and your chosen accommodation and dining options. Overall, I’d say Alicante is a relatively cost-effective destination.

How safe is Alicante?

I felt very safe as a tourist in Alicante. The city has a low crime rate, and common-sense safety precautions are generally considered enough for a safe visit. The areas frequented by tourists, including the historic Old Town and beachfront felt very safe. As with any travel destination, I’d recommend staying vigilant, particularly in crowded areas, and taking standard precautions like safeguarding belongings. Alicante’s welcoming atmosphere and well-established tourism infrastructure contribute to a safe experience for visitors.

When should I visit Alicante?

In my opinion, the best time to visit Alicante is during the summer for the hot weather. That said, I’d probably recommend visiting in spring (March to May) or autumn (September to November) when the weather is pleasant, but the city is less crowded. These seasons offer comfortable temperatures for beach activities, sightseeing, and exploring. It really depends on the type of holiday you want as Alicante is a destination you can visit all year round. I love the sun, so this is why personally I’d go in summer.

That’s my guide to visiting Alicante! I hope you found it helpful, and now know ‘is Alicante worth visiting?’ Hopefully you’re feeling inspired to visit yourself now. If you have any questions, let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them.

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