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Book a flight to Alicante with Qatar Airways and you’ll discover a city that consistently proves itself as one of the best holiday destinations in Europe. The city is a fabulous fusion of all the civilizations that have, at one time or another, made Alicante their home.
Set against the spectacular backdrop of the Mediterranean Sea, you’ll find it brimming with beautiful buildings that detail its history. From Moorish mosques and Roman ruins to Baroque castles and Gothic museums, Alicante really is a feast for the eyes. You can catch flights to Alicante from most international airports, allowing you to soak up the best of Spanish culture and discover why it was named ‘The City of Light’.
The Castillo de Santa Barbara is practically reason enough to take a trip to Alicante, and a 'must-see' on any itinerary. Situated on top of Mount Benacantil, it’s the one of largest medieval fortresses in the whole country and an important landmark. The Castillo is open to visitors, who are rewarded with stunning views of the city, as well as displays featuring archaeological finds and statues of important figures in Spain’s history.
You’ll find El Palmeral Park on the outskirts of Alicante. It's a little further outside the city centre, but it’s well worth taking the time to visit. As its name suggest, towering palm trees are the main feature here, but there are hidden surprises. Tucked away behind the palms you’ll find secret gardens and even play areas for children, making this an ideal family day out.
Mundomar Maritime Park is another superb family attraction. If you or your children have even a passing interest in the natural world, then this may well be one of the highlights of your trip to Alicante. It holds an astonishing array of birds and animals, such as parakeets and owls and lemurs and sea lions. There are also opportunities to get up close and personal with some of the animals. Meet dolphins, interact with penguins and even swim with the sea lions.
Drama and showmanship are an inherent part of Spanish life and there’s no better way to immerse yourself in the local culture than through a trip to the theatre. The Teatro Principal is one of Alicante’s most prestigious theatres and plays host to visiting plays, operas and ballets. The building itself is classically impressive, having been built in the 19th Century.
The Alicante Museum of Contemporary Art is another superb way to get to grips with Spanish heritage – and this is a prime example of how ancient and modern can blend seamlessly together. The building itself was originally a granary and built in the 15th Century. However, today, and after much restoration, it has been transformed into a white-marbled art gallery with sweeping arches and stone floors. Inside, you’ll find works from some of the great contemporary artists such as Salvador Dali, Francis Bacon and Pablo Picasso.
If your trip to Alicante happens to be in June then you’ll be in for a treat, with one of the city’s most famous and unique festivals. On the evening of the 24th you’ll find the streets and squares brimming with people who are continuing an age-old tradition and setting fire to useless objects! The highlight of the spectacle is the burning of over 200 gigantic papier-mâché statues. A word of warning: as well as being known as ‘The Burning’, this night is also known as ‘The Soaking’, thanks to the water pumped out by fire-fighters extinguishing the blazes.
Food and eating are something of a ritual in Spain – and your trip to Alicante will introduce you to some delicious cuisine. The city itself is home to a wide range of places to eat, from fast food joints to fine-dining establishments. However, it’s well worth finding restaurant that serves tapas, which is a great way to get to know the local food. Tapas is a traditional way of eating in which diners choose a selection of small dishes and share them between each other, grazing as a group.
Spain’s most famous dish is paella, where seafood, fish and chicken are cooked with spices and a particular type of rice to create a fragrant dish that perfectly blends a cocktail of flavours and epitomises Spain (its red and yellow colours echo the Spanish flag). Tapas also features a variety of grilled meats and stews, but there are plenty of options for vegetarians, such as the spicy patatas bravas and the delicious Manchego cheese.
Shopping in Alicante is an all-day event. Opening hours extend well into the early evening, so there’s plenty of opportunity to take the weight off your feet and relax in a café and watch the world go by. If you’re visiting Alicante with shopping in mind, then be sure to visit the Rambla Méndez de Núñez, which is the city’s shopping headquarters. Here, you’ll find everything from high-end, designer shops to craft stalls and markets, giving you a real slice of Spanish life.
Travelling to Alicante could see you returning home with no end of goods, but look out for some Spanish specialities such as leather goods and jewellery.
Flights to Alicante will arrive at Alicante Airport, which is well served by taxis and there are plenty of car-hire facilities should you wish to drive yourself. In addition, there are a number of buses running to and from the airport.
Visa restrictions for entry into the country will depend on your country of origin, length of stay and whether your trip is for business or pleasure. So before you fly to Alicante please check the visa and passport requirements.
Currency: Euro (EUR)
Voltage: 220 V 50 Hz
Plugs: Type C / F
International dialing code: +34