Alicante has always known how to adapt to changing times, as demonstrated by its having become the headquarters of the European Union's Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (OHIM). It also boasts a comprehensive and varied range of hotels and accommodation that is constantly being renewed and updated, plus modern facilities for hosting conferences. Not to mention a great university tradition.
A healthy present and a promising future meld seamlessly with its intense history, which has seen Iberian, Roman and other cultures welcomed to its lands over the centuries: cultures which have left their mark visibly in the area's numerous archaeological sites and in the museums dedicated to keeping their memory alive.
Alicante is the second largest city in the Valencia region on Costa Blanca in Spain. The climate in Alicante is typically Mediterranean, with mild temperatures in winter and sunny warm weather in summer, autumn and spring.
Alicante is a popular vacation destination in Spain all around the year. Rainy days in Alicante is not very frequent, on average it only rains in Alicante 38 days per year, but when it rains in Alicante, it can rain very, very much.
Most of the rain that falls in Alicante comes in autumn, and flooding is not unusual in September, October and November.
Already tired of rain and longing for some sunshine? Ok. Now the good news! The average number of sunshine hours in the Province of Alicante are nearly 3000 per year. Take that!
Located in the south of the Region of Valencia, the city of Alicante is located in the centre of the bay of the same name, flanked by the capes Cabo La Huerta to the north and Santa Pola to the south. With around 315,000 inhabitants and a municipal area of 201.3 km2 , Alicante is the second largest city in the Region of Valencia and the capital of the province of Alicante. The city's economy is based on industry, business and the service sectors. Lapped by the Mediterranean Sea, it has an exceptional climate that is characterised by mild winters and hot summers, with an average annual temperature of over 18ºC and around 3,000 hours of sunshine per year. Alicante is undoubtedly a prime example of a Mediterranean city, with a zest for life that is reflected in the personality of its inhabitants who always make visitors feel welcome and completely at home.
The first signs of Alicante's existence were found in the Cova del Fum in Fontcalent and date back to the 3rd millennium B.C. These settlements sprung up due to the geography of the area where the city would later be built, with natural pathways converging by the sea and the protection of afforded by several hills, which was particularly useful for defence. As an urban centre in the strictest sense, we must travel back to 4 B.C. at Tossal de Manises to locate the Iberian colony that would later become the Roman city known as Lucentum. After the Roman period came Arab domination, with the urban settlement moving to the slopes of Mount Benacantil for defensive purposes. Here the Vila Vella was created, which later became a maritime supply point where major trading would be carried out
Located 11 nautical miles away from Alicante this is the only inhabited island in the Region of Valencia. This is not just an island; it is in fact a small archipelago made up of the islets La Cantera, La Galera and La Nao. It measures approximately 1,800 m long and 400 m wide. Its coasts were once home to a Berber pirate camp and in the 18th century, King Carlos III ordered a town to be built there to house several Genoese families who had been rescued from the Tunisian port of Tabarka. Its town centre is surrounded by walls that form an ensemble which has been declared a Property of Cultural Interest. Its waters have been declared a Mediterranean Marine Reserve due to their excellent quality and the biodiversity of their fauna and flora, and because they are a clear example of Mediterranean marine communities.
The island can be accessed by the boats that leave from the wharfs in the port of Alicante opposite the Explanada. Once they have arrived on the island, visitors can spend time at the coves and beaches with transparent waters and a picturesque seaside town where they can taste the best produce from the sea, including fish and seafood based rice dishes, as well as the famous “caldero”, a fish and rice dish served with stock.
A path that runs around the island invites visitors to take a leisurely stroll to appreciate the scenery and try to spot the variety of marine birds that inhabit this island. For those who wish to stay, accommodation is available on the island.
The city of Alicante provides varied and rich cultural and leisure activities all year round, which are accompanied and enhanced by its mild climate. Its museums and monuments provide all kinds of options to suit the most varied tastes, with a wide range of alternatives in all areas. During the day, Alicante's shops and shopping centres sell a varied range of traditional products from the city, the region and the province as well as from many places all over Spain. These are complemented with speciality shops that market specific goods to suit and satisfy all tastes. Alicante's parks, gardens, avenues, museums, monuments, cinemas and theatres offer all kinds of varied leisure alternatives, and there are also a host of bars and restaurants to satisfy even the most demanding tastes, as well as cafés and pubs with a quiet, pleasant atmosphere located on the Explanada, the Rambla and in the old quarter, amongst others. At night, the most popular areas for going out are undoubtedly “El Barrio” (the city's old quarter), “El Puerto” the eastern wharf of the marina and the Panoramis shopping and leisure centre (on the western wharf). The pubs, bars and restaurants in the San Juan Beach area and especially at the San Juan golf course, a large entertainment and residential area on the outskirts of the city, provide a popular alternative to nightlife in the city centre.