Alicante on the Costa Blanca in Spain is a favourite holiday destination for us Brits. It's loved for its long sandy beaches and most of all for its great weather - it's possible to drink and dine alfresco all year round! And the wide seafront promenade is the perfect place for doing just that.
There's plenty good hotels in Alicante no matter whether your budget is small or large. There are loads along the sea front, and plenty more well situated for the port, bars and restaurants. If you're after a spot of glamous, look for places to stay near the marina, where you will find expensive yachts, the Panoramis Shopping Centre and views up to the Santa Barbara Castle. As an added bonus, the pubs and bars here are starting to be known for their nightlife too!
One of the main reasons we love Alicante is that not only do you get a great beach resort, but you get the historic Old Quarter right on your doorstep too - it boasts atmospheric side streets, plenty of quirky bars and some pretty hidden squares. Take advantage of cheap holidays in Alicante to see all this and more.
But there's no need to stop there - why not get hold of car hire in Alicante, and the whole coast will be your oyster!
Hiring a car in Alicante
As you would expect from such a popular holiday destination, it's easy to arrange car hire in Alicante. The best place to pick up your hire car is at Alicante Airport, because you can get off your flight and get on with your journey to start your holiday. To get the best deal it's vital to book in advance - and you can make sure that you get the best deal by using our handy search tool!
Every summer tourists flock to Alicante and we expect that 2013 or 2014 will be no different. This means that booking in advance isn't only a great way to make sure you get great cheap car hire in Alicante, but that you actually get a car too! Some weeks can see incredibly low availability so if you want to be able to get around and explore the coast don't leave it to chance!
What to see in Alicante
Most holidays in Alicante revolve around the beach, and enjoying the sunshine by day, and then indulging in a little of the nightlife after dark. Make sure that you make some time to squeeze in at least one of these though - your facebook profile needs pictures of you in front of Alicante's best sights!
The Old Town is more than just a place to hang out with a beverage in your hand. Daytime explorations will uncover some great cheap places to have a Spanish lunch, as well as plenty of small shops which are just asking you to go in and have a mooch around - perhaps to pick up a souvenir or two. The main sights are the Cathedral and the oldest church in Alicate, the Basilica of Santa Maria. A trip to the Santa Faz Monastery is also a nice way to spend some time, or why not have a look around the Gravina Museum of Fine Arts?
The Cathedral, whose full name is the Cathedral of San Nicholas de Bari, doesn't look like much from the outside, but this pretty uninspiring exterior holds an astonishing surprise. Inside you'll find sumptuous decorations as well as a delightfully secluded cloistered garden. This is definitely the best hidden gem that we know of in Alicante! Think you know a better one? Let us know!
There's one sight you won't be able to overlook in Alicante, and that's Santa Barbara Castle which towers high over the town. It's a fantastic Moorish relic and one of the largest castle in Europe so it's well worth exploring - the views are pretty great too! If you don't fancy a walk to the top, there's a lift that will take you there, and as an added bonus, entry is free (our favourite holiday word)!
The pick of the beaches is undoubtedly San Juan Beach, which is a staggering 7 kilometres long. That means that there's always plenty of space on the sand, whether you want to find a quiet spot to chill out, or whether you'd prefer to be where the action is - look out for football and beach volleyball as well as a whole host of watersports like banana boats and waterskiing.
And spare some time to enjoy Canalejas Park, which has graced Alicante for over 120 years! There are some unusual things to spot whilst you wander round, so keep your eyes open!
Places to visit near Alicante
Although Alicante is jam-packed with great places to see and more than enough sand to find a great spot to spend the day, the rest of the Costa Blanca is no slouch either when it comes to lovely sights. Use your hire car to explore the area around Alicante and you'll have even more ways to make everyone jealous of your trip!
The Candelabra Caves are one of the area's most popular attractions. This cave system is one of the largest in Spain and it features stunning stalactites and stalagmites, as well as some fantastic lookout points. There are often musical performances in their high vaulted rooms too! Don't forget to stop by the nearby castle on your way home too.
If you want a taste of life in the quaint and traditional Spanish life, then a day trip to Altea is going to be right up your street. This small village is perched high up above the Mediterranean and it offers cafes, craft shops, restaurants and more - including a stunning promenade which takes you to the next village. Don't miss out on the hard-to-find museum in the library for more fascinating insight into life here.
If you've got kids, or are a big kid yourself, then Aquopolis is going to be right up your street. This water park has plenty to keep everyone happy. The only downside is that it's only open in the peak season, so make sure you check before you set off!