Alicante is a chameleon of a city. Its colors change with every few hundred meters that you walk. Down by the port, it tows the line of the rest of the Spanish coast. The Playa del Postiguet is an expanse of soft biscuity sand that's topped with rentable loungers, parasols, cabana beds, beach volleyball courts and ocean-view bars. The Explanada de Espana, meanwhile, is a rule-straight street of waterside restaurants, sidewalk cafes and the odd craft stall.
To the north of the beach things change entirely. Here, the city's seams strain with history. There's the imposing Mount Benacantil, which towers 166 meters above Alicante, and is topped by the 16th-century castle of Santa Barbara. Then there's the Barrio Santa Cruz; a Baroque neighborhood that curls around the mountain's feet.
The west of Alicante looks different, again. Streets like Rambla de Mendez Nunez have all the hallmarks of a modern metropolis. Motorbike engines growl, traffic lights flash, and high-rise apartments define the skyline.
Alicante is also a springboard to the wider Costa Blanca and its surrounds. Here you'll find beaches with warm waters and mountains villages with timelines that tumble back thousands of years.