Alicante (Photo: Dragomir Nikolov/Shutterstock.com)
3.0 / 5.0
Cruise Critic Editor Rating

By Sarah Holt
Cruise Critic Contributor

Port of Alicante

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.

About Alicante


Pro

A city that mixes seaside, history and Spain's sidewalk cafe culture

Con

Expect queues for the main sights, as well as a bit of graffiti

Bottom Line

Alicante is a safe, easy-going destination with something for everyone


Find a Cruise to the Mediterranean

Good to Know

It's the same story in a lot of places popular with tourists, but in Alicante you get a lot of street musicians and freelance sales people trying to get you to pay for everything from an accordion performance to a pair of cheap sunglasses.

Currency & Best Way to Get Money

Spain's currency is the euro. Visit www.xe.com for current rates. ATMs are plentiful in Alicante. You'll find several on Explanada de Espana, right next to the port.

Language

Spanish is the main language in Alicante. However, most people in the city can speak good English, too. If you want to show willing, ask for the bill in Spanish -- it's "La cuenta por favor."

Shopping

Spanish fans are a common keepsake from Alicante. There are a few market stalls along Explanada de Espana that sell them. Leather is another take home favored by tourists. Shops selling leather bags and jackets are easily found in the city.