Have you ever dreamed of spending two nights in a nightlife paradise? Of basking in the sun on an idyllic stretch of sand? Have no second thoughts, and head to Alicante, a one-of-its-kind destination to make the utmost of your journey to Spain...
Alicante is a drop-dead town nestling on the southeastern coast of Spain, sandwiched between the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains. It's renowned for its sandy beaches, cool nocturnal adventures, and rich history. With just limited time hours to explore, you'll want to make the most of your time in this charming city. Here's a suggested itinerary to help you do just that.
48 hours in Alicante
Spending two days in Alicante is fun, but is definitely not enough... If you that pressed for time, make sure you can fit all the coolest sites to see in Alicante into your 2-day city break in Alicante and pay a visit to Alicante's topmost sites of interest such as Castillo de Santa Bárbara; Santa Cruz District with its authentic bars packed with locals; San Juan Beach, also known as Platja de San Juan; Maca Contemporary Art Museum and its Frothy White Palace built at the end of Explanada de España, the city's main transport artery.
Day One: Visit Alicante
9:00 am: Start your day off with a traditional Spanish breakfast at one of the local cafes. Try a tostada con tomate y aceite (toast with tomato and olive oil) or churros con chocolate (fried dough pastry with hot chocolate).
10:00 am: Head to the Castle of Santa Barbara, a medieval fortress that overlooks the city from the top of Mount Benacantil. Take the elevator or hike to the top for stunning views of Alicante and the Mediterranean Sea. While you're there, explore the Santa Barbara castle 's exhibitions on history and archaeology.
12:00 pm: After your visit to the castle, take a stroll through the historic city center. Stop by the Basilica of Santa Maria, a Gothic church built in the 14th century. Admire its stunning architecture and the beautiful frescoes on the ceiling.
1:00 pm: Enjoy a leisurely lunch at a local restaurant. Alicante is famous for its seafood, so be sure to try the paella or arroz a banda (rice cooked in fish broth).
3:00 pm: Head to the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Alicante (MACA), Maca Contemporary Art Museum, which features a collection of contemporary art from the 20th and 21st centuries. The museum is housed in the Casa de la Asegurada, a historic building that dates back to the 17th century.
5:00 pm: Take a walk along the Explanada de España, a palm-fringed walkway that leads you parallel to the seafront. Stop at one of the outdoor cafes for a cocktail and take in the mind-blowing vistas of the Mediterranean.
7:00 pm: Tuck into Alicante's mouthwatering tapas at a local tapas bar, where you can try a variety of small dishes and local wines. El Portal is a great choice, with a cozy atmosphere and delicious food.
9:00 pm: End your first day in Alicante with a visit to the Teatro Principal, a beautiful 19th-century theatre that hosts a variety of performances throughout the year. Check the schedule to see what's on during your visit.
Day Two: Visit Alicante
9:00 am: Start your second day in Alicante with a visit to Mercado Central, Central Market, a bustling market that sells fresh produce, meats, and seafood. Take a stroll through the aisles and take pleasure in the sights and smells of the market. Then visit Alicante's Central Market area's pavement cafes; bars downstairs, and narrow streets lined with authentic bars, which, along with the art of street performers, ubiquitous in the historic center, make Alicante worth visiting.
11:00 am: Next, head to the MARQ Archaeological Museum, which showcases the history of Alicante and the surrounding region. The museum's exhibits range from prehistoric times to the present day, and is a veritable highlight of your Alicante itinerary.
12: am: Make a short but spectacular journey to your favorite beach within a walking distance from the city center for you to unwind before lunch.
1:00 pm: Enjoy a leisurely lunch at a local restaurant. Alicante is also famous for its rice dishes, so be sure to try the arroz con costra (a baked rice dish with a crust of egg and bread crumbs).
3:00 pm: Take a walk along the Playa del Postiguet, a beautiful sandy beach that's just a short walk from the city center. Take a dip in the Mediterranean or laze about on the sand.
5:00 pm: Visit the Castillo de San Fernando, the ruins of a military fortress built in the early 19th century to defend Alicante from an outside onslaught. The castle now houses a military museum that's open to the public.
7.00 pm: Make your trip to one of Alicante's two main beaches San Juan beach, also known as Platja de San Juan, one of the best on Spain's Mediterranean coast; then head for a stroll around meandering streets and the ancient ramparts of its castles, to add to the beauty of the city's beautiful promenade Explanada de España.
8.00 pm: Alicante is known as one of Spain's main nightlife hubs. Head to Alicante's tourist restaurants and authentic bars packed with jovial locals for you to make exploring Alicante into a veritable tribute to vida loca!
Visit Alicante and explore the treasures of Costa Blanca on your five-day trip to Alicante
If you in Alicante beyond two days in Alicante, there are a number of nice resorts, towns and nearby island formations to visit, here are some of them!
Head to the Castillo de Denia, on your five-day journey into Costa Blanca and Alicante, its capital, to see the one-of-its-kind Medieval allure of the region.
The fortress dates back to the 11th century yet remains intact: check out its many towers, ramparts and dungeons for you to feel a veritable conquistador of your Instagram feed or reels.
Other locales of interest in Denia include but are not limited to: Las Rotas and Las Marinas Beaches; a stunning archaeological museum; and a cool cozy downtown, especially pleasant over the siesta hours, when it is exuding a truly slumber vibe.
Nestled along the coast of the Costa Blanca lies the charming Spanish town of Santa Pola.
Here you can visit the Castle of Santa Pola, a 16th-century fortress and one of the town's most iconic landmarks; drop by the Santa Pola Museum, whose exhibits range from archaeological finds from the Roman era to traditional fishing techniques used by locals for generations; or make a trip to main beach draws of Santa Pola like its Levante Beach and the quieter del Tamarit Beach.
Note that no trip to Santa Pola would be complete without a visit to the nearby island of Tabarca. This tiny island, located just off the coast, is a protected marine reserve and offers some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving in the area. Visitors can also explore the island's rich history, with landmarks such as the 18th-century Governor's Palace and the San Miguel Chapel.
Known for its stunning beach, cool vibe, and great seafood, Moraira is also an architectural marvel in and of itself. Here you can explore the stunning Castle of Moraira, a rival to magnificent Santa Barbara; drop by Moraira's city center and pavement cafes; take delight in its restaurants' grand dining room; and profit from the Costa Blanca signature sea breeze.
Known as the pearl of Costa Blanca, Javea is a nice place to visit if you are tired of the hustle and bustle of Alicante and Benidorm. Head here on a boat trip from Denia, which will make your trip to Javea a veritable adventure.
Note that Javea sits just a short boat ride away from Denia.
Famous for its drop-dead old town, Caso Antigua, Church of Nuestra Señora del Consuelo, cozy pavement cafes; restaurants and lively atmosphere, and a number of historical sites, Altea is also one of Costa Blanca's best destinations for hiking and biking.
Head here if you are willing to commune with nature or hunt for architectural hidden gems,
Known for its natural marvels, such as its Ifach Rock, and its stunning beach, Calpe is a one-of-its-kind Costa Blanca resort during your five-day trip to Alicante...
Here you can hike to the top of the marvelous limestone formation, Ifach Rock, bask in the sun on the area's many picturesque beaches like Arenal Bol Beach and Del Fossa Beach; roam around the old town, complete with its 15th-century Church of Our Lady of the Snows; pay a visit to the Archaeological Museum of Calpe, or hike to the Sierra del Olta, a one-of-its-kind mountain range, perfect for hiking and sports-minded Instagram selfies.
Castill de Santa Barbara and old Alicante
Tracing its past to the 9th century, the castle of Santa Barba is one of Alicante's main highlights. But if during a 2-day trip to Alicante, you won't have to set aside over 1-2 hours for the visit if you stay in Costa Blanca over a 5-day period you cal allocate much more to the stunning fortress.
It does not lack in terms of architectural appeal: here you can see some of Costa Blanca Plaza de Armas, a vast square, where some of Alicante's best theatre performances are held...
Santa Cruz District
Renowned for its Plaza de Santa Cruz; Santa Cruz Church; many museums, Santa Cruz District is a must-visit if in Alicante for as little as a few days. Here you can profit from street performers' shows; interesting exhibitions; free tour options; walking along its meandering streets; and much more, for example, Fiesta de San Juan Festival, which takes place in June and features bonfires, fireworks, and live music.
Note that Santa Cruz is a walking distance away from Frothy White Palace, as locals refer to Casa Carbonell, built at the end of Explanada de España
Palm Trees and unique flora and fauna at Terra Natura
Terra Natura is a unique wildlife park situated in the city of Benidorm on the Costa Blanca in Spain. It is home to over 1,500 animals from more than 200 species, including lions, tigers, elephants, and many more.
One of the main attractions of Terra Natura is its innovative design, which allows visitors to get up close and personal with the animals while still maintaining a safe distance.
The park is separated into four themed areas: America, Europe, Asia, and Pangea, each of which features animals and vegetation from different regions of the world.
Visitors to Terra Natura can benefit from a wide range of activities, varying from guided tours and animal shows to interactive exhibits and educational programs.
Known primarily as a nightlife Mecca, Benidorm never fails to surprise you. It sits just a short drive from Alicante, and its restaurants, stunning views, and the surreptitious temptation of a cloudless day over the Mediterranean will undoubtedly lure you into one of Benidorm's tourist restaurants or make you visit a bar downstairs to see street performers...
Remember Benidorm is all about partying so don't miss out on visiting it if you have a week in Alicante.
A seven-day trip to Alicante
Even though Alicante's nightlife is splendid, if you stay over 5 or 7 days on Costa Blanca, you might as well spend the weekend, in Benidorm, one of the best things to do if spending a vacation on Costa Blanca.
Keep in mind that top five things to do in Benidorm are the following:
Watch a show at Benidorm Palace; drink a cocktail at a rooftop bar in Benidorm; take a stroll on the Beach Promenade; party hard on the Strip, Benidorm's famous walking street; and don't forget to mingle with fellow travelers....
Note that it is not just Costa Blanca that you can visit if you spend a week in Alicante, but also Costa Brava, with its hidden gems such as Lloret del Mar, or Barcelona beaches. For sure, 2-3 days in Alicante is enough. Spend a day or two driving around Costa Blanca, for you to spend the final weekend before your departure in Benidorm, one of the world's best places to party hard.
Head to Alicante and scenic Costa Blanca for you to unveil the boundless appeal of Spain and its Riviera.