Recently Alicante has become a much more popular Mediterranean port of call as the city has embarked on a major program to increase the number of cruises visiting. Alicante is situated on the Costa Blanca on the Mediterranean Sea. It’s a major resort destination for people from all over Europe and is famous for its beautiful harbor, incredible beaches and all watched over by the historic Castle of Santa Barbara sitting high on the hill overlooking the coast. The city’s historic quarter wraps around the base of fortress hill with Explanada de España (Spain boulevard) with its shops, cafes and restaurants providing a backdrop to its beaches and marinas along the sea.
The Alicante coast has been settled throughout history by Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans and Arabs using this coast as a base to establish trade routes. The current culture is rooted in traditions blended together from the Moors and Christians that settled along its coast in recent centuries. Alicante’s distinctive cuisine takes advantage of this heritage blending Mediterranean seafood with regional rice dishes cooked in a hundred different ways.
Where Your Ship Docks
Cruise ships dock at the Alicante Cruise Terminal, an excellent facility behind the cities large marina and very near the center of the city waterfront. Normally the city also provides free shuttle buses to get passengers from the terminal to within a couple of blocks of the Explanada de España.
The pier, marina, historic quarter and Explanada de España are all within easy walking distance but taxis are readably available and very inexpensive. A taxi trip of one mile should will cost about 2 Euros.
Alicante also has a tram with three stations in the city. MARQ (located near the Archeology Museum of Alicante), Mercado (near the central market), and Luceros (located below Plaza de Los Luceros). Tram tickets are available at vending machines and ticket counters around the stations. A ticket for Zone 1 is about 1.5 Euros. There is also the Bono Móbilis Multiviaje card or you can purchase vouchers for 10 or 30 trips .
Spain uses the Euro and most major credit cards are welcome. ATMs are also plentiful.
Alicante Beach – If you’re looking for beach time, this is the perfect port for you. Alicante features over two miles of beautiful Mediterranean beach that begins right next to the marina entrance. The beach also has the advantage of being located right on the cities waterfront with easy access to outdoor cafes and restaurants.
Casino Mediterraneo Alicante. Opened in 2009 the casino offers over 37,000 square feet of gaming with 89 gaming machines and 32 tables along with two excellent restaurants.
San Nicolás de Bari Procathedral – This 17th century church is one of the most important buildings in Alicante old quarter. Inside it features a 130 foot high blue dome and cloister, with Baroque doors from an earlier 15th century temple and a unique set of marble steps leading to the high altar.
Castle of Santa Bárbara (Santa Barbara) is an Arab fortress but the present structures only date back to the 16th century. There are walking trails to the top and it is a serious climb but there is also an elevator across from the beach that will take you to the top of the old walls. Up there you’ll have a commanding view of the whole city, the coastline and miles of surrounding countryside.
Alicante Provincial Archaeological Museum (MARQ) The museum offers an historic exhibits with rooms dedicated to Prehistory, Iberian Culture, Roman Culture and the Middle Ages. It houses artifacts from 100,000 years ago, a collection of Iberian ceramics, the recreation of Roman daily life and hundreds of objects from the Middle Ages.
Alicante Museum of Contemporary Art (MACA) displays a collection of 20th-century and modern era art.
Santa María Basilica – Is the oldest church in the city, dating back to the 14th century. It was built on the ruins of the city’s biggest mosque and features a nave with side chapels between the buttresses. The basilica was rebuilt in the 15th century after a fire..