When choosing where to stay on your Alicante holiday, remember this: Wherever you’re staying in Alicante, you’ll have easy access to golden, sandy blue-flagged Costa Blanca beaches, historic and cultural sights, lovely food, cool drinks, eco-tourism, every kind of watersport, and of course, the sun, the sea and a summery feel of living life to the full.
El Centro – historic city centre of Alicante
- Perfect for: A reasonably priced sunny holiday with plenty of culture and sights to explore
- Getting from Alicante airport to El Centro: Bus line C6 Vuelta, travel time 15 min. Cost: 2-4€. Or go by taxi, travel time 12 minutes, cost app. 26€.
Accommodation in Alicante city is often more reasonably priced than at the Costa Blanca beaches, and you’ll find anything from backpacker hostels to chain hotels, cosy boutique inns and B&B’s.
El Centro has an ambience all of its own, the Moorish and neo-classical architecture mix beautifully, and you’ll have plenty to do:
- Alicante’s marble-laid promenade Explanada de España is a wonderful place to start your exploring, as it runs from El Centro along the seafront next to the marina. Stroll beneath the palm trees, take in the lovely sea view, and get a feel of Alicante-living at the terraces and market stalls lining your route.
- Crowning Mount Benacantil, the impressive 9th-century fortress Castillo de Santa Barbara looms over and dominates both the city centre and the entire bay. Visit this Alicante landmark via elevator from Postiguet Beach, and marvel at spectacular views from this magnificent castle, balancing 200 metres up on a rocky outcrop. Best time to visit: Early mornings. Crowning Mount Benacantil, the impressive 9th-century fortress Castillo de Santa Barbara looms over and dominates both the city centre and the entire bay. Visit this Alicante landmark via elevator from Postiguet Beach, and marvel at spectacular views from this magnificent castle, balancing 200 metres up on a rocky outcrop. Best time to visit: Early mornings.
- Alicante has another interesting fortress, Castillo de San Fernando, which you’ll find on the opposite side of the city centre.
Interested in culture
- You can dive into Alicante’s Iberian, Roman and Moorish history at the Archaeological Museum.
- Visit the magnificent Basilica of Santa Maria.
- Explore idyllic Casco Antiguo for a real-life historic experience; this labyrinthine village-like neighbourhood has a true fairytale feel to it.
- Sprawled on the hill below the castle, in Casco Antiguo, you’ll have to find your way through this maze via stairways, narrow streets and steep steps. It’s a bit of an adventure, and you’ll be right in the heart of Alicante authenticity; whitewashed walls, green and blue shutters, splashes of colourful flowers on balconies and in doorways – and cosy cafés and restaurants for a relaxing stop and some delicious treats.
Speaking of treats
Don’t miss out on Mercado Central, on the upper side of Alfonso el Sabio. This cathedral-like food market is a lively celebration of all things savoury; crabs, lobsters, squid, and every variety of meat, vegetable and fruit imaginable. This is also where you can sample local delicatessen turrón nougat and sip the sweet local dessert wine Mistela. If you’d like to order local food in Alicante restaurants, look out for arroz al horno on the menu, a local variation of paella.
Wherever you choose to stay on your Alicante holiday, Alicante city is easily accessible, and Alicante city is truly a treasure trove of attractions and things to do: History, magnificent sea views, seafood restaurants, tapas, bars, a bustling nightlife, and it’s easy to hire a car and head out on a day of exploring in the surrounding area. There’s also plenty of events and festivals, most prominently the renowned Las Hogueras de San Juan in June, with parades, fireworks and much more.
Travelling with children
Head to the El Mundo de los Niños, a seaside amusement park with budget-friendly prices and lots of fun activities. You’ll find it in the South-Western part of El Centro.
Hotels, hostels, apartments and B&B’s – when choosing where to stay on your Alicante holiday, you’ll be spoilt for choice here in El Centro – why not book a hotel on a hilltop – ask to have a room with a view of the Mediterranean. Finding a beach from El Centro isn’t too hard – i.e. the Postiguet Beach close by, or go by tram along the Costa Blanca coast – there’s several beaches stops.
The Elche Palms: More than 200.000 date palms in a vast and beautiful oasis. The unique UNESCO World Heritage awarded Palmeral Historico de Elche is truly a one of a kind experience. This gorgeous spot dates back to the first Islamic settlements in the region. Located 25 km south-west of Alicante city, you’ll find this haven right in the very centre of the town Elche, making it easy to visit. Further exploring: The town Elche is also part of the Ruta de Los Castillos, a historical path running along the Vinalopó river, through a valley area famous for its vineyards and its 14 (!) castles. So; explore the countryside, tuck into the local gastronomy and visit Maigmó Natural Park.
Lucentum: Don’t miss a visit to the archaeological site of Lucentum, the ruins of Tossal, only 3 km from the El Centro. This perfectly preserved part of a Roman settlement dates back to 4th century B.C. Lucentum is also known in the area as Tossal de Manises and is the major archaeological remains of the Roman city of Lucentum, or ancient Alicante.
Boat trip to Tabarca Island: Around the port at Alicante you’ll find companies that provide boat trips, so why not head out on a trip to the quaint and idyllic Tabarca Island. It’s just a couple of kilometres to the south, but from the boat you’ll step right into another world: Tabarca has a small, walled centre, with whitewashed houses and blue shutters, and you’ll find a small church (St. Peter & St. Paul). Drink in the peace and quiet on a walk across the sparse landscape to see the lighthouse.
Perfect for: Beach life, nightlife, all-inclusive
Getting from Alicante airport to Postiguet Beach: Bus C6 to Plaza Puerta del Mar. From here, there’s a 314 metres walk to Postiguet Beach. Travel time 20 minutes. Cost: 2-4€. Or go by taxi, travel time 13 minutes, cost app. 28€.
Right next to the old city centre you’ll find Playa del Postiguet, a narrow stretch of golden sand, where the calm ocean ripples in light waves. Postiguet is the main beach of Alicante and has a city-beach feel. Postiguet is only a few minutes away from both the main train station and El Centro. In summer, it can get a bit hectic, so if you wished for where to stay on your Alicante holiday include absolute peace and quiet, this isn’t it. Postiguet is known for its liveliness and all-inclusive holidays in Alicante, so this is perfect for you if you’re looking for that perfect tan, relaxation and chilling at poolside bars and nightclubs right by the water.
Postiguet isn’t the cheapest hotel option in Alicante, but you might be able to snap up a room with multiple views of the Mediterranean and the beach. Note: The elevator to the Santa Barbara Castle runs from Postiguet Beach. Feeling peckish? Pop by beachside Xiringuito Postiguet for delicious food and excellent service, or grab the best tapas at La Escalereta Del Raval Bar Tapas (Calle San Cayetano 9). Looking for an evening drink? Head to Tribeca Music Bar – the clue is in the name! – or cosy pub The Robins.
Perfect for: Upscale stays
Getting from Alicante airport to Albufereta: Bus C6 Vuelta to Vásquez de Mella-Estación Marq (28 minutes) -> change to tram MARQ Castillo lines L1, L3, L6 to La Isleta (6 minutes). Cost: 3 – 5 €. Or go by taxi, 17 minutes, cost app. 50€.
This is a Blue Flag beach, and locals flock to this beautiful stretch of fine and golden sand – always a good pointer as to where to stay on your Alicante holiday. The Blue Flag means that this is an eco-friendly and clean beach. You’ll find some of the very best views of the Mediterranean from the Albufereta hotels or apartments, many of them even double as miradores, viewing spots where you can drink in the incredible vistas of the ocean while enjoying delicious food and the best wines.
Albufereta is upscale Alicante, and a bit more expensive than most areas. In Albufereta, it is also possible to book (luxurious) apartments and cottages, and though you find a sprinkling of boutique hotels, you won’t find any hostels here. Note: Albufereta is where you find the famous Lucentum ruins/Tossal de Manises, from the 4th century B.C. when the Roman Empire settled on the Iberian peninsula. Don’t miss out on these.
Albufereta has an array of wonderful eateries, pop by Asador Los Troncos for amazing Spanish-Argentinian fusion food, or head to informal café and eatery Cervecería Sento Albufera (at Camino Colonia Romana), a cosy place to have coffee and a pancake breakfast – or enjoy a lovely meal in a friendly, local and personable atmosphere during the day.
Perfect for: An eco-friendly, family-friendly holiday
Getting from Alicante airport to Almadraba Beach: Bus C6 Vuelta to Plaza Puerta del Mar (20 minutes). Change to bus 22 to Costa Blanca 18 (17 minutes). From here, there’s a 140 metres walk to Almadraba Beach. Travel time 20 minutes. Cost: 3-5€. Or go by taxi, 18 minutes, app. 42€.
A 15-minute drive to the east will get you from El Centro to Cape Huertas (Cabo del Huerta), where you find the lovely Almadraba Beach. The Cabo del Huerta area is a coastal area that seems friendly in every way; family-friendly, eco-friendly, with a very natural feel to it. The beaches here are less crowded, and prices are more reasonable than i.e. in Postiguet. The sand is a bit darker, but that just means it’s perfect for building the best sandcastles you’ve ever made! Time to impress the kids.
Almadraba is also great for hiking, and you can fish, surf, scoot around on paddleboards, sail and go on ocean charter excursions from the Club Nautico Alicante Costa Blanca, right nearby at Akra Leuka/ Av. de la Condomina. A truly terrific feature when staying in Almadraba, is the chance of a room with balconies offering sweeping views of the Mediterranean – and room service. That’s a winner holiday combo. You’ll be sipping wine or enjoying breakfast in the comfort of your own (hotel-)home while taking in the views. Other options of Almadraba Beach accommodations are apartment rentals or B&B’s. You’ll find some lovely local eateries, try unpretentious (but great food) at Chez Paquitto, or delicious fish and more at Almadraba’s hidden pearl Pika Pika Beach.
San Juan Beach
Perfect for: Beach lizards as well as activity cravers
Getting from Alicante airport to San Juan Beach: Bus C6 Vuelta to Vasquez de Mella (28 minutes), change to MARQ Castillo -> tram L3 (11 min). Total cost: 3-5€. Or by taxi, 20 minutes, cost: app. 45€.
San Juan Beach is located just north of Cape Huertas, and is seen by many as the ‘beach-sister’ of Postiguet. This is a favourite resort town, with a strong Costa de Sol flavour. San Juan Beach all-inclusive resorts are hugely popular, and no wonder. The beach is gorgeous, the ocean is clear, and you’ll find all the amenities and things to do you want from an all-inclusive holiday in Alicante. Seaside restaurants, lifeguards, sand courts for volleyball, a lovely boardwalk, plenty of beach chairs, playgrounds for children, and more.
If you want to try some local food, you’re surrounded by scrumptious food in San Juan, so why not head to the chilled eatery San Fish for affordable and incredibly fresh fish & seafood, or try out the lovely Syra Wine Bar for some delicious grapes. San Juan is also a great place to be active; windsurfing classes, kayak-racing and various cross-country sports events for beginners are easy to find. Golfer? Book a hotel near the Alicante Golf course, offering views of both the Costa Blanca coastline as well as a vista of the silhouettes of the famed castles of Alicante city in the distance. Apart from all-inclusive resorts, you can stay in boutique resorts and apartments, but beware: Book well before you pack your bags for Spain if you prefer San Juan boutique resorts or apartments, they’re very popular.
Perfect for: Families, relaxing
Getting from Alicante airport to El Campello: Bus C6 Vuelta to Vasquez de Mella (28 minutes), change to MARQ Castillo -> tram L3, or L1 for El Campello (25 minutes). Total cost: app 3-5€. Or go by taxi for 21 minutes, cost: app. 50€.
From Alicante El Centro to El Campello: Tram L3 or L1 from Mercado to El Campello. Travel time 25 minutes. Cost: 2-4€.
El Campello is close enough to Alicante city – a 25-minute tram ride – for us to include it here. If you’re travelling as a family, this area will be perfect. The Muchavista Beach is lovely, and the area is excellent if you’re looking for something a bit calmer than the city centre, without spending too much time on transport. Feeling adventurous? Don’t miss out on a visit to the magnificent Canelobre Caves, a completely breathtaking experience; you’ll be heading down a 45-meter tunnel to a 70 meters cavern – with a space of more than 80.000m². The caves are app. 7 million years old, and are made of limestone rock.
If caves aren’t your thing, don’t worry: You’ll find there are many things to see and do in El Campello – and of course plenty of water sport activities, as well as plenty of opportunities of lounging on the beach.
If you love Spanish food, you’ll find some great restaurants here – try out the local Costa Blanca delicatessen for dinner at Casa Mar, right on the coast. Or head to El Campello Marina, you’ll find plenty of restaurants and also a lively fish market. If you’re looking for a cool drink at night, pop by Browns Bar, a chilled place where they will be fine with you bringing your family. Campenello offers anything from good hotels to hostels to B&B’s, and you can often find a really good hotel offer here when choosing where to stay on your Alicante holiday.
Santa Pola Beach
Perfect for: Travelling couples as well as adrenalin junkies
Getting from Alicante airport to Santa Pola: By taxi, travel time app. 14 minutes. Cost: 26€-21€.
From Alicante El Centro to Santa Pola: Hourly bus service by Autocars Costa Azul during daytime. Travel time 25 minutes. Cost: 2-3€.
Santa Pola is the ideal destination for couples. So if you’re trying to find out where to stay on your holiday in Alicante with a sprinkling of romance, Santa Pola will be an excellent choice. Santa Pola is famous for lovely beaches and a relaxed atmosphere. You’ll find plenty of facilities and plenty of things to see and do, including many options for watersport enthusiasts. Finding the perfect location for a romantic dinner won’t be difficult either, you’ll find a string of excellent restaurants and bars – why not relish some of the best tapas in the region at A ca Santos – they also offer a famous lobster stew. And of course, the beach is a perfect setting for a romantic sunset outing – bring your own wine. Perhaps head for the pretty lighthouse?
Santa Pola is well connected with Alicante city centre (bus line run by Autocars Costa Azul runs hourly during daytime, travel time 25 minutes), so on a Santa Pola holiday you can easily take in some sights in El Centro as well. Santa Pola might kickstart the adventurer in you – if so, try scuba diving at the Santa Pola Dive Academy or try paragliding at Do You Wanna – they’ve been taking guests on paraglides since 1999 in this area. Call 0034 606 781 180 for more information. First-timers are welcome at The Dive Academy as well as at Do You Wanna.
If you’d rather check out some history, head to the fortress Castillo de Forteleza de Santa Pola, which is beautifully preserved. Santa Pola hotels can be found in virtually every variety and price range, so there’s a fair chance you’ll find a good offer.
Alicante Main Train Station Area
Perfect for: Backpackers and others chasing the sun on a budget
Getting from Alicante airport to Alicante station: C6 Vuelta, 17 minutes. Cost: 1-4€. Or by taxi, 12 minutes, app. 26€.
If you prefer staying in the city, or if your budget is key to where to stay on your Alicante holiday, consider the area close to the main train station in Alicante, when choosing where to stay on your Alicante holiday. You’ll have all of the trimmings of Alicante city (see the first paragraph) close by, as well as laundromats, fast food restaurants, local bars and more. You can easily go on excursions from here, and you can catch a perfect seafront sunset simply by walking down General Maria Avenue (connecting with Federico Soto and Dr Gadea Avenue, ending at Almirante Julio Guillén Avenue).
The area – also known as Alipark – has a variety of great places to explore; a favourite to many is unwinding at the Sense & Serenity Spa at Calle Catedratico Ferre Vidiella 17. Here, you can choose from spa facilities and holistic therapies. Or head out and grab a beer with the locals in Plaza de la Vina, a vast green area. For food and drinks in the area around the station, there are plenty of options: Pop by La Andaluza Low Cost, a budget-friendly bar, restaurant and café all in one, and enjoy cheap drinks and menus stacked with affordable and delicious food. If you’re looking for a more artsy feel, head to Freaks Arts Bar, for cheap coffee and Spanish pastries in an artistic setting. And if you want to really get authentic, pop by Piripi, offering some of the best Mediterranean seafood here.
Though you won’t be staying beachside, you’ll be able to get to Postiguet Beach quickly or head up along the Costa Blanca via tram – that will get you to lovely beaches in-app. 20 minutes.
You’ll find no luxury accommodation in the train station area, but you can find the most budget-friendly hostels in Alicante, as well as a selection of Alicante hotels and B&B’s.
Perfect for: Business travellers
Easiest from Alicante airport: You’re here!
Easiest from Alicante airport to El Centro Alicante: Bus line C6. Travel time 15 min. Cost: 2-4€. Or go by taxi, 12 minutes, app. 26€.
Not many visit any location for the airport area, but if you’re travelling on business, a hotel near the airport might be the best choice for you. Several chain hotels offer free shuttle services from the hotel to the airport, and you might be surprised by the variety of hotels here. You can also find hostels close by. Alicante airport is surrounded by a large industrial area, and you’ll find some shopping malls and city parks here as well. If you’re looking for a great deal on a chain hotel, a wide array of hotel amenities, and don’t need a cosy neighbourhood-feel for your stay, this is for you.