Besides being the top arrival airport for tourists holidaying in Benidorm, Alicante is also a charming old town in its own right with plenty to offer visitors of all ages. Cultural attractions, good dining, beaches and a vibrant nightlife can all be found in the city. Children will enjoy exploring Santa Barbara Castle overlooking the town. A long waterfront makes a pleasant area to walk and enjoy views of the sandy beaches and blue seas, as well as good restaurants. Younger visitors can dance the night away in Alicante's famous nightclubs. For a peaceful interlude, a short boat trip takes visitors to Tabarca Island. This car-free island has a tiny walled town, surrounded by nature reserves.
Alicante is warm all year, but the Summer months can be extremely hot. Hotel prices rise in the peak months of July and August. Celebrations to mark the start of Summer begin around the 20th June with St John's bonfires. On the 24th June large papier-mâché models are burnt and fireworks close the festival. Between 21st - 24th April visitors can watch re-enactments of 12th century battles between Arabs and Christians during the Moors and Christians Festival (Moros y Cristianos).
Alicante Airport is a gateway to Costa Blanca resorts, such as Benidorm and Torrevieja, so it is always busy. The beautiful Postiguet beach is right in the city, but for less crowded beaches it is worth heading slightly out of town. Paella is on the menu in most restaurants, as Valencia is traditionally its birthplace. Visitors will find the cost of living in Alicante around 30% less than London, while restaurants can be up to 45% cheaper. Spain is on Central European Summer Time or CET.
A convenient shuttle bus, costing around 3.80€ and taking 20 minutes, leaves the airport three times an hour. A taxi from the airport into town costs about 25€. Buses run into town, as well as Torrevieja, Murcia, Benidorm and other local towns.
Alicante is small enough to explore on foot. A good bus and tram network covers the city and heads out along the coast, with a zone 1 ticket costing about 1.35€. More economical are the rechargeable cards at around 2€, which can be topped up for ten journeys, costing about 7.60€. Taxis are fairly cheap but no quicker than public transport. Basic hotel accommodation can be found from approximately 40€ per person per night. For visitors who don't mind sharing, hostel rooms start at about 15€ per person per night.