Alicante is an old picturesque city. Visitors can explore the Santa Barbara Castle, the largest medieval fortress in Spain and the old city quarter, while the long waterfront provides a lively area of seaside fun. Family-friendly beaches, such as Postiguet, can be found both in the heart of the town and along the coast. Alicante is also well-known for its exciting nightlife and nightclubs. Visitors can escape the city bustle by taking the boat to Tabarca Island, which is car free and has no large shops or ATMs, so cash is necessary. The tiny walled town on the island is surrounded by a nature reserve.
Alicante is an all year destination, with mild winters and very hot summers. The peak season is July and August, when accommodation prices will be more expensive. Summer starts around the 20th June and is marked by bonfires celebrating St John, culminating in fireworks and the burning of large papier-mâché models on the 24th June. The Moors and Christians Festival (Moros y Cristianos) takes place between from 21st - 24th April, with spectacular re-enactments of 12th century battles between the Arabs and the Christians.
Alicante Airport is also used by tourists heading to Benidorm, Torrevieja and other Costa Blanca resorts. Less crowded beaches can be found slightly out of the town. Valencia is the home of Paella, still very much a regional favourite. The cost of living in Alicante is around 30% lower than in London, with restaurant prices often being up to 45% lower. Spain follows Central European Summer Time/Central European time.
The airport shuttle bus runs every twenty minutes into the city centre. The 20 minute journey costs around 3.80€. Local buses also run from the airport into Alicante, as well as Benidorm, Torrevieja and Murcia etc. A taxi into Alicante costs approximately 25€. Central Alicante is compact enough to explore walking, but does have a good bus and tram network, covering the city and the Costa Blanca coastline. A single ticket for Zone 1 is around 1.35€. It is more economical to buy a rechargeable card for about 2€ and top it up with 10 journeys for about 7.60€. Taxis are less expensive than in London, but probably no quicker than public transport. Hotel prices start from around 40€ per person per night, but hostels from approximately 15€ per person per night in shared rooms can be found.