For several years, Alicante and Costa Blanca have been among the Norwegians’ favorite destinations, and here you will find many Norwegians who are wholly or partly resident. Few Scandinavians have settled in Alicante due to a pleasant climate and location on a coast with long sandy beaches.
Today, Alicante is one of the fastest growing cities in Spain, not least because of tourism and wine production.
In many ways, Alicante is a dream home for hungry families. Here are great beaches, cozy restaurants and cafes and many attractions for children. The biggest drawback for some would be that there are many tourists here. On the other hand, it means that the city is well equipped with facilities for the well-being of tourists and that the language problems are reduced with international menus and signs.
If you are looking for hours of sun and swimming, pleasant nightlife and meeting with other tourists, then Alicante can be recommended.
Get to know Alicante
Alicante is located on the Mediterranean shores of Spain’s east coast, the Costa Blanca, and is one of the fastest growing cities in all of Spain. 2014 figures show that Alicante has around 332,000 inhabitants, and the city mainly feeds on tourism, wine production and export of fruit and olive oil.
Alicante was already used by Greek seamen as a trading post over 3000 years ago. After a period under Roman rule and the name Lucentum, the city came under Arab control from about the year 700 until the year 1246.
Alicante belongs to the Valencia region. The whole region is bilingual and much of the signage and information is in both Spanish and Valentinian. The big difference, though, is not, and there are few language problems between the two language groups, which can be compared a bit with Bokmål and New Norwegian. If you understand Spanish you will understand a little Valentinian. Platja instead of playa / beach, avinguda instead of avenida / street, ciutat instead of ciudad / city etc. On the road signs there are most often names in both languages, such as “Alicante / Alacant”.
- Abbreviation: ALC
- Country: Spain
The seafront promenade in Alicante
Alicante city center is relatively easy to get to if you take the time to study a city map for a few minutes. You will surely stroll along Alicante’s magnificent harbor promenade Explanada de España, which is covered in pattern with over 6.6 million red, black and cream colored stone tiles. During the palm season, there is almost always a buzzing crowd. You will meet street artists, cartoonists and musicians, while countless booths offer jewelry, t-shirts, crafts and souvenirs. On the north side of the promenade are outdoor restaurants and bars close by, and on the south side are hundreds of recreational boats in Alicante’s traditional marina, Puerto Viejo.
On the docks east of the harbor marina, the city’s new entertainment area has grown in recent years, and can now be reminiscent of Oslo’s Aker Brygge, with cinemas, trendy restaurants and bars. On the western side of the marina is another entertainment area, with the Real Club Náutico de Regatas de Alicante boat club. Here is also the large leisure and shopping center Panoramis, which is filled with restaurants and bars, arcades, cinemas, shops and children’s play areas.
Almost wherever you move on the harbor promenade (and the rest of the city) you will be able to see the fortress of Castillo de Santa Bárbara towers majestically over Alicante on the 166-meter-high hilltop of Benacantil. The fortress was originally built in the late 800’s by the Arabs who at that time had control over much of the Iberian peninsula. However, most of the building you see in Alicante today dates back to the 16th century.
From the top it is easy to understand why the fortress was so strategically important. Here you have a perfect 360 degree panoramic view of the city, the Mediterranean and the country within. You can take a lift up to the top from the Postiguet Beach, you can drive up a winding road on the back of the hilltop, or the more cramped can choose to go up the old city walls that remain intact at the north side of the old town, all the way to the castle.
El Barrio and Santa Cruz
From the harbor promenade you should especially notice two important north / southbound streets. One is the Rambla de Méndez Núñez, not far from Plaza Puerto del Mar on the east side of the harbor. The other is Avenida Doctor Gadea / Avenida Federico Soto.
The area east of the Rambla and just below the northern city walls and Castillo de Santa Bárbara is Alicante’s old town, El Barrio. Here it is teeming with bars, restaurants and pubs, and in particular the pedestrian street Calle Mayor comes alive in the evenings, with hundreds of restaurant tables outside the establishments. El Barrio is also home to the City Hall, San Nicolas Cathedral and several museums.
Above El Barrio, on the slopes of the fortress hill, lies the district of Santa Cruz. This is the oldest inhabited area of Alicante, and is very charming to stroll around, albeit a little strenuous, because of all the slopes.
Plaza de Luceros
On the west side of the promenade, the Avenida Doctor Gadea / Avenida Federico Soto avenue extends to what can be called Alicante’s main square, Plaza de Luceros. Also note two of the side streets here; Calle Italia, which leads to Alicante’s bus station, and the modern shopping street Avenida de Maisonnave with its many shops, including two shopping arcades. At the end of this is Alicante’s train station.
Playa de Postiguet
East of the marina, Paseo de Gomis continues as an extension of the Explanada de España above Alicante’s most central beach, Playa de Postiguet. This is a wide and nice sandy beach with all amenities, such as beach bars, sun loungers and more. To the top of this is the lower lift station which can take you up to Castillo de Santa Bárbara (out of service in large parts of 2007)
North of the center of Alicante lies the Albuferete district on a headland in the Mediterranean. Here you will find the ancient Roman ruin city of Lucentum, and several of the city’s best beaches, such as Playa de San Juan with its lively nightlife in summertime.
Facts about Alicante
Alicante is a very popular holiday town in the Valencia region of Spain. Alicante is Spain’s fifth largest city.
|Official languages||Valentinian, Spanish|
|Currency||Euro. Visa, AmEx and Mastercard are accepted in most places. ATMs are available almost everywhere.|
|Tips||Tips are included at bars and restaurants, besides it is optional if you want to give some coins extra.|
|Embassy||The Embassy of Norway is located in Madrid. The address is Edificio La Pyramid, Paseo de la Castellana 31, 9 Piso, 28046 Madrid. Tel: +34 91 310 3116|
|Tourist||Rambla Méndez Núnez, 23.|
|Telephone||+ 34 (to Spain )|
|Electricity||220 volts, the same two-pin contact system as in Norway.|
|Holidays and Holidays||January 6, August 15, October 12 (National Day), November 1, December 6 (Constitution Day)|
|Visa||Not required for Norwegian citizens|
|Vaccinations||No vaccines are required.|
|Water||Can be drunk from the tap, but not recommended. Fine toothbrush.|
|Nearest major cities||Cartagena, Valencia, Albacete|
|Safety||Slightly violent crime, but beware of pickpockets and scammers.|
List of Alicante Acronyms
The most commonly used abbreviations about Alicante is ALC which stands for Alicante. In the following table, you can see all acronyms related to Alicante, including abbreviations for airport, city, school, port, government, and etc.
|ALC||Alicante, Spain – Alicante|
|CTAA||Colegio Territorial de Arquitectos de Alicante|
|UKRAINE||Universidad de Alicante|
|UAL||University of Alicante|