In the minds of many, Alicante (ALACANT) is often lumped together with the other brash Costa Blanca resorts. It shouldn’t be. Valencia’s second-largest city, the thoroughly Spanish Alicante has a decidedly elegant Mediterranean air. Seafront paseos and wide, breezy esplanades, such as the Rambla Méndez Núñez, are peppered with cosy bars and terrace cafés; a series of well-curated museums feature everything from ancient archeology to contemporary art; the city’s cuisine scene is making a name for itself, just as its healthy nightlife did long ago; and its long, sandy beaches are sunkissed for much of the year.

Founded by the Romans, who named it Lucentum (City of Light), and dominated by the Arabs in the second half of the eighth century, Alicante was finally reconquered by Alfonso X in 1246 for the Castilian Crown. In 1308, Jaime III incorporated Alicante into the kingdom of Valencia.

Today, the main fiesta, Las Hogueras, is at the end of June, and ignites a series of cracking celebrations second only to Las Fallas in Valencia.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Spain features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Video: a 1 minute guide to Spain

Video: a 1 minute guide to Spain

From the Moorish marvels and flamenco heartland of Andalucía to Ibiza's bleached-sand beaches and hedonistic nightlife, Spain is a country you'll want to visit…

27 Jul 2017 • Colt St. George videocam Video
The 10 best summer festivals for escapism in 2017

The 10 best summer festivals for escapism in 2017

Festivals are a different beast in 2017. They used to be associated with drinking warm cider while watching crusty bands in your naffest clothes; now the best e…

07 Jun 2017 • David Hillier insert_drive_file Article
Why you should visit Palma in 2017

Why you should visit Palma in 2017

Forget package holidays: Palma is far more than just the gateway to Mallorca’s beach resorts. The Balearic capital is a dynamic city of stylish restaurants, c…

28 Feb 2017 • Helen Ochyra insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month