Alicante: combine culture and the coast
The Alicante province of Spain has a lot to offer holidaymakers, with the area boasting some incredibly picturesque seaside locations on the Costa Blanca, as well as fantastic towns and villages both along the coast and further inland.
Among the places you can explore are Benidorm, Torrevieja and Santa Pola along the coast, while Elche (which is located further inland) is well worth a visit if you're interested in the history and culture of the region. This town boasts a UNESCO World Heritage Site (its vast Palm Tree Grove), as well as remnants from the Roman and Arab civilisations.
For active travellers, holidays to Alicante are a good choice thanks to the range of golf courses (13 to be precise) that dot this part of Spain's Mediterranean coast. The mild year-round weather means you can tee off no matter when you visit. Other popular pursuits in the area include hiking, jet skiing, scuba diving, paragliding and windsurfing.
A guide to Alicante
Alicante is an excellent place to base yourself for a holiday on the Costa Blanca if you want to combine culture and history with time at the beach. This harbour city has been inhabited by the Greeks, Phoenicians, Romans, Moors and Christians over the years, leaving behind a fascinating selection of landmarks.
One of the most important (and obvious) is Santa Barbara Castle, which sits on a hill overlooking the city. It was originally built by the Arabs in the 9th century, but much of the present building dates from the 16th century. The views from its old walls are spectacular, making it well worth a visit.
The Santa Maria church, town hall and procathedral of St Nicholas are other sights to look out for, while culture vultures should also explore the Alicante Museum of Contemporary Art, where works by Miro, Dali and Gris are among those on show.
Away from these attractions, you've got outstanding beaches, with El Postiguet one of the closest to the city, while the Explanada de Espana promenade that runs alongside the port is home to numerous pavement cafes and excellent restaurants.
Spotlight on Benidorm
Benidorm is one of the most popular holiday destinations on the Costa Blanca and is renowned for its gorgeous golden beaches and crystal-clear waters. Levante Beach, Poniente Beach and Mal Pas are just three of the stretches of sand you can relax on if you choose to stay here. The range of amenities - such as the cafes and restaurants that line the main bays - make Benidorm a good choice for families. Meanwhile, the Terra Mitica theme park and Aqualandia water park should keep teenagers and adventurous adults amused too.
As well as being a great place for a family holiday in the Alicante region, Benidorm also appeals to groups of friends who can take advantage of the lively nightlife around the Levante Beach area. There are plenty of bars within the city, but many of the biggest clubs are located on its outskirts, meaning those who aren't party animals shouldn't be kept awake at night. Privilege and Ku are just two of Benidorm's most popular clubs.
Thrill-seeking holidaymakers will have the chance to go scuba diving or snorkelling if they're keen to see what lives beneath the waves - top spots for these pursuits include the coves of Ti Ximo and La Almadrava and the area around the Puig Campana rock.
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