The very new and well organized cruise terminal of Alicante has free shuttle buses to the city center; you can also walk (15 minutes) to the promenade beside the marina.
The promenade offers many cafes and restaurants as well as the Volvo Ocean Race Museum is based in the city's bustling Port Area and offers a fascinating, family-friendly tour through the 42-year history of sailing's most prestigious race around the world. Entrance is free.
How far it is depends on where your ship docks. Smaller ships dock within walking distance of the port gates but for larger ships there will be a shuttle bus.
There are some wonderful beaches in the area. There is one right by the exit from the port (behind the Melia Hotel)
Printable map to take along on the cruise.
Watch a destination video.
Located in the middle of the Costa Blanca, Alicante is one most important tourist destinations in the Spanish east coast. The many golf courses, along with the tranquil waters of the Mediterranean Sea, are part of the appeal of this beautiful harbor city, which sits at the foot of the Castle of Santa Barbara, a silent witness to the numerous civilizations to have settled here.
The historic quarter, at the foot of this fortress, conceals an interesting religious and civil architectural legacy, including the emblematic Explanada de España (Spain boulevard), a traditional recreational area to the local residents. Alicante is also a land of deeply-rooted traditions, such as the Moors and Christians festivities and the Night of San Juan. When it comes to Alicante's delicious cuisine, rice takes the central stage, cooked in a million different ways.
Alicante features long stretches of beach perfect for sports or sun tanning. The newer portion of town features cafes and shops, and the older section offers attractions like the Church of Santa Maria and the Castle of Santa Barbara.
The tourist office is at Avenida Rambla Mendez Nuñez, 23.
Alicante is the perfect place to take leisurely strolls.
There is a castle called Castle Santa Barbara. This is a 13th-century castle on a hilltop over 500 feet above Alicante. There is not a great deal to do there but it is worth going if only for the magnificent views. There is an elevator not far from the port which costs €2.80. (see above map) Otherwise, there is no entrance fee.
Known as the Turibus, this specially equipped bus tours the city from 10am until 6pm a and can carry up to 80 passengers. A ticket is valid all day so you can hop on and off as many times as you like. There are stops at all the popular tourist sites; Plaza del Mar, Archaeological Museum, Sta Barbara Castle, Central Market, Luceros, Renfe Station, Maisonnave (the shopping area), the Theatre and the Rambla. Carrying maps and pamphlets about Alicante's history and sites, the bus also has a recorded guided tour in 3 languages. Although this bus do not normally runs in the winter, but will make an exception when a cruise ship is in town. 10 Euro. Frequency during the hours of stay of cruise ships docked in Alicante every 30 minutes.
It pays to compare the shore excursions here.
The historic quarter of Elche, the capital of the region of Bajo Vinalopó (El Baix Vinalopò) in Alicante, preserves part of its Muslim past and Baroque splendor. Its palm tree grove, a World Heritage Site, adds to the appeal of the region, along with two holiday celebrations that have been declared of International Tourist Interest: "Domingo de Ramos" (Palm Sunday) and the The mystery of Elche. The Festa d'Elx (Festival of Elche) has been declared A masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. Elche is a must for many reasons, such as its many nature reserves, its coastal towns, and its prestigious gastronomy, to name a few.
Guadalest is a village up in the mountains about 65km (40 miles) north of Alicante about one and half hours drive. The drive there depends on which route the driver takes. It is possible to get there by a fairly direct, not very interesting, main road. There is also a more scenic route. Apart from being very scenic there are a couple of very interesting small museums there.
Isla de Tabarca A trip to Tabarca, around 15km to 20km south of Alicante as the seagull flies, makes for a pleasant day trip – as much for the boat ride itself as for the island. In summer, daily boats visit the island from both Alicante and Torrevieja and there are less regular sailings year-round.
The Rambla de Méndez Núñez is the traditional shopping area of the city, it's a vibrant street to meander down that offers you a good choice of shops as well as a slice of Alicante life! In the streets between The Rambla and Avenida de Frederico Soto you will find a number of individually owned shops intermingled with café bars and restaurants. Here you can buy shoes, jewelry, fashion clothes and home decoration items.
By far the most beautifully positioned is the Panoramis Complex, and it is open 24 hours! More than just a shopping area, it's a complete entertainment center in its own right with a wide variety of shops, great bars, fine restaurants and a 13-screen cinema. It also has a privileged position on the new marina with a breathtaking view of the seafront.
The rice dishes from Alicante have a great personality and they are delicious and varied. The sea provides fish that is presented in a myriad of ways while the countryside offers incomparable fruits and vegetables. The baked goods are also exceptional, particularly the "turrones". Quite unique liqueurs.
Spanish is the official language in the entire national territory. However, other languages coexist with Spanish in certain regions of Spain. These are: Catalan in Catalonia, Galician in Galicia, Euskera/Basque in the Basque Country, Valencian in the Valencia Region and a particular variety of Catalan spoken on the Balearic Islands.
Emergency number: Dial 112 free of charge (valid throughout Spain). Service is given in Spanish, and also in English, French and German in some tourist areas.
The most common business for shops and businesses hours are Monday through Saturday, from 9.30 h to 13.30 h, and from 16.30 to 20.00 h.
Big shopping centers and department stores open from 10.00 h to 21.00 or 22.00 h uninterruptedly. These big stores open sometimes on Sunday.
In coastal cities, in high season, shops are usually open passed 22.00 h.
Pharmacies open from 9.30 to 13.30 h, and from 16.30 to 20.00 h. In all major cities you can find pharmacies that open 24 hours. Pharmacies follow a rolling late-hour schedule, which is published in the newspapers, and is posted at all pharmacies.
The following are the national public holidays:
• 1 January, New Year's Day.
• 6 January, the Epiphany.
• March/April, Good Friday.
• 1 May, Workers' Day.
• 15 August, the Assumption.
• 12 October, Feast of El Pilar.
• 1 November, All Saints.
• 6 December, Constitution Day.
• 8 December, the Immaculate Conception.
• 25 December, Christmas Day.
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