Alicante, a city of 330,000 inhabitants, with its endless beaches and countless tourists who visit it every year for the sea, its mild climate, its beautiful old town and the delicious local cuisine, is a destination that can hardly be compared to an ordinary place you can visit. How can one describe the experience of visiting this city? This article will try to describe the most critical points and sights of the city that are worth discovering, for all the right reasons:
Arriving in the city
Once you arrive at the train station or the airport, the first thing that catches your eye is the dual city name: Alicante / Alacant. The first is the “official” name of the city in Spanish, but the second is its name in the local “Valencian”, a dialect of the Catalan language. If you are a little confused, it’s “to blame” δημο democracy. After 1975 and Franco’s death, the local languages and dialects emerged from the illegality in which they had been since 1939 and regained their place in public life, which had always been secretly private.
Spain certainly has bigger and more impressive cities that can make the visitor dizzy. But its small towns always have another charm. And they usually have two or three characteristic attractions that you do not find in the other, the divas. Alicante has its beautiful Esplanade, the castle of Santa Barbara and at least two majestic buildings that you take with you in the suitcase of memories: the town hall and the Carbonell building that dominates the beach. It still has the age-old giant algae in Kanalehas Park, but also the statue of the surfer in front of the port, next to the huge sailboat.
Esplanade, the coastal road with the 6.5 million tiles that form a unique “wavy” mosaic in red, blue and white, is definitely the trademark of the city, what we call “the most photographed attraction”. Its 500 meters long are framed by four rows of palm trees, symmetrical: 2 on the left and 2 on the right, they create a cinematic setting if nothing else.
At the beginning of Esplanade is the iconic Carbonell Building, named after its owner Enrique Carbonell, a textile factory owner from Alcoy who became rich during World War I. It is said that when he was not yet rich, Carbonell went to rent a room in the luxury hotel Sol, but he was fired because his appearance and clothes did not match the hotel’s prestige. Then he swore that he would one day build a house bigger than the hotel right next to it and “disappear” it, which he eventually did. Definitely a pretty exciting story.
The castle of Santa Barbara
The castle of Santa Barbara has the city literally “under its roof”. It was built in the 14th century at a strategic point by the Arabs, who occupied Alicante (and much of Spain) from 718 to 1248. The view from the castle is stunning, but only from the seaside. From the other side, the “dark” side of the city can be seen, the apartment buildings, the factories, the boulevards that lead out of the city to Valencia or Andalusia. Inside the castle, there are permanent exhibitions, mainly of archaeological and historical content: findings from excavations made there or a video-cartoon representation of the historical moments that the castle lived.
The City Hall of Alicante
Alicante City Hall is the entrance to its small but beautiful old town. It is a three-storey Baroque palace, the construction of which began in 1699 and was completed in 1780. The facade is almost 50 meters long, a green double door of monumental dimensions leads to the inner courtyard, the patio, which is adorned with a sculpture by Salvador Dali. The two towers at the top complete its grandeur. At this point, it should be mentioned that Alicante is a reasonably large city in size, which you can ideally cross with the use of a vehicle. With a rental car, you will have the opportunity to visit all the above parts of the city, exploring with all its comfort the historical places and easily enjoying every special activity that takes place in this city. Trust Enjoy Travel for hiring a reliable vehicle throughout your vacation and pay full attention to the incomparable beauty of this city.
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