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On the Costa Blanca on the east coast of Spain, Alicante has the perfect combination of fantastic beaches, a perfect temperate climate, lively nightlife and lots of culture and history to keep visitors coming back year after year and is one of the fastest growing cities in the country.

Alicante is in the autonomous community of Valencia and after the city of Valencia, is the 2nd largest city within the region and has undergone vast stages of transformation in the last decade to convert it from just another rundown port on the coast, to a hugely popular holiday destination and thriving community with clean beaches, award winning museums and open tree lined boulevards throughout the city.

As you would expect from a major city, Alicante has everything befitting of a large coastal location including a rich cultural and historical centre, vast expanses of golden beaches, a very busy coastline full of beach huts, restaurants and bars, never ending shopping opportunities and a very lively nightlife.

Once you arrive at Alicante airport it should take you between 15-30 minutes to get into the city centre where you can plan what to visit first. Whilst considering the wealth of things to do, go to the Explanada de Espana, a pretty water front boulevard with many cafes to watch the world go by from.

A notable historic feature of Alicante is the landmark the Santa Barbara castle that sits on the top of the Benacantil mountain surveying the city. Originally built during the times of Muslim rule in Spain, the castle was opened to the public in 1963 and over the years, having been captured by Spanish kings, bombarded by the French then taken over by the English, is a fascinating building to visit.

If you happen to be in the area in June, there is a popular festival known as the Hogueras de San Juan, or the Bonfires of Saint John, adopted as the main festival for the area in the late 1920s. During the festival, wood and other bonfire material is collected then ceremoniously burned before, perhaps somewhat rare in today’s society, teenagers and children jump over the fires.

The MARQ museum, as the “European Museum of 2004” is also worth a visit and displays archaeological artefacts dating from prehistoric times.

You will never have to go far to find a buzzing bar or disco in the early hours of the Alicante night. With a concentration of bars in the old quarter as well as around the marina, nightlife in Alicante, as is usual in most of Spain, often does not start til gone midnight and finishing well into the times most of us would be having breakfast.

To venture a bit further, why not take a day trip over to Tabarca, the only inhabited island of Valencia. Located 11km off the coast in the Med, a short ferry ride will get you to an island offering fantastic diving opportunities as it is a protected nature reserve with an amazing underwater habitat. For the less adventurous, snorkelling and fishing are also very popular on Tabarca.

You can also take a drive up into the surrounding mountains where you will find a world completely different to that on the coast but if you want to stay along the coast, the massively popular holiday destination of Benidorm is a short drive away too. If you haven't yet passed your driving test then all doesn't have to be lost - just book a week long driving course and ensure you have your license and some driving experience before your holiday.

To make everything easier, book our Alicante car hire for all inclusive deals in simple language outlining everything your booking includes but more importantly, also offers affordable and cheap Alicante car hire to cover all of your needs.

If you can't find what you're looking for through our car hire search then why not try our partners Hertz for some great Alicante car hire deals.

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