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Discovering Alicante

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Alicante is basically known as a tourist city, located in the Valencia community and in the province bearing the same name. Its population amounts to some 335,000 inhabitants. Every year, Alicante attracts thousands of tourists coming from Europe and the rest of the world. It is definitely a place to discover at all costs if you wish to experience Spain's cultural and exotic aspects.

Alicante is the third Spanish region with the largest number of foreign residents, especially British. In fact, the Costa Blanca region is known to be a popular and affordable place for Brits to retire. However, numbers have been declining since the crisis, notably among European expats.

Economy of Alicante

Alicante's economy is mainly based on tourism, services, trade and regional administration. It is also the Valencia region's second largest city, hosting a seaport and an airport. Manufacturing and exports are also considered to be important economic pillars through the production of olive oil, wine, and cultivation of fruits and vegetables, not to mention agro-food, textile, leather production, as well as crafts and pottery.

 Good to know:

The Valencia community ranks as Spain’s fourth largest province in terms of its GDP and population. In fact, Alicante was one of Spain’s fastest developing cities based on tourism and real estate; and it was well known for its construction boom. However, the global recession in 2008 caused the Spanish property bubble to burst. Numerous builders went into liquidation and left many overseas purchasers homeless. Even today, there is a glut of never-sold houses on the market!

Tourism in Alicante

This city has a rich historical and architectural heritage which are represented for example by the Saint-Nicolas Cathedral, the St. Mary Church (Basílica de Santa María), and the Holy Face monastery (Monasterio de la Santa Faz), among others. You will also find other architectural wonders such as the Carbonell House, the House of Witches (Casa de las Brujas), the Central Market and the theatre (Teatro Principal), which are not only important buildings but also the city's main places of interest.

Alicante also has parks and green spaces, which you can explore during your leisure time. You can enjoy the Spanish Esplanade which is lined with palm trees and the harbour basin, hosting many bars, restaurants and an open-air auditorium, the Ereta Park, the Paseito Ramiro walk which is confined in ancient walls and located near the beach, as well as the Parque del Palmeral which has several palm tree species, an abundant local flora, a lake and a natural waterfall.

You can also enjoy various other leisure activities available such as water sports, boat tours, or even Castillo de Santa Bárbara's beautiful beaches during your visit. Equally the Costa Blanca region offers endless beach opportunities.

Neighbourhoods

Alicante's different districts are driven by a sunny climate as well as a dynamic and relaxed environment between beautiful beaches and greenery. It is also known to be one of the region's largest tourist resorts due to its mild climate and its inhabitants' warmth and lifestyle. Each neighborhood has its own peculiarities, offering a magnificent spectacle of the Spanish culture in all its splendour.

Explanada de España is one of the city's most beautiful areas with its colorful mosaic pedestrian street lined with cafes and restaurants overlooking Alicante's port and beach. El Barrio de Santa Cruz is known to be Alicante's historical neighbourhood, with numerous monuments, the Santa Bárbara Castle, along with stylish homes and colorful folk style houses. You will also find many outdoor cafes and bars. Alicante also provides a wide range of accommodation for expats

Rambla de Méndez Núñez is one of the city's most animated neighbourhoods. This area has not only commercial zones, banks, restaurants and shops, but also museums, squares and parks, etc., hence an ideal place for shopping, eating as well as night life.

 Useful links:

Alicante City & Beach www.alicanteturismo.com
City guide www.alicante.com
City council (in Spanish) www.alicante.es

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