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Resting beneath the stunning Mount Benacantil and Castle of Santa Barbara, Alicante is one of the largest cities of Spain’s Valencia region. From the rejuvenating sands of Postiguet Beach to the well-preserved San Fernando Castle, this sparking coastal city is bursting at the seams with stunning landmarks. Apart from the charming old quarter, most of the sites are spread across the city and outside its periphery, so car rental will make life much easier for sightseeing tourists.
Who to Book With
Alicante is home to several world-class car rental firms, including the likes of Avis, Hertz and Europcar. However, tourists can also find great rates among the local companies offering vehicle rentals, such as Celta Car and SOL-MAR Car Hire. Tourists will be able to find suppliers within and around the city of Alicante. However, it is recommended that visitors book online prior to reaching this Spanish coastal city.
Best time to go
Alicante is one of those destinations that offers a great holiday at anytime of the year. It sees fewer than three weeks of rainfall across the entire year, and the city is usually only drenched in warm sunshine. The most crowded times of the calendar are the months of June, July, August and September. For cheaper rates on accommodation and transportation, tourists are advised to visit in the quieter months, which fall between March and May, or in the winter.
Need to Know Essentials
You must have several documents prepared if you wish to hire vehicles in Alicante:
- An original and valid driving license, more than one year old
- Passport identification or a European Union identification card
- A booking voucher or confirmation document
- A credit card – debit cards are not permitted for use
The heart of Alicante is certainly a pedestrian-friendly zone. Driving in this area of the city is mostly prohibited, except for in a few small streets. However, it is possible to get around the rest of the city by car, as the routes usually host traffic outside of peak hours and the roads are kept in great condition. Parking can be difficult, especially during the peak tourism season. Tourists are recommended to park in the underground garages around the city if no street-side parking is available.
Public transportation is available in Alicante. The city of Alicante may have a compact Old Town that is suitable for walking, but there are plenty of sites sprawling across the cityscape. This makes buses, trams and taxis important features of the city’s transport network. There is no train service across Alicante; however, there is a regional train service that connects the city to several major destinations, such as Madrid and Barcelona. Car rental is the ideal mode of transport for daytrips into Costa Blanca, however.
The taxis services within Alicante are regulated by local authorities, and meters are used by cabs across the city. Compared to other destinations in Spain and Europe, Alicante’s taxis are reasonably priced. There are a number of taxi companies operating in Alicante, including the two largest firms Radio Taxi and TeleTaxi.
Alicante has a sufficient bus network that not only takes commuters across the inner city, but also connects Alicante to the surrounding villages and towns. The buses do not operate 24 hours a day, but run between 6:30 and 23:00. Tickets can be purchased on board buses costing around €1.45, and drivers will give change, if it is only a small note. Tourists can purchase a rechargeable travelcard, which gives 10 rides for the cheap price of €7.25, with an additional €2 charge for the cost of the card. Nevertheless, single tickets can be purchased on board buses. Tickets can also be used on the trams. The Transport Alicante Metropolitano, or TAM, handles the public bus system in Alicante.
Trams are operated by Ferrocarrils de la Generalitat Valenciana (FGV), and run on similar scheduling patterns to the bus. There are six lines currently in operation, but there are plans to extend these and add more in the near future. Prices are fairly low, at around €1.45, and can also be used on public buses.
Costa Blanca is a phenomenal part of Spain. Ideally located within close proximity to many important tourist destinations and landmarks, it acts as a great base for daytrips. Visitors can reach spectacular coastal gems, such as the Canalobre Caves, or travel inland to mountain villages like Gaudalest when touring with car rental.
The Canalobre Caves - Situated some 24 miles north of Alicante, and located along the rocky coastline of Costa Blanca, the cave is home to a magnificent interior vault, which closely resembles the inside of a cathedral. Tours of the cave are guided and English translations are available.
Penyal d’Ilfach - A beautiful rock formation on the coast, near the town of Calpe. This landmark is well worth visiting, as even though it is situated upon a national reserve, tourists can still climb to the top and embrace its spectacular views. In addition, Calpe is also an impressive resort town that boasts clean and relaxing beaches.
Gaudalest - This village will surprise tourists with its beauty. Even though Alicante is surrounded by beaches, this village certainly competes with the best strips of sand that Costa Blanca has to offer. Gaudalest is a beautiful mountain village with stunning architecture clinging to its slopes, making for a very interesting spectacle for travellers.