The best restaurants in Spain, including address and telephone numbers.
Hotel Information of Spain with description and contact details.
There are lots to do in Spain. Here you can find a detailed guide.
Unspoilt beaches of Northern Cyprus.
One of the characteristic features of the early history of Spain is the successive waves of different peoples who spread all over the Peninsula. The first to appear were the Iberians, a Libyan people, who came from the south. Later came the Celts, a typically Aryan people, and from the merging of the two there arose a new race, the Celtiberians, who, divided into several tribes (Cantabrians, Asturians, Lusitanians) gave their name to their respective homelands. The next to arrive, attracted by mining wealth, were the Phoenicians, who founded a number of trading posts along the coast, the most important being that of Cadiz. After this came Greek settlers, who founded several towns, including Rosas, Ampurias and Sagunto. The Phoenicians, in their struggle against the Greeks, called on the Carthaginians, who, under the orders of Hamilcar Barca, took possession of most of Spain. It was at this time that Rome raised a border dispute in defense of the areas of Greek influence, and thus began in the Peninsula the Second Punic War, which decided the fate of the world at that time.
Rome left in Spain four powerful social elements: the Latin language, Roman law, the municipality and the Christian religion. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the Suevi, Vandals and Alans entered Spain, but they were defeated by the Visigoths who, by the end of the 6th century, has occupied virtually the whole of the Peninsula.
At the beginning of the 8th century, the Arabs entered from the south. They conquered the country swiftly except for a small bulwark in the North which would become the initial springboard for the Reconquest, which was not completed until eight centuries later. The period of Muslim sway is divided into three periods: the Emirate (711 to 756), the Caliphate (756-1031) and the Reinos de Taifas (small independent kingdoms) (1031 to 1492).
In 1469, the marriage of the Catholic Monarchs, Isabella of Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon, prepared the way for the union of the two kingdoms and marked the opening of a period of growing success for Spain, since during their reign, Granada, the last stronghold of the Arabs in Spain, was conquered and, at the same time, in the same historic year of 1492, the caravels sent by the Crown of Castile under the command of Christopher Columbus discovered America.
The Canary Islands became part of Spanish territory (1495), the hegemony of Spain in the Mediterranean, to the detriment of France, was affirmed with the conquest of the Kingdom of Naples, and Navarre was incorporated into the Kingdom.
The next two centuries, the 16th and the 17th, witnessed the construction and apogee of the Spanish Empire as a result of which the country, under the aegis of the Austrians, became the world's foremost power, and European politics hinged upon it.
The War of Succession to the Spanish Crown (1701-1714) marked the end of the dynasty of the Habsburgs and the coming of the Bourbons. The Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 formalized the British occupation of the Rock of Gibraltar, giving rise to an anachronistic colonial situation which still persists today and constitutes the only dispute between Spain and the United Kingdom.
In 1808 Joseph Bonaparte was installed on the Spanish throne, following the Napoleonic invasion, although the fierce resistance of the Spanish people culminated in the restoration of the Bourbons in the person of Fernando VII. In 1873, the brief reign of Amadeo of Savoy ended with his abdication, and the First Republic was proclaimed. However, a military pronunciamiento in 1875, restored the monarchy and Alfonso XII was proclaimed King of Spain. He was succeeded in 1886 by his son Alfonso XIII, although his mother Queen Maria Cristina of Habsburg acted as regent until 1902 when he was crowned king.
In the municipal elections of April 12th, 1931, it became clear that in all the large towns of Spain the candidates who supported the Monarchy had been heavily defeated. The size of the Republican's vote in cities such as Madrid and Barcelona was enormous. In the country districts, the Monarchy gained enough seats to secure for them a majority in the nation as a whole. But it was well known that in the country the 'caciques' were still powerful enough to prevent a fair vote. By the evening of the day following the elections, great crowds were gathering in the streets of Madrid. The king's most trusted friends advised him to leave the capital without delay, to prevent bloodshed. As a result, Alfonso XIII left Spain and the Second Republic was established on April 14th. During its five-year lifetime, it was ridden with all kind of political, economic and social conflicts, which inexorably split opinions into two irreconcilable sides. The climate of growing violence culminated on July 18th, 1936 in a military rising which turned into a tragic civil war which did not end until three years later.
On October 1st, 1936, General Franco took over as Head of State and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces. The Spanish State embarked on a period of forty years' dictatorship, during which the political life of the country was characterized by the illegality of all the political parties with the exception of the National Movement. Franco died in 1975, bringing to an end a period of Spanish history and opening the way to the restoration of the monarchy with the rise to the Throne of the present King of Spain, Juan Carlos I de Borbon y Borbon.
The young monarch soon established himself as a resolute motor for change to a western-style democracy by means of a cautious process of political reform which took as its starting point the Francoist legal structure. Adolfo Suarez, the prime minister of the second Monarchy Government (July 1976) carried out with determination and skill though helped, certainly, by a broad social consensus the so-called transition to democracy which, after going through several stages (recognition of basic liberties, political parties, including the communist party, the trade unions, an amnesty for political offences, etc.), culminated in the first democratic parliamentary elections in 41 years, on June 15th, 1977. The Cortes formed as a result decided to start a constituent process which concluded with the adoption of a new Constitution, ratified by universal suffrage, on December 6th, 1978.
Between 1980 and 1982, the regions of Catalonia, the Basque Country, Galicia and Andalusia approved statutes for their own self-government and elected their respective parliaments. In January 1981, the prime minister, Adolfo Suarez, resigned and was succeeded by Leopoldo Calvo-Sotelo. On August 27th, 1982, Calvo-Sotelo presented to the King a decree for the dissolution of Parliament and the calling of a general election to be held on October 28th.
The victory of the polls went to the Spanish Socialist Worker Party (PSOE) and its secretary general, Felipe Gonzalez. The socialists obtained 202 seats out of the 350 of which the Lower House consists and approximately 48% of the popular vote. Felipe Gonzalez was elected prime minister (December 2nd) after the parliamentary vote of investiture. The major losers were the Union of the Democratic Centre -which has split up following the defection of a number of its members- and the Spanish Communist Party (PCE). The Popular Alliance, whose chairman was Manuel Fraga Iribarne, made considerable gains (106 seats and approximately 26% of the vote).
There are three different climate zones in Spain, due to its large size. Visitors can generally expect a Mediterranean climate, characterized by hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters. The vast central plateau, or Meseta, has a more continental influenced climate with hot, dry summers and cold winters. Rain generally falls mostly in spring and autumn. The mountains surrounding the plateau have a higher rainfall and often experience heavy snowfalls in winter.
Best time to visit: Spain's climate varies from temperate in the north to dry and hot in the south. As it is a big country with varying terrain and altitudes, climate can be extremely distinctive from one corner to another. Overall, the coastal regions in the South and Eastern parts of Spain are excellent to visit all year round thanks to the Mediterranean climate (mild temperatures and long days). Northern Spain generally experiences colder temperatures than the South, while Central Spain stays hot and dry due to its location on a plateau.
The best time to visit depends on the region and type of travel experience you’re seeking. For a beach vacation, the best months for guaranteed sunshine are June to August. Naturally, these are also the busiest months for tourism along the coast and on the Spanish islands, so be prepared for high prices and crowds. If you’re looking to escape the crowds, head inland to cities like Seville, Madrid and Granada where temperatures are sizzling but streets are empty.
The shoulder season for travel in Spain is usually late spring and autumn: from April to end of May and October to November. These are when tourist destinations are least crowded and the weather is still pleasant. January to February is the best time to ski, as snow is ample and the sun is shining. Especially in the Sierra Nevada, the sun can be quite overwhelming even in the snow – come prepared with snow goggles and sunscreen.
Mediterranean zone: The Mediterranean zone embraces the coastal regions of Spain from the French to the Portuguese borders and is split into three regions. Catalonia (including the Costa Brava) has relatively mild winters, but is also quite humid, with 500 to 800mm (20 to 31in) of rain and between 2,450 and 2,650 hours of sunshine a year. Summers are pleasant without very high temperatures. The central eastern part of the Mediterranean coast, from around Alicante to Tarragona (known as the Levante) and including the Costa Blanca (plus Valencia and Murcia), is warmer in winter than Catalonia and has lower rainfall (300 to 425mm/12 to 17in).
The annual hours of sunshine are between 2,700 to 3,000 and temperatures in summer can be over 30C (86F). The southern coast of Andalusia (including the Costa del Sol) has slightly higher temperatures than the eastern coast (in winter and summer) and between 2,900 and 3,000 annual hours of sunshine. Annual rainfall is just 230 to 470mm (9 to 19in). In winter, the daytime temperature on the Costa Blanca and Costa del Sol often reaches a pleasant 15 to 20C (59 to 68F), when the Spanish habitually dress in overcoats and the foreigners in shorts or bathing costumes.
Andalusia includes the aridest part of Spain in the province of Almeria and also the area with the highest rainfall in the whole of Spain in Grazalema in the province of Cadiz. Most rain in Andalusia falls in the winter months, with some areas having as little as 200mm (8in) a year, which may all fall in one or two days, causing flash floods. The Mediterranean coast is also subject to cold winds from the north and north-east which bring snow to the Pyrenees and the Meseta in winter.
The Costa del Sol can be extremely windy in winter (it was originally called the ‘windy coast’ or Costa de Viento until the tourist ministry’s marketing men got to work) and parts of the Atlantic coast of Cadiz, Costa de la Luz, experience a particularly strong wind called the Levante, which can blow for days at a time (great for windsurfers). The mountain ranges of the hinterland help protect the coastal regions from climatic extremes and funnel warm air from the meseta to the coast in summer.
The Canary Islands boast the best year-round climate with warm winters and temperate summers, and temperatures of between 20 to 27C (68 to 81F) throughout the year. Hours of sunshine are similar to the Costa del Sol. Rainfall is low and varies from less than 100mm (4in) a year on Fuerteventura and Lanzarote to 750mm (30in) in the inland areas of Gran Canaria and Tenerife. The inland region of Tenerife experiences around 3,400 annual hours of sunshine – the highest in Spain.
Spanish culture is widely known for Flamenco music and dance, bullfights, fantastic beaches and lots of sunshine. A mixed culture has emerged in the recent time in Spain with the increasing migration of Europeans to Spain. The primitive traditions of the time of medieval age are matters of pride for the culture of Spain . The Andalusian genre of music, flamenco fills the air of Spain with a rhythmic tune.
Bull Fighting. An aristocratic sport, it was first defined by Gonzalo Argote de Molinain his book or 'Libro de la Monteria'. Practiced in two different ways, either the rider or his mount were to face the bull directly or they practically sideswiped the animal trying to spear it during the fight. This is one of the most dangerous and unique sport of Spain and an integral part of the traditions in Spain.
The first instance of bullfighting is reported to be held during the crowning of King Alfons VIII. The bull-rings are found at a gap of few yards throughout Spain. The bullfighting season continues from the month of March to October. Thousands of Spaniards and non-Spaniards attend this national sport (Fiesta Nacional in local language).
Spain's dance carnivals with gorgeous dress codes add more interest in the hearts of culture lovers. Spanish films are loved by international film buffs. Spain has produced stalwarts of filmmaking like Luis Bunuel, Pedro Almodovar. Spanish cuisine is known for its rich taste. It's fine taste of wine has served the taste buds of wine lovers for the ages.
Music in Spain. Music in Spain is varied in form and style, although for many citizens, it is synonymous to Flamenco,an Andalusian genre of music. But here is also the existence of rock music, folks, pop, and hip hops in Spanish lands.
In the early Renaissance period, instrumental music in Spain was influenced by Arabic music. Mateo Flecha el Viejo and Castillian dramatist Juan del Encina were some of the famous composers; Renaissance songbooks also exist. In the early 16th century, polyphonic vocal style grew in Spain that had similarities with the Franco-Flemish composing styles. The great Spanish composers of the Renaissance period are Francisco Guerrero and Cristóbal de Morales.
18th to 20th centuries led to the conclusion of the "classical" musical culture of Spain and led to the new venture of guitar compositions by renowned Spanish musicians like Fernando Sor, Francisco Tárrega and Miguel Llobet.
Spanish Dance. Spanish Dance can be defined as a complicated dance movement that originates from the native country of Spain and is not predominately influenced by other communities or culture. It is mainly performed by talented professionals who had formal training in any of the categories of Spanish dance and / or attained a degree in it.
However, if one does not have a formal guidance, expertise can also be acquired through many years experience. There are several Dance Academies who teach typical Spanish dances, Choreographies and organize yearly/ monthly/weekly Workshops.
The 6 categories of Spanish Dance are:-Flamenco -Classical Spanish Dance or Estilización -Folklore-Eighteenth Century Dances-Classical Ballet Dance-Castanets.
Spanish Fashion. The Spanish fashion industry has taken the entire world by a storm. The place is inhabited by some of the world's most attractive and stylish people who carry themselves with poise and elan. Consequently, several leading fashion designers have set up their base in the Mediterranean country.
Spain has an extraordinary artistic heritage. The dominant figures of the Golden Age were the Toledo-based artists El Greco and Diego Velázquez. Francisco de Goya emerged in the 18th century as Spain's most prolific painter and he produced some wonderfully unflattering portraits of royalty. The art world in the early 20th century was influenced by a remarkable group of Spanish artists: Pablo Picasso, Juan Gris, Joan Miró and Salvador Dalí, ambassadors of the artistic culture in Spain.
Spain's architecture ranges from prehistoric monuments in Minorca in the Balearic Islands, to the Roman ruins of Merida and Tarragona, the decorative Lonja in Seville, Mudéjar buildings, Gothic cathedrals, castles, fantastic modernist monuments and Gaudí's intricate fabulist sculptures in Barcelona. They are all representative of the culture of Spain.
Another example of culture in Spain is the invention of the Spanish guitar, which was invented in Andalusia in the 1790's when a sixth string was added to the Moorish lute. It gained its modern shape in the 1870's. Spanish musicians have taken the humble guitar to dizzying heights of virtuosity and none more so than Andrés Segovia (1893-1997), who established classical guitar as a genre. Flamenco, music rooted in the cante jondo (deep song) of the gitanos (gypsies) of Andalusia, is experiencing a revival. Paco de Lucia is the best-known flamenco guitarist internationally.
His friend Camarón de la Isla was, until his death in 1992, the leading light of contemporary cante jondo. In the 1980s flamenco-rock fusion (a.k.a. "gypsy rock") was developed by the likes of Pata Negra and Ketama, and in the 1990s, Radio Tarifa emerged with a mesmerizing mix of flamenco and medieval sounds.
Bakalao, the Spanish contribution to the world of techno, emerged from Valencia.
Siesta. The siesta is one of the most famous aspects of Spanish life - that dead period in the late afternoon when everything shuts down in Spain, in theory so people can go to sleep.The Spanish take the siesta very seriously, even going so far as to have a Sleeping Competition in its honor. But in July 2012, the law on Spanish business hours was relaxed. They will now be able to stay open for 90 hours a week and ten Sundays a year. Will this see the end of the siesta?
In truth, the siesta had been dying for a while now. Pressure in the job market means that many people are unwilling or unable to take long breaks and air conditioning has helped them to work through the hottest part of the day.
The gradual disappearance of the siesta has not changed the late-night lifestyle, which means the Spanish sleep an average of one hour less per day than other European countries.
Even before this law change, the siesta would hit Madrid and Barcelona much less than in Granada or Salamanca. Big supermarkets and department stores in much of the country stay open during the siesta (I don't know why they weren't affected by the old 72-hour-per-week law). In winter, when the heat isn't stifling, this can be a good time to go shopping as many Spaniards will stay away during this time. But be careful, many stores will be closed and you may struggle to get everything done.
Nightlife. Going out and partying is in the Spanish blood. Spanish nightlife, especially in Madrid, is legendary. What's more, it isn't a preserve of the young - there is a part of town for every age group and every taste. Just remember one thing - you have to go out very late - if you're in the bars before 10pm, you'll be drinking alone.
The Spanish Language. The official language is Spanish, also called Castilian, and is the first language of over 72% of the population. Galician is spoken in the region of Galicia and Basque by increasing numbers of the population of Euskadi, the Spanish Basque Country. Catalan is spoken in Catalonia and the Balearic Islands, and the closely-related Valencian in the Valencia region. All these languages have official regional status. Other minority languages including Aragonese and Asturian are not officially recognised.
Spanish Family Values: -The family is the basis of the social structure and includes both the nuclear and the extended family, which sometimes provides both a social and a financial support network.-Today, it is less common than previously for family members to work in a family business, as personal preferences are important and university education is general-The structure and the size of the family vary, but generally, people live until longer lives, have fewer children than before, and fewer people live in their homes with extended family. -Familial networks have become less tight. The greatest changes have occurred inside families, between men and woman, and the parents and children because the values that inspire these relations have changed.
Religion in Spain. The majority of Spaniards are formally Roman Catholic, although different religious beliefs are accepted. During the history of Spain, there have been long periods of where different religious groups have coexisted, including Muslims, Jews and Christians. Still some traditions manifest more like a cultural event than a religious one. During Holy Week, many participants of the processions wear peaked, black hats as the sign of a penitent and walk barefoot, carrying a burden of some kind. Religious history is apparent in every small town, where the most grandiose building is typically the church. In the large cities, the Cathedrals are almost museums.
Meeting Etiquette. -When introduced expect to shake hands. -Once a relationship is established, men may embrace and pat each other on the shoulder. -Female friends kiss each other on both cheeks, starting with the left. -People are often referred to as Don or Dona and their first name when in formal occasion as a general rule. -Many men use a two-handed shake where the left hand is placed on the right forearm of the other person.
Dining Etiquette. -If invited to a Spaniard's home, you can bring chocolates, pastries, or cakes; wine, liqueur, or brandy; or flowers to the hostess. -If you know your hosts have children, they may be included in the evening, so a small gift for them is always appreciated.
Spain has the fourteenth-largest economy by nominal GDP in the world and sixteenth-largest by purchasing power parity. Spain is a member of the European Union, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the World Trade Organization. The Spanish economy is the fifth-largest in the European Union, and the fourth-largest in the Eurozone, based on nominal GDP statistics. In 2012, Spain was the twelfth-largest exporter in the world and the sixteenth-largest importer.
Despite the poor performance of the Spanish economy generally in the 2008-2013 period, the economic situation improved later on. During the boom years, Spain had built up a trade deficit eventually reaching a record amounting to 10% of GDP (2007).Then, during the economic downturn, Spain significantly reduced imports, increased exports and kept attracting growing numbers of tourists; as a result, after three decades of running a trade deficit, the country attained in 2013 a trade surplus which has strengthened during 2014 and 2015.Exports in 2014 were 34% of GDP, up from 24% in 2009.
In 2015 the Spanish GDP grew by 3.2%, a rate not seen since 2007, before the crisis struck; such growth rate in 2015 was the highest among larger EU economies and the highest for industrialized countries.
Economic strengths. Since the 1990s some Spanish companies have gained multinational status, often expanding their activities in culturally close Latin America. Spain is the second biggest foreign investor there, after the United States. Spanish companies have also expanded into Asia, especially China and India. This early global expansion is a competitive advantage over its competitors and European neighbors. The reason may be primarily due to the booming interest toward Spanish language and culture in Asia and Africa, but also, a corporate culture that learned to take risks in unstable markets.
Spanish companies invested in fields like renewable energy commercialisation (Iberdrola is the world's largest renewable energy operator), technology companies like Telefónica, Abengoa,Mondragon Corporation, Movistar, Gamesa, Hisdesat, Indra, train manufacturers like CAF, Talgo, global corporations such as the textile company Inditex, petroleum companies like Repsol and infrastructure, with six of the ten biggest international construction firms specialising in transport being Spanish, like Ferrovial, Acciona, ACS, OHL and FCC.
External trade. Long a largely agricultural country, Spain produces large crops of wheat, barley, vegetables, tomatoes, olives, sugar beets, citrus fruit, grapes, and cork. Spain is the world's largest producer of olive oil and Europe's largest producer of lemons, oranges, and strawberries. The best-known wine regions are those of Rioja, in the upper Ebro valley, and of Málaga and Jerez de la Frontera, in Andalusia. Cattle, pigs, and poultry are raised. Agriculture is handicapped in many places by the lack of mechanization, by insufficient irrigation, and by soil exhaustion and erosion. The major industries produce textiles and apparel, foods and beverages, metals and metal products, chemicals, ships, automobiles, machine tools, clay and refractory products, footwear, pharmaceuticals, and medical equipment. Industries are concentrated chiefly in the Madrid region; in Valladolid; in Catalonia, which has large textile, automotive parts, and electronics manufacturers; in Valencia; and in Asturias and the Basque Country, where the rich mineral resources of the Cantabrian Mts. (iron, coal, and zinc) are exploited. Copper is mined extensively at Río Tinto; other mineral resources include lead, uranium, silver, tin, and mercury. Petroleum is found near Burgos. Fishing, notably for sardines, tuna, cod, and anchovies, is an important source of livelihood, especially on the Atlantic coast, and fish canning is a major industry. Tourism is Spain's greatest source of income.
Most Spanish railroads, unlike those of the rest of Western Europe, use broad-gauged tracks, although some regional systems consist of narrow-gauge railways. In 1992, a high-speed standard-gauge railway connecting Madrid and Seville began operation.
Spain has made great economic progress in recent decades, but it still lags behind most of Western Europe. Though industry has grown considerably since the 1950s, the country still has a large trade imbalance. Spain's greatest trade is with France, Germany, Italy, and Great Britain. Among the leading exports are machinery; motor vehicles; fruit, wine, and other food products; and pharmaceuticals. Major imports include machinery and equipment, fuels, chemicals, manufactured goods, foodstuffs, and medical instruments.
Banking. By the late 1980s, the Spanish banking system had been undergoing sweeping changes for some time. Its structure was largely a throwback to the post-Civil War period of the Franco era when Spanish private banks played a leading role in financing the development of industry. As financial backers of the Nationalist cause, they had won Franco's confidence and gratitude, and they were given a relatively free hand during the reconstruction period. With the adoption of an economic policy that emphasized self-sufficiency and barred foreign investment capital and banking competition, their role was strengthened. It has been estimated that, by 1965, the five leading private banks controlled over 50 percent of Spain's capital. Their influence extended not only to the private sector but also to such autonomous institutions as INI and the state railroads. Subsequently, as industry grew stronger, many of the banks' equity holdings were sold to the public through stock exchanges. The banks, however, continued to play a vital role in providing new funds for industry.
Supervision of all Spanish financial institutions rested with the Ministry of Economy, Finance, and Commerce. Subordinate to this ministry, and responsible for overseeing the country's banking system, was the country's central bank, the Bank of Spain. Formed in 1847, and granted the sole right to issue currency in 1874, the bank was nationalized by the Bank Reform Law of 1962. In addition to supervising the rest of the banking system and setting reserve requirements, it carried out the government's monetary policy through open market operations, and it oversaw foreign exchange along with the Directorate General for Foreign Transactions. In 1977, the Bank of Spain had helped set up the Deposit Guarantee Fund, which protected deposits in troubled banking institutions.
Of the three main groups of banks in the Spanish banking system--private banks, savings banks, and official credit institutions--private banks were the most important. In 1962 private banks were divided into commercial banks and industrial banks. The latter had the right to invest a higher proportion of their resources in equity holdings than the former, and they specialized in industrial investments. Commercial banks, which were larger and more numerous, served the general public; they were the principal source of short-term credit for the private sector, though they also competed for long-term loans. By the late 1980s, the distinction between the two kinds of banks had lost much of its meaning, for each had gradually been allowed to operate in the other's area of specialization.
Although in the second half of the 1980s Spain had about 100 private banks--a quarter of which were industrial banks--the field had long been dominated the Big Seven, seven large commercial institutions: Banco Espanol de Credito or, as it was more commonly known, Banesto; Banco Central; Banco de Bilbao; Banco Popular Espanol; Banco de Santander; Banco de Vizcaya; and Banco Hispano Americano. By the 1980s, these banks had direct or indirect control of approximately 80 percent of the country's banking resources.
Banking can be said to be the last redoubt of Francoist economic autarchy. Banks had grown during the Franco period by borrowing cheaply from their customers and then selling their services at huge margins. During the late 1970s and the early 1980s, when a number of banks found themselves in serious difficulties, the government, for the first time, permitted their purchase by foreign banks. When it became clear that the more sophisticated foreign banks were rapidly making inroads into the traditional preserves of the large Spanish banks, however, the government closed the door to their further influx. Foreign banks were no longer to be allowed entry into Spain before the 1992 deadline set by the EC integration agreement so that the Spanish banking system would have the maximum amount of time to modernize.
By the second half of the 1980s, Spanish banks were still not internationally competitive. The banks tended to be greatly overstaffed, and they possessed far too many branches, compared with their West European counterparts. Only in Belgium were there more branches per capita. In addition, the inadequate investments of Spanish banks were compensated for financially by the overpricing of services for bank clienteles. An EC report of the late 1980s indicated that, in order for the costs of financial services in member states to be harmonized, those of the Spanish banking system would have to be cut by 34 percent. In comparison, those of French banks would have to be reduced by 24 percent, and those of British banks, by 13 percent.
The pressure to revamp Spain's banking industry was, therefore, very great. Mergers were undertaken with the government's encouragement in order to create large Spanish financial holdings that could adequately compete with their European rivals. Although an attempted merger of the Banco de Bilbao and Banesto fell through in 1987, in early 1988 a successful union took place between the Banco de Bilbao and the Banco de Vizcaya. This merger resulted in the creation of Western Europe's thirty-second largest financial institution, the Banco Bilbao-Vizcaya. In 1988, the planned merger of the two largest private banks, Banco Central and Banesto, fell through, but analysts expected that before 1992, the Big Six of the Spanish banking industry might, through various mergers, become the Big Three or the Big Four.
The second major group in the banking system consisted of savings banks, which predominated in rural areas that could not attract branches of the leading private banks. These banks did not come under the control of the Bank of Spain until 1971, having previously had their own official governing body, the Credit Institute for Savings Banks. Heretofore, they had generally accounted for about one-quarter of total lending in the private sector. Since the late 1970s, savings banks have raised their share of total national deposits from 34 percent to 45 percent--a feat that was accomplished despite severe restrictions. In the mid-1980s, these restrictions were gradually being relaxed. For example, barriers that limited their operations to specific areas or regions were lifted in June 1988, and by 1992, they were to be free to open up branches anywhere in the country. In terms of deposits, the Barcelona-based Caja de Pensiones para la Vejez y de Ahorros de Cataluna y Baleares, popularly known as La Caixa, was the country's largest savings bank. Another large savings bank was La Caja de Madrid. After the relevant restrictions were lifted, a large-scale merger process commenced among savings banks. This trend appeared likely to become a substantial factor in the country's savings banks' operations.
Legally, savings banks were nonprofit institutions, but in reality, they were quite profitable; in 1987, for example, they were more profitable than rival commercial banks. One reason for this was that savings banks were self-financed foundations without stockholders. The seventy-seven savings banks operating in the late 1980s lent mostly to families and to small and medium-sized businesses.
The third leg of the Spanish banking industry consisted of official credit institutions, each with a specialized sphere of influence. These credit institutions were under the control of the Directorate General for State Assets (Direccion General del Patrimonio del Estado--DGPE), and they were supervised by the Official Credit Institute (Instituto de Credito Oficial--ICO), which received funds from the state that were then lent to the credit institutions. The largest of these was the Industrial Credit Bank (Banco de Credito Industrial), which specialized in general industrial loans. The Mortgage Bank of Spain (Banco Hipotecario de Espana) provided mortgage loans for urban and rural properties. The Agricultural Credit Bank (Banco de Credito Agricola) provided credit for agriculture and related sectors. Provincial and municipal administrative bodies were served by the Local Credit Bank (Banco de Credito Local).
Also under the ICO, but only partially so, was the Overseas Trade Bank (Banco Exterior de Espana), which had been founded in 1923 to promote exports. More than half the bank's capital was in private hands. In addition to its participation in foreign trade, it competed with domestic commercial banks and ranked just below the former Big Seven in terms of its size. Like the official credit institutes, the Overseas Trade Bank was among those bodies belonging to the DGPE.
Analysts expected the increasing financial liberalization of the Spanish banking system to affect the status and the functions of the country's public banks. The freeing of funds tied up in government-required investments would eliminate the "privileged circuits" through which funds at low-interest rates were normally channeled into such investments. In mid-1988 legislation was being prepared that would redefine the role of publicly owned banks by converting them into subsidiaries of the ICO and by forcing them to finance themselves at market rates. To assist them in adapting to these new circumstances, a period of gradual adjustment lasting as long as fifteen years was being considered, during which they could continue to depend on financing from the Ministry of Economy, Finance, and Commerce.
Spain is the current superstar economy of the eurozone. The former bail-out country, which became embroiled in one of the worst banking and house price collapses in the euro just four years ago, is now proudly held up as the European Union's model economic pupil. Spain is set to be the fastest growing economy of the "Big Four" euro economies - Germany, France, Italy and Spain - over the next two years, expanding by 3.2pc and 2.5pc respectively, according to the International Monetary Fund.
2012. If the last few years had seen the Spanish property market either flat line or make stuttering, failing attempts at recovery, 2012 was the year that some real (albeit small!) signs of life finally began to show. While house prices continued to fall across most of the country, property values did increase in some regions. For example, prices began to rise in the province of Malaga: a rise of 4.4% was reported in Benalmadena, whilst prices in Nerja, Ojén and Marbella were up 1.5%, 1.3% and 0.1% respectively. Other coastal regions also began to see rising prices, as did the Canary Islands. Some attractive deals began to become available in Spain once more, and the stage was set for a more comprehensive recovery to begin in the not so distant future.
2013. More and more articles tentatively suggesting that the Spanish economy and its housing market might be on the road to recovery appeared throughout 2013. Reports suggested that the market had started to bottom out, and therefore proclaimed that the time was right to invest in Spanish property before prices began to rise again. With the decline in prices beginning to slow, buyer confidence began to return to the market as the year progressed, manifesting itself in increased property sales in key areas around the country such as the Costa del Sol.
2014. Although perhaps a little early to tell there are strong signs that a recovery is well underway this year. Spain's economy is set to grow by 1% in 2014 and it is hoped that this will further aid the recovery of the property market. Indeed, agents are already reporting increased sales and with the new golden visa scheme acting as an incentive for property hunters from outside the EU to invest in Spain, there are encouraging signs that 2014 will be the year that the Spanish property market will begin to regain some of its pre-crisis lustre.
Buyers from abroad are returning to the Spanish housing market, attracted by economic growth that’s beating most of Europe and signs that prices are bottoming out after years of declines. Britons are the biggest investors as near-zero interest on U.K. savings accounts and rising residential prices make it less attractive to keep money at home.
Non-Spaniards spent 6.05 billion euros on Spanish property in the first nine months of last year, up 30 percent from the same period in 2013, according to data from the country’s Ministry of Public Works. The 40,338 dwellings purchased represent a 27 percent increase from the same period a year earlier, led by the Valencia, Andalusia and Catalonia regions, the data showed.
Foreign and domestic home-buying in Spain evaporated when the economy collapsed during the financial crisis, leading to an international bailout of its banks and the worst recession in the country’s democratic history. An excess of credit-driven construction before the slump led to a surplus of more than 1 million homes, including properties in sunny southern resort areas popular with British and continental Europeans.
Average home prices in Spain fell 42 percent from their 2007 peak, while properties in coastal areas dropped 50 percent, according to Tinsa, the country’s largest home appraiser. Declines slowed to 3 percent last year from 9 percent in 2013, Tinsa said.
The pound’s 13.5 percent rise against the euro in the past 12 months also has made property in mainland Europe cheaper for U.K. buyers.
While Spanish homes have been steeply discounted for years, a contracting economy and high unemployment had made the country unattractive for investors. Now, more than two years since applying for a European Union rescue of its banking system, Spain has one of the fastest growth rates in the euro area and the economy. Domestic home sales are rebounding as well. Spanish residential purchases increased 2.2 percent in 2014 from a year earlier to 319,389 units, the first gain since 2010, according to data compiled by the National Statistics Institute. That’s still far below the peak in 2006 when 955,186 properties changed hands.
Spain has 1.4 million excess homes, according to Madrid-based property consultants RR de Acuna y Asociados. Buyer interest is so high in coastal areas such as Marbella that international funds are now looking to buy land plots and build homes with local partners. There are currently around 400 units under construction in Marbella, the most in six years.
By 2015, tourism was estimated to account for 11% of the country's economic output, employing 2 million people.
During the last four decades, Spain's foreign tourist industry has grown into the second-biggest in the world and was worth approximately €40 billion – about 5% of GDP, in 2006. The total value of foreign and domestic tourism came to nearly 11% of the country's GDP and provided employment for about 2 million people. In August 2012 Spain beat its own record of monthly arrivals, having registered 7.9 million visitors.
By 2013, Spain was the third most visited country in the world: it was visited by 60.6 million tourists. In 2015 the country remained the third most visited country in the world, recording 68.1 million tourists which marked the third consecutive year of record-beating numbers.
The headquarters of the World Tourism Organisation are located in Madrid, Spain.
The Law on the Quality of Education (Ley Orgánica de Calidad de la Educación - LOCE) covers the main points of the education law in Spain which are as follows:
• School is compulsory and free of charge for all children from age six to age sixteen
• The system includes levels of education adapted to suit students with special needs
• All students receive basic vocational training in secondary education
• Religious instruction is available but optional
• Special systems exist for artistic education and language learning
The law also determines that education authorities must promote the integration of foreign pupils and develop specific programmes in mainstream schools for those that do not have a good grasp of the Spanish language. "Bridge" classes provide facilities for students to study Spanish before joining an ordinary class, however all teaching in mainstream schools is delivered in Spanish.
Schooling in Spain is state funded and is compulsory between the ages of six years and sixteen, given that no courses are repeated. Although non-university education in state-funded schools is free in Spain, parents must pay for books, materials, and sometimes uniforms for their children. Once the required schooling is finished, a student can then opt to continue on to high school (bachillerato) or move on to a vocational school. Only those who finish high school can be admitted to a university.
There are three categories of Spanish schools in the Spanish education system: public schools (colegios públicos), state-funded private schools (colegios concertados) and private schools (colegios privados). Since some private schools are publically funded the line between public and private is blurred.
Spanish school hours depend on each type of school. Some may run from 9 am to 5 pm with a two hour lunch break. Other schools may begin at 9 and end at 2 pm, the typical lunch time in Spain. Some schools may have only a one hour lunch break and may or may not provide a cafeteria for children to eat at the school. For working parents, Spanish schools offer a paid morning program starting as early as 7 am and an afterschool program of extracurricular activities, free or paid for, depending on the activity.
Moving to Spain
When bringing children to Alicante, a choice needs to be made whether to educate them through the Spanish state system, or find an international school. The younger the child, the easier they find it to adapt to a new language, culture and educational system. Another consideration is how long you intend to stay in Spain; by choosing an international private school, the transition between Spain and your home country's education system, particularly higher education, is easier to manage.
State schools in Spain are operated by the local autonomous community which, in the case of Alicante, is Valencia. The local language of Valencian may also be taught within state schools. A full list of schools in the area, and whether they teach Valencian, can be found at www.alicante.es/ingles/education/centros-publicos. This site also details whether school transport and school dinners are provided.
Students are normally registered in the school nearest to their residence. Many are used to welcoming foreign students and can provide extra Spanish tuition to help the transition. Registration for state schools is dealt with by the Education Office at Alicante Town Hall, (Calle Maldonado, 1, tel 965 98 05 80) and is open to the public Monday to Friday, from 9am until 2pm.
There are several private schools in the Alicante area that teach in English, yet include compulsory Spanish subjects too. The mix of nationalities means that students are prepared for examinations and university entrance for universities throughout Europe and the United States.
The European School of Alicante (Avenida Locutor Vicente Hipolito, Playa de San Juan) is part of an initiative organised by member states of the European Union and is one of a number of schools throughout Europe. Further details are available at www.eursc.org.
Another popular school is The British School of Alicante (Calle del Reino Unido, 5). Although 70% of the students are Spanish, the curriculum closely follows the British system.
The University of Alicante is a well-respected learning and research facility with over 30,000 students spread over a total campus of one million square metres. It is one of the fastest growing in Spain and welcomes students from around the world. There are currently over 2000 foreign students studying at the University, which has links with several international universities and exchanges can and do take place. Shorter courses, evening classes and Spanish tuition classes for foreigners are also available. More information can be found on their website, www.ua.es, which can also be read in English.
The Region of Valencia is sat on the Eastern side of the country, composed of the provinces of Castellon,Valencia and Alicante with Valencia City as its capital where it produces its very own type of rice - Valencian Rice (Arroz de Valencia). The best known of all its rice dishes is the paella mixta where the rice cooked with both seafood and chicken or rabbit and then scented and coloured with saffron. For some, a delicious variation of paella is the paella negra (black paella) which is coloured by the black ink from a squid. There is also Arroz Negra which is cooked the same way (See right).
You need a pretty strong stomach for the Paella Negra. It's not a dish that traditionally you might say was appetizing to look at.
The Alicante region is a food-lovers' paradise with its abundance of fresh fish and shellfish dishes, tasty fruit and vegetables and delicious sweets such as Valor chocolate from Villajoyosa and the tasty turron, which is similar to nougat, from Jijona. There are some things that you have to try here. If you can, pair them with a local wine; the Aqua de Valencia cocktail of orange juice, orange liqueur and cava; or the refreshing horchata made from chufa or tiger nut.
A delicious way to try Spanish food is to get into the habit of ordering tapas with your drink. It's a lovely way to sample different dishes which you may not normally get to try. You can drink in the atmosphere at several bars while sampling a few snacks. Of course, you will also find tapas in any Spanish restaurants in Alicante. Tapas are basically small food dishes to keep hunger pangs at bay. They are traditionally eaten at lunchtime instead of a full-blown meal or with drinks after work. It is thought tapas (from the Spanish word ‘tapar‘ meaning ‘to cover‘) originate from the custom of putting bread or ham over drinks to keep the flies off. The custom could also come from rural Spain in bygone days when the labourers put bread on top of their wine to keep the flies and mosquitoes away. This evolved over time into a culinary delight of its own. Many traditional bars have long displays of tapas with 100 or more varieties, ranging from fish, meats like ham and sausages, to tomatoes or eggs.
Rice stocked with fish
Many local people will choose Arroz a banda (rice cooked in fish stock) rather than paella. This is another tasty rice dish with a variety of fish, such as monkfish and cuttlefish, potatoes, onions, rice, garlic and saffron. The Bomba rice absorbs more liquid than the traditional long-grain variety, which makes this a very tasty dish which is often accompanied by the delicious allioli (garlic mayonnaise). It is interesting to see who prefers the arroz a banda to the stickier paella.
Simply red prawns
Denia prawns are a delicacy and come with quite a hefty price tag, especially at Christmas-time when they can be as much as €200 a kilo. One of the most cost-effective ways to try them is for tapas which keeps the cost down. Because they have such a delicate, sweet flavour, they are best cooked simply. For example, they can either be quickly boiled in sea water or quickly grilled with a little rock salt. Each year, top chefs are invited to Denia for a competition to find the best, new recipe for this lovely red prawn.
Tucking into Turron
Almond trees are in abundance in the Alicante region of Spain with the colourful blossom enticing photographers and artists to the region in the early part of the year. The town of Jijona is a major user of the almond nuts which take pride of place in the sweet called turron, which is similar to nougat, and includes sugar, honey and egg in the ingredients. Turron is a traditional sweet at Christmas but can be enjoyed throughout the year. It can be made in a variety of flavours including nuts, dried fruits or chocolate. Turron ice-cream is a favourite dessert.
Piece of cod
Fish plays a central part in many dishes along the Costa Blanca coast. In more traditional restaurants you will find esgarrat on the menu which is a very colourful and healthy fish dish. It is made with grilled cod served with cooked red peppers, olives, garlic and a large dollop of olive oil. The sweetness of the peppers contrasts brilliantly with the cod. This is an easy dish to try at home as it takes just 30 minutes to prepare and cook. The vibrant green, red and white colours will certainly impress dinner guests.
Flavour some dish of eels with garlic, chilli, paprika, and parsley. It is not for the faint-hearted, as this is an acquired and strong taste. The eels are cleaned, cut into small pieces and cooked slowly with water, garlic, chilli, sweet paprika, olive oil and salt. They are served with a sauce, called picada, which is made of fried bread, parsley, garlic and pine nuts along with a spoonful of stock from the eels.
Sausage and beans
Many traditional towns and villages, particularly those inland or in the mountains, will have butchers who make their own sausages. In the Alicante region, a mix of black and white sausages is served with broad beans to make blanco y negro con faves (white and black with beans). The black sausage, called morcilla, is very similar to black pudding. The two types of sausages are fried while the little broad beans are slowly cooked in a separate pan. The dish is served with crusty bread and a generous dash of olive oil. If you look in a traditional butcher's or in the central markets, you will find a huge variety of sausages which are packed with flavour.
Ram in the lamb
Alicante cuisine often contains rice and fish but the locals like their meat too. Lamb is popular although it is usually a little pricier than beef or pork.Tombet Valencia is a tasty dish of lamb, using meat from the leg and shoulder, garlic, herbs and nuts. The lamb is cooked slowly with olive oil, a head of garlic, bay leaf and water. It is served with a tasty sauce of hazelnuts, garlic, parsley, cinnamon, saffron and seasoning.
Doughnuts are a delicious mid-morning or afternoon snack, particularly during fiestas when revellers and onlookers need an energy boost to keep them going all day and throughout the night. Bunuelos falleros are round doughnuts with a hole. They can be made simply with flour, yeast and sugar, although often cooked squash or pumpkin will be added to the bunuelos to make a pudding typical of the Alicante region. Another favourite is a doughnut, called churros, traditionally served with thick hot chocolate at breakfast.
With the Mediterranean Sea playing a major role in essentially every aspect of Alicante life, it comes as no surprise that it plays heartily into Alicante's gastronomy as well. Savor the freshest seafood dishes- shrimp, red mullet, tuna, prawns, squid, cuttlefish and much more- brought in with the daily catch. Grilled or seasoned with oil, parsely and garlic based sauces, Alicante's fresh seafood is simply delicious. Just like Spain has the Romans to thank for olive oil, Alicante has the Muslim culture to thank for its widespread consumption of rice.
Alicante Drinks and Desserts
Certainly not to be forgotten is Alicante's selection of typical drinks, including horchata de chufas and local wines. Introduced by the Moorish culture, horchata de chufas is a sweet, aromatic and refreshing drink essentially based on the juice obtained from mashed chufas, or tiger nuts. A glance at a wine list in any Alicante restaurant will show you a selection of locally produced hearty reds, fruity whites, smooth blushes and more. Take advantage and try the traditional sweet wine called fondillón, a genuine specialty as it's practically non-existent outside of Alicante! To wrap up a delicious meal, every Spaniard has a sweet tooth to satisfy and in Alicante you can find an array of delicious local ice creams and chocolate pastries. Be sure to pick up a turrón, a traditional nougat-like confection for which Alicante has earned widespread fame- especially around Christmas-time.
Do I require a visa?
Holders of passports who do not require a visa to enter Spain
1. The European Union, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland • New residency requirements for EU citizens planning to live in Spain for more than three months. The Spanish Government has introduced new residency requirements for all EU citizens who plan to reside in Spain for more than three months. For more information, click here. • Passports and travel documents are required to be valid during the duration of the visit. You do not need a minimum of validity in your passport or travel document to travel to Spain. • Children included in the parent’s passport must be accompanied by the parent. The child’s right to travel on the passport will lapse depending on the age stipulated by the issuing country and be under 16 years of age. • A letter of consent is recommended if the child (holding a valid passport) is not travelling with the parents (mother or the father if he has parental responsibility) or guardian. Anyone under the age of 18 is considered a minor and is subject to parental control or adult supervision. Parents or guardians are responsible for the actions of their children. Unaccompanied minors fall under the jurisdiction of Social Services for the Protection of Minors. • Children travelling alone and using a National Identity card must have written parental consent. • It is important that the name on your ticket matches the name on your passport exactly. Please consult with the airline before travelling.
2. For visits not exceeding ninety days per six-month period, visas are not required for holders of valid passports issued by the following countries or dependencies: Albania, * Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia-Herzegovina * , Brazil, British nationals (Overseas), British overseas territories citizens (BOTC), British overseas citizens (BOC), British protected persons (BPP), British subjects (BS), Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominica, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Israel, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) * , Japan, Korean Republic, Liechtenstein, Macao Special Administrative Region, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro *, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Northern Mariana Islands (passports from the US), Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Grenadines, Samoa, San Marino, Serbia **, Seychelles, Singapore, Taiwan (only holder of passports which contain identity card number), Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay, USA, Vatican City, Venezuela, Vanuatu * Only when holding a biometric passport. If not, a visa is required. ** Only when holding a biometric passport. If not, a visa is required, excluding holders of passports delivered by KOORDINACIONA UPRAVA.
3. Holders of Travel Documents issued under the Geneva Convention of July 1951, by the following countries: Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Norway, Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom
4. Crew members of airlines and merchant navy.
5. If you hold a valid residence permit in any of the Schengen member states, you are entitled to re-enter the Schengen area without a visa on the production of your proof of residence and your passport.
6. Under Directive 2004/38/EC and according to Real Decreto 240/2007, 16 February, family members of an EU/EEA national in possession of a valid UK Residence Card specifying its condition as a family member do not require a visa to enter Spain when travelling with the EU/EEA National or joining him/her in Spain. Otherwise, a visa will be still required (Real Decreto 1161/2009, 10th July 2009). For spouses and/or children of Spanish Nationals, the above condition applies provided that the marriage and/or birth is registered according with the Spanish Civil Register (original Libro de Familia). Please note, that the UK Residence Permit must state literally that the holder is a family member of an EU/EEA National. If not, a visa is required.
This information applies only to ordinary passports. All other nationalities, not listed above require a visa.
Holders of passports who require a visa to enter Spain:
Afghanistan (1) (2*), Albania, Algeria (1), Angola (2), Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh (1) (2*), Belarus (1), Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia Bosnia & Herzegovina, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape, Verde, Central Africa Republic, Chad, China, Comoros, Congo, Cuba (2), Democratic Republic of Congo (1) (2*), Djibouti (2*), Dominican Republic, East Timor, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea (1), Egypt (1), Eritrea (2*), Ethiopia (2*), Fiji, Frandesspass documents (1,) Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana (2*), Guinea (2,) Guinea-Bissau (2), Guyana Haiti (2), Hong Kong (when it is not SAR), India (2), Indonesia Iran (1) (2*), Iraq (1) (2*), Ivory Coast (2), Jamaica Jordan (1), Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Laos Lebanon (1), Lesotho Liberia (2), Libya (1), Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali (1) (2), Marshall Islands, Mauritania (1), Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco (1), Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria (1) (2*), North Korea (1), Oman, Pakistan (1) (2*), Palestine (1), Papua, New Guinea, Philippines (1), Qatar, Refugee Travel Documents (1), Russia, Rwanda (1), Sao, Tome Saudi Arabia (1), Senegal, (2) Sierra Leone (2) Solomon Islands Somalia (1) (2*) South Africa South Sudan (1) Sri Lanka (1) (2*) Sudan (1) (2) Suriname (1) Swaziland Syria (1) Tajikistan Tanzania Thailand Togo (2) Tunisia (1) Turkey Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan (1), Vietnam (1), Yemen (1), Zambia, Zimbabwe.
The visa will take at least 2 weeks to be issued.
(1) This visa will take at least 4 weeks to process. Included in this category are Palestinians, Refugees and Stateless Persons. Please note that certain documents are not recognised by the Spanish Authorities and are therefore not valid to travel to Spain. These include Certificates of Identity issued by the Home Office, which is not covered by the Geneva or New York Conventions.
(2) An Airport Transit visa is required if the person is not a permanent resident in: Canada, European Union, USA.
(2*) An Airport Transit visa is not required if resident in: Andorra, Canada, European Union, Japan, Monaco, San Marino, Switzerland, USA, Holders of Diplomatic and Service passports.
Being in possession of a valid visa
This is required of nationals of third countries included on the list of countries whose nationals must be in possession of a visa when crossing the EU's external borders, unless they are in possession of a valid residence permit or a valid long-term visa issued by another Member State.
Foreigners holding a valid residence permit or a long-term visa issued by another Schengen State may move for a maximum of three months, during any six-month period, through the territory of the other Schengen States, provided that they are in possession of a valid passport or travel document, that they justify the purpose and conditions of the intended stay, as well as having sufficient means of subsistence for the duration of the intended stay in Spain, and that they accredit that they are not considered a threat to the public health, public order, national security, or international relations of Spain or of other States with which Spain has agreements in this regard. Moreover, they shall be required not to appear on the national list of alerts of the Member State in question.
Being in possession of documents that justify the purpose and conditions of the intended stay, and having sufficient means of subsistence for the duration of the intended stay in Spain
Journeys undertaken for the purposes of tourism or for private reasons: In these cases, submission of any of the following documents may be required:
1. A supporting document from the establishment providing accommodation or a letter of invitation from a private individual hosting the foreigner concerned in their home, issued by the Police Station of their place of residence. IMPORTANT: Under no circumstances shall the letter of invitation replace the foreigner's accreditation of all other entry requirements.
2. Confirmation of the booking of an organised trip, indicating the itinerary.
3. A return or round-trip ticket. In order to accredit economic means, the provisions of Order PRE/1282/2007, of 10 May, on economic means, shall be taken into account; foreigners must prove that they have sufficient means of subsistence available in order to enter Spain. The minimum amount that must be accredited is € 64.53 per person per day, with a minimum of € 580.77 or its legal equivalent in foreign currency. - Journeys of a professional, political, scientific, sporting or religious nature or undertaken for other reasons Submission of any of the following documents may be required: 1. Invitation from a company or from an authority to participate in meetings, conferences, etc., either commercial, business, etc. 2. Document proving the existence of commercial or business relations, etc. 3. Access cards to trade fairs, congresses, conferences, etc.
4. Invitations, entrance cards, bookings or programmes indicating, as far as possible, the name of the hosting organization and the duration of the stay, or any other document indicating the purpose of the visit.
Journeys undertaken for the purposes of study or other types of training
Submission of any of the following documents may be required: 1. Certificate of enrollment at a teaching institute for the purposes of attending theory and practice training courses. 2. Certificates regarding the courses attended.
There are three types of visa allowing entry to Spain:
Airport transit visa•Short-stay•Schengen visa•Long-term visa.
Airport transit visa for Spain.
An airport transit (visado de transito aeroportuario) allows you into the international transit zone in a Spanish airport. Not everyone needs one but to check whether you do, check the information and list at www.exteriores.gob.es. You’ll need to apply for a transit visa through the Spanish embassy or consulate in your home country.
Short-stay visa for Spain.
A short-stay Schengen visa (visado de corta duracion) allows you to stay in Spain – but not work – for up to 90 days in an 180-day period. If you have a Schengen visa issued by another Schengen state you can also come and stay in Spain for 90 days. Nationals from the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand don’t need a short-stay visa to enter Spain but will need to apply for a long-term residence visa to stay longer than three months. To find out if you need a Schengen visa read the information above. You need to complete an application form and apply through the Spanish embassy or consulate in your home country. You can renew your short-term visa at your local Foreigner’s Office (Oficina de Extranjeros) or Police station as long as you will be staying in Spain for a total of less than 90 days. You can’t come to Spain on a short-stay visa as a visitor and change your status to employee, student or resident from within Spain – you have to return to your home country and apply for a new visa from there. Find the contact details of the Spanish embassy or consulate in your own country to apply.
Long-term visas for Spain.
Unless you’re a citizen of the EU/EEA or Switzerland you’ll need a longer-term national visa (visado nacionale) if you intend to live, work, study or carry out research in Spain for longer than three months. This will depend on your purpose of stay, as detailed below.
Long-term Spanish residence and work visas.
There are different residence and work permit types, depending on the purpose of your stay: - a combined residence and work visa (visado de trabajo y residencia) allowing you to live and work in Spain; - a student visa (visado de estudios) for the duration of a educational or training course; - a residence visa (visado de residencia) for family reunification or retirement.
There is a youth mobility agreement between Spain and Canada for young people aged 18 to 35 to visit Spain to travel and work for up to a year. For details, see one of the Spanish consulates in Canada.
You can apply for a long-term visa from the Spanish consulate or embassy in your home country, or sometimes online on their websites before you come to Spain. The application must be made in person or through an accredited representative, and you usually have to pay a non-refundable fee of around EUR 60. Allow plenty of time for the consulate to process your application – check with yours for the timescale – and you or your representative must collect it in person. Find the contact details of the Spanish embassy or consulate in your own country to apply.
New fast-track visa
As of 2014, non-EU national investors, entrepreneurs, highly qualified professionals and researchers can now apply for fast-track visas and permits, which offer preferential treatment, such as automatic residence for the whole family with no minimum stay, and free travel throughout the Schengen visa region. However there are conditions to fulfill for each category, for example, investors may need to spend EUR 500,000 on a Spanish property. For more information on requirements for each category of applicant, contact the Spanish embassy or consulate in your home country.
Once you have been living legally in Spain for a year and have received official confirmation that you will be staying for a further year, you can apply for family members (for example, spouse, common-law partner, and dependants, including children under 18 and parents over 65) to join you in Spain. If you hold a long-term residence permit from another EU member state (an EU Blue Card), you can apply at any time.Students can apply for their family members to join them while studying in Spain. The relatives’ residence permits are usually granted for the same duration as the student’s residence permit, and allow the holders over 18 to take on employment in Spain without a work permit. For more information, see Moving to Spain to join a relative or partner.
Permanent residency in Spain
After five uninterrupted years of residence, you can apply for a long-term or permanent residence. If you hold a Blue Card from another EU-member state and have lived elsewhere in the EU for the same period, this also entitles you to long-term residence in Spain. A long-term residence permit allows you to stay in Spain indefinitely, working or otherwise, under the same conditions as Spanish citizens. You can apply for Spanish nationality after 10 years of residence in Spain. You can also acquire Spanish nationality through marriage or through having Spanish parents even if they were born outside Spain.
Studying in Spain
If you want to come and study, carry out research or training, take on an internship or voluntary work in Spain you have to find a course or programme that will accept you first – and then you can apply for a visa to come to Spain. For more information, see Study in Spain: Spanish student visas and permits.
After arriving in Spain
Within 30 days of arriving in Spain, all non-EU/EEA and Swiss citizens who want to stay for longer than three months must apply for a residence card/permit (Tarjeta de Residencia or TIE). You have to apply at the Foreigner’s Office (Oficina de Extranjeros) or police station in the province where you’re living. Click here to find your local office. You’ll need a valid passport/travel ID, colour passport photos and a completed application form, plus proof of your address, bank statements, medical insurance, and other documentation relating to your own situation, such as an employment contract, proof of university enrollment or academic qualifications. This temporary residence permit allows you to stay in Spain for between 90 days and five years, and can be renewed.
Registering on the padrón. You should also get a Certificado de Empadronamiento by registering on the census register called the padrón at your local Town Hall.
Working in Spain
EU/EEA and Swiss citizens, with the exception of Croatians up until 30 June 2020, can work without a work permit in Spain but almost everyone else needs one. It’s the employer’s responsibility to apply for one on your behalf so first you need to get an offer of work and a work contract; once you have that and your employer has obtained the work authorisation on your behalf, you can apply for a visa to come to Spain. Some people don’t need work permits, for example, family members joining a relative already here or those who are taking on voluntary work. You need to be over 18 (or over 16 if self-employed) to come to Spain to work legally.
Legalisation and translation of documents.
For foreign documents to be valid in Spain, they must be translated into Spanish and legalised (certified as authentic) or have an Apostille seal. Translations should be produced by translators certified by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, or through the Spanish embassy/consulate in your home country. Contact the Spanish embassy or consulate in your home country for more information.
Spain has introduced a new law that offers residency permits to non-EU nationals in return for an investment of €500,000 or more in Spanish property. The objective of the law is to attract entrepreneurs to Spain and stimulate foreign investment in Spanish real estate, public debt, and job creation. This law enables non-EU nationals to get qualified residency permits in return for investing in Spanish real estate (and other assets), leading to long-term residency in Spain if certain conditions are fulfilled. The key points of the draft law are summarised in this section.The Spanish investor visa can be renewed every two years and after five years it is possible to gain permanent residency and after ten years citizenship. It is not necessary to live in Spain in order to retain and renew the investor residency visa. The application for the residency visa then takes just 10 – 15 days. Key Facts: - Investment of €500,000 - Full family residency - Flexible. No requirement to reside. - Permanent Residency from 5 years - Citizenship from 10 years - EU Schengen visa travel.
The Spanish healthcare system is ranked among the best in the world. Here’s how to sign up to free state healthcare in Spain, or apply for health insurance.
Public and private healthcare in Spain
Spanish healthcare consists of both private and public healthcare, with some hospitals (hospitales) and healthcare centres (centros de salud) offering both private (privado) and state healthcare services (asistencia sanitaria pública). You don’t need to have private health insurance to get medical treatment in Spain but it usually allows you to get faster treatment for non-emergency procedures.
The state health system in Spain
State healthcare is free of charge to anyone living and working in Spain, although in some of the Spanish islands you may have to travel to find a state healthcare provider.
As an expat, you are entitled to free state healthcare if you are:
• resident in Spain and work in employment or self-employment and pay social security contributions,
• resident in Spain and receiving certain state benefits,
• resident in Spain and recently divorced or separated from a partner registered with social security,
• a child resident in Spain,
• a pregnant woman who is resident in Spain,
• under 26 and studying in Spain,
• a state pensioner, or
• staying temporarily in Spain and have an EHIC card (see below).
If you don’t have the right to state healthcare you have to organise private health cover. If you have been registered on the padrón at your town hall for a year, the Spanish government has a state insurance scheme (convenio especial) with a basic monthly fee. This is administered by the authorities in each autonomous region.
The state system is funded by social security contributions, with each region of Spain taking individual responsibility for a health budget allocated by central government.
As the healthcare system is decentralised, you will need to check the conditions in your own area for using healthcare services. There’s a directory of the regional health authorities within the different regions of Spain on the Spanish health ministry’s website (mainly in Spanish). Click on your region on the map for contact details of your local health authority and links to specific information about the health services it provides.
Private healthcare in Spain
As we have seen, sometimes it is necessary to use private healthcare. Private healthcare provided in Spain is considered one of the best in the world. Private hospitals and clinics in Spain have excellent doctors and nurses, with modern and well-equipped facilities.
The private healthcare is either paid directly or, most often, through a private insurance company. This insurance is used either as a supplement or an alternative to public care.
The main benefit of private healthcare in Spain is that you don’t have to wait as long for treatment. Private hospitals offer value-added services such as
How to register for Spain's public health care
First of all, you must register with social security (Dirección General de la Tesorería General de la Seguridad Social or TGSS), which has offices throughout Spain, to get a social security number. You’ll need to show your passport or ID card, residency certificate and a completed application form. You’ll also need to have registered your details (address etc.) at your town hall.
Once you have registered with the TGSS you’ll be given a social security number and a certificate stating that you’re entitled to medical help. You then take the certificate, passport and NIE number (foreigner’s identity number) along to your local health centre. Click on this map to find the closest one to you. You can then register with a doctor and apply for a health card (tarjeta sanitaria individual or TSI). This will be sent to you in the post, or you will be asked to pick it up personally. The health centre will also be able to arrange for you to get a Sistema de Informacion Poblacional or SIP card. You’ll need to show it every time you visit a clinic, hospital or collect a prescription from a pharmacy.
Who is covered by Spanish healthcare?
All employees and self-employed workers in Spain are required to make social security contributions, which in turn entitles them to Spanish health cover. The spouse and children of workers are also entitled to healthcare in Spain, provided they also reside in Spain. Some additional conditions are listed below.
EU, EEA and Swiss nationals whom have reached retirement age in their home country are entitled to free health care in Spain. In order to qualify, they must obtain a Form S1 (previously known as E121) from their country of residence. Acquiring this form prior to departure is advisable and will help simplify the registration process in Spain.
European Health Insurance Card
EU residents staying in Spain on a temporary basis can use their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) which entitles them to receive medical treatment at the same cost as a Spanish national.
Third country nationals
Non-EU/EEA nationals may have to provide proof of private health cover before being granted a visa. Some non-EU nations, however, do have an agreement in place with Spain so it's important to enquire about your entitlements with the consulate or embassy in your home country prior to arrival.
Students EU nationals studying in Spain will also be covered by their EHIC throughout their period of study. Non-EU students, however, may be required to take out a private health insurance plan prior to arrival, although their university can provide more detail.
Visiting the dentist in Spain
Dental treatment is not covered by the state healthcare system unless in an emergency. You must either pay for dental treatment unless you have private health insurance. Find a dentist by looking in the phone book or by personal recommendation. Just call up and make an appointment.
Pregnancy and birth in Spain
The standard of care for pregnant women in Spain is highly regarded in both the private and public sectors. The degree of medical contact is reasonably high, with an initial appointment with a doctor or midwife (comadrona/llevadora) to confirm the pregnancy, antenatal appointments and hospital scans. Most births take place in a hospital although home births are becoming increasingly popular. A word of warning: if you wish to give birth at a private clinic, it’s advisable to take out medical insurance well ahead of getting pregnant otherwise it might be hard to find an insurer.
In an emergency
In a serious, life-threatening emergency, call the pan-European number 112 free of charge from any mobile/cell phone or landline. The Spanish word for A&E or ER is urgencias.
Other emergency numbers include:
• 060 for an ambulance (ambulancia)
• 961 496 199 – emergency dentists
• 963 600 313 – on duty pharmacy
If you are considering buying/taking out health insurance Spain and you want to find out how much private health insurance in Spain costs then read on and we will give you actual examples so you can see if it is affordable for you. Many people often ask us: How good is the health care in Spain and how much is health insurance in Spain?
The subject of health insurance in Spain is so important because many people who move to Spain are of an age where they are very likely to need increasing amounts of medical cover and health care.
Many retirees and pensioners are moving to Spain and naturally the first question they ask themselves when considering living in Spain is, what would happen if I get sick or taken ill in Spain?
Medical cover in Spain via the public health service in Spain (National Health Service Spain) is of a good quality but is not as good as that of the private medical system and this is why many people take out private medical insurance in Spain.
The first step is to consider your circumstances and whether you actually need private health insurance in Spain and private health care in Spain. You will also need to work out if you are eligible for free medical care under the Spanish health system.
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
If you have an EHIC card issued by an EU-member state and you are in Spain on a holiday or other temporary visit – that is, you are not yet a resident in Spain – you can use your EHIC to access state healthcare in Spain. You can also use it if you are studying in Spain as part of a course based in your home country.
You can use the EHIC to get any medically necessary treatment (as determined by the doctor you see) through the state system either at a reduced cost or free. This could be routine or specialist treatment – for a new or an ongoing condition – which cannot wait until you return home. It does not give access to private healthcare.
You cannot use the EHIC if you are coming to Spain specifically to get medical treatment or to give birth. If this is the case, you should seek advice from the health authorities in your home country before coming to Spain.
It is advisable not to totally rely on the EHIC and to take out medical insurance. There have been cases where an EHIC has been refused in some parts of Spain. This is being investigated by the European Commission but if it happens to you, try to get proof that you presented it at the time as it may persuade an insurer to waive their excess.
What is the E-121 Card?
If you are a pensioner or retiree of age 65 or above and you are moving to Spain you need to get an E121 from the Department of Work and Pensions department.
This removes you from the UK system and when you arrive in Spain you should go to the nearest Oficina de Extrajaneros (foreigners office) or police station.
Together with your E121 and passport you will be issued with a certificate allowing you to register for medical care under the Spanish state service.
Some holidaymakers still take out private health insurance for Spain as they want the reassurance that the care will be of a high quality and also they are likely to have access to multilingual staff.
Even if you are entitled to free medical care on the Spanish state service you may just like in your home country prefer to go private as it has many advantages, principally much shorter waiting times for treatments and operations.
Perhaps you feel the doctors are better.
If you are one of the many people who spent part of the year in your home country and part of the year in Spain then you would probably want to consider taking out private health insurance for the time you spend in Spain. If you are staying in Spain for a few months or living in Spain then private health insurance in Spain may be essential. Exceptions are for people who are employed in Spain or people who are self-employed – in these cases, you become entitled to free health care in Spain when you get your social security number. If you are entitled to use the Spanish system, when you arrive in Spain register with the local authority and obtain your medical card known as a tarjeta sanitaria. Take this medical card with you to the local surgery and hospitals and you will receive the same rights to treatment as if you were a Spanish national. If you are in the EU then you should be able to get your home country to pay Spain to cover you. For people in the UK, this cover lasts six months before it runs out – to get covered you need to apply using form E-106 available from the Post Office. People over 60 are covered permanently.
Mediterranean Health Care is a not-for-profit healthcare association made up of a group of eight private medical centers in Alicante, Spain. Mediterranean Health Care facilitates and manages the booking and treatment procedure for patients across these eight medical centers.
The medical centers coordinated by Mediterranean Health Care are:
• Tedeca Foundation:
The Tedeca Foundation Platform for Oncology referral center is part of the USP Hospital San Jaime de Torrevieja; with 30 medical professionals in the team, the center specializes in the research, development and appliance of new therapies for treating cancer.
• CasaVerde Group:
The CasaVerde Group specializes in the rehabilitation and care of elderly patients and boasts advanced technology, specially trained staff, adapted rooms, swimming pools for aquatic therapy and a garden setting.
• Hospital Clinic Benidorm:
Hospital Clinic Benidorm is a private hospital with international recognition; the hospital focuses on cardiology, bariatric surgery, cancer treatment and neurosurgery.
• Vistahermosa Hospital Clinic:
Private hospital, focusing on general and laparoscopic surgery, neurosurgery, assisted reproduction, and trauma and orthopedic surgery.
• Medimar International Hospital:
A full-service hospital specializing in general and laparoscopic surgery, plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgery, neurosurgery, trauma and orthopedic surgery, and urology.
• Davo Institute:
Part of the Medimar International Hospital, the Davo Institute is a center for dentistry and oral and maxillofacial surgery, specializing in advanced implant dentistry and complex oral rehabilitation. It employs 15 medical professionals, including dentists, oral-maxillofacial surgeons, assistants and hygienists.
• Sha Wellness Clinic:
A medical spa located in Sierra Frost close to Benidorm; Sha Wellness Clinic provides Eastern and Western treatment techniques including strategies for anti-aging, aesthetic medicine and nutrition and natural therapies.
• Ophthalmic VISSUM Corporation:
A network of ophthalmic clinics with its headquarters in Alicante; VISSUM Corporation offers ophthalmological specialties including laser treatment, intraocular lens implants, and treatment of eye diseases, and is a leader in research and development.
The Alicante tram network, Tram Metropolitano de Alicante, covers the main area of the city and the developed coastal area, from Alicante to Benidorm and Altea.
Alicante has a substantial network of bus routes connecting all of the points in the city and its metropolitan area. There are bus stops at key locations: the RENFE train station, the bus station, the El Altet international airport, shopping centres, squares such as La Plaza de los Luceros and La Plaza del Mar, the Central Market, etc. The buses run at frequent intervals from morning to night. At weekends, this timetable is extended into the small hours of the morning on some routes, particularly those running between Alicante and the outskirts of the city. The fare is 1.45 Euro.
Another way of getting around is by taxi. Duly signposted taxi ranks can be found at various points around the city: the bus station, the RENFE train station, La Explanada de España, etc. Radio Tele Taxi AlicanteTel: 965 101 611 Whatsapp: 671101611 Radiotaxi Elche Tel: 965 42 77 77
Alicante has a service of tourist buses, known as Turibús, convenient for those who have little time to spend in the city or prefer this comfortable service. You can get on and off as many times as you wish during the day. A system of multilingual audio equipped with digital sound in 6 different languages is available as well as an access platform adjusted for those with restricted mobility.
Bus C.6 Airport-Alicante
The C.6 bus service runs between the airport terminal building and Alicante city centre every 20 minutes, 365 days a year. It also stops at the Renfe train station and other strategic locations around Alicante, connecting with TRAM lines 1, 2, 3 and 4 at the following stops: Alfonso X El Sabio, Plaza de los Luceros and Vázquez de Mella.
The main bus station connects Alicante with other towns in the province, with other Spanish and European capital cities and with Morocco. City bus lines that stop at the bus station: Line 6, Line 24 (University – San VIcente del Raspeig), Line C6 Phone: 965 13 07 00
Alicante Railway station
Alicante’s main train station is located directly in the center of the city. RENFE (Red de los Ferrocarriles Españoles) is the Spanish national rail train service. All major spanish cities Madrid, Seville, Barcelona have various daily connections. Important For Travelers arriving at Alicante Airport heading for Alicante Railroad Station Alicante Airport does NOT have a train station or stop. In order to get to downtown Alicante’s train station from the airport, you need to take the Alicante Airport bus (C-6 Line).
Rent a car
Alicante Airport (airport code ALC) is currently the sixth largest airport in Spain and is the gateway to the Costa Blanca resort region. Growing in size continuously over the past years, in March 2011 the airport got a brand new terminal building, replacing the old two terminals.
Alicante airport ranks sixth in the Spanish airport network due to affluent passengers, behind Madrid, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca, Malaga and Gran Canaria, ranking among the 50 busiest airports in Europe.
Alicante and the Costa Blanca are recognized worldwide for the quality of life that can be enjoyed on their land. The Costa Blanca is full of sandy beaches and crystal clear waters, ideal for enjoying the Mediterranean. Come to Alicante and also enjoys good weather, good food and a range of activities to do during your vacation.
In 2012, Alicante Airport handled 8,8 millions passengers, 62,000 flight operations. Most of these passengers are from the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands. Tourism is reflected in the percentage of international flights that this airport handles (80% of the total).
Speed Limits When Driving In Alicante
In Spain, always drive on the right-hand side of the road
When driving in Alicante the speed limits are:
Motorways 120 km/h
Local Highways 100km/h
Country Roads 90km/h
Urban Roads 50km/h
Many residential areas 20km/h
If you are caught speeding in Alicante, the Spanish police are very quick to act and lack of Spanish driving knowledge is not considered an excuse. The Police are not bothered that you are a tourist driving on holiday in Alicante and on the spot fines are often issued unless you can prove you have a permanent address in Spain. Obviously, as you are renting a holiday villa in Alicante from Alicante Holiday Villas you will not be able to supply this! If you are unlucky enough to be fined, ensure the officer issues you with an official receipt and, if you pay immediately, there is usually a 20% reduction on the fine.
General Driving Advice in Alicante
The Spanish law regarding the use of indicators on motorways is strictly enforced. You may risk a fine for not indicating before overtaking and again after overtaking when you move back into the nearside lane. Traffic coming from the left always has the right of way. If you see a solid white line in the middle of the road, you cannot cross it. Drive on until you either see a dotted white line or look for a sign saying ‘cambio de sentido’ where you can turn back safely and legally.
Parking In Spain
Parking in Spain is prohibited in all areas where the curbs are painted yellow. Where spaces are marked blue, this usually means a meter system is operational and a ticket needs to be purchased to park in these spaces. Usually, you will spot a nearby machine to purchase your parking ticket. Most of these blue areas have a 2-hour parking limit, but these will be clearly displayed on the machine. If you leave your Spanish rental car beyond the time paid for or park in a restricted area, your Spanish hire car may be towed away and a sticker left on the curb telling you where your Spanish hire car has been taken. The fees are usually very high to get your Spanish hire car back and the language barrier may prove a problem.
Casa Mia Italia
Cuisine: Italian. Review: „If you are in Alicante, you really must pay Casa Mia Italia a visit. My wife and I literally booked a table simply because we fancied Italian and it was top on Trip Advisor. Wow, what an experience. On arrival, it didn't seem particularly grand from the street and inside it was clean, tidy but still humble...and then the meal began. Wow, it was like an education on all things Italian. The owner did all the waiting himself and found time to explain every ingredient. He is absolutely passionate about his food and a very engaging, lovely character. It was so interesting. The food was mouthwatering, mostly home-made pasta but just perfect. There is no menu, he just tells you what he has got on offer. We dine out a lot in London and have been to some really great restaurants in other parts of the world. This little gem is probably in our top ten and will remain in our memories for many years. On the way home we discussed this place and both agreed that we can fully understand why this is No1 in Alicante. ” Good for: Child-friendly. Address: Calle Capitan Segarra, 32 | Calle Capitan Segarra, 32, +34 865 64 20 10
Cerveceria ESTIU Bar
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Spanish. Review: „The food in this restaurant is fantastic: Mediterranean cuisine made with care and attention, introducing elements of other cuisines. For example, croquettes of different flavors are spectacular. And of course, the 'rices'. There are different types and all of them are very good. The restaurant is small and very well attended. The price-quality relation its ok. Highly recommended! ” Dining options: Lunch, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Full Bar, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible Good for: Cheap Eats, Local cuisine. Address: C/ Peru 13, 03008 +34 625 78 51 08
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Spanish. Review: „In a town drowning with tapas, it is hard to choose where to go. Luckily this place was recommended, so we dropped in for a few light bites and some great local wine. Service was friendly and fast, decor is quirky and fun, and the food was delicious. Sitting at the bar watching people is like watching live theatre - the guys who work there are half of the entertainment. And when they get a tip - the bell rings out! Full of noisy spanish people - feels like a local place. Very cool. ” Dining options: After-hours, Lunch, Dinner, Full Bar, Private Dining, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff Good for: Business meetings, Child-friendly, Groups, Local cuisine, Bar Scene, Special Occasion Dining. Address: Calle Villegas, 3, 03001 Alicante +34 965 20 03 68 http://www.noumanolin.com/
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Spanish. Review: „If you want something that surprise you go there. Really original cooking (you have to like the sweet & salted concept), really good product and a typical Spanish ambience ! Food: exceptional tapas. The free meatballs with peanut sauce and roasted pine nuts to begin was a nice touch. Then, our favourites, the 'lollipops' of grilled pork and marmalade following by a plate of grilled chicken with parmesan and balsamic, were exceptional. The asparagus and potatoes were lovely too - covered in parmesan, jamon, and foie. Service: impeccable. Friendly, bubbly, brisk, welcoming. Price/quality: apt. Not expensive, not cheap. Worth every penny. Nice wines too. ” Dining options: After-hours, Dinner, Lunch, Waitstaff. Good for: Bar Scene, Cheap Eats, Local cuisine. Address: C/ Teniente Coronel Chapuli, 03001 Alicante tel:646932213
Cuisine: Japanese, Sushi, Asian. Description: The authentic japanese restaurant in Alicante.Our purpose is making the real japanese foods in this spanish seaside city. Come and enjoy our traditional Japanese foods, made of the best material and in the Japanese style ambient. Review: „What a comfortable, casual, cosy place for a yummy sushi meal! The people are very friendly and made us feel welcome. The sushi is pretty basic - not a lot of fancy rolls - but the fish is fresh and tasty and definitely met our expectations. Great place for a couple - or for those who want a quieter evening out. Have been twice and will certainly return! ” Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wine and Beer. Good for: Special Occasion Dining, Child-friendly. Address: Calle Segura, 1, 03004 Alicante +34965104146
El Portal Taberna & Wines
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Delicatessen, Gluten Free. Description: El Portal Taberna & Wines is a new generation Tavern , where combines tapas , gourmet dishes , wines and drinks in a casual, fun and elegant atmosphere. Review: „I have eaten lunch with two very old friend and dinner with 11 nut cases and the food service and everything else has been very special. It is very Spanish in a modern European way. You can chose old fashioned Spanish dishes such as ham prawns and paella and you will not be disappointed but they serve some very individual dishes that they will explain in English and are well worth trying. The wine selection is vast and very reasonably priced. You name a region in Spain and they will have a wine for you.So do go and be adventurous ! ” Dining options: Lunch, After-hours, Dinner, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer. Good for: Local cuisine, Bar Scene, Special Occasion Dining. Address: C/ Bilbao, 2, 03001 Alicante Phone Number: 34965143269 http://www.elportaltaberna.com/
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Spanish. Review: „We have been using this restaurant for several years and have always enjoyed the experience. The staff have not changed throughout that time and continue to provide a helpful, friendly experience to regulars and visitors alike. What has changed is the decor which has continually evolved into providing an eclectic mix of old style pueblo surroundings with lovely modern touches of elegance using available materials in a novel way. The menu of the day is always delicious, is cooked fresh and with three courses provides a more than adequate main meal at very reasonable price. The a la cart menu is a mixture of old Spanish favorites and one or two novel dishes all of which are filling and delicious. The service is always attentive and friendly and their wines are excellent. If you prefer good tasty food in a real Spanish surroundings, this is the place to go. ” Dining options: Lunch, After-hours, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff. Good for: Bar Scene, Child-friendly. Address: Calle Bailen, 4, 03001 Alicante, +34 965 21 94 80
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Spanish. Description: La Taberna del Gourmet could be defined as a delicatessen tapas gastrobar. We offer a wide variety of tapas, seafood, meats and rice, all with excellent quality products and supported by a large selection of wines. We offer several rooms for group lunches and dinners. La Taberna del Gourmet is located in the historic center of Alicante, between the town hall and the emblematic “Explanada de España”, near the seafront and the Postiguet beach. Our gourmet corner is a bold and elegant staging of the best vegetables from our own organic garden, the most distinguished market sausages and seafood fresh from the fish market. With the same cuisine Taberna del Gourmet offers enjoy our terrace in the beautiful setting of the Esplanade, overlooking the sea and the port of Alicante. The weather is almost always accompanies us valuable surround ourselves with palm trees, sun and light … For several months, we make our own bread in the bakery of Grupo Gourmet Alicante. With a selection of organic flours respecting the fermentation time necessary and leaven. Dining options: After-hours, Dinner, Lunch, Free Wifi, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff. Good for: Local cuisine, Special Occasion Dining, Bar Scene, Child-friendly. Address: Calle San Fernando, 10, 03002 Alicante, +34 965204233 http://latabernadelgourmet.com/en/
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Spanish. Description: „L'ATELIER, A UNIQUE PLACE IN ALICANTE'S OLD QUARTER. Our passion for food, dedication and quality service makes L'atelier an ideal place to enjoy a meal with friends, a romantic dinner or a bussiness meeting. Let your senses get carried away by our homemade signature dishes and warm atmosphere surrounded by soft jazz music. L'atelier, an affordable mediterranean signature restaurant. L'atelier Restaurant is located in Alicante's old quarter, behind the Co-cathedral, near the City Hall. A short walk away from Gravina Museum of Fine Arts, Explanada de España promenade, Postiguet beach y many hotels. ” Dining options: After-hours, Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Waitstaff. Good for: Child-friendly. Address: Calle San Nicolas 12, 03002 Alicante, tel. 965 20 62 87 http://www.latelieralicante.es/EN
Sale & Pepe Pizzeria
Cuisine: Italian, Pizza, Mediterranean. Description: Sale & Pepe is a grouping of restaurants situated in central Alicante (Spain), with a terrace open all year round. Thanks to our large experience in Italian cuisine in all different regions of Italy, we have learned that when a dish is simple and skillfully prepared, more successful it is.This is why throughout the years, we have developped very tasteful Italian dishes . We provide you with great Menus so you can taste our “best sellers”. One of our most common proposal is our pizza, elaborated with a careful selection of ingredients, like for example our secret flour and some other Italian raw materials of best quality and freshness. The mix of our dough is processed in long-time maturation which gives to the final dish a unique fragance and a high digestibility. Simple things are everything. Good for: Families with children, Dining on a budget. Address: C/Munoz, 3, 03002 Alicante 965 20 40 28 http://www.pizzeriasalepepe.com/en/
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Spanish. Review: "An authentic tapas bar, very popular place, locals seem to like it, difficult to get a table sometimes. It doesn't feel touristy. A large menu and fair prices. It's great for trying different delicious Spanish dishes. Order many items in small portions - real tapas. Cute interior, friendly atmosphere, helpful staff, quick service. Sangria is very good. We enjoed this place, ate here several times while staying in Alicante. Very recommended!" Good for: Local cuisine, Bar scene, Business meetings. Address: Calle Alemania, 26, 03003 Alicante +34 965 925 650
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Spanish. Review: "Casa Julio apparently has a long history looking at the old photos they have in the entrance lobby showing the restaurant over a few generations. The local Spanish population obviously enjoyed the food and when you arrive you will quickly realize why and that they still do ! Reservations are absolutely recommended as the restaurant seems to be the go to place for high end food in the San Juan beach area. The food is very good, the wine list is extensive and the service is very friendly and efficient. Mainly a seafood restaurant they do however have some meat and vegetarian dishes. The Raf (heritage) tomato salad with anchovies is delicious as are the fried baby squid. The Paella with pork and seafood was very yummy. Make sure to leave room for the desserts they are excellent." Good for: Large groups, Families with children. Address: Avenida de Niza S/N | Playa De San Juan, 03550 Alicante +34 965 65 10 70 http://www.restaurantecasajulio.es/
Alma del Sur
Cuisine:Mediterranean, Spanish, Seafood. Description:Enjoy our exquisite fish or vegetables fried in 100% extra virgin olive oil you´ll be amazed hoe we serve all fried foods in paper cones of approximately 200 gr in weight. As in typical chip shops in Cádiz and Huelva.Be blown away by our authentic molletitos, served warm, crispy outside and fluffy and soft inside. Molletitos are typical types of bread from Antequera, Malaga. Which we brig in from there every weekAccompany your fried foods with typical salmorejo from Córdoba or with our salads.Savor The south in all its essence. Accompany these delicacies with our authentic manzanilla from Cádiz, alone or mixed any of our white wines or beer.Check the quality of our cuisine. Fresh fish and market vegetables, all light and natural, prepared or cooked with 100% extra virgin olive oil the quality of home cooking and an affordable price to suit all budgets. Good for:Families with children, Dining on a budget. Address:Calle Munoz, 2 Casco Antiguo, Alicante +34 965 21 41 03
La Taverna del Raco del Pla
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Spanish. Review: "This is not the first time I have been here (several times in fact over the years) but this was the best by far. We had my fiancee's Finnish family over and the reservation was to celebrate a birthday. We had the set meal which included a starter of 5 dishes and I was stunned by the morcia (black pudding) which had a thin type of filo pastry around it and was what I can only descibe as crystalized and just melted in the mouth - add a good red wine to it and the fusion of taste was incredible. The whole meal was amazing from start to finish and the service was prompt efficient and very friendly as we spoke in both Spanish and English. " Good for:Families with children, Local cuisine, Bar scene. Address: Navas, 40, 03001 Alicante,+34 965 20 21 82
Cuisine: Spanish, Fusion, Argentinean, South American, Steakhouse, Mediterranean, Grill. Description:Home cooking to the embers of wood,our letter contains more than 60 dishes and 50 wines, spectacular views of the sea, private parking, playground.a relationship amount,quality vs. price, affordable. Review: "A group of ten of us visited this restaurant hoping it would be something special for our last night on holiday - and it certainly didn't disappoint! We ate three courses here, and every one was amazing. One of our group was vegetarian, and there were lots of options for her too, not just meat and fish dishes. The staff were very helpful, and the restaurant itself was lovely, with a sea view backdrop. There was even a cocktail bar attached for after dinner drinks. I would highly recommend going here." Good for:Scenic view, Families with children, Large groups. Address: Avenida Albufereta 98, 03016 Alicante +34 965 65 98 16 http://www.racodelpla.com/
Guests can make the most of the sun on the terrace or have a beverage at the bar. Those staying at can take advantage of the hotel's recreational facilities, such as a Jacuzzi, a playground and a sauna.
The elegant rooms feature sea views, and each is equipped with a private bathroom, a mini bar and a private terrace. All offer heating, a flat-screen TV and wireless internet access.
Hotel Melia Alicante serves breakfast daily, and there is a bar where guests can relax with a drink in the afternoon or in the evening. Guests are also able to try one of the various bars and restaurants nearby.
Hotel Melia Alicante Spain has easy access to Alicante (DO). It is within a 20-minute stroll of Alicante Railway Station, which allows for convenient access in and around Alicante.
Address: Plaza del Puerto, 3, Casco Antiguo-Santa Cruz, Alicante, Spain
The Eurostars Lucentum is a modern hotel located in the heart of Alicante, very close to the Mercado Central and just a few metres from the port and the old quarter, making it the perfect vantage point for visiting the city on foot. It is also well-connected with other points of interest in the city, with a stop on the new metropolitan tramline right across the street.
The hotel has 169 rooms, all of them fully equipped, heated and air conditioned. It also has comprehensive facilities, including 6 rooms for holding all sorts of events. It is a great choice for business and pleasure trips alike.
Lucentum was the ancient name for Alicante back when the Iberians and Romans lived there. Greeks, Phoenicians and Tartesos passed through Lucentum, while Roman Lucentum boasted baths and a forum. Along with Ilici (Elche), it was one of the largest towns in the Roman east coast of what is today Spain. Over the centuries, Lucentum became Leucante, and with the arrival of the Arabs it came to be known as Al-Laqant.
Address: Avda Alfonso X El Sabio, 11, Centro, Alicante, Spain.
Hotel Maya Alicante
Hotel Maya invites you to come and enjoy an unforgettable holiday in Alicante. Located at the feet of the famous Santa Bárbara Castle, you will have the beach only a pleasant 5-minute walk away, swimming pool, padel tennis court, gym and entertainment programmes for the whole family during the summer season. Also, the hotel restaurant offers you carefully-selected Mediterranean cuisine and a delicious breakfast buffet.
Maya is close to the area's popular sightseeing attractions, nightlife and shops, and Castle of Santa Barbara is within walking distance. Guests can also easily visit the Alicante Museum of Contemporary Art, Playa del Postiguet and the Gravina Museum of Fine Arts.
Address: Canónigo Manuel Penalva, 2, Raval Roig, Alicante, Spain
Abba Centrum Hotel
Conveniently situated, Abba Centrum Hotel allows for easy access to Alicante's best hot spots. It has a spa and wellness centre, as well as a coffee bar, a sauna and free Wi-Fi.
Guests of this 4-star hotel can plan sightseeing trips with the assistance of the tour desk. Corporate facilities include meeting rooms.
Each modern room at Abba Centrum Hotel includes a mini bar and a flat-screen TV, while the bathrooms offer showers and hair dryers. They feature a bathtub, a telephone and wireless internet access.
Those staying at Abba can sample Mediterranean cuisines at the on-site restaurant, ideally situated for those who want to stay nearby at mealtime. Each evening, guests can wind down in the comfortable lounge bar. Guests are also able to try one of the various bars and cafés in the vicinity.
Abba Centrum is close to Alicante Railway Station, making it easy for guests to explore Alicante and its surrounding areas. The local neighbourhood is also famous for its shopping.
Address: Pintor Lorenzo Casanova 31, Ensanche Diputacion, Alicante, Spain
Hotel Sercotel Spa Porta Maris
Conveniently located, Hotel Sercotel Spa Porta Maris allows for easy access to Alicante's best hot spots. It provides 4-star air-conditioned rooms and a stylish restaurant.
The hotel features a Jacuzzi and a sauna, along with an indoor pool. Staff are available 24/7 and can book tours and tickets.
The stylish rooms offer bay or marina views, and each comes with a private terrace, a mini bar and a pillow menu. They feature a flat-screen TV, a bathtub and a private bathroom.
Hotel Sercotel Spa Porta Maris features a convenient café where guests can unwind with a drink before discovering the area. Each evening, guests are welcome to relax in the comfortable lounge bar. Guests are also able to try one of the many bars and cafés in the vicinity.
Alicante's attractions, including the Alicante Museum of Contemporary Art, the Gravina Museum of Fine Arts and San Nicolas Cathedral, are within easy walking distance of Hotel Sercotel Spa Porta Maris. Those staying at the property can also easily visit attractions nearby, such as Port of Alicante and Castle of Santa Barbara.
Adress: Plaza Puerta del Mar 3, Ensanche Diputacion, Alicante, Spain
Eurostars Mediterranea Plaza Alicante
A true oasis of peace and calm in the heart of one of the liveliest Mediterranean cities. The Eurostars Mediterranean Plaza, thanks to its unbeatable location in the centre of Alicante and its amazing views from the rooftop terrace, is one of the best choices in the city.
The hotel is very close to the Postiguet beach, to the shopping area, to the "Barrio" (the major night-life district), the yacht marina (starting point of the 2011 Volvo Ocean Race) and many other places, like the Teatro Principal (barely 200 meters away), the Contemporary Art Museum, the Esplanade of Spain or the narrow streets of the old town.
Eurostars Mediterranean Plaza is an excellent choice for all kinds of travelers: for those who are looking for a relaxing getaway as well as for those who are looking for an exciting one.
Address: Plaza del Ayuntamiento 6, Casco Antiguo-Santa Cruz, Alicante, Spain.
Hotel B&B Alicante
Featuring complimentary Wi-Fi, a 24 hour reception and free on-site parking, Hotel B&B Alicante is situated in Alicante and has stylish guest rooms. It also offers luggage storage, an express check-in and check-out feature and meeting rooms.
The hotel has 120 rooms and has been recently refurbished. It also offers a tour desk, a safe and a car rental desk. The rooms are air conditioned and include a private bathroom, free wireless internet access and a flat-screen TV. There are also several rooms specially designed for families.
The hotel's restaurant, The Buen Gusto, serves Italian cuisine. In the evening, guests are able to enjoy a drink in the cosy lounge bar.
Hotel B&B Alicante is a 10-minute drive from Alicante Airport, and sightseers can easily reach Castle of Santa Barbara by car. The hotel's multilingual staff are available to make sure that every guest has a comfortable visit.
Address: Avenida de Elche 112, El Palmeral-Urbanova-Tabarca, Alicante, Spain.
Hospes Amerigo is a luxurious 5-star hotel conveniently located only 4.5km (2.8mi) from the centre of Alicante. Local places of interest include Alicante Harbour, City Centre Alicante, Postiguet Beach. Other points of interest are Castle of Santa Barbara, Panoramis.
Meal options at Hospes Amerigo include a restaurant. Daily breakfast is available - a fee is applied. For your convenience room service is offered. Our hotel provides a 24-hour serviced front desk. Public areas of Hospes Amerigo are comfortable and air-conditioned. Multilingual staff is friendly and professional.
Additional hotel facilities: video library. Leisure amenities: The hotel also offers an indoor/outdoor swimming pool.
Enjoy the following spa/wellness facilities: a sauna, full-service health spa. Book a relaxing massage after a long day sightseeing or business meetings.
Additional services: coffee in lobby, concierge services, dry cleaning/laundry service, express check- in, laundry facilities, porter/bellhop and wedding services.
Address: Rafael Altamira 7, Casco Antiguo-Santa Cruz, Alicante, Spain h-rez.com
AC Hotel Alicante by Marriott
Hotel in Alicante with Swimming pool on the rooftop.
The AC Hotel Alicante is situated near the commercial area, the busy city centre, the marina, the world renowned Paseo de la Explanada, and the El Postiguet Beach. Features of this hotel include easy access to the highway that leads directly to Madrid, Valencia and Murcia.
This Alicante hotel is just 500m from the bus station, 700m from the train station and minutes away from the Alicante Airport. Our hotel features 187 guest rooms full of facilities but with the next benefit from the Superior rooms, including slippers and bathrobes and Junior Suite and Suite , free Nespresso coffeemaker. Turkish bath, whirlpool, and a pool, open all year long, with spectacular views of the Alicante, Santa Barbara’s Castle, and the bay.
Address: Avda. de Elche, 3, Benalua, Alicante, Spain.
This comfortable hotel in Alicante offers free wireless internet, as well as a playground and a seasonal outdoor swimming pool. It also provides bicycle rental, a 24-hour reception and meeting rooms.
This 3-star hotel offers luggage storage, a tour desk and a ticket service. There is public parking nearby for guests with a car.
The rooms are air conditioned and include free wireless internet access, heating and an in-room safe.
Albahia Hotel Alicante houses both a restaurant and a bar where guests are able to relax of an evening with dinner and a drink. For guests on the move, the hotel provides packed lunches.
The hotel is an ideal place to discover nearby Port of Alicante and Alicante (DO), as well as everything the local area has to offer. It is within a 20-minute walk of Alicante Tram, which allows easy access in and around Alicante.
Address: Sol Naciente 6, Albufereta, Alicante, Spain
Exe Alicante Hills
Located in Alicante, the hotel is an easy drive from Port of Alicante and Castle of Santa Barbara. It also offers a coffee bar, a kids pool and a rooftop terrace.
This modern hotel provides family facilities, such as a playground. Staff are available 24/7 and can assist with booking tours and tickets.
The hotel's rooms are charming and offer a kitchenette that is equipped with a refrigerator. They feature a seating area, a flat-screen TV and internet access.
Those staying at Exe Alicante Hills can sit down to a unique dining experience at the in-house restaurant, suitably situated for those who want to stay close by when looking for a bite to eat. Each evening, guests can wind down in the lounge bar.
Exe Alicante Hills is under a 15-minute drive from Alicante Airport. Alicante (DO) is also nearby.
Address: Glorieta Reino Unido 6, El Palmeral-Urbanova-Tabarca, Alicante, Spain.
El Plantio Golf Resort
This unique 4-star property provides a range of accommodation options throughout the old city of Alicante. It also offers a coffee bar, a kids club and a driving range.
El Plantio Golf Resort features a number of amenities, including a kids pool, a currency exchange and a golf course. It offers family-friendly facilities, with apartment designs and services for families both large and small, plus a playground and babysitting/child services.
The property's apartments are cosy and provide a kitchen that is equipped with a refrigerator, a microwave and a dishwasher. Each offer a private bathroom, a mini bar and a flat-screen TV.
Guests are able to enjoy a drink at El Plantio Golf Resort's bar and dine on regional and international cuisine in the restaurant. For guests spending the day out, the property offers packed lunches on request.
Alicante Airport is less than a 15-minute drive from El Plantio Golf Resort. The friendly staff at the tour desk are available to book tours and sightseeing trips in Alicante.
Address: Antigua Carretera Alicante - Elche (CV-86) Km.3, Alicante, Spain
Hotel Castilla Alicante
Located amongst a range of well-known attractions, shops and eateries, Hotel Castilla Alicante is ideal for those wanting to explore Alicante and its surroundings. It also provides free Wi-Fi to all guests during their stay.
There are a variety of facilities at Castilla that guests can enjoy, such as luggage storage, safe and a golf course. The front desk operates 24/7 and the friendly staff can recommend sights to visit and provide other tourist information.
The rooms at Hotel Castilla Alicante are comfortable with facilities including an en-suite. They feature wireless internet access, a flat-screen TV and a telephone.
Those staying at Castilla Alicante can enjoy a unique dining experience at the on-site restaurant, ideally located for those who want to stay close by at mealtime. Each evening, guests are invited to relax in the cosy lounge bar.
Situated in Playa de San Juan, Castilla Alicante Hotel is surrounded by popular bars and clubs. Port of Alicante is within an easy drive from the hotel.
Adress: Avda. Paises Escandinavos, 7, Playa de San Juan, Alicante, Spain
Hostal Mendez Nunez Alicante
The Mendez Nunez hotel offers the possibility to live a comfortable and enjoyable experience in the coastal city of Alicante. Our excellent and privileged location in the city center is ideal for business trips or sightseeing. Around the hotel, you can find the Town Hall, the Esplanade of Spain, the promenade and, in a few meters, the beach all of which will invite you to appreciate the main shopping, cultural, dining and entertainment hub of the city.
The leisure and transport offer in the province of Alicante make this property the ideal place to meet and enjoy the Alicante coast, among other things, Terra Mitica , Aqualandia or TerraNatura (Benidorm). Only 7 km away from the international airport of Alicante and the exhibition center (IFA) and close to the railway station and bus station of the city, the hotel provides our client with a direct and easy access.
The attention to detail, the familiar treatment, the friendly attitude of our highly qualified staff, and an excellent relation quality-price value are essential parts of our hotel and make it a safe bet.
Address: Rambla de Mendez Nuñez, 9, Casco Antiguo-Santa Cruz, Alicante, Spain.
Hotel Mio Cid
Hotel Mio Cid is located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, in the well-known Cabo de Huertas of Alicante. Close to our hotel, you will enjoy the beaches of “La Almadraba” (200 m), different natural coves (200 m) and the well-known beach of San Juan and Albufereta. For the location of our hotel and its facilities, we received guests who visit our city, either for leisure or business purposes.
The hotel is completely decorated in the medieval style and enjoys an incomparable calm. We have excellent service, we develop our work very seriously, with the aim of making us professionally every day offering superb attention to our customers. We satisfy your expectations and make your dreams come true.
Address: Avenida Costa Blanca , 22-A, Playa de San Juan, Alicante, Spain.
Sercotel Suites del Mar
The Sercotel Suites del Mar Hotel is an elegant and exclusive hotel in Alicante located between the marina and Postiguet Beach, 100 metres from the Town Hall and the historic city centre, with panoramic sea views.
With an avant-garde and cosy decor, this beach hotel in Alicante has 39 suites with a terrace and sea views, free WiFi internet, granite shower, hydro massage tub and Sanarium Circuit. Sercotel Suites del Mar is conveniently located for sightseeing in Alicante with San Nicolas Cathedral, the Gravina Museum of Fine Arts and the Alicante Museum of Contemporary Art within a 10-minute walk. Castle of Santa Barbara and Port of Alicante are a short drive away.
Address: Plaza del Mar, 3, Ensanche Diputacion, Alicante, Spain
Hotel Campanile is in an ideal location: only 1.5 km from the town centre, 800 m from the train station, 2 km from the beach, 10 km from the Alicante Airport and directly accessible from exit 71B off the motorway. If you wish to book a room at a low price in Spain, choose the Campanile ALICANTE Hotel.
This 3-star hotel provides meeting rooms, a 24-hour reception and valet parking. There is a barbecue area on-site for guests to use. Campanile Alicante Hotel provides spacious rooms equipped with a shower, cable/satellite channels and a hair dryer. All offer wireless internet access, heating and a private bathroom. Those staying at Campanile Alicante can sit down to a unique dining experience at the in-house restaurant, ideally located for those who want to stay close by at mealtime. Each evening, guests can relax in the cosy lounge bar.
Address: Avenida de Elche Esquina Federico Mayo 21, Benalua, Alicante, Spain
Husa Alicante Golf & Spa
Surrounded by vast gardens and home to a world-class golf course, the Husa Alicante Golf & Spa is strategically located in Alicante and is ideal for spending relaxing holidays near the beach. Playa de San Juan is a few minutes on foot, and there is a shopping area nearby. Downtown Alicante is a short drive while Altet Airport is 20 minutes by car. For excursions, guests can drive to Mundomar Marine Exotic Animal Park and El Palmeral. This opulent and family friendly choice has a play area for children and a comprehensive spa offering massage services, a sauna, and an indoor swimming pool.
The Husa Alicante Golf & Spa was formerly known as Hesperia Alicante Golf & Spa.
The elegant rooms include a mini bar, a spa bath and a refrigerator. They all offer movies-on-demand, wireless internet access and a flat-screen TV. The hotel's restaurant, Augusta, serves Mediterranean cuisine. In the evening, guests can wind down in the comfortable lounge bar. Guests can also try one of the various bars and cafés in the vicinity.
Address: Avda. de las Naciones s/n, Playa de San Juan, Alicante, Spain.
NH Hotel Alicante
The NH Alicante hotel is a modern building in a quiet, residential part of town. Here you can enjoy a peaceful stay with the city center only a 10-minute drive away. And if you want to explore, it’s easy to reach the area’s main tourist attractions by public transport.
• 50 meters from the bus stop
• quiet location close to town
• easy access to the Terra Mitica and Terra Natura theme parks
The hotel’s 100 guestrooms are comfortable and spacious, with room for a rollaway bed for children. Rooms are decorated in elegant, modern neutrals with bold red accents. Meanwhile, satellite TV, high-speed internet and minibars all come as standard.
• top-floor Junior Suite has magnificent sea and city views
• connecting rooms for families are available
• plenty of parking
Rooftop swimming pool, where you can enjoy views of Santa Barbara castle. And you’re welcome to work out in the gym. There’s also a spa area, with a Jacuzzi and a sauna. And for meals, there’s our restaurant, which serves modern Mediterranean food.
Address: Mexico, 18, Polingono Babel, Alicante, Spain
Alicante is a vibrant and welcoming city that perfectly combines both tradition and modernity. This Mediterranean city stands out for its beautiful monuments and the wide range of cultural, sport, gastronomic and leisure events, as well as its beautiful beaches and parks and its great shopping activity.
Hotel La City is one of the most central hotels in the city of Alicante, since it is located in front of the train station and at a short distance from the bus station, the shopping area and the main monuments of the city.
This nice and modern hotel is the best choice for all those who wish to discover Alicante, since it is located right in the centre of the city and it provides comfort, quality and a wide range of tailored services to its guests.
Address: Avenida de Salamanca 16, Ensanche Diputacion, Alicante, Spain.
Hotel Rambla Alicante
The Hotel Rambla Alicante has 20 fully equipped rooms with air conditioning / heating, TV, minibar, safe and private full bathroom. We also have 24-hours reception service and luggage room. The entire building has internet access with high-speed Wifi and offers continental breakfast in the lounge Esplanade with magnificent views to the main avenue Rambla.
Our hotel is ideal for business trips or holiday periods as it enjoys an unbeatable location in the commercial, cultural and leisure center of Alicante, surrounded by a variety of restaurants, bars and cafes to enjoy the Spanish food and the nightlife of the city.
It is 2 minutes walking to the Esplanade and Marina, both are true emblems of the city where you will find many shops and restaurants. At 10 minutes by foot, you will find also the beach “Playa del Postiguet”, where you can enjoy the fine golden sand and its calm & clear waters.
At Less than 5 minutes by walk, there is the Alicante tramway, which connects you to the most important towns and beaches of the Costa Blanca such as Benidorm with its theme and water parks, whose tickets you can purchase at reception, Altea and Javea with their paradisiacal beaches and coves, Calpe and Denia with its beaches and restaurants of fresh seafood next to the sea.
Thanks to the proximity to the bus station, train station and C-6 bus line, which takes you straight to the airport of El Altet, it makes our hotel the best option to enjoy your visit to the city of Alicante.
Goya Hotel de Alicante
The Hotel Goya welcomes you and offers the chance to enjoy its facilities and services during your visit to Alicante. An ideal place for business clients, individual tourist or groups.
There are hotels where you stop being a visitor, to become one of the family. This is the hotel chain Family Hotels. Strategically located in the commercial city center, opposite the Official Language School, close to the railway station, Plaza de los Luceros and Plaza de Toros. It is located 900m from the Playa del Postiguet and near the Complejo Deportivo Monte Tossal (Sports and Municipal Swimming Pools). The Hotel Goya is located in a quiet central area that combines comfort and functionality in this charming Mediterranean city. For convenience, the hotel has its own restaurant serving Mediterranean food and the area's specialty, paella.
Address: Calle Maestro Bretón 19, Mercado, Alicante, Spain.
Hotel Gravina Cinco
Gravina Cinco is in the old town of Alicante, perfectly located near the beach, the port and the shopping area. It has 20 double rooms and 2 junior suites with terrace, all of them modern and functional, with all the services that you need for a comfortable stay.
There are a variety of facilities at Gravina that guests can enjoy, including 24-hour reception, luggage storage and a golf course.
In the old town of Alicante, barely 5 minutes from the beach, the port and the shopping area, a stone’s throw from the lift to Santa Bárbara Castle and the bus network, including the airport bus. Close to everywhere, close to you. All in all, the perfect place for your holiday.
Address: Calle Gravina 5, Casco Antiguo-Santa Cruz, Alicante, Spain
Amerigo Premium Apartments Alicante
Strategically located in the centre of the city, this 5-star property makes for an excellent base in Alicante. It is moments from the Alicante Museum of Contemporary Art, restaurants and nightlife options.
Situated on a golf course, Amerigo Premium Apartments Alicante offers a range of first-class facilities including a sauna and a coffee bar. Staff are available 24-hours a day and can book tours and tickets.
Amérigo Premium provides 11 apartments, each equipped with an in-room dining area, a private terrace and a refrigerator. Each is equipped with a kitchenette that houses a microwave.
Amérigo Premium Apartments houses both a restaurant and a bar where guests can unwind of an evening with dinner and a drink.
Amerigo Premium Apartments Alicante is ideally located for sightseeing in Alicante, with San Nicolas Cathedral and the Gravina Museum of Fine Arts just a couple of minutes away. Port of Alicante is within a 20-minute walk.
Address: Rafael Altamira, 17, Casco Antiguo-Santa Cruz, Alicante, Spain.
Tryp Ciudad de Alicante Hotel
The Tryp Ciudad de Alicante is located in the cosmopolitan centre of Alicante, by the beach. It offers free WiFi throughout.
The hotel is close to the port and the Town Hall, a short walk from the Museum of Fine Arts. Many other leisure sights are nearby.
Rooms in the Tryp Ciudad de Alicante Hotel are spacious and modern. There is satellite TV, a minibar and full air conditioning.
The hotel also has a computer and internet corner. Use of this computer comes at an additional cost.
The Ciudad de Alicante serves a varied buffet breakfast. It also offers free water, hot drinks and fruit 24 hours a day.
The hotel is conveniently located metres from the C6 bus stop. This bus goes straight to the airport.
Address: Gravina, 9, 03002 Alacant, Alicante, Spain.
A perfect way to enjoy the contrasting Alicante coastline is from the sea. While sailing in the sunshine you can look back on the golden sandy beaches, rugged cliffs, pretty little coves and mountain ranges which make the Alicante region so special. You also have a good chance of running into dolphins playing alongside the boat or shoals of colourful fish during your voyage. Sailing The Med has a beautiful 43-foot sailing yacht available for day trips, weekend cruises or holidays around the Costa Blanca or over to the beautiful Balearic Islands. The professional, qualified crew can sail you to wherever you wish to visit - it's your sailing holiday and so they will put together a package which is tailor-made for you. You can charter the yacht for a day trip to the beautiful island of Tabarca where the crystal -clear waters are perfect for snorkelling and swimming. Alternatively, you could head up the coast from Alicante to Villajoyosa, with its colourful fishermen's cottages and fabulous seafood restaurants or the pretty little beach resort of Altea to visit the hilltop old town with its iconic blue-and-white tiled domed church and white buildings. http://www.mydestination.com/alicante/things-to-do/1174486/sailing-the-med
Take a walk through nature with the sounds of wild animals ringing in your ears. At Terra Natura in Benidorm, you can watch the elephants feeding, monkeys swinging and sea lions playing tricks. There is also a chance to see birds of prey with their amazing wing spans, tigers, reptiles, camels, deer, rhinos and other amazing animals from around the world. At Terra Natura Benidorm you can see more than 1,500 animals from 200 different species, including 50 which are in danger of extinction. There are also hundreds of species of trees, shrubs and bushes. As well as an enjoyable family day out, you can learn more about animals and their habitats. There are themed restaurants throughout the park where you can enjoy delicious meals from around the world. For example, in the Asia quarter, you can visit the Indian Tea Room while in the Europe quarter you can eat at a traditional Greek taverna called Dimitris or at the Estiatorio Áyios Nikoláos set in a Greek Orthodox temple. http://www.terranatura.com/
Alicante is an elegant city by the Mediterranean with historic buildings, museums, a marina and beaches to explore. If you want to get to know this city better, Tortuga Tours can help. Tortuga Tours has experienced and licensed tour guides to make sure you get the most out of your stay in Alicante. The guides will take you out in small groups to show you the highlights of Alicante city or other superb destinations on the Costa Blanca. In Alicante city, you could enjoy a guided tour around the historic city centre, a Segway tour or a tapas tour to try tasty Spanish food either on foot, by bike or on a Segway. You will visit the major sights such as: • the Explanada along the seafront which is made up of thousands of coloured tiles to look like the waves of the sea • the port with its chic yachts and seafood restaurants • the Basilica of Santa Maria, which is the oldest working church in Alicante • San Nicolas cathedral with its fine example of Spanish Baroque in the Holy Communion chapel • Typical traditional Spanish squares such as the Plaza de la Santisima Faz. http://www.mydestination.com/alicante/things-to-do/1171125/tortuga-tours
Wine tasting at Bodegas Xalo
A day trip to the Jalon Valley is definitely worth putting on the agenda if you are in the north Costa Blanca area. It’s a great drive with impressive mountain and valley views down to the sea. You will drive alongside vineyards and fruit orchards, with the blossom providing a sweet fragrance in springtime. Bodegas Xalo is opposite the car park by the riverbed in Jalon. In the bodega are large vats of wine. Customers are offered the chance to taste the wines, mistelas(sweet wines) and vermouth. Some of the wines have won national awards and the cava is particularly good for the price. http://www.bodegasxalo.com/es/
Bonfires of San Juan
Alicante celebrates the coming of summer with the bonfires of San Juan. In a spectacular display of music, colour and fireworks, thousands of people throng the streets to experience this fiesta which pays tribute to fire. To celebrate the arrival of summer, the people of Alicante would traditionally flock to the countryside on 23 June for a festive dinner: they feasted on typical products, and at midnight they would light bonfires and dance around them, set off fireworks and go swimming in the sea. This custom endured over the years, and in 1928, the fiestas of the Bonfires of San Juan were formally constituted. For several days, Alicante celebrates this great homage to fire, where the stars of the show are genuine works of ephemeral art: the bonfires and the enormous cardboard and wooden figures which go up in flames on the night of San Juan. But the fiesta is not over yet. From 25 to 29 June there is a fireworks competition on the El Postiguet beach, and the historic centre of the town comes alive with a medieval market and a range of shows. http://www.spain.info/en/que-quieres/agenda/fiestas/alicante/hogueras_de_san_juan.html
Hell's Ravine Rappel Experience
Climb, rappel, and clamber your way through the ominously named Hell’s Ravine, with the help of your local guide. This is just the adrenaline-fueled adventure you thrill-seekers have been looking for. High in the hills, away from the busy coastal area, is the rocky playground of the Barran de l’Infern. Translated as Hell’s Ravine, this is a steep-sided gorge of polished white limestone that is ideal for climbing. As your guide runs through a briefing and fits you with the all-important safety equipment, take a moment to absorb your surroundings. Soon, it is time to hit the trail, cling to the rocks, and rappel carefully down the canyon, making the most of the rope assistance. Learn interesting facts about the ravine from your well-informed and passionate guide. This adventurous descent is suitable for all abilities, so the only prerequisite is a thirst for exploration. https://www.expedia.com/things-to-do/hells-ravine-rappel-experience.a279867.activity-details
Natural Park of Penyal d'Ifac Tour with a Local
Discover the beauty of the Penyal d'Ifac Natural Park, a protected land safe from mass tourism developments, on this walking tour. In the capable hands of your local guide, you can spot many species of plants and animals as you admire the beautiful views of the coast. After you start off from the tourist office in Calp, walk out into the natural scenery on a spit of land that juts out into the Mediterranean Sea. Your local guide is a keen proponent of the park and knows where to find the best spots, so keep an eye out for the different flora and fauna, with birds of prey such as the peregrine falcon swooping in the sky and semi-domesticated cats prowling the ground. Continue to the excavation site of Pablo de Ifach for a fascinating insight into local history before a visit to the local nature study center, which performs vital work in protecting the park's natural inhabitants. From viewpoints throughout the tour, gaze out at fabulous views of the sea and the Spanish coastline as you admire the surrounding area. https://www.expedia.com/things-to-do/natural-park-of-penyal-difac-tour-with-a-local.a279871.activity-details
Step on a Segway for an exciting adventure along Alicante's Old town with the setting sun in the background. Roll down toward the city's maritime districts for some great scenery, a relaxing experience, and an evening of fun. Meet your guide for a brief orientation, gear up, and get on your Segway to start your tour. Glide through the city streets with the warm breeze behind you and gorgeous ocean views to your side as the sun goes down, for an experience that is not to be missed. A Segway tour combines the best of traditional walking and bus tours, with a speedy pace so you can see more sights while still enjoying the fresh air and beautiful scenery. If you can stand, you can ride a Segway, and enjoy the fun of this easy adventure on wheels. www.expedia.com/things-to-do/sunset-segway-tour.a282917.activity-details
2-hour beginners diving experience in Alicante
Learn to dive in the stunning surroundings of Alicante’s Calpe Bay on this 2-hour diving experience for beginners. Get hands-on instruction, and dive to a depth of up to 8 meters to explore the fascinating underwater world of the Mediterranean. Explore the stunning underwater world of the Mediterranean on this 2-hour beginners diving experience in Alicante. Ideal for those with little or no diving experience, you will spend the 1st hour learning all about the provided equipment, and exploring diving techniques and safety with an expert instructor. They will explain how to breathe with the regulator, how to equilibrate your ears, and how to communicate using the standard dive signals. Approximately 30-45 minutes is allotted to an actual dive off the beach, starting in shallow water so that you can easily acclimatize as you slowly descend into the depths. Descend to a depth of approximately 6-8 meters to discover the stunning life on the Mediterranean seabed. https://www.getyourguide.com/alicante-l414/diving-experience-for-beginners-in-alicante-t35573/
Guadalest Valley & Algar Springs Tour
Explore Guadalest, a stunning village and fortress that sits on top of a mountain offering spectacular sea and mountain views of Costa Blanca. Then visit Fuentes del Algar, where you can swim in the crystal clear spring water and enjoy the waterfalls. Travel inland from the coast, viewing the mountainous area along the way that is lined with charming villages. Upon arriving at the spectacular valley of Guadalest, visit its fortress and observe great views of the Guadalest reservoir. There will be time to get to know the town and visit one of the museums such as the micro art museum. Continue with a visit to Las Fuentes del Algar, which is a series of crystal clear small springs and waterfalls. If you are visiting in the summer months, make sure to bring your swimwear as you will be able to swim in the water. https://www.getyourguide.com/alicante-l414/alicante-guadalest-valley-and-fuentes-del-algar-tour-t48124/
Hot air balloon rides
Elche is a beautiful historic town in the Alicante region, inland from Alicante. It boasts a high proportion of palm trees, and when you enter the town all roads are lined with its famous palms, ending with a palm tree grove. Elche has a World Heritage Site, dedicated to its Arts and Traditions. The area has 2 nature reserves, the Santa Pola Sand Flats and the Parque Natural del Fondó. The flats are divided into 2 parts, the marshy area and that which produces salt. The flora and fauna of this area have adapted the wetness and saltiness and flourish well, especially in the summer months and if you are lucky you will be able to see the flamingos who make it their home. El Fondó Beauty Spot is located in the district of Baix Vinalopó, near the towns of Elche/Elx y Crevillente, and has 2 large reservoirs. Tourists can see their exclusive festivals of Palm Sunday and the Mystery of Elche. The Festival of Elche was declared the Masterpiece fo the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. http://www.adventurecostablanca.com/activity/2312/hot-air-balloon-rides-costa-blanca/
Casino Mediterraneo Alicante
Will luck be a lady tonight? Your fortune could change at the turn of a card or spin of the wheel at the Casino Mediterraneo Alicante. The casino and restaurant is in a superb location in Alicante. You can enjoy a night of games, entertainment, art and gourmet food while overlooking the port in all its glory. The casino has hosted more than 300 exhibitions for artists and sculptors to show off their works. The restaurant Azul offers a splendid buffet which you can enjoy while overlooking the Mediterranean or the gaming room. The casino is in a great location by the Alicante marina, home to some fine yachts, restaurants, bars and hotels. There is another Casino Mediterraneo at the Zenia Boulevard shopping center. http://www.casinomediterraneo.es/en/
Will luck be a lady tonight? Your fortune could change at the turn of a card or spin of the wheel at the Casino Mediterraneo Alicante. The casino and restaurant is in a superb location in Alicante. You can enjoy a night of games, entertainment, art and gourmet food while overlooking the port in all its glory. The casion has hosted more than 300 exhibitions for artists and sculptors to show off their works. The restaurant Azul offers a splendid buffet which you can enjoy while overlooking the Mediterranean or the gaming room. The casino is in a great location by the Alicante marina, home to some fine yachts, restaurants, bars and hotels. There is another Casino Mediterraneo at the Zenia Boulevard shopping center. http://www.casinomediterraneo.es/en/
You can enjoy a rollercoaster ride at Aqua Natura in Benidorm. It's a great way to burn off energy and keep cool. You're bound to have a splashing time. Benidorm's Aqua Natura water park has an exciting new attraction - La Cresta - which is the only water attraction in the world that lets you experience the feeling of zero gravity. This chute is a kind of roller coaster that reaches over 15 metres in height and is completely enclosed. The water park boasts a series of chutes of all kinds to suit all ages. Do you dare to try the tornado, a spectacular spiral drop which will get your adrenaline flowing! There are four pools including a wave pool as well as an aquarium and sea lion enclosure where shows are held every day. You even have the chance to swim with the sea lions. How cool is that? There is a self-service restaurant and two snack bars to recharge your batteries. http://www.mydestination.com/alicante/things-to-do/157666/aqua-natura
Tsunami Aventura in Moraira has a whole host of activities and trips to keep you entertained throughout the year.
Flyboarding has to be the coolest craze to try on the water at the moment. The feeling that you are walking on water is incredible. The flyboard lets the rider fly by using water pressure pumped through a pipe which is powered by your instructor on a jetski.
It's like something out of a science-fiction movie to see someone rising out of the water. Experienced flyboarders can also do some amazing moves. You can join Hollywood celebrities such as Tom Cruise and Leonardo di Caprio who have enjoyed the thrills and spills of this latest water sport.
You can also try parasailing, waterskiing or wake boarding off the Moraira coast as another fun way to enjoy water sports in the Alicante region.
Hanging on to the flyfish zooming up in the air or keeping your balance on a banana boat are also great ways to enjoy yourself and let off steam.
Bodega, Museum and Restaurant Maserof
Take a trip up the mountains to find a hidden corner of Spain which will take you back in time to the 17th century. You can enjoy fine wine and food while enjoying the spectacular scenery. Maserof is a little gem set high in the Sierra Bernia mountains. It is a 17th-century farmhouse crammed with antiques and relics from a bygone age. It is surrounded by farms and the vineyards from which the splendid Maserof wine is produced. The wine today is still produced using the ancient traditions. Visit in September and you may be able to see the grapes being harvested and then the traditional treading of the grapes by foot. The Maserof vineyard was set up by Englishman Peter Patemen in the 1970s. Wine production had stopped several decades earlier when the vines became diseased. Peter started to restore Maserof and re-establish wine cultivation in the Bernia slopes. You could say that the entire Maserof farmhouse is a museum as it is crammed full of antiques and knick-knacks in keeping with the 17th-century building and ancient surroundings. If you book into the restaurant, you will be dining at tremendous ancient oak tables, eating off antique plates, cutlery and wine glasses. Take your time to explore the farmhouse and its terraces. Be sure to look out for a little piece of Lucretia Borgia's palace and ancient thrones as you look around. http://www.mydestination.com/alicante/things-to-do/183040/bodega-museum-and-restaurant-maserof
Emma Tytherleigh and Juan Cortés have teamed up to bring you professional, highly skilled and fun equestrian entertainment. From passionate Spanish Riding to death-defying stunts we have a great selection of entertainment for your shows across Spain. Offering a wide variety of performances and catering to both small and large venues. Our unique equine displays have been entertaining audiences for more than two years now and have become a firm favourite with event organisers across Spain. Something that everyone is guaranteed to enjoy! Give your family and friends an evening they will never forget! Please visit our website for all of our latest tour dates! They put on amazing live shows which are fabulous entertainment for all the family. They can also offer training sessions, put on corporate events and provide well-trained horses for the film and television industry. http://www.mydestination.com/alicante/sports/1155556/equestrian-entertainment-espana
One of the best ways to get to know a city is to take a trip on the sightseeing bus. Alicante Turibus has 10 stops around the historic city and you can hop on and hop off as often as you like.
The first bus stop is at the Plaza del Mar by the marina and beach. The bus heads up to Alicante castle, around the old town, the central market, train station, bus station and alongside the port before returning to the Plaza del Mar.
The buses run every hour from 10am to 6pm and the tour takes about 50 minutes.
The commentary is in six languages - Spanish, Valencian, French, English, Italian and German.
The hop-on-hop-off tourist bus is a great way to get to know Alicante. It stops at all the major tourist attractions such as the museums and art galleries, so you can visit these during your bus trip too.
Send in the clowns. Watch them up high on the flying trapeze. Yes, we're off to Benidorm Circus for a thrilling evening of artistes and acrobats. Benidorm Circus does not use animals in the acts. Instead, you will see remarkable contorsionists, acrobats, athletes, jugglers, trapeze artists and those larger than life clowns. Come and meet Harry, a little boy who loves the circus. In his mind, he imagines being a juggler, an acrobat or a trapeze artiste. Does he have what it takes to be the circus strongman? There's only one way to find out! In Harry's dreams, he becomes Monsieur Loyal, head of the circus, who has to keep the whole performance rolling. You can also meet Papito the clown, whose sole ambition is to make you laugh. Will he succeed? Come along to the Benidorm Circus to find out how this great story unfolds. Benidorm Circus is open all year around on Saturdays from 6pm. Roll up, roll up for a great family night out! http://www.mydestination.com/alicante/nightlife/181343/benidorm-circusen/
Come to Pola Park for a family fun day out where you can enjoy karting, quads, bumper cars, carrousels, rides and rodeos.
Pola Park has plenty of attractions for all the family where you can test your nerve or pit your wits against family members on the mini golf course or in the bumper cars.
There are cafes and restaurants on site so you can have a well-earned rest and a bite to eat before tackling some more of the great attractions.
Playa del Postiguet
In the heart of the city is a 900m wide arc of golden sand that is the gorgeous beach of Playa del Postiguet. Situated at the base of the imposing Monte Benacantil, it's wonderfully positioned for easy access and backed by a palm-shaded promenade with modern bars offering refreshments and food. It is lapped by tranquil waters that are consistently awarded the Blue Flag for cleanliness and being a local beach you will find it being used at all times of the year, particularly on Sundays when it can be very busy in the summer! There are zones reserved for playing sports such as beach volleyball, and lots of car parking spaces nearby, both public and private.During the summer season, there is also an educational play area for the mentally handicapped and an area.
Playa del Coco
Stroll along the shoreline to the smaller beach of Playa del Coco, where the city's fishermen used to land their catch and you can still find a small harbour where you can sit and while away the hours.
Playa de la Albufereta
Further along to the North of the city you will find Playa de la Albufereta, a beach that offers a slice of history. It takes its name from the small coastal lake that once existed on this spot and was home to the harbour that served the Roman village of Lucentum, the origin of Alicante. This beach is to the northwest of the city, between the Serra Grossa mountains and Tossal de Manises in an area of important archaeological sites. In fact, it is here that the city originated. It is a small beach of fine, golden sands amid the residential development of the same name. This is one of the most popular holiday spot amongst local people of Alicante.
Playa de la Almadraba
This beach bumps into Playa de la Almadraba a cosy sandy beach little used by tourists, but both offer the perfect environment for water sports enthusiasts or those preferring a gentle swim.
Cabo de las Huertas
If you prefer to explore a more rugged coastline then Cabo de las Huertashides three picturesque coves. All are difficult to access, which adds to their remoteness, but should you wish to develop that all over tan, then the two nudist coves of Cala Palmera and Cala Cantelalares will leave you spoiled for choice. Nudist beach made up of small rocky coves, crystal clear water, ideal for snorkeling. No services. Family-friendliest in the Summer months. During low season you can expect to encounter some quite odd nudes hanging around.
Playa de San Juan
This is Alicante’s most famous beach, with sands stretching from the beaches at El Campello right through to the Cabo de las Huertas headland. It is an open beach with very high-quality fine sands located in an area with lots of apartments, services and businesses. All along the beachfront there are all kinds of restaurants and beach bars, some of which are actually on the beach itself. San Juan beach is very close to the golf course called Alicante Golf and there are many public parking spaces nearby, as well as areas reserved for various sports such as beach volleyball, football, windsurfing, etc. There are hotels of various categories in the immediate vicinity, plus an educational play area for the mentally handicapped and an area with disabled access during the summer months.
Playa Carrer La Mar
El Campello’s main beach, divided into small bays, with sand and pebbles. Ideal for families with small children. Small play area and lovely pedestrian promenade with lots of restaurants and bars. Well away from the main road. Equipped for people with physical disabilities and count on expert personnel in the area who will look after users as well as the existence of parking areas close to the place where these areas are located. All of which is aimed to improve the service provided both to users and family members who accompany them. The accessible beaches work during the months of July, August and September (exact periods are established each year).
This beach is located 5 kilometres south of the city centre, in a quiet area. Its fine, golden sands stretch for over 1.5 kilometres, making it perfect for strolling along. Its setting is semi-urban and to the north, there is a line of sand dunes, which enhance the view. There are various services to bathers, such as lifeguarding, an esplanade, shops and restaurants and special areas reserved for nudists. There is also an educational play area for the mentally handicapped and an area with disabled access that is open during the summer months. Grey sands. Very popular with people living on the southern side of the town, it gets very crowded in high season.
Playa Arenales del Sol
One of Alicante’s best beaches, this long stretch of dunes and golden sand is particularly popular with young people.The beach is mostly surrounded by the buildings of the hamlet in Elche which gives it its name, with what that means in terms of complementary facilities: restaurants,shops, kiosks, ice cream parlours and a street market (between 15th June and 15th September) on Tuesday and Friday afternoon, where farmers go in order to directly offer their excellent fresh produce; you can also find stands selling clothes and shoes, amongst others. Ideal to try out windsurfing (there is a reserved area where you can hire all necessary equipment) and other water sports and activities, Arenales has well communicated with El Carabassí thanks to a long promenade which, especially at sunset, is frequented by walkers, cyclists and skaters. From this esplanade you can reach the seaside by walking along wooden gangways. Granted with a blue flag status, the unspoilt nature of the areas located to the north and south of the city centre lends it a high ecological value. Additionally, there is plenty of parking areas, lifeguard vigilance, a tourist information centre, an information screen, a tenting service of beach umbrellas and deckchairs, snack stalls on the beach, access for people with reduced mobility and a regular bus service linking it with Elche, Alicante and Santa Pola.
Other animals in Spain are still seriously endangered with only a handful of animals remaining in the wild. Among the most threatened species in Spain are the Iberian lynxes and Cantabrian brown bears. . There are currently recuperation projects underway in specialized centers dedicated to the conservation of Spanish wildlife to restore the numbers of these endangered species in Spain. They have already had success raising these protected species in captivity.
Spain has a diverse geography and climate meaning that there is a wide variety of native Spanish animals. Spain contains portions of the Southern European Montane Forest and Mediterranean Shrubland and Woodland areas. The country’s diverse ecosystems consist of different types of habitats for Spanish native wildlife including: costal aquatic, polar, alpine, grasslands, shrublands, forests, woodlands, crops and settlements.
The Spanish Brown Bear
The Spanish brown bear or Cantabrian brown bear is among the animals most at risk of extinction in Spain. In the Asturias region in Spain, there are only an estimated 80 brown bears left (2011). Human pressure has caused a destruction of brown bear habitat and hunting has caused a reduction in their numbers. However, recent protection measures are starting to prove fruitful. The Spanish brown bear is the largest predator on the Iberian Peninsula. Males can reach heights of 2 meters and weights of around 180 kilograms. Their large size requires them to live in vast areas of land in order to properly fulfill their omnivorous diet of fruits, roots, small animals and carcasses. Thebrown bears in Spain can walk more than 20 kilometers in their search for food.
Female brown bears usually have small litters of cubs of between one and three, and up to four in rare cases, although typically they give birth to two bear cubs. This scarcity of bear cubs and the amount of time needed to bring them up (cubs depend on their mother for a year and half, meaning that the mother cannot reproduce again for 2 years after each litter) makes it a difficult and slow process to recover their dwindling population. Additionally, poaching is one of the largest problems in the conservation of these beautiful beasts.
The Osprey is a bird of prey that feeds almost exclusively on fish and thus is found living near coastal regions, lakes or rivers.
The Osprey, sometimes referred to as the sea hawk or fish eagle, is one of the most difficult bird species to spot in Spain. The Osprey is a bird of prey that feeds almost exclusively on fish and thus is found living near coastal regions, lakes or rivers. One of the best places to spot Osprey in Spain is in the south, near the mouth of the Guadalhorce River. Despite its name, the Osprey is not related to the Golden Eagle, one of the largest birds found in the Iberian Peninsula.
The Osprey is a raptor of medium size, with a white breast sometimes streaked in brown, greenish-yellow legs, a strong, sharp black hooked bill and white feet with powerful black talons which it uses to tightly hold on to its victims and prevent them from escaping.
The Spanish Purebred Horses
The Andalusian horse, or Purebred Spanish horse, is one of the most famous horse breeds in world. Many European breeds, as well as American breeds, were derived from the Andalusian bloodline such as the Hispanic-Arabian, Hispanic Breton, Friesian, Lipizzan, Kladruber, Criollo, Paso Fino, Peruvian, Mustangs, Alter Real, and Lusitano horse breeds.
Their intelligence as well as their nobility has made these horses extremely popular in the world of equestrianism. They are ideal horses for different types of dressage training and styles. Andalusian horses generally stand between 62-66 inches, or 155-165 cm tall, with strong arched necks and long manes, heads of medium length with straight or slightly convex profiles and eyes that are alive and intelligent (that many say resemble a falcon). For all these reasons they are considered to have a harmonious shape with perfect proportions.
Spain is surrounded on three sides by water, consequently much of the country's economy has come to rely on the ocean. From exploiting the country's fabulous beaches and exporting millions of tonnes of fish and seafood each year, to building state-of-the-art sea-life centres, the Mediterranean and the Atlantic are very much at the heart of Spain's major industries. Here, we look at what kind of sea-life can actually be found living in the Spanish waters…
Dolphins, whales, sharks…you name it and it's pretty likely to be there. Striped, common and bottle-nosed dolphins bouncing out of the waters are regular sights if you know where to look, as are long-finned pilot whales, sperm whales and, if you're lucky, Orcas! The Bay of Biscay and Gibraltar's Bay of Algerciras are the most popular areas in which to go whale-watching. You are generally guaranteed to see something!
Sharks also inhabit the Mediterranean and the Atlantic waters close to the Spanish coast, they are often caught, intentionally or otherwise, by local fishermen. Don't be alarmed however, they rarely venture too close to the shores and although there have been isolated attacks in recent years, they are very rare!
The Spanish Mediterranean is home to a few colonies of one of the world's rarest mammals. Hunted for its skin during the twentieth century, the monk seal was thought to be extinct in Europe in 1992. However, thanks to a huge protection programme there is now hope; a number of small colonies have been spotted off the Spanish coast! Today, the biggest threat to their survival is skindiving. Monk seals inhabit underwater caves and are very easily disturbed, females will often abort their young when alarmed, for example by divers.
Closer to shore, there are plenty of jellyfish, sea urchins and stingrays. Most jellyfish are harmless but there are a few Man-of-Wars lurking around, whose tentacles can grow up to 20metres long! Man-of-Wars are not technically a jellyfish, but a colony and if you are unlucky enough to get caught by one the best thing to do is 'relax' and slowly slide away. Jellyfish and Man-of-War stings should be bathed in sea water, not fresh water, as this can re-trigger the sting. Brightly-coloured and wildly-formed sea urchins are abundant in the Spanish seas, they are beautiful to look at but be careful not to stand on them! Sting-rays are also popular sights in shallower waters, they are not aggressive creatures but may graze you with their tail if trodden on, so look out!
For a chance to see some of these weird and wonderful creatures close up, why not visit some of the east coast's stunning aquariums?Valencia is home to the largest aquarium in Europe, Aquarium de Valencia, which is part of the famous City of Arts and Sciences. This huge sea-life centre is home to fish and wildlife from all over the world, from the tropics to the Antartic. It has an excellent global warming exhibition and an open-air pool too, where you can watch dolphin shows!
Further north, built only 10 years ago, Barcelona's world-class aquarium is one of the city's top attractions. It contains fish and sea-life from all corners of the planet, with certain tanks and areas designated to certain oceans, for example the Caribbean, Great Barrier Reef and Red Sea tanks, with all of their vivid colors and strange shapes. By far the most complex of the aquariums however, is the Mediterranean tank, which has reconstructed protected areas of the Spanish coastline in order to raise awareness about preserving the seas.
There is also a smaller aquarium in Benidorm called Mundomar, or SeaWorld, it has a number of enclosures featuring turtles, sea lions and dolphins.
Away from what to catch sight of and what to avoid, there are millions of smaller fish and crustaceans that are fished and eaten each year. Before the tourism boom in the 1970's, the fishing industry largely supported the east coast's economy. Today, the Spanish fishing fleet is the largest in the EU with around 80,000 sailors and 400,000 labourers! In 2000, Spain exported 99.9 million tonnes of canned fish worth around $300 million, in addition to 149.9 million tonnes of crustaceans and molluscs, worth around $390 million!
Delicious paella, juicy prawn salad, fresh lobster or crispy calamares served with a bitter slice of zesty lemon are just a few of the tasty dishes freshly served up from the ocean here on the costas. Other popular catches are plaice, tuna, sardines, hake, mackeral, swordfish, octopus, anchovies and mussels. In fact, Spain is the world's biggest exporter of mussels after China.
So, whether you're eating it, watching it or swimming with it, Spain's sea-life is a major part of its industry, its culture and its allure. Grab the opportunity to learn as much about it (or eat as much of it) as you can!.