Unique Attractions in and around Alicante
Alicante is a Spanish city with 373,000Link opens in a new tab people, and the city dates back to the Roman era. Alicante offers everything a traveler would want from a Mediterranean vacation.
You’ll enjoy amazing sunshine, scrumptious Spanish cuisine, stunning beaches, world-class hikes, and a vibrant nightlife. It’s also near Benidorm, one of the most popular party destinations in Europe.
With that said, Alicante also offers some unusual attractions where you can escape the tourists and observe another side of this beautiful destination.
Here are some of the best unusual options if you want to avoid the tourists:
1. Explore Tabarca
Suppose you’re looking to escape the rowdiness of Alicante? There’s no better place to visit than Tabarca. You can find this small islet in the Mediterranean Sea next to the town of Santa Pola in Alicante. It’s the only inhabited island in the area, and you can get there via boat.
Once you arrive, you’ll witness magnificent beaches, coves, hikes, and even marvelous food on your day trip. The fishing port offers various superb eateries offering the traditional local dish named caldero. We recommend visiting the island’s museum during your day trip.
2. Hike Up Mount Benacantil
Alicante isn’t all about sitting around the pool and enjoying the nightlife (although it’s excellent for both). If you love hiking and the outdoors, you should hike up Mount Benacantil. The mountain includes the Castle of Santa Barbara, which offers stunning views of the entire coast and city.
Furthermore, did you know that only London and Milan have more skyscrapers in Europe than Alicante? The city has an impressive skyline of tall hotels and office buildings. The best place to witness these views is from Mount Benacantil. Make sure you bring your camera because you’ll have some incredible opportunities to get your photos along the way.
3. Enjoy History at the Archaeological Museum of Alicante
Do you love history? Alicante has some world-beating Roman history. The Archaeological Museum of Alicante has an eclectic mix of fascinating prehistoric exhibits displayed with a unique modern touch. The museum—although not massively popular with the tourist masses—won the title of European Museum of the Year in 2004.
What’s more, one of the museum’s best exhibits is the Tresor de la Marina Alta. Scholars have reported this as either Roman or Iberian jewelry. The exhibit consists of gold torques and a pendant, and archeologists found it in a site named Pic De L’aguila.
4. Wander Around the Central Market Building
The Central Market building is a historical symbol of the nation’s suffering during the Spanish Civil War. The builders designed the market with a Valencian Modernism style, making the building look like something from a ghostbusters film set. You can even observe a set of tiles depicting a narrative about the bombing of the building during the Spanish Civil War.
Today, the building is an excellent indoor market with a superb array of stalls. The market has two floors known as the fish floor and the meat floor. Either way, you won’t leave the Central Market Building hungry.
5. Roam Around Lucentum
If Roman history is your thing, you’ll have to walk around Lucentum. The area is a collection of Roman ruins, and they lie 3km east of the center in the locale of Tossal de Manises. Did you know Lucentum was the ancient name for Alicante when the Romans lived there? The Greeks, Tartessos, and Phoenicians passed through Lucentum.
Recent evacuations have found a rich wealth of property, and you can easily see the clearly defined streets, the bathhouses, the large houses with columned courtyards, and the forum. You can get there on bus 9 or 21. Alternatively, you can hop on the coastal tram.
6. Check Out the Ibi Toy Locomotive
The Ibi Toy Locomotive Sculpture is a traditional toy stand on the side of a freeway in Ibi, commonly known as Spain’s toy town. You can get here via car in 20-30 minutes via freeway from Alicante, and it’s a must-visit for toy enthusiasts. Designers have created the toy locomotive with locally molded plastic cable drums.
Ibi is now Spain’s largest toy manufacturing town. Within the town, you’ll find 37 companies making 40 percent of the nation’s toys. The town’s toy industry began in 1905 and has played an integral part in the region’s economy ever since.
7. Visit the Archibald Dickson Memorial
The Archibald Dickson Memorial is a monument dedicated to Archibald Dickson, a little-known hero of the Spanish Civil War. Archibald Dickson saved an estimated 2,000 lives during the Spanish Civil War. However, until recent times, his name was unheard of in his native country of Wales.
In the last six months of the evacuation of Alicante, a German torpedo submarine killed Archibald Dickson. But in Alicante, the locals have remembered him as a hero ever since. The locals built the statue in 2014, 75 years since his ship set sail from the port of Alicante.
The vast majority of travelers will spend their time in Alicante on the beach or enjoying the nightlife in nearby Benidorm. And who would blame them? The weather is gorgeous, the nightlife is superb, and the beaches are white with crystalline waters.
Still, if you’re looking to do something a little bit different—these seven attractions will give you a fantastic insight into an alternative side of Alicante that tourists often avoid.