London Stansted to Alicante Airport
Most people flying to Alicante Airport will probably be travelling on to the Costa Blanca and resorts such as Benidorm, Javea and Calpe. However, Alicante remains an important tourist destination in its own right, and has retained much of its Spanish character unlike many other Costa Blanca resorts.
Alicante has a long history dating back to before Roman times. Modern-day Alicante has plenty for the visitor including golden beaches, and attractive seafront, designer shops and the traditional old quarter of El Barrio.
Currently two airlines operate between London Stansted and Alicante El Altet airport; Air Berlin and EasyJet. Air Berlin has recently started using Stansted as its UK hub and provides a regular service to Alicante, although some flights travel via Mallorca. Visit www.airberlin.com for more information.
Alicante El Altet airport is about 11km (7miles) from the city centre. Buses to Alcoyana station from the airport operate every 40 minutes between 7.30am and 10.30pm. A single ticket costs 1.05 euros. There is also a direct service to Benidorm departing at 8am, 12pm, 4pm and 8pm for which a single ticket costs about 6 euros. Taxis operate from outside the terminal building; a journey to the city centre takes between 15 and 20 minutes and costs about 15 euros, taxis to Benidorm cost about 50 euros.
Places of interest in Alicante include:
- Castillo de Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara Castle). There has been a castle on this site for over 2,000 years. The current structure, dating back to the 16th century, has only been breached once during its history when in 1707 the French blew up part of the occupying garrison. Inside its formidable walls are attractive palm-filled courtyards and a small visitor museum. The Capa Collection - the world's largest collection of Spanish sculpture - is also located within the castle grounds. The fortress is a good place from which to admire fantastic views of the city. You can reach it either by lift or take the (rather long) walk to the top.
- Catedral de San Nicolas de Bari. Situated within the old quarter of El Barrio is this 17th century cathedral, considered to be one of the finest examples of Spanish Baroque architecture. Particularly impressive is the facade and the central dome. The cathedral underwent a extensive restoration after the Spanish Civil War.
- Explanada de España. The marble-tiled seafront promenade stretches alongside the marina and is a popular area for a relaxing stroll. Just to the north is the sandy beach of El Postiguet.
- Archaeological Museum. This impressive museum traces the long history of the Alicante region fro prehistoric times to the Middle Ages. On display are artefacts from the Stone Age, Iberians and Romans, as well as items recovered from a sunken Spanish galleon.
- Nueva Tabarca. This small, flat island is several miles of the coast of Alicante and has been designated a nature reserve. Around its shores are large populations of marine life making it a popular area for divers. A daily boat service leaves for Tabarca from the Explanada.