Hiring a car in Alicante

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Hiring a car in Alicante

Pick up your hire car at Alicante airport and you're ready to explore this gorgeous - and hot! - part of Spain.

60-second guide to Alicante

in its own head

"We're the classy Benidorm; a sultry Mediterranean seaside port where you can sample scrumptious local red wines, watch the sun ooze seductively into the sea and get stuck into some dreamy fresh seafood - yum!"

but more realistically

Alicante is indeed less berserk and more authentic than Benidorm, though quiet it isn't. But if you're after sun and fun in an attractive Spanish town, you won't be disappointed.

the vibe

Tranquil by day, thumping by night. Both the old quarter and the area down by the harbour are wall-to-wall with bars and discos.

the natives

Spanish locals have long become used to the huge British contingent. And with 30,000 students swotting up at the local university, there's no shortage of energy.

the weather

A decent hot climate, as you'd expect. Around August it's not unusual for temperatures to soar into the 30-degree bracket. That's bikini weather, girls.

the local speciality

With fish begging to be plucked from the surrounding waters, seafood is obviously high on the menu. Four paellas and a jug of sangria it is then.

the celebrity

Bulbous French actor Gerard Depardieu was in Alicante very recently filming Asterix at the Olympic Games.

did you know?

Inside the city hall is Spain's 'cota cero' (zero point), the country's reference for measuring height above or below zero.

they say

"Unlike its costal neighbours, Alicante is a real town, living for much more than tourism alone." - Lonely Planet

5 to see in town...

1. Casa de la Asegurada

It's no secret that kids can struggle with big art galleries, but that's only because most of them don't showcase the mind-bending weirdness of Salvador Dali. This one does.

where to park?

It's hard to find a parking spot right in the city centre so try the car park on Rambla de Mendez Nunez - it's only a five-minute walk away.

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2. Santa Barbara Castle

Originally built way back in the 9th century, this eye-catching castle has taken a few knocks over the years. For lazier tourists there's a nice elevator if you don't fancy walking up stairs.

where to park?

You can park your hire car in the castle's own free car park.

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3: Paseo de la Explanada

As walkways go, this one is spectacular - zany paving stones, a line of palm trees, the sea on one side, restaurants on the other. For gorgeous people only. And, of course, you.

where to park?

The closest you're likely to get is if you leave your hire car in the car park in Playa del Postiguet. Five minutes' walk and you'll be on the Explanada.

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4: La Albufereta

For those more accustomed to the rocky beaches of northern England, prepare to be bemused. The sand is softer than cotton wool, and it even warms the feet a little.

where to park?

Being a little out of the city centre, you'll easily find street parking around the beaches of La Albufereta.

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5: San Juan beach

Sightseeing is all well and good, but it's likely that the beach will be your first port of call. San Juan, at over four miles long, is a particularly good one.

where to park?

The beach is just five miles north of the city centre and has free parking. Or you can take the twice-hourly street car from the main harbour.

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and 4 to drive to...

1: Palmeral of Elche

A short pootle away you'll find this, Europe's biggest plantation of palm trees. There are 11,000 of them.

how to get there?

Head out of Alicante west towards the A-31, from which you then turn southwards onto the E-15/A-7. Take exit 74 towards Elche and follow signs.

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2: Benidorm

How could we forget? The resort has iconic status among Brits abroad and, if it's partying and full English breakfast you're after, this is where you'll find it.

how to get there?

Follow the smell of bacon and eggs. Or alternatively head north along the AP-7. Benidorm is about a 30-mile drive away.

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3: Altea

A dinky little fishing village, brimming with peace and tranquillity. The contrast with Benidorm is akin to that of a roaring lion and an embarrassed ant.

how to get there?

Altea is just north of Benidorm on the AP-7 - approximately 40 minutes by car from Alicante.

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4: Castillo de Biar

If Santa Barbara Castle whet the appetite for looking at old fortresses, then this one is definitely worth a gander. A 12th century beauty, it's a great spot to practise your photography skills.

how to get there?

Take the A-31 east of Alicante, towards Villena, then follow signs for Biar.

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