Alicante, Spain

The province of Alicante might have been left to laze under the Mediterranean sun undisturbed , if it weren’t for a 1957 promo campaign by a now-defunct airline, which coined the name ‘Costa Blanca’ and kickstarted one of the most dramatic tourism booms in European history. But wait! There’s more to this sun-soaked region than high-rise hotels and lurid cocktails; look beyond the towns of Benidorm, Alicante and Altea and you can find secluded golden beaches (try the the rocky coves, blissful bays and turquoise waters Les Rotes near Dénia), outdoor activities aplenty (including some of Spain’s best golf courses, horse riding across the sands and theme parks for the kids), and near-guaranteed tanning weather year-round. And, at the heart of it all, the sun and the sea, seeming engaged in an unwinnable blue-off against each other.

When to go

Alicante’s semi-arid climate means it’s warm year-round, but hottest and busiest between June and August, when temperatures often exceed 30ºC, so to avoid the heat and the hordes book an off-season slot. September and October are the wettest months, but in Alicante, that’s not saying much.

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Getting there

  • Planes

    Alicante Airport is the gateway to the Costa Blanca resort region and is serviced daily from all major cities across the UK and Continental Europe. Direct flights from the UK are available from several airlines, including easyJet (, Jet2 (, and British Airways(, with more frequent (and more expensive) flights in the summer months; prices tend to rise from around May onwards.
  • Trains

    Renfe Operadora high-speed trains ( run frequently to and from Valencia, Madrid and Barcelona – taking two, four and five hours respectively – to the Alicante city station, which is linked to Benidorm by a tram service; it takes about an hour.
  • Automobiles

    A car’s really only necessary if you plan gallivanting up and down the Costa Brava (which makes for a scenic road trip in itself). If you do need a car, they’re easily hired at Alicante Airport from a selection of providers.