Alicante, city of cultural activities, museums, festivals, in particular the Island of Tabarca (Mediterranean Marine Reserve) which can also visited from Santa Pola marina, 15 minutes down the coast from Alicante marina.

Different civilizations have passed through these lands, leaving their mark which can be seen in all corners of this fascinating city. It is right on the Mediterranean Sea, Alicante’s well-known climate and beaches make this a perfect city for spending a few pleasantly relaxing days away from it all.

Strolling down the maritime promenade, alongside the marina, heart and soul of Alicante is the grand La Explanada de España – it is unmistakable. Each year on the medieval weekend, the streets and lanes of the old town quarter of Alicante central are transformed into what it felt like to be in a medieval swords & sandals movie set. Daytime folk in offices, teachers and architects – at night, it is an amazing change. The pageantry, food, colour, pyrotechnics and clubbing go on till daybreak...

A dynamic, attractive Spanish city with a castle, old quarter and long waterfront, Alicante's gastronomy is exciting and the nightlife is absolutely legendary.  The old town quarter, atmospheric, with little lanes ducking in between alleyways, is the scene from the dark ages when minstrels played very soulful tunes – and the procession carried the ''sardine'' to its final resting place amidst the black dance at the Alicante Carnival .

The little known Crosses of May is a festival of spring. Held right in Alicante, but could you have guessed it? White washed little houses, that look a marked resemblance of Greece, Turkey and ''pueblo Blanco'' (white village) in Spain. Lovely geraniums in multi-coloured pots at each level going up to the heavens. Competitions galore, … and another festival.

In The Bonfires of St John (Hogueras de San Juan) celebration, the Central Market in Alicante, Esplanade de Espana, all around the squares in central Alicante: was mass burning of the giant Hogueras statues at the stroke of midnight. (See: Fiesta de San Juan)

Monastrell, grape variety and red wine production, and Moscatel, grape variety and white wine production are the two predominant in Alicante's wine industry. Alicante is most renowned for producing a traditional sweet dessert wine known as Fondillon, made from overripe grapes, and has a long history of grape growing and wine production, which was probably introduced by the ancient Romans. And as such wines are very reasonable, and if you venture into the hinterland you'll see vineyard after vineyard.

It is said that France's Sun King, Louis XIV, was said to have asked for a glass of Alicante on his deathbed.  And, Queen Elizabeth I loved Alicante wine "above any other" - most startlingly, according to the research of Valencia-based wine writer John Maher, her successor to the throne, King James I, once went to his doctor with the complaint, "My urine is as red as Alicante wine."  Quite snappy for a marketing campaign.

Playa del Postiguet in heart of the Alicante city is a 900m wide arc of golden sand that is gorgeous, situated at the base of the imposing Monte Benacantil. The impressive Castillo de Santa Bárbara is a fortification in the center Alicante and stands on it. The castle remained abandoned until 1963, when it was opened to the public. Lifts have been installed inside the mountain. You can also visit the delightful Santa Cruz district (see: Crosses of May Fiesta ). It's a colourful quarter of the old city, below Santa Barbara Castle.

Add to that Playa de San Juan, of the Hogueras de San Juan fame, golf, cuisine: tapas of montaditos and pintxos (see: Tapas), chiringuitos (beach bars), outlet shopping, in Alicante there are plenty of things to see and do.

Day-trips further up the coast visit a factory of delicious turron at Xixona. Villajoyosa has Valor chocolates factory (see: Chocolate), explore Guadalest, deep sea fishing in Alicante and Valencia, spectacular stormtrooper's helmet or architect Calatrava's iconic The City of Arts and Sciences (see: Valencia), Battle of the Grapes (see: La Raima) every year, and more... it is a pleasure to visit Alicante.