Alicante is a fairly large city spanning 201.27 kilometres, and capable of holding over 300,000 people. However, you will find that if you stay close to the major areas of the city, many of the attractions on your itinerary will be within an easy walking distance. The land itself is characterised by mountainous landscapes, especially in northern and western sections, while the southern land is flatter. The Segura River is found towards the east. Organising the greater Alicante Province may also help. The Upper Marina and Lower Marina are the two main areas, and smaller villages and towns are found in each side; in the Upper Marina, Calpe, Teulada and Javea; and in the Lower Marina, Altea and Villajoyosa. Elche, Movelda and Aspe are also in the inland area, while Torreveija and Guardamar are located south.
While the city is large, it’s not impossible to travel by taxi or car rental. Taxis are affordable and companies like TeleTaxi and RadioTaxi. However, many travelers prefer to get around by bus or tram. Buses in the area, separate from the airport shuttle service, run from 6:30 am until 11 pm. Stations are found in Puerto de Alicante and Muelle de Poniente. Rides cost €1.25 and bus drivers do carry limited change. 10 journey cards are available at the the TAM office by Mercado Central.
The Alicante Railway Station can take you as far as the suburbs and into Murcia. However, cities that are farther away, such as Madrid (3 hours) or Valencia (5 hours), are travelled by RENFE trains all over Spain.
To travel to settlements beyond the city, such as other sites in Costa Blanca, Alicante Tram is available. The tram runs all along the coast of Costa Blanaca and as far as Benidorm for a price of €3.50. This connects you with areas like Altea, Calpe, and Denia, all the while providing great scenic sea views.
With such a wonderful marina environment, it’s little wonder that many visitors prefer to use the ferry service to travel. The ferry boat links to Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca, Oran and even nearby Alger.
Depending on the country of origin, some travellers do need to bring a passport and file for a Visa. Visas are sometimes required for connecting flights in addition to government inspections. However, EU countries are excluded and so the United Kingdom is exempt from Visa requirements if your passport describes you as a “British Citizen” or a “British Subject with Right of Abode in the United Kingdom.” However, any other classification may require additional consultation with the Spanish Embassy or Consulate. Passports and IDs are required.
Visa requirements typically include, along with the application, four passport photos, a valid passport with a full blank page, proof of purpose of visit, evidence of sufficient funds, letter from employer (or bank manager), fee, return travel tickets and confirmed arrangements for hotel stay.
Taxi drivers, restaurant servers, luggage handlers and hotel staff are the only people you tip in Alicante. Taxi drivers receive about 5% of your total taxi fare. Restaurants staff expects and appreciates tips based on diner’s contentment. Luggage handlers receive one or more Euro. To prevent misunderstandings, always tip in person and in cash. Don’t count on anyone to pass along tips by debit/credit card.
Many travellers are surprised to find that public electricity has a slightly setup in Spain. The voltage is 220V, 50 MHz sockets with two circular pins. Visitors from the United Kingdom should bring along an adapter for charging mobile computer systems.
Spanish is the official language of Alicante but Valencian is spoken in Valencia. Furthermore, many merchants and even your fellow tourists will speak English or German, as Alicante does remain a popular international destination.