Alicante is a busy port city in Spain’s southeastern Costa Blanca. It is the sunny capital of the Alicante province and a bit hit with tourists. Its old town, Barrio de la Santa Cruz has old winding streets and is charming. When your cruise docks in Alicante be sure to check what it offers in this guide on the Best Things to do in Alicante Cruise Port Spain.
The best places to visit and things to do in Alicante Cruise Port Spain
Here are the absolute best things to do in Alicante cruise port when you go on your Mediterranean cruise.
How to get into Alicante from the cruise port
The Port of Alicante which is called Terminal de Cruceros de Alicante is located about 2 kilometres (1.5 miles) from the city centre. To get to the city centre, there are several options available.
The easiest way is to take a taxi or a bus. Taxis are readily available outside the port terminal the journey to the city center takes 15 minutes, depending on traffic. The fare should be around 20-25 Euros. Alternatively, you can take the C-6 bus, which runs from the port to the Alicante city centre. The bus stop is just outside the terminal, and the journey takes around 20 minutes. The ticket costs around 3 Euros, and you can buy it on the bus.
Walking to the city centre is also an option, but it may not be the most convenient. You can walk to the town of Alicante in approximately 20 mins. This will bring you out to the start of the marina near Playa del Postiguet.
Things to explore in Alicante Cruise Port Spain
When your cruise ship docks in Alicante there is plenty of things to see and do. Whether you walk along the promenade or explore the local history you will be spoilt for choice. Here are the Best Things to do in Alicante Cruise Port Spain.
Visit Santa Bárbara Castle
Santa Bárbara Castle (Castillo de Santa Bárbara) is a medieval fortress located on Mount Benacantil in the city. The castle of Santa Barbara has a long and fascinating history, dating back to the 9th century when it was built by the Moors. In the 13th century, the castle was conquered by King Alfonso X of Castile. Over Centuries it was further expanded and fortified.
Today, the Santa Barbara castle is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Alicante, offering spectacular panoramic views of the city and the surrounding coastline. Visitors can explore the castle’s many towers, ramparts, and courtyards, and learn about its rich history through exhibits and displays. The castle also houses a museum dedicated to the history of Alicante and the castle itself.
To reach the castle, visitors can either hike up the steep path from the city centre or take the elevator from Postiguet Beach. Once at the top, visitors can enjoy the stunning views and explore the castle’s many features. These include the Torre del Homenaje, the Plaza de Armas, and the Baluarte de la Reina.
Explore the Old Town
The Old Town of Alicante, also known as El Barrio. It is a historic neighbourhood located in the centre of Alicante, Spain. It is situated at the foot of the Castillo de Santa Barbara and stretches from the Rambla de Mendez Nunez to the foot of Mount Benacantil.
The Old Town is characterised by its narrow, winding streets, colourful buildings, and traditional Spanish charm. Visitors can stroll through the picturesque alleyways and discover various architectural styles, from medieval to baroque and modernist.
The area is also home to several notable landmarks and attractions, including the following:
- Santa Maria Basilica: This 14th-century Gothic church is located in the heart of the Old Town and is one of the most important religious buildings in Alicante. Its ornate facade features sculptures and carvings depicting scenes from the Bible.
- Santa Iglesia Concatedral de San Nicolás de Bari de Alicante: This 17th-century baroque church is situated in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento. It is also known for its stunning frescoes, altarpiece, and marble sculptures.
- Town Hall: The Town Hall of Alicante is located in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento and is a beautiful example of neo-baroque architecture. Visitors can admire its ornate facade and climb the stairs to the top for panoramic views of the city.
- Convent of San Agustin: This 18th-century convent is now home to the University. Visitors can still explore its beautiful cloister, chapel, and library.
Aside from its landmarks, the Old Town is also a great place to shop, eat, and drink. Visitors can browse the stalls of Mercado Central, a bustling indoor market that sells fresh produce, meat, fish, and other local delicacies. They can also enjoy a glass of wine at one of the many cafes and bars that line the streets.
Basilica of St Mary of Alicante
Visit the Basilica of St Mary of Alicante, also known as the St. Mary’s Church or Basilica de Santa Maria. It is a beautiful Gothic-style church located in the heart of the Old Town of Alicante, Spain. The church was built between the 14th and 16th centuries, and its construction took place on the site of a former mosque.
One of the most notable features of the church is its ornate facade, which is richly decorated with Gothic-style sculptures, carvings, and stained glass windows. Visitors can also admire the church’s bell tower which is over 45 meters tall. It offers panoramic views of the city and the surrounding mountains.
Inside, the Basilica of St. Mary of Alicante is equally impressive. It has a soaring nave and a beautiful altarpiece that dates back to the 15th century. Visitors can also view the church’s numerous chapels, which feature stunning works of art and religious artefacts.
One of the most striking aspects of the church is its blend of architectural styles, which reflects the various periods of its construction. The church’s Renaissance-style dome was added in the 16th century, while its choir stalls and pulpit were added in the 18th century.
The Basilica of St. Mary of Alicante is also home to several important religious and cultural events throughout the year. These include the Feast of the Assumption on August 15th and the International Organ Music Festival in the summer months.
El Barrio de Santa Cruz
El Barrio de Santa Cruz, also known as the Santa Cruz neighbourhood. It is a beautiful place, it’s picturesque and a charming area located in the heart of the Old Town of Alicante. It is just a few minutes walk from Alicante Cruise Port. The neighbourhood is characterised by its narrow streets and alleys with colourful houses. Each street has flower-filled balconies, and small plazas adorned with fountains and benches.
One of the main attractions of the Santa Cruz neighbourhood is the Santa Cruz Convent. A beautiful 17th-century building that has been restored and converted into a cultural centre. The convent features a beautiful courtyard, a chapel, and several exhibition halls.
Another notable landmark in the Santa Cruz neighbourhood is the San Roque Hermitage. This is a small church that dates back to the 18th century. The hermitage features a beautiful façade adorned with colourful tiles and a small bell tower.
In addition to its historic landmarks, the Barrio Santa Cruz neighbourhood is also known for its lively atmosphere, with numerous bars, restaurants, and cafes lining the streets. Visitors can enjoy traditional Spanish cuisine and relax in a cosy café.
Playa del Postiguet
Playa del Postiguet is a beautiful beach located in the heart of Alicante Cruise Port Spain. The beach stretches for about 900 meters and is located just a short walk from the city centre. The beach is a popular destination for both locals and tourists. It is known for its soft, golden sand and clear blue waters.
One of the best things about Playa del Postiguet is its central location. The beach is situated at the foot of Santa Barbara Castle, and it’s just a short walk from the historic Old Town of Alicante. This makes it an ideal destination for visitors who want to combine a day at the beach with some history.
The beach is well-equipped with facilities such as showers, changing rooms, and sun loungers. There are also several restaurants and cafes located nearby. Visitors can rent umbrellas and beach chairs, and there are plenty of fun things to do such as water sports. These include jet skiing, windsurfing, and parasailing.
One of the most iconic features of Playa del Postiguet is its palm tree-lined promenade. This offers stunning views of the Mediterranean Sea. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the promenade, enjoying the sea breeze and the beautiful views. There are also places to stop at one of the many cafes or local restaurants for a drink or a bite to eat.
Overall, Playa del Postiguet is a must-visit destination for anyone travelling to Alicante. It’s the perfect place to spend a day soaking up the sun and enjoying the Mediterranean lifestyle.
Walk along the promenade market at Esplanada d’Espanya
A short walk from Alicante Cruise Port Spain is the promenade and promenade market. The market at Esplanada d’Espanya is a must-do activity for anyone visiting Alicante. The promenade is a wide, palm tree-lined avenue that runs parallel to the seafront and is one of the most popular places in the city for locals and tourists alike.
The market is located along the prom and features dozens of stalls selling a wide variety of goods. These include local handicrafts, souvenirs, jewellery, clothing, and more. Visitors can browse the stalls and shop for unique gifts or mementoes to take home.
The promenade is particularly lively in the evenings when street performers and musicians entertain the crowds.
One of the highlights of the promenade is the beautiful mosaic floor, which is made up of millions of small marble tiles arranged in a unique, wavy pattern. The mosaic is a tribute to the Mediterranean Sea and features a range of colours, from blue, green, yellow and red.
Walk along the mushroom street Calle de Las Setas.
Calle de las Setas, or Mushroom Street, is a unique and quirky street located in the heart of Alicante’s old town. The street gets its name from the unusual mushroom-shaped sculptures that adorn the buildings and walls along the way, creating a surreal and whimsical atmosphere.
A walk along Calle de las Setas is a fun and memorable experience that offers a unique perspective on Alicante’s architecture and artistic culture. Visitors can take a leisurely stroll along the street and admire the colourful and imaginative designs of the mushroom sculptures, which range in size and shape and are made from a variety of materials. It’s the perfect place to take a selfie!
In addition to the mushrooms, the street is also home to several small shops, cafes, and restaurants, where visitors can stop for a snack or a drink and soak up the lively atmosphere. The street is particularly popular in the evenings when the lights on the mushroom sculptures create a magical and enchanting ambience.
Archaeological Museum of Alicante
The Archaeological Museum of Alicante, also known as the MARQ, is a modern museum located in the heart of Alicante, Spain. The museum is dedicated to the history and archaeology of the Alicante province. It features a wide range of exhibits and artefacts that date back to prehistoric times.
One of the unique features of the MARQ is its interactive exhibits, which use technology to bring the history of the region to life. Visitors can explore a replica of a Bronze Age settlement, and interact with virtual reality displays. They can even climb aboard a full-scale replica of a Roman ship.
The museum is divided into several themed sections. These include the Origins of Alicante, which explores the prehistory, the Iberians, which examines the culture, and the Romans, which highlights the impact of the Roman Empire on the region.
Other notable exhibits include a collection of Phoenician and Greek pottery. There is also a display of medieval weapons and armour and a section dedicated to the art and architecture of the Islamic period in Spain.
The MARQ also hosts temporary exhibitions throughout the year, featuring a range of topics related to archaeology and history.
Find the Giant Ficus trees in Parc Canalejas
Parc Canalejas is a charming public park located in the heart of Alicante, near the city centre. The park is a popular destination for both locals and tourists, offering a peaceful oasis amid the hustle and bustle of the city.
The park is named after José Canalejas, a Spanish politician who was assassinated in 1912. It features a variety of trees, plants, and flowers, which provide shade and colour throughout the year. One is a particular type of tree is giant Ficus trees which are absolutely stunning and huge! There are also several benches and picnic areas, where visitors can relax and enjoy the tranquil surroundings.
Parc Canalejas is particularly popular with families, as it features a small playground for children, complete with swings and slides. The park also offers stunning views of the Santa Bárbara Castle, which towers over the city.
In addition to its natural beauty, Parc Canalejas also boasts several statues and sculptures. The most notable of these is a bronze statue of José Canalejas, which was erected in the park in 1913.
Other places to explore not far from Alicante cruise port
Check out these places to explore within a short drive of Alicante Cruise Port Spain
Tabarca Island is a small island located in the Mediterranean Sea. It is about 11 nautical miles off the coast of Alicante, Spain. It is part of the province of Alicante and the municipality of Santa Pola. The island is approximately 1.8 km long and 400 meters wide, with a population of around 60 permanent residents.
Tabarca Island has a rich history, dating back to the 18th century when it was used as a base for Berber pirates. In 1760, King Charles III ordered the island fortified and a town was built. This town was used to house the families of Genoese fishermen who were brought to the island to help develop the tuna industry. Today, the island retains its historic charm, with narrow streets and traditional buildings.
The island is a popular tourist destination, particularly in the summer months. Visitors come to enjoy the crystal-clear waters, sandy beaches, and fantastic seafood. There are three main beaches on the island;
- Playa Grande
- Playa de la Nao
- Cala dels Gats
All of these beaches are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and snorkelling. Visitors can also explore the island’s history by visiting the fortified walls. Other places on the Governor’s House, the church of St. Peter and St. Paul, and the lighthouse.
Tabarca Island is also known for its fantastic seafood, particularly the local speciality, caldero, a rice and fish stew cooked over an open flame. There are several restaurants on the island where visitors can enjoy fresh seafood and other local dishes.
The island can be reached by a daily ferry service from Alicante, Santa Pola, and Torrevieja. The ferry journey takes approximately 30 minutes. Once there visitors can spend the day on the island before returning in the evening.
Elche is just 20 minutes from Alicante cruise port
Elche is a city located in the province of Alicante, Spain. It is situated on the banks of the Vinalopó River, about 20 km southwest of Alicante. Elche is known for its rich history, culture, and natural beauty.
It is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites;
- Palmeral of Elche, a vast palm grove with over 200,000 palm trees
- Mystery Play of Elche, a medieval religious drama that is performed every year in August.
The city also boasts an impressive cultural heritage, with several museums and historic landmarks. The Archaeological and History Museum is a must-visit for history enthusiasts, as it showcases the city’s rich past through its collection of artefacts and exhibits. The Basilica of Santa Maria, a Gothic church located in the heart of the city. It is another must-see attraction, with its ornate architecture and stunning stained-glass windows.
Elche is also renowned for its footwear industry, with many high-quality shoe factories and outlets. Visitors can browse the latest fashions and styles at the Elche shoe museum, which showcases the evolution of footwear over the centuries.
Nature lovers will appreciate the city’s many parks and natural areas, including the Rio Safari Elche, a wildlife park that is home to over 80 species of animals. The El Hondo Natural Park is another popular attraction, with its diverse range of flora and fauna. It also has rare bird species such as the purple heron and the Eurasian bittern.
In addition to its cultural and natural attractions, Elche is also known for its lively festivals and events. The Nit de l’Alba, a spectacular fireworks display that takes place in August, is a must-see event. Festa d’Elx is a three-day festival that celebrates the city’s religious heritage through music, dance, and theatre.
Santa Pola is a coastal town located in the province of Alicante, Spain. It is situated on the Mediterranean Sea, about 20 km southeast of Alicante. The town is known for its beautiful beaches, historic landmarks, and traditional Spanish charm. The Castle of Santa Pola is a must-visit attraction, with its stunning views over the town and the sea. The castle also houses the Museum of the Sea, which explores the history of fishing and seafaring in the region.
Santa Pola is also renowned for its beaches, with over 15 km of coastline to explore. The main beach, Playa de Levante, is a long, sandy beach with crystal-clear waters and a range of amenities, including restaurants, bars, and water sports facilities. Other popular beaches include Playa de Tamarit, a quieter beach, and Playa de la Granadella.
The town is also a haven for nature lovers, with several nature reserves and parks in the surrounding area. The Salinas de Santa Pola Natural Park is a must-visit attraction, with its salt flats and wetlands that are home to a diverse range of bird species, including flamingos, herons, and egrets. The El Clot de Galvany Natural Park is another popular destination, with its mix of pine forests, sand dunes, and lagoons.
In addition to its natural attractions, Santa Pola is also known for its gastronomy, with a range of seafood restaurants serving fresh fish and shellfish caught in the local waters. Visitors can sample traditional Spanish dishes such as paella, arroz a banda, and caldera, as well as other Mediterranean-inspired cuisine.
Torrevieja is a coastal city located on the southeastern coast of Spain in the province of Alicante. The city is situated on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and is known for its beautiful beaches, lively nightlife, and cultural attractions.
One of the main attractions in Torrevieja is its long coastline, which is dotted with sandy beaches and rocky coves. Some of the most popular beaches in the area include La Mata, Los Locos, and Playa del Cura, which offer clear waters and a variety of water sports activities such as windsurfing, sailing, and jet skiing.
Another popular attraction in Torrevieja is the salt lakes and nature reserve, known as the Salinas de Torrevieja. The area is home to a variety of bird species and is particularly famous for its pink flamingos. Visitors can take a walk along the trails, enjoy the scenery, and learn about the salt-mining history of the region.
The city also has a number of cultural and historical attractions, such as the Torrevieja Museum of Sea and Salt, which explores the history of salt production in the area, and the Iglesia de la Inmaculada Concepción, a beautiful neoclassical church located in the heart of the city.
For those interested in nightlife, Torrevieja offers a vibrant scene with a variety of bars, clubs, and restaurants. The city is particularly popular among British and Scandinavian tourists, and many of the bars and restaurants offer international cuisine and entertainment.
Guadalest is a small, picturesque village located in the Marina Baixa region of the province of Alicante in Spain. The village is situated on a rocky outcrop, high above the Guadalest River and is surrounded by the Sierra de Aitana mountain range.
One of the main attractions in Guadalest is the castle, which sits at the top of the village and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The castle dates back to the 11th century and was built by the Moors as a strategic lookout point. Today, visitors can explore the castle ruins and learn about the history of the region.
Another popular attraction in Guadalest is the Museo de Saleros y Pimenteros, which is dedicated to salt and pepper shakers. The museum houses over 20,000 salt and pepper shakers from all over the world and is a unique and interesting attraction.
Guadalest also has a number of beautiful churches, including the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, which dates back to the 18th century and features stunning frescoes and artwork. Visitors can also explore the narrow, winding streets of the village, which are lined with small shops selling local crafts and souvenirs.
One of the most popular things to do in Guadalest is to take a walk along the dam that holds back the waters of the Guadalest reservoir. The walk offers breathtaking views of the valley and mountains and is a great way to take in the natural beauty of the region.