Cruise Port Atlas | Alicante, Spain Day Trips | Attractions

Alicante, Spain Day Trips | Attractions

With limited time in port, planning is the best way to make the most of your time. Should you strike out on your own? Should you hire a local guide? Or should you book a shore excursion offered by the cruise line or an international tour company? Below we have listed the attractions and activities that many other cruisers have enjoyed. This information should help you plan.

The advantage to cruise line tours is that they are timed for your visit and give you flexibility to change your mind after your trip begins. The advantage of using a large international firm is that tours are often less expensive than cruise sponsored tours. The advantage to using a local tour company or guide is that prices can be significantly lower or you may be able to get a customized trip just to see the attractions that interest you most.

Cruise lines that visit Alicante: Crystal, Regent Seven Seas, Celebrity, Holland America, MSC Cruises, Royal Caribbean

Key Attractions: Santa Barbara Castle, Santa Maria Basilica, Contemporary Art Museum, Old Town, Explanada de Espana, El Postiguet, Playa de San Juan, Benidorm, Terre Mitica, Tabarca Island, Guadalest, Altea, Elche, Huerto del Cura, Canelobre Caves

Alicante Attractions

Port to Santa Maria Basilica - 0.7 KM, 2 minutes, 10 minute walk
Port to Contemporary Art Museum - 0.7 KM, 2 minutes, 10 minute walk
Port to Explanada de Espana - 0.5 KM, 5 minute walk
Port to El Postiguet Beach - 0.7 KM, 2 minutes, 10 minute walk
Port to Town Hall, Old Town, St. Nicolas Cathedral - 1.2 KM, 5 minutes, 11 minute walk
Link to Full-Page Google Map

The cruise terminal of Alicante is on a long pier just west of the marina. Where it meets the shore is the end of the Explanada de Espana, one of the city's lovely parks. On the other side of pier (east) is the way to the city's famous El Postiguet beach area which, like the harbor, sits below the steep hillside that leads to the Castle of Santa Barbara. The Moors began the castle in the 9th century. It is free to visit unless you want to take the elevator up to the castle. The formidable Mount Benacantil can be scaled from the other side as well, though the distance is greater than it appears. Just north of the Explanade is the city's historic center, sometimes called Barrio de Santa Cruz. At the base of the Mount is Santa Maria Church, built in the Gothic style during the Renaissance. The 17th century Cathedral of Saint Nicholas of Bari is nearby and has a beautiful blue dome. Other sights worth visiting are the ornate city hall with a Dali sculpture in front, the Art Nouveau Mercado Central, and the Plaza de Torres (or bullring) which features a bullfighting museum.



Photo of Santa Barbara Castle and Marina by Juan J. Martinez
Photo Santa Maria Church by Joanbanjo

Tabarca Island

Port to Tabarca Island - 18 KM ferry ride
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Tabarca Island was a refuge for Barbary pirates until the late 16th century. It now has a population of about 50 with fishing being the year round occupation and tourism taking over as the main activity in mid-summer. Because of the clear, clean waters around the island it has been declared a marine reserve and its beaches and waters are a prime location for less intrusive water sports including scuba. The town on the island has a church and lighthouse, along with several seafood restaurants.



Photo of Tabarca Beach by benidormone


Port to Benidorm - 46 KM, 36 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Benidorm is one of the most popular resort areas along Spain's Mediterranean coast for English and Irish sun-worshipers and offers a real party atmosphere and lots of activities for adults and children. Though it looks like a lot of skyscrapers (it has more high rises per capita than anywhere in the world), the real focus is the party. Discos and bars abound. There are two long stretches of sand, both situated so that northern winds are blocked by high mountains behind the coast. The top children's attractions in the Benidorm area are Mundomar Sea Life & Animal Park, featuring dolphin and sea lion shows; Aqualandia, with water slides and other wet activities; Terra Mitica, a children's journey back to the great civilizations of the past including thrill rides; and finally, Terra Natura, an animal park that offers fantastic shows and activities.



Photo of Benidorm seashore by Josemanuel, Photo of Inferno ride at Terra Mitica by Mjscaren


Port to Guadalest - 62 KM, 60 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Guadalest is a Moorish Castle and the area surrounding it, offering a wide variety of attractions including the formidable hilltop fortress and a dungeon. The castle was built in the 11th century and almost hangs from a cliff. The surrounding town has great views and rustic whitewashed houses and shops. An unusual feature of the town is a wide variety of unique museums. Perhaps the most popular is the motorcycle museum that includes many examples of motorcycles and miniature cars. Continuing on the miniature theme, there is a museum dedicated to tiny reproductions of works of art, such as a copy of Picasso's Guernica painted on a seed and a Goya painting on a grain of rice. The Micro-Gigantic Museum features models of incredible miniatures including an ant playing a violin. Also small, are the doll houses in the Doll House Museum. There is a modern art museum with a Magic Garden and many works of Ribera Girona. More traditional museums include the Ethnological Museum and the Orduna House Museum which has an impressive historic library and shows how the wealthy lived in past eras.



Photo of Guadalest by Wieschendahl

Other Attractions near Alicante

Port to Elche - 27 KM, 30 minutes
Port to Canelobre Cave - 24 KM, 31 minutes
Port to Altea - 58 KM, 40 minutes
Link to Full-Page Google Map

Just outside Alicante is the beautiful suburb of Elche which offers lovely parks, lakes, and so many varied palms that it is an UNESCO World Heritage site. Elche has the lovely Basilica of Saint Mary with its blue tiled dome and a small Moorish castle. North of Alicante is the Canelobre Cave with its famous cathedral-like chamber. North of Benidorm is the coastal village of Altea, which is the anti-Benidorm, with traditional whitewashed buildings on narrow streets winding up the slopes along the coast. The most famous site in Altea is Our Lady of Solace church, which like the one in Elche has a blue tiled dome.



Photo of Altea by Josemanuel, Photo of Elche's Huerta del Cura by Cookie

Interests Key:

Art Architecture Beach Children Wild Animals Local Cuisine Flora Gardens-Parks Geology

Diving UNESCO Views Wine Dance Music Shopping History Hiking

Walking & Wheelchair Accessibility:

No Walking Easy Walking Normal Walking Difficult Walking Accessible Limited Not Accessible