For many visitors to the coast of Spain, the Alicante Harbour is the first port of call. When most of Alicante’s maritime industry shifted to nearby Valencia in the 1980s, the city’s harbor precinct was redeveloped for the tourist market. Today, 80,000 visitors disembark at the harbor from cruise ships, ferries and pleasure craft each year. The area surrounding the harbor is busy most of the day, with locals and visitors alike strolling the promenade in search of the perfect restaurant or bar.
Alicante Harbour is the gateway to many of the region’s attractions; however, there’s plenty to see and explore before you board a boat. Wander along the harbor’s palm-lined esplanade, La Explanada de España, and choose from the many restaurants serving regional cuisine. As you walk along the esplanade, you’ll notice that the marble tiles on the path are a mosaic that forms a wave-like pattern.
At sunset, enjoy a cool drink and watch the sky change color as you gaze over the Mediterranean Sea. By night, patrons from the area’s bars fill the streets, giving the harbor a party atmosphere.
In the harbor numerous operators offer tours and charters. Spend the day on a catamaran exploring the area’s coastline or take a one-hour ferry ride to nearby Tabarca Island. Wander the car-free streets of the island’s tiny historic town before heading off to explore its wilderness areas and marine reserve.
Alicante Harbour is surrounded by great beaches. The area immediately adjacent is best avoided by swimmers, but a 10-minute walk along the sand will lead you to beautiful, clean water and plenty of space to stretch out.
The city of Alicante is built around this waterway. Many of the main streets lead straight to Alicante Harbour. There is plenty of car parking in the area, much of it free. The harbor is open daily and there is no fee to explore the area.