The province of Alicante is famous for its beaches – known as the Costa Blanca – that stretch for some 200km (124 miles) and have been attracting visitors for decades.
Aside from the Mediterranean Sea, Alicante is bordered by the provinces of Murcia to the southwest, Albacete to the west and Valencia to the north. The province marks the southern end of the autonomous Valencian Community and has both Castilian Spanish and Valencian, a form of Catalan, as official languages.
The capital city, Alicante, is a lively town with a buzzing nightlife of tapas and cocktail bars in the slightly crumbling El Barrio old town, and glitzier options by the bobbing yachts in the harbour. Its rich history is hard to escape, the whole city overlooked by the 9th century Moorish Santa Bárbara Castle sat atop Mount Benacantil.
Away from some of the busier resorts, the rest of the coast is dotted with a handful of fishing villages and towns left relatively untouched, such as Altea, Xabia and Denia. The unassuming town of Elche is a palimpsest of regional history with remains left by the Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans and Arabs.
Head inland and into the green mountains to find the odd vineyard, orange groves and authentic villages where siestas are still religiously adhered to, with local customs and culture still very much a part of everyday life.
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