Alicante is the capital of the Alicante province, located to the south of the community of Valencia.
It is immersed in history as an important port of the Mediterranean coastline. The city's population as of 2009 is just under 350,000 and is the second largest city in Valencia. The early years of the 20th century were tough for the region, but since the latter half of the century the city has been transformed due to the growth of tourism. Tourist development has created plenty of employment in the city. The Port of Alicante has been redeveloped since the decline of the 1980's - it is now one of the most important ports in Spain for cruise traffic.
The city is well served by motorways and Alicante Airport is one of the busiest airports in Spain, and there are further plans for its expansion. The city is well connected to Madrid and Barcelona through local Spanish airlines and with many cities in Western Europe through the major carriers.
Things to Do and See in Alicante
There is plenty to see and do in Alicante, and the following are some of the key attractions in the city:
The Santa Barbara Castle is located on Mount Benacantil and overlooks the skyline of the city - indeed it is the landmark of Alicante. The castle was constructed by the Moors in the 10th Century and offers so much for the visitor. In particular, the views from the Lookout Tower are just magnificent.
The Explanada de España promenade is lined by exotic palm trees and it consists of over 6 million marble stones. Widely regarded as one of the most beautiful promenades in Spain, it is a meeting point in the evenings for the people and tourists who flock to Alicante. Many concerts take place here, particularly during the summer. The promenade features a monument for Mark Hersch the artist who resides in Alicante.
The main church of the city is the Concatedral de San Nicolás de Bari, which originates from the 17th Century and is a wonderful display of Valencia architecture. Other religious sights include the Basilica of Santa Maria, which is built in Gothic style at the location of the old mosque.
The Baroque style Casa de La Asegurada, which was built in the latter 17th century is the oldest civil structure in the city, and is now home to the Museum of Contemporary Art of Alicante. The Archaeological Museum of Alicante is also well worth exploring.
Another sight worth seeing is the Huerta de Alicante Towers, which were built to defend Alicante from the Barbary Pirates from the 17th century onwards.
Playa del Postiguet is the urban beach in Alicante and is well worth checking out.
There are plenty of parks and family activities to be enjoyed in Alicante - El Palmeral Park is one of the most popular parks in Alicante. It has walking trails, playgrounds, lakes, picnic facilities and much more. Another parkyou should check out is El Ereta Park, which is located on Mount Benacantil.
Festivals in Alicante
Some of the most prominent festivals in Spain take place in Alicante, and these are:
Las Hogueras de San Juan - St John's Bonfires festival
The most popular festival in Alicante takes place around the Summer Solstice. The main part of the festival is the street procession, with the floats festooned with effigies, which are sacrificed by burning on the final night of the festival at midnight. This fun filled festival places a major emphasis on partying, eating, drinking and dancing.
Alicante Summer Festival (Festival de Verano de Alicante)
Runs for a month from the end of July to the end of August usually. This festival is a celebration of local and international music, brilliant dance and theatre. It offers a great day out for couples and families. The Alicante Summer Festival is not based on Religon, and as such there are no street parades. It usually takes place at the one location at the Port of Alicante.
Moors and Christian Festival
The Moors and Christian Festival takes place at different locations at different times throughout the summer in Alicante. It offers a unique mix of street entertainment, together with historic and religious celebration!
Shopping In Alicante
The Rambla de Méndez Núñez is the traditional shopping area of Alicante. This is a vibrant street to browse through that will afford the visitor a terrific choice of shops as well as a proper glimpse into the city life of Alicante. There are plenty of arts and craft shops dotted around the city where you can pick up some local handicrafts. Jewellery and leather goods are the things to watch out for when grabbing a bargain!
Eating Out In Alicante
Alicante offers great choice when deciding where to eat out - Calle San Francisco is a great area to look for some good value restaurants. Tapas bars have their origin in Alicante and there are plenty of bars in the city that serve tapas. The area around Town Hall Square and the Plaza de Montaceta area has plenty of tapas bars and restaurants.
If you are based in Alicante, the best way to explore the city and region is to hire a car. For the very best deals in car rental, visit our Car Hire Alicante Airport page. Search cheap Alicante Villas at Bargainvillas.co.uk.
John writes for Novacarhire.com - an independent car hire reservation website where you can book low cost car hire at over 5,000 locations worldwide.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=John_Downes
Panama City Beach has a population of about 40,000, Panama City Beach is a small city on northwest Florida's panhandle. It is a popular tourist destination right on St. Andrews Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. The city's official web site boasts that Panama City Beach is attractive for raising a family, which is true about eleven months a year. The web site also boasts that the city is an exciting tourist destination year-round, which is true, too.
But the city is most well-known for one thing: Spring Break.
College students from all over Canada and the U. S. Make their way to Panama City Beach each spring to party with other like-minded people. Hotels and motels line up to lure these partygoers to stay at their place but for those that want the ultimate experience renting a vaction property of villa rental is the only way to go!
During the day, there is plenty to do in Panama City beach with it and sandy beaches for swimming, soaking up rays. While the public beaches are the most popular, they get pretty crowded during Spring Break. However, don't worry, there is always nearby St. Andrews State Park which has many more great beaches. There is a small fee to enter the park, but it might be worthwhile to avoid the crowds.
Nearby the main strip is a popular water park called Shipwreck Island. A ticket to get in is about $30 or so. For those that like to party the night away there are many bars, restaurants, and nightclubs available. The best-known nightclub is Club La Vela, purported to be the largest nightclub in America. The club is several stories high with many sections of multiple themed rooms where parties never slow down. Other well-known party spots include Spinnaker and Hammerhead Fred's. Then there's the Boardwalk Beach Resort, situated right on the beach. It hosts Spring Break concerts and themed contests all day every day and it might be the place for you to see and be seen.
There is also plenty of shopping, if that's your thing. There are malls aplenty, as well as more souvenir shops than you can count. A popular local attraction is Alvin's Magic Mountain Mall. It resembles a cave and everything from beachwear to cheap souvenirs can be found there. As it's Florida, an alligator display is quite the attraction, as well.
Spring Break 2010 in Panama City Beach starts for some as early as mid February. The majority of students will enjoy their break throughout March with the two busiest weeks starting March 6th.
Locals get their small city back around April 10 of next year, when MTV Spring Break officially ends.
Party on people!