Alicante is a dynamic city in southern Valencia. Influenced by the clear waters and the crisp air of the Mediterranean, it's a pleasant port town with spicy Spanish undertones. The city is Valencia's second largest and a popular destination with both international and domestic tourists. Most come to enjoy the pretty sandy beaches that stretch along the coast from the city or to spend a few days in the terraced bars on the seafront paseos that overlook the city's marina. Alicante's is a glamorous port, but friendlier and easier to handle than busy Barcelona to the north or the crowded Costa del Sol in the south.
Alicante is a city with a great history, too. Originally founded by the Romans and dubbed the City of Light, it was later conquered by the Arabs. Then, in 1246, it was taken by Alfonso X and subsequently absorbed into the Kingdom of Valencia. A number of old sites are worth visiting, including the archaeological remains of the Roman city of Lucentum and the ancient crumbling castle of Santa Bárbara, which sits atop Mount Benacantil and overlooks modern day Alicante.