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About Alicante

The Pearl of the Mediterranean, as some also call Alicante, is the capital of the province of Alicante in the Valencian Community, Spain. With a very favourable climate, beautiful beaches, and the ecological orientation of the city, Alicante is truly a pearl that you simply must visit. The city also received the Blue Flag, special recognition from the European Union for being the most beautiful and ecological place. Alicante is a metropolis in miniature because, despite its small size (it has 335,000 inhabitants), it offers everything that larger cities have to offer. Besides beautiful beaches, the city also has a rich historical architecture, a diverse cultural offer with a large number of different festivals, a thriving economy, a university and we could list more. If you visit Alicante, you will definitely find something for yourself.

A large number of tourists from all over the world visit every year Costa Blanca, which is considered one of the most beautiful and popular holiday destinations in Spain and beyond. Enjoying and relaxing on the beach can be very pleasantly enriched with walking around the city and getting to know this picturesque place. The main attraction that you can not miss, as it rises mightily on the hill Benacantil above the city, is certainly the fortress of Santa Barbara, built in the 9th century. Well, in this place has been found, among other things, accessories from the Bronze Age.

Below Mount, Benacantil is the old quarter of Santa Cruz. You will enjoy walking through this part of the city, because here you will feel the true spirit of Alicante the most, and at the same time you will find restaurants with excellent local cuisine. Visit Santa Cruz, you will definitely not regret it.

Also, very popular places for pleasant walks are the Alicante promenade and the square Puerta Del Mar, where you will find the famous Carbonell house, considered the most popular place for photography in Alicante. Here begins the beautiful Esplanade Boulevard, which is decorated with palm trees and beautiful mosaics, and in the evening the boulevard is full of street musicians and other street performers. However, another popular place is Mushroom Street or San Francisco Street. This part of the city was once considered dangerous, but then it was cleaned up and, among other things, large mushroom sculptures were placed here, which became a real tourist attraction.

So Alicante, a mixture of old and new, infused with the modern pace of life and traditional Spanish leisure, is a really special place to which you will definitely return after your first visit.

Basic info and car hire in Alicante

  • Location: Southeast Spain, Valencian Community
  • Population: 337,482
  • Official language: Spanish
  • Currency: Euro
  • Weather:   Alicante has mild winter temperatures, hot summers and little rain,
  • Holidays in Alicante:   For public holidays in Spain click here
  • Internet coverage: Hotels, bars, restaurants, and cafés offer Wi-Fi.
  • Road conditions:  Most roads in Alicante are in good condition.
  • Car hire in Alicante:  The most common pick-up point for vehicles in Alicante is Alicante airport. Please note that prices vary frequently. It is best to book a car 3 to 8 weeks in advance of your desired pick-up date - this will ensure you get the cheapest rental rate. Alternatively, it is also possible to find cheap last-minute car hire. Find the best deal on car hire in Alicante!

 Driving in Alicante

To drive a car in Alicante, you must be 18 years old, have a valid driver's license, and show valid proof of insurance for the vehicle you are driving. In Alicante, vehicles drive on the right-hand side of the road. The speed limit on the motorway is 120 km/h (75 mph). On normal roads the speed limit is 90 km/h (75 mph), on urban roads, it is 50 km/h (50 mph), and on all other through roads, there is a speed limit sign.
It's good to know that Spain has strict drink-driving laws, allowing only 0.5 milligrams of alcohol per millilitre of blood - stricter than in the UK, where the limit is 0.8. Novice drivers are effectively banned from driving under the influence with a very low limit of 0.1 mg/l. Seatbelts front and rear are compulsory everywhere.

One thing: for those not used to roundabouts: There are a lot of them in Spain! And the following rules apply: The driver who is already in the roundabout has the right of way unless there is a traffic light at the roundabout that regulates the flow of traffic. Before leaving the roundabout, you should put on your right turn signal to indicate that you are leaving the roundabout.

If you are caught speeding in Alicante, the Spanish police act very quickly, and lack of Spanish is not considered an excuse. The police do not mind that you are a tourist on holiday in Alicante, and fines are often issued immediately unless you can prove that you are a permanent resident in Spain. If you receive a fine, make sure the officer gives you an official receipt and if you pay immediately, the fine is usually reduced by 20%.

The Spanish law on the use of indicators on motorways is strictly enforced. You risk a fine if you fail to signal before overtaking and after overtaking if you move back into the adjacent lane. Traffic coming from the left always has the right of way. If you see a solid white line in the middle of the road, do not cross it. Continue until you either see a dotted white line or look for a sign that says "Cambio de Sentido" where you can safely and legally turn around.

  • Age limits: The minimum age to drive a car in Spain is 18 years. However, most car rental companies require you to be at least 21 to rent a car and at least 25 years to avoid paying an additional young driver fee. 
  • International Driving Permit:  Yes, if you are a non-EU licence holder.  
  • Additional papers:   Identification(passport), a valid driving licence, and valid proof of insurance. (It is advisable to buy insurance at the car hire agency in case your policy doesn't cover you while driving in Spain)
  • Additional requirements:  Glasses (in case you need glasses, you must always have a spare pair in the car), light bulbs (are usually already in the car and are provided by the car rental company), warning triangle (2 are required for all vehicles registered in Spain and 1 if coming from abroad), high visibility vest (recently made compulsory)- First aid kit (not actually compulsory, but we strongly recommend you have it with you, just in case).
  • Children in the car:  If you are travelling with children under 12 or less than 135cm tall, you are required by law to have a child seat in your car. If you do not have your own, most car rental companies will provide one for a fee. However, it is advisable to request such a seat before collecting the vehicle, otherwise one may not always be available.
  • Driving side of the road: Right
  • Lights:  Check that all lights are working, clean, and correctly aimed.
  • General speed limits:  The speed limit is 50 km/h in cities, 90 km/h on rural roads, and 120 km/h on the motorway.
  • Parking suggestions:  Parking is prohibited in Spain in all areas where the curbs are marked yellow. The parking spaces marked in blue usually have a parking metre and you must buy a parking ticket to park in these spaces. You will usually find a machine nearby where you can purchase your parking ticket. Most of these blue areas have a parking limit of 2 hours, but this is clearly displayed on the machine.

Car Hire in Alicante

Most popular car hire at Alicante

The most selected hire car in Alicante is Ford Fiesta, with Renault Clio and Seat Ibiza also being a popular option. The most popular car types in Alicante are mini, economy, and compact.

Popular Driving Routes

Top One-Way car hire from Alicante

Want to rent a car for a one-way trip? No worries! Orbit Car Hire offers a variety of one-way Car Hire options in many locations outside of Alicante. One-way car rental is ideal for cross-town or cross-country travel, saving time by not returning to your original location. Start your reservation with Orbit Car Hire and find great options on one-way car hire at locations across the Spain.

  • Water Parks-Among the attractions in the province of Alicante that children love to visit is the Aquopolis Water Park, one of the largest entertainment centres in the southern part of the city.

  • Terra Natura Zoo in Benidorm, which covers an area of around 320,000 sq. km. It is divided into four zones: Europe, America, Asia, and Pangea. All zones symbolize certain elements of nature. More than 1,500 representatives of flora and fauna live in this zoo.

  • Safari Park-Many impressions for children and adults are left by the world-famous safari park - Rio Safari Elche. Its territory is covered with numerous palm trees, as well as various exotic animals. The park is open throughout the season and ready to receive guests.

  • The island of Tabarka-Near Alicante there is an interesting attraction - the island of Tabarca. This is a pleasant and picturesque place, where the coastal waters have been declared a nature reserve due to their unique nature and crystal clear air. Here you can have a wonderful rest, alone or with your family.

What to see in Alicante

Palace of San Fernando

This is another famous Alicante landmark that you should definitely take a picture of, the Palace of San Fernando, built during the War of Independence in the 19th century. It is located near the city park and is known for its unique architectural exterior. From the grounds of the palace, you can observe picturesque landscapes.

Fortress of Santa Barbara

One of the most important places of the Spanish province is its landmark - the fortress of Santa Barbara, which once provided reliable protection to the inhabitants of the city. Today, within the walls of the fortress are exhibition halls, where the art of modern talent is presented.

The Museum of La Acegurada

In the 17th century, this building was used as a granary. Today it houses works by the greatest artists of the 20th century, such as Picasso, Alfaro, Gonzalez, and others. Opposite the museum is the building of the oldest basilica of Santa Maria, whose architecture is in the Gothic style. The construction of the temple was carried out on the site of an old mosque.

Esplanade Boulevard

Among the sights of Alicante that you can visit in a day is the Boulevard Esplanade. Its peculiarity is the sidewalk decorated with mosaics of 6,000,000 different coloured stones. For many years, the boulevard has been a popular place for walks by citizens and guests of the province. Not far from him is Elch Gate Square, from where you can reach the oldest parts of the city.

 

County of Santa Cruz

If you want to visit the oldest part of the city, go to Benacantil Rock. The place became famous because of Harrison Wells and the area Santa Cruz at the foot of the mountain. This part of the province has hardly changed since the 13th century. Here you can walk through the narrow streets, see small houses with wall coverings from the time of Moorish rule. Tourists like to walk among the pretty little white houses and the beautiful flowers, of which there are many. You should definitely see these sights of Alicante in Spain and take photos to remember these interesting and beautiful places.

 

Archeological Museum

It is also worth visiting the Archeological Museum which dates back to the 1930s. It was originally located on the lower floors of the Parliament Building but was moved to the old hospital San Juan in 2002. This facility is very modern as it has a variety of audio-visual equipment that plays videos about the history of the province. There are also examples of archaeological finds on display: from the Paleolithic Age to the present day.

 

Terra Mitica Theme Park in Alicante Vicreate

Families often come to the province to relax, as Alicante has attractions for both children and adults. A popular amusement park where you can relax with the whole family is Terra Mitica, which is located in the Benidorm area and is known as the best place in the city for families with children.

Another great amusement park is located in the area of Santa Pola. The complex offers various attractions for children that are designed for different age groups.

  • Visit Alicante

    Explore Spain 

    Drive your rental car beyond Alicante

    Alicante is located in the southeast of Spain and besides the city and the beach of Alicante, this part of this beautiful country has many other attractions to offer that you should not miss. The best way to explore the area around the city is definitely by car. Hire a car and drive cheaply along the roads in southeastern Spain.

    One of the attractions you should definitely visit is the Canelobre Cave. It is located 23 km from Alicante. The entrance to the cave is 700 m above sea level. Canelobre is a popular destination for lovers of active tourism and natural beauty due to its unusual shape, illuminated stalactites, and tunnels.

    One of the most important towns in the entire province of Alicante, the municipality of Guadalest is located 25 km from Benidorm. The San José Castle and Emerald Lake are the main attractions and landmarks of this picturesque area. Guadalest holds the record for the number of museums. They are all unusual, by the way: a museum of microminiatures and micro rise, a salt and pepper shaker, antique cars, a medieval torture museum, the Guadalest Ethnological Museum, and many others.

     

    The town of Elche is best known for its palm forest. The small basilica of Santa Maria in Elche is protected by UNESCO. The main attractions also include the 15th century Altamira Palace, the 14th-century Arab baths, La Calahorra Tower, and the Paleontological Museum.

    The main attraction of Torrevieja is the pink lake. The lake has a unique colour due to its high salt content and special bacteria. We can safely say that there are few such lakes in the world. In the city, it is also interesting to visit the Museum of the Sea and Salt, the Museum of the submarine S61 - Dolphin and the tower Torre del Moro.

  • Explore Alicante

    Enjoy the culture in Alicante

    Where to eat, drink, and party in Alicante

    Alicante is also known for its nightlife, among other things. A large number of clubs, bars and discos offer you a great variety of entertainment. The old part of the city "El Barrio" turns into a place of entertainment at night. Everywhere there is dancing, singing, music is put on by various DJs and music groups. Of course, during the summer season, there is no lack of beach parties. There are also a large number of clubs and discos on the beach, full of local and foreign guests and are known throughout Spain as one of the best parties.

    As in most parts of Spain, Alicante's cuisine is mainly seafood. You should definitely try the paella, and at every turn, you will also find places serving tapas that will definitely get you hooked.

    Seafood, rice, and seasonal fruits form the basis of national cuisine. These ingredients are present in most traditional local dishes. Paella is a true masterpiece of national gastronomy. Paella can be prepared in different ways. In Alicante, saffron is an essential ingredient in paella, and this is the reason for the obvious yellow colour of the finished dish.

    Arroz a banda is another popular local dish based on rice. Actually, Arroz a banda is rice steamed with vegetables. The dish also includes ingredients such as tomato paste, onions, garlic, saffron, and fish. Olive oil and bay leaves are among the mandatory ingredients for this dish.

Best restaurants in Alicante:

Steki restaurante

Restaurante Espacio Montoro

Falafelmania Restaurante Vegetariano y Vegano Oriental

Indian House

Templo Restaurante

Nora y Aji

FAQ

What you need to know about renting a car

faq
What do I need to rent a car in Spain?

credit card in the name of the main driver needs to be presented. A security deposit may be required while renting a car so the credit card must have sufficient funds. You can find details about the security deposit listed while booking the vehicle as well as on your voucher. It is important to have a valid driving license with the name of the main driver as well as additional drivers when it applies. An International Driving Permit is required in addition to a National Driving License if the National Driving License you or any of the Additional Drivers hold is not clearly identifiable as a Driving License, eg, it is in a non-Latin alphabet (eg Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, Japanese). It can also depend on the country or car rental company you are renting with. If you have found a car on our website, you can press the rental terms link from the supplier for more information about driving license requirements. You will need to have identification with you such as a passport and ID cards. When you pick up your rental car you need to have your voucher with you.

How old do I need to be to rent a car in Spain?

The minimum age to rent a car is 21 years old and with some suppliers for people over 75 years of age. Young driver surcharges may apply to many car rental companies for people under 25 years of age.

Do I need car insurance in Spain?

Insurances are very important when renting a car and can be different between countries. When renting a car in Spain with Orbit Car Hire the prices will include mandatory insurances in the country.

Do I need a credit card to rent a car in Spain?

In most cases, a credit card is required to be presented in the name of the main driver. A security deposit may be required when renting a car so it is important to have sufficient funds on the credit card. When searching for a car at Orbit you can see credit card requirements from all our suppliers.

Do I need an international driving license in Spain?

An International Driving Permit is required in addition to a National Driving License if the National Driving License you or any of the Additional Drivers hold is not clearly identifiable as a Driving License, eg, it is in a non-Latin alphabet (eg Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, Japanese). It can also depend on the country or car rental company you are renting with. If you have found a car on our website, you can press the rental terms link from the supplier for more information about driving license requirements.

How do I find the cheapest car hire in Spain?

You can find cheap car hire by comparing prices with all major car rentals at Orbit Car Hire. A good idea can be to book in advance as the prices can increase closer to the travel period. 

What is the cheapest rental car in Spain?

You will find the mini car category or economy cars to be the cheapest car categories. Vehicles such as VW Up, Fiat 500, and Fiat Panda often provide the best prices. 

What is the best car rental company in Spain?

You may find excellent service provided by companies such as Europcar, Enterprise rent a car, OK rent a car and Centauro. 

What types and makes of rental car deals can I find in Spain?

You will find car types such as mini, economy, compact, Full-Size, and luxury cars. Popular rental cars are VW Up, Fiat Panda, VW Polo, Nissan Micra, Fiat 500.

Does my rental car have unlimited mileage when I book it for Spain?

Most car hires in Spain offer unlimited mileage in their offers

What is Premium Coverage and how does it work?

Premium Coverage is an optional service by Orbit Car Hire which, if accepted, covers your financial accountability for damage or theft to the hired vehicle. This is not insured with a car hire company that reduces the excess amount, but a cover that refunds you in case the car hire company charges you for damage or theft. With this option, you will be reimbursed up to 3000 EUR. For more information, you can read the Terms and Conditions or contact us.

Are there any hidden fees in my Spain car hire?

There are no hidden charges! All mandatory surcharges and fees are presented in the 3rd step of the booking process and our Terms and Conditions. Please note that additional charges may apply for some rentals in case of:

  • Out of hours surcharge (when picking up the vehicle out of office hours),
  • One way fee (when returning the vehicle at a different location),
  • The service charge for fuel (prepaid fuel policy),
  • Young/senior driver fee (this condition is set by the car hire company and is usually not in relation to the regulation of the specific country),
  • Excess and deposit amount (before hiring you to need to make sure your credit card limit is high enough for the deposit amount to be blocked which usually equals the excess amount or higher).

We advise our clients to read the Terms and Conditions carefully before the rental to avoid any surprises. Our knowledgeable customer service agents will gladly help you with any questions via phone, email, or live chat during our opening hours.

Car Hire Locations in Alicante 2 location(s) found

Find The Best Car Hire Companies In Alicante

  • Ace Rent A Car
  • Alamo Car Hire
  • Centauro
  • Enterprise Rent a Car
  • Europcar
  • GoldCar Rental
  • National
  • OK Mobility
  • SurPrice

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