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Things to do in Alicante

...or keep fit on the sands

Another attraction of San Juan is the fitness facilities, which include watersports areas and spots on the beach to use exercise machines and weights. Every main beach offers a free training circuit for a wide variety of exercise routines. During the holiday season, a team of physiotherapists offer advice. You'll find two great exercise parks in Denia, while Benidorm hosts exercise classes on the beach.

Go hiking in the mountains

The Alicante Mountains are within easy reach of the city. These limestone mountains stretch up to 1,558m (4,600ft) and provide a wonderfully varied terrain for hikers and walkers. Enjoy rugged peaks, narrow ravines, deep gorges and razor-sharp ridges as well as terraced valleys, dotted with small villages, plus remnants of its Moorish, Roman and Iberian past.

Golf by beaches and ruins

Alicante has two golf clubs close to the centre: Alicante Golf (www.alicantegolf.org) is a 18-hole, 72-par course designed by Severiano Ballesteros only five minutes from the centre, close to the San Juan beaches. It also features a practice area, with a natural grass driving range and a short game area, set against the backdrop of ruins of a Roman villa dating back to the 1st century BC. There's also teh El Plantio Golf Course (www.elplantio.com).

Lounge on paradisal beaches...

Postiguet beach, at the foot of Santa Bárbara castle, has lovely sand, a palm tree lined boardwalk and numerous cafes. This, together with its proximity to the Old Quarter, makes this beach one of Alicante's most well-known attractions. There are other smaller beaches too, such as Almadraba beach and Albufereta beach. One of the most beautiful beaches in the province is San Juan, with over 7km (4.5 miles) of spacious, wide beach and fine sand stretching from El Campello right through to the Cabo de las Huertas headland.

Sample regional wines

You'll find a number of tours in the Alicante area that take you wine tasting, with some terrific tipple bottled in this part of Spain. One of the must-see spots for wine lovers is the spectacular Jalon Valley, where you'll be led through beautiful vineyards and orchards. One of the best wine producers also offering great tours is Bodegas Xalo next to Jalon river (www.bodegasxalo.com).

Featured Hotels

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Meliá Alicante Hotel

This established Alicante hotel is located between El Postiguet beach and the Marina, close to the town hall and the MUBAG Museum, and not far from the shopping district and the historic centre. Facilities include a business centre, restaurants and bars. Guests can use the spa at the adjacent Spa Portmaris.

NH Alicante

Modern design and comfort are combined in the NH Alicante, located just 10 minutes from the centre of Alicante. There is a smart, elegant air to the 100 spacious guest rooms, as well as a free spa, gym, cocktail bar, roof terrace and restaurant.

Hostal Les Monges Palace

This charmingly renovated budget hotel features brickwork, balconies, pillars and quirky interior touches in its 18 rooms, some furnished with antiques and wonderful paintings. Expect plenty of historical glamour despite the price – the building is more than a century old.

Hostal La Milagrosa

Set on a side street in the old town, this family-run hotel offers small, simply decorated rooms (some with shared bathrooms), plus complimentary breakfast served on a roof terrace with views of the town. There's also a shared kitchen and self-service laundry facilities.

Eurostars Lucentum

Named after the ancient name for Alicante when the Iberians and Romans lived there, 'Lucentum', this hotel is a good choice in terms of location. It's close to the central market, port and old quarter, and close to a new tram spot, great for sight-seers. The hotel has 169 rooms and free Wi-Fi connection.

Hotel Rambla

The location of this small budget hotel is unbeatable - a few minutes walk to the Esplanade and the Marina, and only a few minutes more to the beach. Although rooms are on the small side, they're air-conditioned and have minibars and high-speed Wi-Fi. Breakfast can be taken in a nearby restaurant.