Alicante is a port city on Spain’s Costa Blanca (located on the southeast coast of the country – facing the Mediterranean). This city is also the capital of the province of the same name. Alicante’s history goes as far back as the Roman Empire – when both the Rome and Carthage fought for control of this part of Spain (with the Romans eventually ruling it for over 700 years). The Romans named Alicante “Lucentum” (“the place of light”) due to its Mediterranean weather and sun all year round.
Like other parts of southern Spain, Alicante was subjected to Moorish rule from the 8th century until the 13th century Reconquista (in that city’s case, by the Castilian king Alfonso X in 1246 – to become part of the Kingdom of Valencia in 1298). Over the years, Alicante gradually became a trading port, as well as developing some agriculture products. However, beginning in the late 1950s, Alicante began to develop a thriving tourism industry (due in part to the favorable Mediterranean climate that it traditionally enjoyed). Until the global recession of 2008, Alicante was one of the fastest-growing cities in Spain (with a construction boom, as well as tourism fueled by visitors arriving by cruise ship, ferry boats, and its nearby airport, a by-product of such growth). In recent times, tourism still plays a major part in the local economy, with potential to attract visitors from new markets such as the Far East and the Americas.
Costa Blanca’s Mediterranean coast is considered one of the most cosmopolitan areas of Europe, where foreign culture blending with local traditions in perfect harmony. The entire province (including Alicante) is blessed with diverse landscapes and enviable contrasts and an ideal climate guarantees pleasant year-round sunshine and stunning white sand beaches that have earned the area the name “Costa Blanca”.