Alicante, or Alicant in Valencian language, is the thriving capital of the province of Alicante within the Valencian Community. About 750.000 people live, work and relax in the Alicante metropolitan area.
Some 3000 years ago a small Greek
trading post was setup near what is now Alicante.
In 235 BC Hamilcar Barca, father of Hannibal, built here the settlement Akra
Leuka to consolidate the Punic hold over Spain, but made the mistake to get himself killed in an obscure battle.
A few decades
later the Romans captured Akra Leuka, renamed it Lucentum and ruled for the next 700 years.
Under Moorish rule Lucentum got its
present name, Alicante, meaning city of lights. The Santa Barbara castle high on Mount Benacantil has its solid roots in this
From the 13th century onwards Alicante followed the often bloody ups and downs of Spain's history.
Alicante's jewel in
the crown is the year round pleasant climate, complemented by perfect sandy beaches in and around town that can be easily reached
by a convenient tram system. No wonder that since the 1960's tourism has grown into one of the main economic pillars.
In the Holy Week or Semana Santa the brotherhoods, called Gloriosa Hermandad, perform age-old processions, carrying huge
and heavy religious floats through the old town's narrow streets.
Since 2008 Alicante is home to and port of departure for
the Volvo Ocean Race, the world's toughest and most prestigious around the world yacht regatta.