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Leisure, Entertainment & Sports

Alicante - Leisure, Entertainment & Sports

Many activities in and around Alicante make good use of the excellent weather and natural beauty, in particular the obvious delight of the Mediterranean Sea on the doorstep, and which offers the chance to experience the choice of watersports available.

Sailing is very popular with a good choice of sailing schools that offer courses for absolute beginners, as well as the more experienced. Try the Real Club to Regatas de Alicante, or the Academia Nautica Velalcant which also offers chartered crewed boats for a luxury weekend activity.

Other watersports such as diving, windsurfing and kitesurfing are also widely available up and down the coast.

Golf is another popular pursuit for both locals, expats and tourists, and can be enjoyed all year round. Among the numerous golf courses nearby are the Alicante Golf Club, designed by Seve Ballesteros, or just 40km away is the world renowned La Finca Algorfa Golf Club.

Despite its controversy, bullfighting remains at the cultural heart of Spain and regular bullfights take place in Alicante at the town's bull ring at Plaza de EspaƱa in the city centre. Opposite is a museum with permanent exhibits, talks and films about bullfighting which is open to the public from Tuesday to Saturday.

There are a number of other museums in the city which offer specialities for a variety of tastes. Among them is the Gravina Fine Arts Museum (MUBAG) which is situated in the Gravina Palace, an 18th century palace in the old quarter of the city, which has among its exhibits examples of period furniture and textiles alongside more than 500 paintings and sculptures. The museum also holds regular recitals and concerts throughout the year. More details can be found at www.mubag.org

Also worth a visit is the Hogueras Museum, (Rambla de Mendez Nunez, 29) www.hogueras.org which is dedicated to one of Alicante's most important annual festivals, the Hogueras de San Juan (St John's Bonfires), a spectacular night of bonfires and fireworks that takes place at the end of June every year.

Thanks to the wide variety of nationalities living and vacationing in Alicante, many examples of restaurants from around the world are represented within the city. Word of mouth is often the best recommendation, however for a full list of restaurants and reviews, this site categorises each restaurant in terms of price, type of cuisine and includes maps and customer reviews.

For nightlife there are two main areas in Alicante. El Barrio is an area within the old town which has many bars and restaurants to cater for every taste and is popular with many expats. Many have live music at night, ranging from rock, salsa, classical or flamenco, and you can even find the traditional English pub or two.

The modern area between Alfonso El Sabio and the Explanada caters for a different clientele, offering modern and sophisticated restaurants, bars and night clubs.

For many expats, the proximity of popular tourist resorts such as Benidorm, north of Alicante, is a major attraction for a night out. The ultimate in party town, this resort is aimed at tourists who don't venture too far out of their comfort zone when it comes to food and drink, and excess is encouraged. Very little of traditional Spanish culture will be found here, but for those suffering a little homesickness, a night out in Benidorm may help cure it.

Spain is a very child-friendly country, and children are a full part of adult life, often way into the night and it is not unusual to see sometimes very young children out late in restaurants, which may seem surprising to some expats. Many activities open to adults are also offered to children too, such as sailing and windsurfing, even yoga. Many places will also have English speaking instructors. After school activities, whether academic or sports, are commonplace within Spain and often organised through schools.

Festivals are an important part of Spanish culture, and Alicante has a good share of its own. The biggest is the Alicante Carnival that takes place over three weeks in January and February, the highlight being the grand procession which runs through the main city's thoroughfares of La Rambla and El Barrio, and ends with an enormous street party.

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