Castell de Santa Barbara
The impressive Santa Barbara Castle, that towers over Alicante on top of the Benacantil Mountain, has its origins in the Muslim rule of the 9th century, but most of the chambers that can be explored today date from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. The fortress is massive, encompassing moats, drawbridges, tunnels, cisterns and dungeons, not to mention a stately tower and keep. It has endured many attacks, rebuildings and renovations during its long history and was opened to the public in 1963. Today it houses the Museum of the City of Alicante. From the top of the castle superb views over the bay and the city can be enjoyed. The castle can be accessed in an elevator from the Explanada d'Espanya for a small fee (visitors over 65 are exempt from the fee), but if you walk up to the castle you can take the lift back down to the beachfront for free. The walk up from the beach is very steep - with a lot of steps - and is only suitable for the fit, but it is possible to drive up the mountain as well. The Castell de Santa Barbara is a fascinating attraction, and the fortress is well worth exploring extensively as the exhibitions and historical information is very interesting, but if nothing else, the views must be admired!
Telephone: +34 96 526 3131
Opening times: Daily from 10am to 8pm (April to September); 9am to 7pm (October to March)
Admission: Free entrance but varying fees for tours and exhibitions. Check official website for details.