Alicante (Alacant), both being official names, is a port and city in Spain on Costa Blanca, capital of the province of Alicante and of comarca of Alacanti, in the south of Valencian Community. Alicante is also a historic Mediterranean port. in 2015 the population of Alicante proper's city was 328,650 ranking as the 2nd-largest Valencian city. Together with nearby municipalities, Alicante conurbation had 452,460 residents. In 2014 the population of the metropolitan area was around 757,000 ranking as the 8th-largest metropolitan area of Spain. Alicante's total area is 201.27 km2 (77.71 ml2).
In recent years, the Port Authority has established Alicante as one of the major ports in Spain for cruises, with more than 70 calls to port made by cruise ships and bringing over 80,000 passengers and 30,000 crew to the city annually. The city of Alicante provides regular ferry services to Algeria and the Balearic Islands. The city is fortified with a spacious harbour.
Among the most notable features of Alicante are the Castle of Santa Barbara, sitting high above the city, as well as the port of Alicante. The latter was subject of controversy in 2006–2007 as the residents successfully battled to keep it from being changed into industrial estate. Santa Barbara castle is located on Mount Benacantil and overlooks the city. The La Torreta tower at the top, is the castle's oldest part, while the walls and part of the lowest zone were constructed later, during the 18th century.
The promenade Explanada de Espana is lined by palm trees and paved with 6.5M marble floor tiles that create a wavy form. The Promenade is one of the most beautiful promenades in Spain and extends from Port of Alicante to Gran Vía, ending at the statue of Mark Hersch. For Alicante's residents, Explanada de Espana is the meeting place for traditional Spanish paseo, or evening stroll along the waterfront, and a venue for musical concerts. At its end is a monument by the artist Banuls of the 19th century.
Just a few kilometers from the city of Alicante on the Mediterranean Sea is Tabarca island. Once a haven for Barbary pirates, today it is a beautiful tourist attraction.