Facts and trivia
Socio-economic factsPopulation: 316.172 habs. (INE, year 2003)
Surface: 201,27 km 2
Foreign residents: 31.542 (9.9% of total population), coming from Europe (29.5%), America (48.9%), Africa (17.7%), Asia (3.4%) and Oceany (0.3%)
Average income per capita: 14,019.00 €
Main activity: Commercial and administrative, tourism, port and some industrial activities (production of concrete and aluminium).
Spanish and Valenciano are the official languages of the Autonomous Community of Valencia. Most people in Alicante are Spanish monolingual. Nevertheless, all official documents are written in Spanish and Valenciano and road signs may be printed in Valenciano. (Warning: the names of some streets and villages have different spellings under each language.)
English language courses are mandatory in all Spanish high schools. However, do not take it for granted that people will understand you in places like the supermarket if you speak in English. Knowledge of some basic words in Spanish is advisable. The University of Alicante offers basic courses of Spanish for foreigners.
From June 19 to 30 the city celebrates the Festes de Sant Joan. If you are planning to arrive in Alicante during these days, please remember that most commercial establishments are closed. In addition, the traffic in the downtown area is restricted and the city is filled with tourists. Loud music and partying in the street may last until dawn.
The weather in Alicante is characterized by mild winters and long warm summers. The fall and spring seasons are usually short. Fall and spring are the rainy seasons. With less than 90 cloudy days a year, Alicante is well known for its clear skies. The few rainy days during the year are characterized by short intervals of heavy rainfall. The average annual rainfall is between 300 and 325 cubic milimeters.
Average Temperature: Around 12ºC in winter (Dec, Jan, and Feb), 15.5ºC in spring (March, April, and May), 24ºC in summer (June, July, August, and September), and 16ºC in autumn (October and November). Note that these are average temperatures. Temperatures during the summer may rise above 30ºC and high humidity increases the feeling of heat during this season.
Elementary and high school education is compulsory for all children 16 years old and younger. There are many public schools in Alicante and they are free. However, some of the schools in the public school system are “centros concertados” which have better installations and facilities than normal public schools. Although the “centros concertados” are supposed to be free, they usually manage to find ways to charge you for most of the advantages they offer. Most of them are run by catholic institutions, but there are a few non-confesional. In addition to the public school system there are some private schools in Alicante.
Alicante has several lines of buses which connect different parts of the town and metropolitan areas. Here you will find some information on the bus lines. The tram is still under construction but it already connects the commercial Port downtown with the beach areas of Albufereta, San Juan and Campello.
The airport of El Altet (10 kms. Bus line C-6) connects Alicante with several Spanish cities and European capitals. Several trains depart from the center of the town to Madrid (less than 4 hrs.) and Valencia/Barcelona ( 1:45 hrs./4:30 hrs.) each day.