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It is housed in a century-old mansion, and the 22-room property oozes character, thanks due in large part to its eccentric owner, Pedro Picazo. Take the lift (10) from Calle Juan Bautista Lafora (€2.40; 10am to 7.30pm) to the El Macho area at the top of the castle for 360‑degree city views.
The gateway to the Costa Blanca will become even more accessible with new British Airways flights from Gatwick, starting tomorrow.
Many use the city as a jumping-off point for Benidorm (45km to the north-east), but those who linger a little longer are inevitably won over by Alicante's medieval history, rich cultural calendar and year-round sunshine.
There's never a bad time to visit, but it's now that Alicante starts to shine, with balmy temperatures nudging 24C.
Take a hike It's a gentle 20-minute stroll back to town.
At the entrance of the castle, look for a clearing on the first bend of the road and follow the rocky trail along the western walls and along a series of steps leading into La Ereta Park (11) (10am to 11pm daily), with its pine trees and fine views.On Sundays, head to the weekly antiques market from 9am to 2pm on Plaza de Ayuntamiento (14).