As early as Roman times, Alicante was highly regarded. Indeed the Romans named it Lucentum (city of light) for its brightness, which became al-Lucant under the Moors. Today the cityscape is characterized by hotels and high-rises. Nevertheless, its mild climate, well-tended green spaces, broad avenues and lively urban promenades make for a very pleasant stay. Added to the Mediterranean climate are the beautiful beaches in the surrounding area: Alicante lies at the heart of the Costa Blanca, and serves as a holiday resort in both summer and winter. Alicante lies on a picturesque bay of the Spanish southeastern coast, at the foot of Monte Benacantil which is crowned by the Castillo de Santa Barbara. The extensive beaches close to the city, promising good swimming, are the large Platja de Sant Joan to the northeast and the Platja dels Arenals del Sol to the south; the Isla de Tabarca can be reached during the tourist season.