Alicante: Local Travel Info
Capital of the Costa Blanca
Internal flights and major international airports for Alicante
Alicante El Altet Airport (or Aeropuerto de Alicante), is the sixth busiest in Spain, and is located 9 kilometres (5.6 miles) from Alicante’s city centre. In 2008, the airport handled 9,578,308 passengers and over 81,095 flight operations. Around 80% of all passenger traffic at Alicante Airport comes from International flights, with the passengers from the UK, Holland, Germany, France, Italy and Sweden being amongst the highest number of visitors. There are good transport links to other Spanish cities such as Barcelona and Madrid and major European destinations.
The airport has two terminals with the new (but temporary) Terminal 2 building having been constructed to cope with traffic demand. There are extensive building works which are currently underway on the east side of the main terminal. The project is scheduled for completion in 2010 and will increase the airport's operational capacity to 20 million passengers per annum.
Getting to and from the airport in Alicante
There are numerous means of transportation for getting to Alicante from the airport. If wishing to travel by taxi, there is a rank just outside the arrivals and departures terminals. However, it is worth bearing in mind that the airport taxis are only permitted to take a maximum of 4 people including any children. If there are more than 4 people then it is advisable to book a private Alicante Airport Transfer.
During peak times, queues can be quite long and visitors can easily wait up to thirty minutes for a taxi. Expect to pay around €14 for a ride to the city centre, depending on the final destination, and from €16 for a journey at night or on a public holiday. Taxis are normally equipped with air conditioning, and it is recommended that the fare is agreed with the driver before setting off. For a private transfer to Alicante, prices start from around €30 one way during the peak season.
A cheaper alternative for those on a tight budget is the Alicante Airport bus, which takes around 30 to 40 minutes to complete the 9 kilometre (5.6 mile) journey to the city centre. To catch the C-6 bus, head for bus stop 30, which is a 2 minute walk across the road from the arrivals hall. The service starts at 06.30 with a bus every 45 minutes until 23.10 at night, and a single fare costs €1.25.
The bus route is: Carretera N 340-Airport (opposite arrivals and departures) - Agua Amarga-Matadero - Estación de Tren-Oficina de Patentes - Avenida Óscar Esplá - Avenida Elche - Avenida Federico Soto - Calle Reyes Católicos - Rambla Méndez Núñez - Avenida Alfonso X El Sabio - Plaza de los Luceros - Plaza del Mar - Avenida Juan Bautista Lafora - Rambla Méndez Núñez - Avenida Alfonso X El Sabio.
One of the best ways to see what the city of Alicante and the surrounding region has to offer is by car, and renting a car is very popular choice of transportation by visitors. Ten car hire companies have branches within the airport terminal building including Avis, Hertz and Europcar, so it is worth shopping around before making a reservation. Expect to pay from around €113 for a 5-door mini-sized car during peak season.
One thing to take into consideration when hiring is a car is the need for air conditioning from March until October. The weather in Alicante is generally not hot enough for air conditioning during the spring and autumn months.
Alicante Airport can be accessed along the A-7 motorway and the N-332 dual carriageway, with the average journey time of around 15 minutes up to 30 minutes during rush hour.
Drivers licenses requirements?
To rent a car anywhere in Spain including Alicante, drivers must be at least 21 years of age, and have held a licence for one year. Drivers under the age of 25 may be subject to a young driver surcharge. An International Drivers Licence is highly recommended for non-EU residents.
Throughout Spain, including driving in Alicante, visitors must drive on the right at all times, and the wearing of seatbelts is obligatory. The use of child seats is demanded for children up to the age of 3, and children under the age of 12 may not sit in the front seat.
Speed limits should be strictly adhered to which are a maximum of 31 mph (50 km/h) for a city, 55 mph (90 km/h) for open roads, and 74 mph (120 km/h) for motorway driving.
Alicante by bus
One of the best ways to travel short and long distances from Alicante is the public bus system. The central bus station is located in Calle Portugal, which is close to the harbour. Alicante has a good fleet of local buses, run by TAM bus company, with a frequent service to many parts of the local area. Buses are cheap and easy to use, and the number 9 goes from the train station to the popular San Juan Beach, with departures every 15 minutes. Bus services run from 06:00 to 23:00 on all bus lines, and there are frequent buses to nearby destinations such as Murcia and Benidorm. Expect to budget around €1 for a regular pass for one trip and €5.50 for a 10-trip pass and €16.50 for a 30-trip pass.
Alicante by taxi
There are taxis all around Alicante, with fares according to the distance. There are taxi ranks to be found around the town in the most popular areas, and at the airport. Taking a taxi is a good idea for visitors who want to explore areas outside of the main city centre, and they can be a good option for venturing further up the coast.
Alicante by train
The city of Alicante has two train stations, with the main train station being located in the city centre (on Avenida De Salamanca). There are good transportation links from here to other Spanish cities including Madrid, Seville, and Barcelona. A high-speed train connection between Madrid, Valencia, and Alicante is also available to visitors, and the journey time from Alicante to Spain’s capital, Madrid, takes around three and half hours.
The second train station is the narrow gauge station close to the harbour, which provides connections to other towns on the Costa Blanca such as Benidorm, Calpe, Denia and Altea. The Alicante Streetcar, which heads in the direction of El Campello, also departs from this station.
Hitchhiking in Alicante
Hitchhiking is not illegal, however Spain does not have a strong hitchhiking culture and getting a ride can be much more difficult than in other European countries.