Costa Blanca: Local Travel Info
The White Coast
Internal flights and major international airports for the Costa Blanca
Alicante El Altet Airport (or Aeropuerto de Alicante), the sixth busiest in Spain, is located 9 kilometres (5.6 miles) from Alicante’s city centre, and is the main airport for holidaymakers visiting the Costa Blanca region including the popular resort of Benidorm. 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.
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 for the Costa Blanca
There are numerous means of transportation for getting to and 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.
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 Alicante’s city centre, €45 to €50 for Torrevieja, and between €55 to €60 for Benidorm and Altea, depending on the final destination. 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, the capital of the Costa Blanca, prices start from around €30 one way during the peak season.
A cheaper alternative for those travelling on a tight budget is to take the bus. ALSA (the Spanish bus company) offers a direct bus line from Alicante Airport to Benidorm’s bus station, located at Avenida Europa 8. The journey takes around 45 minutes, with the first bus leaving at 08:00, and the last departing the airport at 23:00. The first bus from Benidorm departs at 07:00. The bus from Alicante Airport to Benidorm departs at Alicante Airport from bus stops 29 to 30, and costs around €8 for a single ticket and €16 for a return.
For those travelling by bus direct to Alicante’s city centre, the Alicante Airport bus, which takes around 30 to 40 minutes to complete the 9 kilometre (5.6 mile) journey, starts at 06.30, with a bus every 45 minutes until 23.10 at night, with a single fare costing only €1.25.
One of the best ways to see what the Costa Blanca has to offer is to travel by car, and on arrival at Alicante’s airport, most of the major hire car companies are represented 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. It is worth taking into consideration that visitors will be more comfortable if they select a car with air conditioning from March until October when temperatures are higher. The weather is generally not hot enough for air conditioning during the spring and autumn months. Alicante airport’s can be accessed along the A-7 motorway and the N-332 dual carriageway.
If you're thinking of hiring a car in the Costa Blanca, view our Car Hire Section in the main tab above. We search the net to find the best car hire rates for the Costa Blanca available. We also provide links to last minute Costa Blanca Car rental offers. We advise you book your hire car in advance so you can pick it up and drop it off directly at the airport.
Drivers licenses requirements?
To rent a car throughout the Costa Blanca, and anywhere in Spain, 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 the Costa Blanca, visitors must keep to 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. The legal alcohol limit is 0.05%, and if caught over this level, visitors can be fined up to €300 on the spot.
Costa Blanca by bus
Buses are new and air conditioned, which is essential in the heat of summer as roads are often narrow and winding. Many inland villages are not on the train network, and are only accessible by bus. Different companies serve different areas, which can be confusing, but there are information offices in bus stations, and the tourist offices also tend to have timetables.
Costa Blanca by taxi
Taxis are relatively inexpensive and are in abundance in the larger towns and resorts along the Costa Blanca. They can be hailed on the street or can be caught from taxi ranks. A green light on the top of the cab indicates that the vehicle is available for hire. For an idea of cost, a single journey costs between €5 to €8 within central Benidorm. It is recommended that a fee is agreed before setting off.
Costa Blanca by train
The Costa Blanca’s main towns are well connected by the local train system, making it easy to get around. Trains run regularly between Denia and Alicante, using a picturesque route, making it ideal for a day out. An old fashioned sight seeing train called the Lemon Express runs between Benidorm and Gata, and proves extremely popular with holidaymakers. There is also a night service between Altea and Alicante during the months of July and August. In more remote areas, stations tend to be unmanned and therefore, visitors need to signal to a passing train to stop by briefly holding their arm out. A ticket can be purchased from the officer on the train.
Hitchhiking on the Costa Blanca
Hitchhiking on the Costa Blanca is not illegal, but Spain does not have a strong hitchhiking culture and getting a ride can be much more difficult than in other European countries.