Madrid to Alicante
It’s really easy to travel from Madrid to Alicante by train from Madrid Atocha Station. It’s one of Spain’s key high-speed lines. The journey varies between 2 hours 15 minutes and 2 hours and 35 minutes on the AVE trains. Some of these go via Cuenca Station first. ALVIA also runs train services from Madrid to Alicante Station. The journey takes a little longer at around 3 hours. There is a good frequency of trains between the two cities. With Alicante being a popular summer destination, you’ll find there are more trains rostered for the Summer months. But, even in low season, Renfe operates around 10 trains per day in each direction. There are approximately 6 services per day at the weekends. And because of Alicante Station’s central location, you’ll arrive in the heart of the city.
For more information on taking the high-speed AVE service from Madrid, see our guide to departing on the AVE from Madrid Atocha Station. But if you’d rather drive from Madrid to Alicante with the convenience of your own car, see our Madrid Atocha car rental guides. Many car hire suppliers also offer one-way rentals within Spain. There is usually a surcharge for this service. But it’s worth considering if you’d rather start and finish your trip in a different location.
Best in Alicante Travel
Alicante is one of the bigger cities in the Valencia province. And it lies on Spain’s popular Costa Blanca. The area benefits from its own micro-climate nestling between mountains and the mediterranean. In the winter months, you can leave Madrid at (or below) freezing point to an Alicante bathing in warm sunshine, often in the high 20s! It’s no wonder so many visitors are drawn to Alicante and the beach resorts around it.
Alicante offers visitors a great combination of city and beach life. Crowning the city is the Santa Barbara Castle. Located on top of Benacantil Mountain in the heart of the city, the fortress walls offer spectacular panoramic views of the city and the sea. The Old Quarter (known as El Barrio or Barrio de Santa Cruz), starts on the lower slopes of the mountain are another highlight. The colourful and narrow streets are lovely to wander around and feel a world away from the more commercial areas of the city. The neighbourhood is also a good spot for dining with some lively tapas bars. It’s in this older part of town where you’ll also find key landmarks such as the Town Hall, 17th century Cathedral, Santa Maria Basilica and the Contemporary Art Museum.
Best beyond Alicante
The Costa Blanca is full of fantastic beach resorts well catered to tourists. And a car is the best way to get around them – especially if you want to do a bit of exploring whilst you’re there. Popular beach resorts include Benidorm, Calpe, Javea and Denia to the north of Alicante. And to the city’s south, Torrevieja is also popular with sunseekers.
Away from the coast, the best places to enjoy the natural landscapes around Alicante include Carrascal de la Font Roja Nature Reserve and the Mata-Torrevieja Lagoons. The former is a mountain range featuring verdant forests and boasts some great hiking trails. Whilst the latter is notable for its remarkable saltwater lagoons: one is pink and the other is green. As well as producing hundreds of thousands of tons of salt a year, the lagoons are popular with flamingos.
10kms south of the city, Alicante Airport is the nearest airport. It has a good selection of car hire and is a good alternative to Alicante Station for dropping off a car hire if you’ve got one and finishing your trip here.