Alicante (El Altet) Airport is the main airport in the Costa Blanca, handling nearly 9 million visitors in 2012.
Alicante Airport is located approximately 20 minutes drive to the south of the city of Alicante, and around 5 minutes drive from the small coastal town of El Altet. There are a number of small hotels in El Altet if you arrive late at night or have an early flight to catch.
Alicante Airport is much larger than Murcia Airport to the south, and is the main gateway to the Costa Blanca resorts including Torrevieja, Calpe, Denia and Benidorm.
Alicante is the sixth largest airport in Spain, and is continuing to grow with a new terminal building completed in March of 2011. The airport has excellent links to all the major towns and resorts, and is located just of the major arterial route of the region the Autovia del Mediterraneo (AP-7 Motorway).
At Alicante Airport, the arrivals area is located on the lower level, and the departures terminal is in the same building on the floor above.
After leaving the plane you will be directed to the baggage reclaim hall, and then pass through the security area and customs into the arrivals area.
When leaving the Costa Blanca from Alicante Airport, there is a passenger drop-off area located outside the terminal near the entrance of the building. If you have a rental car it should dropped in the designated parking lot for rental vehicles or at the rental car compound where you collected it.
Once inside the departures hall, you will need to check-in at the main airline desks or at the automated kiosks, after which you will be directed towards the baggage counter. From here you will need to pass through the security check and then towards your boarding gate.
During the quieter winter season you should plan to be at the airport at least an hour and a half before your flight, but during the peak summer holiday season it may be a good idea to show up at least two to three hours before your flight as it gets very busy.
Transport Options at Alicante Airport
The taxis are outside arrivals on level O, and after passing through the exit you will see the taxi rank. There are usually plenty of taxis, so waiting should not be an issue.
Taxi fares are not metered, so make sure to ask for a quote first. You should expect to pay somewhere around 20 Euro to Alicante Train Station, somewhere between 70 and 85 Euro to Benidorm, and anywhere from 55 to 70 to Torrevieja.
The bus area can be a bit confusing for those who have never been to Alicante Airport before as there is only one large bus parking area on lower floor 2 (or level -2) for all tour operator and charter buses (this is also where the hire car shuttle buses leave from).
If you are looking for the local area bus service you will need to head towards the departure level of the building where you can catch buses to Alicante centre (which takes about 15-20 minutes), Denia, Benidorm, Elche, Murcia, Torrevieja and other locations in the Costa Blanca.
The train service does not run directly into the Alicante Airport but you can take a bus or taxi to the Alicante Train station. At Alicante train station, make sure to take the 'Plaza de los Luceros' exit on the airport bus, you can then board a train into a more localized area of Alicante or out into the surrounding resort areas.
Driving from the airport is very easy and well sign-posted. It takes a couple of minutes to reach the major AP-7 motorway which connects to Alicante, Benidorm and Denia to the north, and Torrevieja and Murcia to the south.
Airlines that operate from Alicante Airport
There are a wide range of airlines that offer direct or operating flights into Alicante Airport although the availability and range will vary depending on the time of year that you are travelling.
Some of the main airlines operating from the UK include Jet2, Flythomascook, EasyJet, Ryanair, Monarch, Thomsonfly, Bmibaby, Aer Lingus, Flybe, and Air Berlin. Fares will vary in price depending on the time of year, with the highest prices in July and August. London Gatwick, Manchester, and the East Midlands are all great airports to book direct flights out of.
Alicante Airport Shops and Food Outlets
Most of the Alicante Airport shops are located within the departure area. There are a large range of shops and boutiques including plenty of designer clothes outlets, a sweet shop, a toy shop as well as the usual duty free shop.
There are some rather expensive food bars including a Burger King. There is an excellent tapas bar called Canas y Tapas which serves excellent value tapas, where 1 person can eat well for around 10 Euros.
In the arrivals area there is a very expensive cafe selling small bottles of coke for over 3 Euros (you can get the same bottle from one of the vending machines for 2 Euros).
Hotels Close to Alicante Airport
If you arrive on a late night flight, or have to catch an early morning flight from Alicante Airport, the closest hotels are located around 5 minutes from the airport in the small town of El Altet.
There are buses from El Altet directly to the airport for around 1 Euro if your flight arrives in the day.
Hostal Pensimar is basic, but offers double rooms with a bathroom for around 40 Euros per night, has underground parking, good Wi-Fi coverage, and the staff are very friendly.
A taxi to Hostal Pensimar from Alicante Airport costs around 13 Euros, and the price remains the same after midnight which makes this hotel ideal if you arrive late at Alicante.