Getting around Alicante
Its that time of year again, holidays beckoning and a chance to escape to the sun. Experiencing a resurgence after the long recession, the perennially popular destination of the Costa Blanca in Spain is where many of you may be jetting off to this summer. One of the most popular destinations is the Orihuela Costa close to Torrevieja, and serviced by the busy airport of Alicante.
Budget airlines, guaranteed sun, lovely beaches, and the plethora of good value bars and restaurants have made this resort a popular holiday destination for many years. Combined with the current strength of the pound against the euro, this year is as good a time as any to visit.
For many the trip from and back to the airport is a chore to be got through before and after the real fun of the holiday. Getting around Alicante can unveil many interesting places and lots of beautiful scenery to be seen on this journey.
Many people use the motorway AP7 for the journey, but by far the prettiest and most interesting method is to travel along the N332, commonly know as the Coast Road, on which you will have some lovely scenery to make your journey more interesting and along which there are other places you may like to see. Make the journey a part of your holiday rather than a necessary evil.
At Alicante airport we are greeted by La Dama de Elche, or the Lady of Elche. If you have rented a car, many of the companies are sited on the airport and this of course has its convenience. However, there will be queues!! Often the car rental companies off site are actually quicker as the transport to and from is very frequent and they are normally located very close by, only 5 or 10 minutes away.
Once you have your car, which if you have booked through Debit Card Car Hire will be a painless experience with no hidden extras, you are ready to start your journey to the next part of your holiday.
Driving can be challenging if you’re not a local so it’s better to check out our Driving In Spain Tips & Info before hitting the road.
Taking the N332 direction Santa Pola, very quickly just through the tunnel you will see the signs for Gran Alacant. This is a nice place to stop off if you are not in a rush, there is a Centro Commercial and many bars and restaurants if you need some refreshments, much nicer and not so expensive as the refreshments on the plane you have just got off. The journey to Orihuela Costa takes about 45 minutes so why not enjoy it? If bowls is something you enjoy there is likely to be a game going on at Montemar Bowls than you can watch whilst sipping your coffee, coca cola or something stronger (if you are not the driver) whilst sampling some tapas from the restaurant attached on the lovely large terrace.
Carrying on, as you go through Santa Pola, you drive through the salt lakes. You can enjoy their beautiful pink colour and often decorated by the pink flamingos that have made it their home and take their colour from the pink vegetation they feed on. You will have stunning views and it is especially beautiful as the sun is rising or setting.
Next likely stop could be La Marina, a town more or less divided into two by the Coast Road. Beach side is a traditional Spanish Village but on the other side is a huge Urbanisation mainly populated by “extranjeros” or foreigners of all kinds of nationalities. This is a prime example of the duality of life on the Costas, traditional Spain living side by side with the modern reality of the huge influx of ex pats that bought properties here during the property boom. Both have their attractions and charms. Those of you looking for the “real Spain” and looking to practice your Spanish or sample authentic Spanish food and atmosphere should choose La Marina “playa” and for those just wanting to feel at home but with sun included choose La Marina “urbanización”.
From La Marina onwards you will pass through Guardamar, La Mata, and soon be approaching Torrevieja. At any moment you are 5 minutes from a spectacular beach and spoilt for choice for bars and restaurants of all types. Spanish, British, International, Italian, Indian and Chinese, even old favorites with the kids such as McDonald, Burger King and Ketucky Fried Chicken for those of a less adventurous palate.
Torrevieja is definitely a town worth visiting, in the summer there is a fair and an evening market every night. Parking can be a problem on the streets in the summer but there underground and open air parking facilities. The Paseo Maritimo is lovely to walk along and see the harbour, always buzzing with a great atmosphere and yes of course nice bars and restaurants where you can sit and watch the world go by. Remember though that the custom of the siesta is observed here so if it is shopping you want, don’t expect anything to be open between 2 and 5, that is lunchtime!!
Getting back on to the N332 direction Cartagena you will arrive within 15 or 20 minutes at La Zenia roundabout in the heart of the Orihuela Costa. You can now shop till you drop at La Zenia Boulevard shopping Centre if that is your thing, or you are in short driving distance (or even walking, but remember how hot it gets!) of Go-Karts, glorious beaches, swimming pools, eateries and anything else that you need to enjoy your holiday
When the holiday is over, and it is time to make the journey back to Alicante why not do the whole thing in reverse. There are several petrol stations along the Coast Road the last one being at Santa Pola right up near the airport, so if you are on a full to empty petrol policy as is customary in Spain for returning your car you know that you can just put a small amount in and not worry about running out before you get there.
If you are interested in hiring a car with a debit card from Alicante airport or anywhere else in Spain so you can make the most of your holiday and need some guidance in terms of vehicles or any other special requirements then our reservation agents will be happy to assist you. Contact us directly by calling +44 (0) 113 88 00 408 or emailing us at email@example.com and we will get right back to you.