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“Travel” 

Question:  Alicante Airport?

Answer:  The arrival point for the Costa Blanca is mainly through Alicante Airport (El Altet). With the no-frills airlines providing discounted air travel you can get some great flight ticket bargains from all major cities in Europe. Bmi Baby, Monarch, Easy Jet and Jet2 all provide daily services to Alicante.

Alicante Airport has now completed a second terminal which will allow it to increase capacity by a further 25%. In the past the airport apron could accommodate thirty-one aircraft with the ability to process eighteen in one hour. The new terminal and approach road will increase this to forty-six aircraft with a maximum of twenty-two being processed in an hour. This expansion will enable the airport to process 6,000 passengers an hour. In 2005 over 2.5 million passengers used low cost airlines to visit the region which was a 50% increase on the previous year. 

Getting to and from the airport is relatively easy by bus or taxi.  While most holiday makers have airport transfers as part of their package there are lots of transport options available to others arriving independently. 

By Taxi:

Outside the arrival hall you will find the registered taxi Companies that will take you north or south of the airport. This is strictly meter only so you will always pay the correct fair.  

Transfer Services:Registered Companies will gladly pick you up from the airport. The cost is dependent on your journey though they have set tariffs for particular areas such as Benidorm, Alicante and Torrevieja. 

By Bus:

You can catch the bus from across the road outside the arrival hall. Just walk up the slope or steps and you will see three bus stops, one for Murcia, Alicante and the other for Benidorm. 

If you wanted to get to Torrevieja you will need to catch the Alicante bus and catch another bus to Torrevieja from Alicante bus station. There is no direct bus service to Torrevieja. The buses run by the hour but if you see nobody waiting, you have just missed it so it would better to catch a taxi instead. 

Hire Car:

Hire cars should be purchased in advance and you will see around seven different Companies just before you leave the arrivals hall. 

Question: 

How easy is Costa Blanca train travel?

Answer:  If you love the romance of train travel the Costa Blanca has various options open to you. You can catch regular train services from Alicante all the way to Denia. This has been a very popular form of transportation by many tourists because of the picturesque sightseeing opportunities all the way to the coast.

In the peak summer months the Lemmon Express tourist train runs between Benidorm and Gata. Many of the stations are unmanned so you will need to stop the train yourself by holding out your hand well in advance of the train reaching the station. Tickets can be purchased onboard. 

The Spanish Government have plans to connect the new Alicante Airport Terminal up to the railway network in years to come though no specific date on completion is currently available.If you prefer to arrive in Benidorm by train you can only do this via Alicante. 

Train travel is something that not many tourists consider when they stay for short periods. The trains open up many alternative transportation options and you can be in Valencia for example in just two hours so a one-day visit is very possible. 

Alicante is the main train travel hub on the Costa Blanca and from here you can feely travel all over Spain and have some wonderful days out as well as weekend vacations.  

Barcelona is a great place for a weekend break and the train will take you there in around three to five hours. Madrid is another weekend option and you can be there in around four hours. Prices vary depending on the type of ticket and train though as a rough guide you can get to Valencia for around 20 €, Madrid for 30 € and Barcelona for 40 €. 

The coastal route north of Alicante is frequented by most train enthusiasts who take advantage of some wonderful days out to Altea, Calpe and Denia, with train ticket prices of between 4-6 € for some spectacular coastal views it makes a perfect travel option. 

Question: 

Is it easy to travel by bus?

Answer:  The bus services on the Costa Blanca are quite reliable. You can pick up timetables at the main bus stations and at the tourist information. Timetables change according to the season so you need to ensure you have the correct one for summer or winter depending on the time of year. Bus times can also be found at most bus-stops.

Alicante is the main hub for travel and here you can catch buses to the north and south of the Costa Blanca. For longer journeys you will find that comfortable air conditioned coaches are the norm and they will use the main motorway routes. More local buses will use the A type roads such as the N332. 

You will find three bus services running from Alicante Airport the Benidorm airport line, Alicante airport line and the Murcia airport line.Times can be very infrequent and if you see nobody waiting you may have just missed the bus so a taxi would be the preferred option. 

Alicante Airport Line:

Runs a service from 6:30am until 11:10pm and buses depart every 40 minutes. The price is 1€. The bus stops at Avenida De Europa in the centre of Benidorm (Levante). 

If you are determined to catch the bus to either Benidorm or Murcia and you have missed the schedule due to your flight arrival then catching another bus from the main Alicante bus station is an option. 

Benidorm Airport Line:

Runs a daily service from: 9:15am until 10:30pm. After the first bus the next one is 11:00, 13:15, 14:30, 17:15, 19:00, 21:15 with the last one at 22:30. The price is 7 €. As there are long waiting periods between departures it may be an option to take the more frequent Alicante bus above or the more expensive taxi option. 

Murcia Airport Line:

Runs a service from: 7:15am - 9:15pm and buses depart every 2 hours at quarter past the hour. The cost is 4 €. The bus stops at San Andres Bus Station. 

Question: 

Taxi’s in Costa Blanca?

Answer:  The first place you may encounter your first taxi ride on the Costa Blanca would probably be from Alicante Airport. You will find the taxis right outside the arrivals hall.

Only use registered taxis and if someone approaches you offering their taxi service politely refuse. It is possible they may be illegal taxis touting for trade. Registered taxi drivers do not do this. They wait in the official taxi ranks for your business. 

The taxi drivers would always use their meters though some may offer you a set price. If this happens the normal meter price to Alicante is 15-20 €; Benidorm 60-70 €; Torrevieja 50-60 €.If their set price is higher than these you know you are not getting a good deal so ask for the meter. 

All official taxis are licensed and the drivers will look after their business and livelihood very protectively and if they see illegal taxis they will report them immediately.  

There have been recent problems with official taxi drivers and taxis working in the black economy. The official taxi drivers have been reporting these at the Airport and this has resulted in Police checks on cars dropping off and picking up passengers. You need an official license to operate as a taxi in Spain. 

Most taxi drivers will speak English though if you have to go somewhere off the tourist routes it is better to copy the address down in Spanish. This will assist the driver and save you money on your fare. 

Most drivers will gladly provide you with a receipt if you need one. If you have any serious problems with a taxi just take down the registration and the drivers details and report it to the 'Delegacion de la Conselleria de Obras Publicas,Urbanismo y Transportes'. They will be pleased to follow up your complaint on your behalf. This is for serious complaints only. 

Question: 

Alicante airport car hire?

Answer:  Hiring a car from Alicante airport could not be easier. It is better to book in advance either through your travel agent or independently online. This way you are sure to get the car you want at the agreed price. Purchasing car hire on the spot normally ensures you pay a little more and you will have less choice of vehicles.  

You will find all the car hire Companies at the bottom of the arrivals hall slope. They are normally very busy in the peak holiday periods so you will need to be patient. Just get in line and wait your turn.  If you have pre-booked ensure you are queuing with the right Company. 

You will find nine car rental Companies at Alicante Airport. Atesa, Aruiga, Avis, Centauro, Europa, Europcar, Hertz, Record and Solmar. 

They basically all do business in the same manor with a few slight variations. All of them will ask for your passport, credit card and driving license which should have no endorsements on it. If you do have endorsements you need to inform the car hire Company before hand. This may mean a slightly higher premium. 

Some Companies will provide you with either a quarter, half or a full tank of fuel. This means when you bring the car back you need to ensure that the same amount of fuel is in the car on its return. 

Other Companies will charge you for a full tank of fuel and you just bring the car back near empty. More often than not you will bring the car back with lots of fuel left over and you do not get a refund. This is perfect business for the car hire Company who just have to top up the fuel for the next client and charge them for another full tank of fuel. 

You will also have the option of paying an accident damage waiver which is only around 2.75 € per day so it is worth having. Other options would be additional tyre and windscreen cover just in case of punctures and glass fractures. 

Once you have signed the papers and paid for your hire car you will be given the keys. You then proceed outside the airport where you will see the car park facing you up some steps. Behind the car park is where you will locate your hire car. Each car hire Company have their own spaces so just look for your Companies name and then the parking place number. 

It is suggested that you familiarise yourself with the controls and get the driving seat in the right position. Check your windscreen wipers, indicators, headlamps and have some change available for the tolls should you need them. Remember to take your time when driving a hire car. Don't let the cars behind you push you along. You are most vulnerable to accidents during the first sixty minutes in an unfamiliar car so take it nice and steady. 

If you have a passenger that can assist you with directions and can map read all the better, if not, try and get the route planned out in your head before leaving. Basic directions stuck on your dashboard are a good idea. Don't try and read maps when you are driving. It is better to pull into a petrol service station where you can study the map without risk of accidents.