My first trip to Alicante in 2018 made me fall in love with the Costa Blanca so when I got the opportunity to travel to Alicante again in 2023 I was excited to thick off some of the cool things to do in and around the city that I didn’t do on my previous visits. In my complete Alicante travel guide I wrote about the best places to visit and the best things to do and already mentioned some day trips. To let you make the most of your Alicante holidays I will show you the best day trips from Alicante in 2023.
In total my trip to Alicante lasted almost a week. At first I explored the city and loved hanging out in Alicante Old Town, hiking up to the Santa Barbara Castle and strolling along the Explanda de Espana and the marina. After 3 days I wanted to see more of the places near Alicante so I decided to rent a car. Initially I just rented the car for 1 day, but ended up bringing it back after 3 days only.
There are so many cool day trips from Alicante and I checked them out for you one by one. From little coastal villages, to a Santorini look-a-like town and from exploring caves to hiking up to viewpoints.
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How to do day trips from Alicante
Doing day trips from Alicante is the easiest if you rent a car. There is a toll road that gets you from A to B fast and there are no traffic jams. Some of the places to visit in Alicante can only be reached by car, like Guadalest and the Canelobre caves as they are completely off the beaten path.
I rented a car for less than €20 per day through the Do You Spain website. They compare all the companies and give you the best fares. They also have all risk insurance for a couple dollars extra per day.
If you only want to see some other big cities on your Alicante holidays then you can also go around by bus/train. Murcia and Benidorm can easily be reached from the Alicante train/bus station in the city center.
From Alicante to Benidorm
The drive from Alicante to Benidorm is about 46 kilometers and takes 40 minutes. Keep in mind that you will have to pay about €4 toll one way, but there is also a toll free road. I would recommend you to take that one as you pass by some lovely villages on your way. And who does not like a little road trip while on your Alicante holidays.
There is a direct bus from Alicante to Benidorm that runs every hour and takes only 55 minutes. Price for the bus is around €5. Click here to buy your bus tickets online or view all the time tables.
There is a tram that connects Benidorm and Alicante, a kind of slow train. There are 19 stops on this route, but some of them I actually named as great day trips from Alicante. Villajoyosa is a great stop, so if you are looking for places near Alicante to visit then taking the tram is a great way to go sightseeing. The trip takes 1 hour and 20 minutes but has way better scenic views than a car or bus. A return ticket from Alicante to Benidorm is €6,40.
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10 Amazing places near Alicante
This is one of my favorite things to do in Alicante. Altea is one of the most beautiful towns I have seen in a long time. It is located on the coast 58 kilometers northeast of Alicante.On the toll road it only takes 40 minutes to get to Altea.
The village lies just off the main coastal road a little elevated on a hill. The old town is painted white and on top of the hill there is the main square with many terraces.
Trendy boutique shops can be found in the narrow streets. After seeing these photos there is no need to say that this is one of the best day trips from Alicante. Make sure you don’t miss visting Altea on your trip to the Costa Blanca.
Probably one of the most popular Alicante day trips. The long golden sand Benidorm Beach is one of the most iconic places to visit in the Costa Blanca, which actually means white sand translate from Spanish.
Multiple skyscrapers lined up on a long boulevard make this place the Manhattan of Spain.
The boulevard is the perfect place for long beach strolls where bars and restaurants are lined up and people watching is one of the best things to do. Head to Benidorm Palace for an amazing dinner show or in summer a visit to the Aqualandia water park is a popular thing to do on holidays in Alicante.
When it is not all about beaches on your holidays in Alicante then you have to check out Guadalest. This iconic mountain village is a popular tourist spot in Alicante because of its city walls and castle on top of a hill.
This quaint little town is an Alicante off the beaten path tourist attraction and is surrounded by high mountain tops. There is also a water reservoir below.
There are several hiking trails around but sipping a coffee enjoying the amazing views also is a great thing to do. For €4 you can climb up to the castle. From Alicante to Guadalest is about 60 kilometers, 1 hour drive. From Benidorm you turn inland all the uphill to Guadalest. The drive is very scenic.
Some more Alicante travel ideas you will find in Calpe. To be honest the city itself didn’t really appeal to me, but that could also be because I didn’t have time to climb to the top of the Calpe Rock: Peñon de Ifach. This impressive rock formation on the coast sticks out of the ocean like I have never seen before. It somehow reminded me a little of Gibraltar. There is a possibility to climb to the top of the Calpe Rock, but it takes about two hours. Definitely one of the most adventurous things to do in Alicante. Next time I will surely give it a try! From Alicante to Calpe is 60 kilometers and takes about 50 minutes.
Although picture perfect, just a little sleepy town on top of a hill. To me not worth taking a day trip from Alicante just for Polop, but when you are visiting Guadalest you will pass it by anyway. Good place to go for a drink and wander around in the narrow streets.
A little overlooked by tourist that travel to Alicante and Benidorm! Villajoyosa (Villa Joiosa) is a cute little coastal town 30 kilometers North of Alicante and 14 kilometers South of Benidorm that should not be missed on your Alicante holidays. With a little fantasy you could name it the Cinque Terre of Spain. Villajoyosa also has a lot of small colorful houses.
Tall waving palm trees and the beach in front make this one of the best places to visit in Alicante. The houses are painted in red, green, yellow and blue so that the fisherman could recognize their village back in the days. There is a lovely boulevard for a little stroll and a bunch of coffee places with good views. You can easily get to Villajoyosa by tram from Alicante and Benidorm.
7. Canelobre Caves
Just 25 kilometer north of Alicante you find the Canelobre Caves. It only takes 30 minutes to get there, but you will need a car as it is inland and uphill. The caves are open for the public on guided tours that leave every 30 minutes and cost €7. As it is close to the city I think it is a great Alicante day trip and you can perfectly combine it with hiking around the mountain range. There are several hiking trails leaving from the parking lot. The trails are displayed on big information signs.
On your way to or from the Canelobre Caves make a stop at Busot, another sleepy mountain village. If you are looking for places near Alicante a photo of the town square and the narrow colorful streets will surely pop up somewhere.
Sit in the shade on of the terraces and have a lunch after your hike in and around the caves.
From Alicante Old Town to Murcia is about 80 kilometers drive, a little less than an hour. The city of Murcia is one of those medieval Spanish cities you always see in pictures. A colorful old town with a big square and a huge cathedral. Murcia also has flamingos, mud baths and thermal spa’s. This is a city that is not overrun by mass tourism and for a slice of authentic Spain city life Murcia is another day trip that should be named in every Alicante travel guide.
No, we are not talking about the famous Cartagena in Colombia now, Spain has a little less popular city with the same name. Nevertheless one of those great places near Alicante. The coastal village of Cartagena is famous for its spectacular Roman Amphitheater, which dates back more than 2000 years ago. It is nestled in the middle of the old town and well worth going on a day trip from Alicante. From Alicante to Cartagena is about 1,5 hours.
Alicante boat trips
If all the above Alicante day trips were not enough you can always add a boat trip to your itinerary. Two popular destinations for Alicante boat trips are Benidorm Island and Tabarca Island. The last one is a declared Marine Reserve since 1986 and snorkeling is one of the best things to do in summer.
If you have any specific questions about any of these places near Alicante leave me a comment and I will do my utmost best to help you make the most of your holidays in Alicante. But I invite you to also have a look at my complete Alicante Travel Guide for 2023. Click on the link and find everything about things to do and places to visit in Alicante.
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Enjoy your trip to the Costa Blanca!