Torrevieja is a great place to visit if you’re flying into Alicante Airport on holiday. It’s an interesting place because it’s not as built up as other coastal towns in the area. The seafront is a bit different to the ‘usual’ – there are rock pools which you get to using ladders. There are some wonderful sandy beaches too and it’s well known for its National Park’s salt lagoons which are home to pink flamingos. Because of these features, it’s very popular with families.
If you’ve hired a car (see our tips on getting a good deal on car hire at Alicante Airport here), then you have two main options: the scenic route or the slightly quicker route on the motorway. The scenic route takes you along the N-332 and you are within touching distance of the sea for most the way. You’ll see the island of Tabarca in the distance, but the biggest treat will be passing right through the dramatic Salt Plains of Santa Pola (designated a National Park). The journey should take around 40 mins without traffic. Beware that during the summer months this route can have a lot of traffic at peak times.
Alternatively, if time is of the essence and you want to avoid any possible traffic, or if it’s nighttime, you can take the AP-7 from near the airport. You would need to get off at exit 745 and then drive for another 10 minutes to get to Torrevieja.
There are 8 buses a day from Alicante Airport to Torrevieja with the Costa Azul bus company. Departures are every 2 hours from 08:00. The return journey is also available.
|Alicante Airport – Torrevieja||Torrevieja – Alicante Airport|
The bus leaves from the 2nd floor bus stop at Alicante Airport and arrives at Torrevieja bus station (Calle del Mar, 50). The journey takes around 50 minutes and goes along the highway, avoiding the traffic on the coast road (and the views!). A one-way ticket is €7 and children under 4 don’t pay (but need ID to qualify). The bus is wheelchair accessible and has plenty of space for luggage. One issue that some readers have encountered is that if you arrive on a late flight and the flight is full, you may find that the bus runs out of seats. This could leave you stranded or reliant on an expensive taxi journey. If you do have a late flight, consider booking a private transfer or even hiring a car (as there’s so much to see in the area). Our guide to car hire at Alicante Airport has some useful suggestions on finding good deals (LINK).
Torrevieja is blessed with two large salt water lakes which accumulate huge pyramids of recently formed salt. They have been designated as nature reserves and attract migratory and resident birds. If you are there in the summer, don’t miss the flamingo breeding season.
If you fancy a free skin treatment, then copy the locals who will plaster on the naturally occurring black mud then lie in the naturally pink, salty water. Don’t forget to bring a dark swimming costume that you don’t mind getting dirty and some footwear as there are rocks underfoot. You may want a shower afterwards (and there aren’t any showers provided, so a trip back to the hotel may be in order!).
Torrevieja has a large, up to date marina with plenty of activities including sailing and a variety of watersports. Hire a jetski or flyboard, get windsurfing and scuba lessons etc.
Isla Tabarca was an island used by pirates and has the ruins of their fortified walls, a lighthouse and church. It’s 2 km long and you can get there with a boat trip (from May – October). Because it’s part of a Marine Reserve, there is plenty to see in the crystal clear water on its small and clean beaches – definitely bring a snorkel with you. Getting there is also a treat, as the glass-bottomed Catamaran that you take to get there allows you to watch the sealife go by.
Although the island is small, there’s enough there so that you won’t be bored. Enjoy a relaxing walk around the island, check out the beaches and try the local specialty fish stew “Caldero”. Tickets for the day trip cost €22 for adults and €10 for children. You will get around 6 hours to chill out on the island before coming back.
Torrevieja has a famous casino on the seafront and has impressive Modernista architecture. One of the salons inside as a carved wooden ceiling and impressive mosaic tiling. You can arrange a free visit in advance and entrance should be free. Visitors should dress smartly (i.e. no shorts).
If you’ve got kids, it would certainly be worth visiting this large waterpark. Plenty of waterslides, swimming pools and a wave machine as well as green areas where you can relax. There are rides and activities for children of all ages. Although there are lots of ice-cream bars and cafés inside the park, sSome readers have suggested bringing a packed lunch rather than paying over the odds for the fast food on sale in the park. Be warned that it gets very busy in August. Open mid-June to mid-September.
This popular seafood restaurant overlooking the beach is known for consistent quality of service and fresh seafood. If you love lobster then try them on Friday evenings. Set-menu lunches available for between €15 and €20 excluding drinks. Although it’s has the words “Bar” and “Beach” in the name, this is quite a refined place that’s also popular with locals, so dress appropriately.
A wide variety of tapas are available at this popular bar, which has won “Best Tapas Bar in Torrevieja” twice in recent years. Ask what the specials are for that day and the waiters often have good suggestions on wine by the bottle. It can get busy in the evenings. In the summer months, try to get a table in the narrow alleyway outside.
An upscale restaurant with a beach view – this is about half a mile from the port but well worth the walk. Very attentive service, excellent food and wines. If you are able to book in advance, try to get one of the sea-front tables so you can enjoy the view and sea breezes with your meal.
Readers strongly recommend the apartment complex at One Aldea Del Mar. It’s on the edge of Torrevieja, so ideal if you’d like to get some peace and quiet. 2 min walk to the beach. Rooms are clean and airconditioned and there’s a larger pool for adults with a smaller one for toddlers. There’s music by the pool (which can be a plus or a minus depending on your tastes! Family friendly but no Wifi. 15 mins from a supermarket. Rooms have a washing machine and washing powder plus other cleaning products are provided. Receptionists are helpful and knowledgeable, so happy to give suggestions on things to do in the local area.
Hotel Dna Monse is generally well rated although some found its breakfast buffet disappointing. There’s a rooftop pool with great views. Some readers suggest getting a room on a higher floor so as not to be disturbed by the hotel disco at night.