by Victor Sesma
Victor Sesma is an Alicantinian living in London. He is a Software Engineer who likes writing about the city he was born.
Your Guide to Alicante [By an Alicantinian]
The distance between Alicante and Madrid is 261.6mi (421km). The two cities are extremely well connected. Here are the 4 main ways to go from Alicante to the Spanish capital Madrid: train -just above 2h-, coach -from 4:40h-, plane -1:05h-, car or car sharing 4:06h.
Here is the summary of prices and times of each transport from Alicante to Madrid:
|High-Speed Train||From ~14€ to ∞€||From 2:23h to 2:35h||renfe.com|
|Price system similar to planes|
|Plane||From ~30€ to ∞€||1:05h||skyscanner.net||Operated by Iberia/AirEuropa|
|Coach/Bus||From 33.31€||4:45h to 6:05h||alsa.es||Alsa.es, bundle card 4 trips for 15.83€ each|
|Car||Around 45€ 6L/100km||At least 4h||n/a||It is recommended to stop every 2h drive|
|Shared Car Blablacar||From ~20€||At least 4h||Blablacar.es||Ride prices change a lot from driver to driver|
The best service from Alicante to Madrid is by high-speed train. The companies operating the service -or starting soon- are Renfe, Iryo (from June 2023), Ouigo (starting May 2023) and Avlo (starting 27th March 2023). There are usually more than 10 high-speed train services per day to Madrid.
How to buy tickets, estimated prices, times and more are in this article about the Train Station in Alicante.
But there are also other types of services running on the route: Alvia and Media Distancia.
This is the slowest way to get to Madrid by train but, sometimes, it can be the cheapest. Media Distancia stands for medium distance. Those are the trains on trips of a few hundred miles between nearby cities in slow trains. You would need to do a transfer so you will have to take two trains for the Alicante-Madrid trip. Even if it happens to be the cheapest option by train on the date you need to travel it might not be the most comfortable one. You might want to use the bus if your priority is saving money. The prices are around 40€ but are worth checking on Renfe’s website.
This is the second-fastest train. It takes 2:45h to complete the route. It is a very good option if the train times and prices match your expectation. The prices will wildly vary depending on Renfe’s prices algorithm. Sometimes can be less than 30€ and sometimes it can be more than 80€.
Alvia trains have an optional fee for travelling in first class. All passengers can use the cafeteria coach where you can buy some food and snacks. The trains are adapted for passengers with reduced mobility. The Alvia trains can reach a speed of 155mph (250km/h).
There are several companies offering high-speed trains to Madrid: Renfe, Iryo (from June 2023), Ouigo (starting May 2023) and Avlo (starting 27th March 2023).
This is the fastest train for the route between Alicante and Madrid. It can take as little as 2h to travel the distance but the time can vary on the service’s stops and train traffic. AVE stands for Alta Velocidad Española or Spanish High Speed. Trains can reach speeds of 193mph (310km/h).
AVE trains have business class, and a cafeteria and are adapted for passengers with reduced mobility. AVE trains are the most frequent type of service during the day. Prices will vary highly on the route demand with Renfe’s prices algorithm. The way it works is similar to prices in flights. Sometimes, a ticket will be less than 30€ but sometimes it can escalate to more than 100€.
Several companies operate the route Alicante-Madrid. All buses will start at Alicante Coach Station and finish the route at Madrid Bus Station Estación del Sur (South Station) where you can take the Metro or local trains.
The main company operating the route is ALSA. You can check and buy the tickets on their website. Prices can start at 12.85€ or less. Again the price is depending on demand and ALSA’s price algorithm.
The buses feature comfortable seats. They have two places for luggage: the boot for big bags/suitcases and the space above the seat for hand luggage.
The buses have a toilet and they do one mandatory stop in a service area halfway. The stop takes place nearby the town La Junquera and you can buy traditional food and desserts from Albacete province.
ALSA usually show two movies with Spanish subtitles that you can listen to using headphones.
The motorway from Alicante to Madrid is free. Alicante’s elevation is 0m but Madrid’s elevation is 667m. Some parts of the motorway near Madrid might be a bit steep and curvy as it is a kind of old mountain motorway. You might find some traffic depending on the dates and times you are driving.
In general, the motorways are well maintained in Spain and have nice wide shoulders. The trip should get around 5 hours to take a break. If you are driving an electric car you can use the app ElectroMaps to plan where to stop and charge. The charging network is expanding fast in Spain. Right now you should be able to use one of the few fast chargers available on the route. In the very near future, more chargers will be added giving you some more options. There are Superchargers in the middle of the route if you drive a Tesla car.
It is well signposted how to go to Madrid from Alicante. The main motorway you will be driving on is called A-31.
BlaBlaCar is a company for sharing car rides between particular people. It is popular in several European countries including Spain.
If you are a passenger, you will divide with the driver the petrol price. The prices for this ride start at 20€. The app has a booking and messaging system where you can speak with the driver. You can use that in-app chat to decide with the driver where to be picked up and left.
The last option to travel from Alicante to Madrid is taking a flight. At the moment, there are two airlines flying from Alicante Airport to Madrid-Barajas Airport: AirEuropa and Iberia.
If you want to book a flight you might want to use a flight search engine like, for example, Skyscanner, Momondo or Google Flights. Here is how to get from/to Alicante city centre to Alicante Airport by bus.
I hope this article gives you a better understanding of how to travel between Alicante and Madrid. If you have any questions, please, use the comments!