If you plan to visit the southeast of Spain for either business or leisure, chances are that you will fly into Alicante-Elche airport halfway between the two places from which it takes its name (roughly 10 kilometres away from each), a privileged location that also enables travellers to hire a car and take a road trip to Valencia or Murcia.
Aside from the operations by Air Nostrum/Iberia connecting this airport with others in the Iberian Peninsula and the Spanish islands, low-cost airline companies such as Norwegian Air Shuttle, Ryanair and Vueling are the main ones offering flights to Alicante from a wide variety of European cities. ALC consists of a single building since 2011, when the whole complex was rearranged in order to give way to a brand new passenger terminal capable of handling all its activity, especially during peak season. Thus, visitors find 96 check-in counters and 40 boarding gates in the departures level, divided into non-Schengen (concourse B) and both Schengen and non-Schengen (concourses B and C).
Likewise, there are numerous places to eat and do some shopping in Alicante airport before your Mediterranean trip to Spain ends. Although the terminal stays open 24 hours a day, the outlets have its own operating hours, depending on whether they are located before or after security and the volume of scheduled flights. What is more, they may change to be extended during the holiday season; for instance, the World Duty Free store in the boarding area opens at 4:00 and closes at midnight on peak season, the Starbucks on the passenger-only restricted zone starts operating at as early as 5:00 as long as planes are scheduled to depart and the fashion shops in the concourse may extend their working hours from 8:00-20:00 to 6:00-21:00 to cater to the needs of early-morning flyers.
Shopping in Alicante-Elche airport, Spain
Those simply passing through the public area of the airport may visit The Market and the Arrivals Duty Free store, both located on ground level. While the former offers all kinds of snacks, drinks and travel items, the latter specialises in the finest beauty products, chocolates, spirits and gifts.
Once you have cleared security on the second level of the departures area, you can find the best gourmet and delicatessen goods in Petra Mora, get the latest trends at Desigual and Weekend by Max Mara or treat yourself to some luxury at Victoria’s Secret and Swarovski.
For last-minute souvenir shopping, stop by the Duty Free and the “Encanto” shops in Alicante airport, conveniently located next to the gates.
Places to eat in Alicante-Elche airport
If your trip to Alicante leaves you hungry and you need to recharge batteries before boarding the plane back home, you may choose among the vast array of choices at Rodilla, a sandwich bar whose creators have come up with the most delicious combinations, or the substantial Burger King combos, both situated in the arrivals area.
Coffee lovers can indulge in the Caffriccio and Costa Coffee outlets of the public departures area, but those looking for a hearty meal or even some tapas should allow some extra time to spare and go through the screening as soon as they can to enjoy the best restaurants in Alicante airport: The Air Food Court, Cañas y Tapas (serving traditional Spanish tapas accompanied by draught beer), Subway, Il Caffe di Roma and Starbucks Coffee are just some examples of the options available on the landside.
*Insider tip: If you did not have the opportunity to taste “chocolate con churros” during your Spain trip, head to “Chocolatería Valor” on level 2 of the departures passenger-only zone. Valor is a renowned producer of artisan high-quality chocolate in the country and it is something you just can’t miss out on.
Is Costa del Sol on your bucket list as well? Take a look at our recommendations for your holidays in Marbella and Torremolinos.