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Just to the south of Alicante along Spain’s Costa Blanca is the pleasant little resort village of Torrevieja. There are 20 kilometres of coastline surrounding the town with six major beaches and dozens of tiny coves to discover. There is also an unusual national park on the doorstep filled with saline lakes and wildlife. But the only way to reasonably explore the area outside of the resort is by car hire. With Cartagena to the south and Alicante to the north the options for a day drive are very enticing.
Who to Book With
There are plenty of options for visitors who want to rent a car in Torrevieja. Several local firms like Luzcars and Coys Rent-A-Car offer alternatives to the big chains. With no train station or airport here, all the car rental offices are located in various spots around the town centre. Rentals in Torrevieja often sell out during busy periods so it’s suggested you go online and book your rental as early as possible to get the best prices and selection.
Best Time to go
With an average of 300 sunny days a year, it’s hard to find a bad time to visit Torrevieja. Even in January the daytime highs average a reasonable 16°C, and though summers are quite hot at around 33°C the humidity levels are tolerable. A visit in May or October serves up perfect temperatures and light crowds.
Need to Know Essentials
These documents are required by most rental offices upon arrival:
- A valid EU or UK driver’s license or International Driving Permit
- A second form of photo ID
- The credit card you used to book the rental
- A print-out of your rental confirmation if possible
Except during the peak summer holiday season, driving and parking in Torrevieja isn’t too stressful. Parking at the beach is not free but there are five public car parks that charge by the hour along the seafront. If you drive around the inland streets you can typically find a free parking space within an easy walk to the beaches.
Torrevieja is a great town for walking, so once you find a parking spot you can get around on foot easily. The N-332 coastal highway runs north to Murcia and south to Cartagena, connecting to the larger AP-7 and E-15 motorways. The city streets are laid out in a grid that is logical and easy to navigate.
There are few transport options in Torrevieja for travellers without a car. Local buses are operated by Costa Azul and taxis are all over town helping visitors get around. The buses are useful for getting to major points around town, but if you want to get out and do anything else along the coast, a car rental is required.
There is no train station in Torrevieja, but you can easily get to either Alicante or Murcia and then catch a bus to town. Trains into both cities are operated by Renfe, with good connections to larger cities in this region of Spain.
Taxis seem to be everywhere you look in Torrevieja, so they are rarely hard to find. They tend to queue up at the bus station, Town Hall, and popular points around the town centre. You can also call for a quick pick up any time of day with leading outfits like Radio Taxi Torrevieja. It costs €3.50 to get in a cab, and after that the meter charges by the distance travelled. Any trip within the town should not cost more than €30.
There are seven bus lines that run around Torrevieja operated by Costa Azul. A single trip fare costs €1.20 and buses operate between 06:00 and 23:00 everyday. The only downside is there is at least a 30-minute wait between buses, and that time often jumps well over an hour during the peak summer weeks.
If the beaches right in Torrevieja start to feel congested just hop in the car and drive north or south to any number of quieter seaside destinations. This is one town where a car is really useful because there are so many beach options along the Costa Blanca. There are also three excellent Spanish cities within an easy hour drive if you need a touch more history, culture and entertainment.
Costa Blanca - Serves up some of Spain’s prettiest beaches, and outside of the busy resort towns like Torrevieja they are noticeably quieter and less crowded. A short scenic drive up the coast takes you to beaches like Playa Flamenca, La Zenia and Guardamar.
Cartagena - One of Spain’s coolest historic port cities, located just an hour south of Torrevieja by a relaxing motorway. There is over 3,000 years of history to check out, from Roman ruins to Byzantine churches. Cartagena’s seaside promenade is a beauty and its city centre is packed with alluring cafés and shops.
Murcia - A good choice for a day of urban fun away from the coast. Choose from a fast highway or scenic country roads to reach this large city directly inland to the west. Its historic downtown has loads of beautiful architecture, from a Moorish castle to a Gothic cathedral.