Costa Blanca Itinerary – Or the Best Day Trips from Alicante and Valencia
Costa Blanca in Spain is the perfect destination to visit all year round. While the beach is a great place to visit in the summer (and fall and spring), you can take wonderful strolls along the beaches even in the winter – thanks to a mild climate.
But Costa Blanca is so much more than just a great beach destination (personally, I think summer is too hot for me in Spain). Cute towns and villages, a party hotspot, and many activities for people of all ages (even kids) make it a great destination for anyone.
This post is actually a weird kind of post – I admit it.
It should serve as an itinerary for 5-7 days in Costa Blanca, but also as an inspirational post if you are looking for the best day trips from Valencia or Alicante, the two main cities in the region.
Here are tips for your week in Costa Blanca – the best things to do and see at Costa Blanca in five to seven days. In other words, find out about the best day trip ideas from Alicante and Valencia.
Costa Blanca Travel Tips
But first: some quick travel tips for Costa Blanca.
How to Get to Costa Blanca
Most likely, you will fly into Alicante or Valencia.
Alicante was our choice, as there are cheap flights from Bremen – my hometown – and many other European destinations.
From the airport to Alicante, it just takes a 20-minute bus ride (around 4€).
Alicante also has a train station you can arrive at. The train station is right in the center, and from there, you can easily get around.
Valencia has an airport and two train stations as well (which, btw, are very close to each other).
How to Get Around in Costa Blanca
We opted for public transportation. It is actually pretty good – and cheap. The train ticket from Alicante to Valencia was about 40€ round-trip (if we had booked the tickets in advance, we would have had to pay only 32€) per person.
From Alicante to other destinations, we took the tram – which came with great views. And a ticket from Alicante to Altea, Benidorm, or Villajoysoa cost only a few € (one way).
In a group of three or four, a rental car might be the cheaper option, but I was so seriously impressed with the public transportation in Costa Blanca that I would prefer that over driving myself.
Best Time to Visit Costa Blanca
I love seasons – but whenever it gets to winter, I cannot wait to escape the cold for a few days. Living in Germany, I still haven’t fallen in love with a few months of very cold weather. But I also don’t worship the heat – so where to go in the winter?
Costa Blanca was my choice this year and I can tell you: while it might be too cold to spend hours lounging at the beach and swimming in the ocean, Costa Blanca is the perfect destination in the winter.
The weather is mild in this time of year and perfect for endless hours of strolling, discovering the towns and cities along the coast (oh yes, Costa Blanca has some very lovely towns and villages along its shores), and enjoying sightseeing without too many other tourists.
No need to beat your way through the crowds, no overpriced accommodations – these are just a few reasons why I can recommend exploring this lovely Spanish area.
Where to Stay in Costa Blanca
Thanks to the good public transportation, it is easy to get around from one place to the other. Okay, it takes some time to get from Alicante to Valencia but day trips are absolutely doable. So, there is no need to change hotels each day.
We stayed in Alicante – most of the places here are closer to Alicante than to Valencia.
My tip would be to stay in Alicante but you will be fine in any of the places.
Alicante Accommodations – We stayed at the 3-star hotel Maya Alicante. It was a decent choice with a friendly and bright interior – breakfast choices were good, the quality, however, was not great. But in all, you get good value for your money.
Click here to find more hotels in Alicante – for each budget.
Valencia Accommodations – Valencia is a great base for your trip in Costa Blanca. The city itself is home to many great sights and attractions, so if you want to base yourself in Valencia, check out hotel rates there.
Altea Accommodations – Altea is probably the best place to stay for love birds. Small and tiny and yet so gorgeous – I guess, this is the most romantic place of the itinerary. So, click here to find out about hotel rates in Altea.
Villajoyosa Accommodations– Villajoyosa is a fun and small place perfect for those seeking to be at the beach within minutes (or even seconds). I suggest this place for those looking for a more relaxed place (also great for families). Click here to find out more about hotels and rates in Vilajoyosa.
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Best Day Trips from Alicante / Valencia
Here are my tips for things to do and see in Costa Blanca.
Altea is located in between Alicante and Valencia and is absolutely charming. It is the perfect day trip from Alicante because you can get there even by tram for a few €, and this town is so unique.
Altea is like the mini version of Santorini – maybe I am exaggerating a bit, but the whitewashed houses and flowers add some Greek charm to it.
Altea itself is really small, so you could “finish” the sightseeing part quite quickly.
However, it is so cute that I recommend taking your time to stroll the narrow streets and soak in the views. At the end of the day, you can enjoy a drink at the beach. It will not get much cuter than Altea.
If you like to do a guided tour – Villajoyosa and Altea from Alicante – click here to find out more about prices and times.
The most colorful place in Costa Blanca is Villajoyosa. It is located closer to Alicante than Valencia, so if you are coming from Valencia, you could combine it with a trip to Altea. I never expected to find such a colorful town here – it is my personal little Burano.
But unlike Burano, it even has a beautiful beach section and a Friends Cafe. So, small and tiny it may be, but it is worth a day trip from Valencia or Alicante.
If you like to do a guided tour – Altea and Villajoyosa from Alicante – click here to find out more about prices and times.
Benidorm did not win me over within the first few minutes. Though I am a city girl, I did not enjoy walking from the train station to the beach area. It was just busy and not charming. So, are you wondering why I am still recommending it for a day trip from Alicante/Valencia?
Well, the town center itself is not fun or amazing (unless you are a party animal – apparently, Benidorm is very well-known for being a party hotspot), but the beach area is absolutely lovely and so is the famous Balcón del Mediterráneo – these pretty white steps and balcony are absolutely lovely and charming. You have musicians playing (probably only in good weather) and fantastic views of the ocean.
This is serious Instagram material – pretty, pretty, pretty.
Alicante was our base – a lovely city with a few highlights that can be visited throughout the year.
My favorite place was the astonishing Santa Barbara Castle. The views were spectacular (and free!). The castle is still well-maintained and pure fun, especially in the winter when it is less crowded.
But as pretty as the castle and the views are, you should also visit the lovely beach (great for some nice strolls, even in the winter), discover the old town, and stroll the Esplanade of Spain (which is known as the prettiest promenade in Spain).
From Valencia, it is a 1.5-2 hour train ride, and absolutely worth it.
Spain´s third biggest city is lovely, lively, and fun. If you go on a day trip from Alicante, make sure to start your trip early so that you can maximize your day in the pretty city.
Arriving at the train station is already an experience in itself. From there, you can start with exploring the beach section of Valencia and then head towards the museum area – with sights like Valencia Eye along the way (either get there by bus or walk. Then, head to the pretty old town of Valencia with the stunning old buildings and attractions.
There is a direct train connection from Alicante (prices start from 16€ for a one-way trip). Early booking is helpful, and some trains are more expensive (we paid around 20€ one-way).
I am adding this place even though I was not able to make it there myself. Calpe, a coastal town in between Alicante and Valencia, is known for its very beautiful beaches. If you like to visit only one or two places, you can easily combine it with a trip to any of the following: Altea, Benidorm, or Villajoyosa.
So, while we visited all the places from Alicante, they can also be done as a day trip from Valencia, since all towns and places are located more or less in between the cities of Alicante and Valencia.
While this is no ordinary Costa Blanca itinerary, it hopefully has helped you curate your time at Costa Blanca and create your itinerary.
If you visit in the summer – or late spring or early fall – you can easily add a few days for some dedicated beach time. Depending on the place you stay, you can decide where you want to enjoy your beach vacation. As mentioned above, there are quite a few beach destinations, and even more that weren’t listed (Costa Blanca is just great for that kind of holiday).