The average train time from Madrid to Alicante is 3h 41m, although it takes just 2h 16m on the fastest high-speed AVE services. There are around 8 trains per day running from Madrid to Alicante, the first train leaves Madrid Atocha at 06:45 and the last train leaves at 20:10.
AVE trains on this route run on the 223 miles (359 km) Madrid-Alicante high-speed rail line, which supports fast travel between the two cities. You’ll hurtle at speeds of up to 300km/h (186 mph) during the journey. For those who want to travel in style, Renfe’s First Class offers wide reclining leather seats, plenty of legroom, free WiFi and complimentary drinks and snacks.
Arriving in Alicante, you’ll get to enjoy the warm climate in summer, especially at Playa de San Juan. But it's not all about the beach. You can also climb to Castillo de Santa Barbara to appreciate the views and visit the archaeological museum to learn more about the area.
Want to learn more about travelling from Madrid to Alicante? Start your search for tickets in our Journey Planner at the top of the page or keep reading for train times, FAQs about the journey and tips on how to find cheap train tickets from Madrid to Alicante.
Renfe is the national train operator in Spain. It operates trains on the longest high-speed railway network in Europe, and the second-longest in the world. The country's major cities are linked up by the high-speed AVE and Avlo trains, while other long-distance routes are served by Altaria, Talgo, Alvia and Euromed trains. Renfe also operates cross-border services into neighbouring Portugal and France. Depending on which service you are travelling on, you'll usually find two classes on Renfe trains - Estándard (Standard Class) and Confort (First Class). Fare types range from the cheapest (but least flexible) Básico fare, to the more flexible Elige fares, to the Premium fare for seats in Confort carriages.
AVE is Renfe's flagship high-speed service, with trains capable of reaching up to 193 mph (310 km/h). It’s one of the fastest trains in Europe and connects the main cities of Spain. Most AVE trains offer two comfort classes – Estándard (Standard Class) and Confort (First Class equivalent, with 1-1 configuration, ultra-wide seats, gourmet food and drink and lounge access). All AVE trains have air conditioning, power sockets, free WiFi and a buffet carriage serving a selection of food and drinks. There are three fares for AVE services: the cheapest but least flexible Básico fare, the Elige fare (slightly pricier but more flexible), and the Premium fare for seats in Confort Class.
Renfe's Alvia services combine high-speed tracks with lower speed sections, reaching speeds of up to 155 mph (250 km/h) on international lines and 125 mph (200 km/h) on conventional lines. These trains connect the cities of Madrid, Barcelona and Alicante with the other main Spanish cities. Alvia offers two types of classes – Turista (Second Class) and Preferente (First Class). The latter has wider seats, carriages with fewer seats, offers complimentary food and drinks, free newspapers, and access to parking and Club meeting rooms.
Most of the train companies across Europe release their tickets around three to six months in advance, many of which can be cheaper the earlier you book. If you know the dates you want to travel, you may be able to find some cheaper train tickets from Madrid to Alicante Terminal by booking early.§
Many of the train services in Europe are also popular commuter services, lots of train companies increase ticket prices during “peak hours” (generally between 06:00 – 10:00 and 15:00 – 19:00 on weekdays). If you can, consider travelling outside of peak hours to find lower priced tickets.
On some of the busier routes, you might also have the option to take a slower or connecting train. It may take a little longer than some high-speed or direct services, but if you have a little extra time on your hands, you might find a cheaper fare. Plus, you'll have more time to enjoy the view of the countryside!
For specific information about how to get your hands on cheap tickets, check out our European train tickets hub.
The average journey time by train between Madrid and Alicante Terminal is 2 hours and 28 minutes, with around 9 trains per day. The journey time may be longer on weekends and holidays, so use our Journey Planner on this page to search for a specific travel date.
The fastest journey time by train from Madrid to Alicante Terminal is 2 hours and 16 minutes.
Train ticket prices from Madrid to Alicante Terminal can start from as little as €16.60 when you book in advance. The cost of tickets can vary depending on the time of day, route and class you book and are usually more expensive if you book on the day.
Yes, it is possible to travel from Madrid to Alicante Terminal without having to change trains. There are 9 direct trains from Madrid to Alicante Terminal each day. Though there may be fewer direct services available depending on your exact departure date.
The first train from Madrid to Alicante Terminal leaves at 07:45. Times and services may vary during weekends and holidays.
The last train from Madrid to Alicante Terminal leaves at 21:15. Trains that depart in the early morning hours or very late evening may be sleeper services, time and services may also vary during weekends and holidays.
Trains travelling from Madrid to Alicante Terminal cover a distance of around 223 miles (359 km) during the journey.
If you take a high-speed AVE train from Madrid to Alicante, not only will you reach your destination in no time in spite of the 223-mile (359 km) distance between the two cities, but you’ll also travel from one city centre to another while enjoying plenty of amenities on board.
AVE trains travelling between Madrid and Alicante depart from Madrid Atocha station. Located in the heart of the Spanish capital, the station is super close to a wide range of attractions, including El Retiro Park and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, and is served by high-speed, long-distance and regional (also known as Cercanías) services. Long-distance and AVE trains depart from Puerta de Atocha terminal, which is at the station’s ground floor.
Arriving into Alicante Terminal, which is Alicante’s main railway station, you’ll find yourself only 3 minutes away from the town hall and the port. More than 150 long-distance, high-speed and Cercanías trains serve this station every day.
On board the high-speed AVE train from Madrid to Alicante
From Madrid, I took the train at 16:25 on a Thursday. Even if I had bought the cheapest ticket I could find to travel in Standard Class, I really enjoyed my journey – it was quite comfortable. Standard Class seats on AVE trains are reclining and very comfortable, and come with power sockets, reading lights, armrests, footrests, and fold-down tables.
Each carriage has toilets, air conditioning, TVs, and plenty of luggage storage, including luggage racks where you can place your backpack or hand luggage. What’s more, AVE trains that cover the route from Madrid to Alicante have a restaurant car with an extensive menu of food and drinks you can choose from.
Train stops during the journey
Not all AVE trains from Madrid to Alicante make the same stops. In my case, the AVE 5162 stopped at Cuenca Fernando Zóbel and Albacete Los Llanos, although some services also stop at Villena AV. The train stopped for just a few minutes before it was back on track again.
Arriving in Alicante
After just over two hours travelling at speeds of up to 300 km/h (186 mph), the train arrived at Alicante Terminal station at the scheduled time of 18:43. From Alicante station, you can quickly reach the city centre on foot. If you prefer, you can also take one of the buses that stop at the station or walk to the taxi rank, located right in front of the station entrance.
About Jaime Campoamor
Jaime Campoamor is one of our trusted, hand-picked travel writers. The information for this article was recorded first-hand, based on his own genuine experience of the journey.