The history of a connected province: From the railway to one of the airports with the highest volume of passengers in Spain

The history of tourism in Spain was revolutionized by a train: the railway line that linked Alicante and Madrid in 1858. “Act like the sun, spend the summer in Alicante” was one of the many phrases that invited thousands of tourists to travel towards the Costa Blanca.

At that time, transportation was far from the hermeticism and speed of today’s aircraft. The trip, which lasted approximately twenty hours, which was later shortened to twelve, was made on a train with a peculiar brand: a jug. And why a jug? For the simple reason that that container accompanied the passengers’ trips by loading them with enough fresh water for the entire journey. Passengers also used to take the jugs out the windows so that the air cooled their content even more.

As is to be expected, that railway connection represented an enormous change and challenge for Alicante, which had to prepare itself to welcome all the travelers who wanted to bath on its beaches. The first hotels in Alicante were the legendary inns or hostels of the 18th century. Later, in 1906, the big hotel chains arrived, such as the Hotel Reina Victoria. However, the term “tourism” became popular much earlier, specifically in 1860 with the visit of Queen Elizabeth II. The city council decided to mobilize to attract travelers. In this way, they brought together the owners of inns and proposed reduced prices for lodging, food, and attractions. It was at this time that the first reference to the term “tourist” is found.

Currently, ” la millor terreta del món ” has become accustomed to receiving millions of international passengers. Not just occasional tourists, but people who decide to make Alicante their second home. Trips no longer last long hours or require jugs like back then. Today, Alicante airport ranks number five with respect to passenger volume in Spain. Regarding its connections, it has more than 17 national destinations and more than 100 international destinations.

Whether by land or by sky, Alicante is a well-connected province since 1858.

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