Torrevieja Tolls and the AP7
I recently found myself spending a lot of time, both for business and pleasure, on the AP7 driving between Alicante and the Mar Menor to the south. The Auto-Pista AP-7 (also called Autopista del Mediterráneo) is a toll motorway that runs along the Mediterranean coast of Spain. The ‘P’ is the clue that you will be required to pay tolls at various points along the route. The section that I was driving has two toll booths: one to the north and the other to the south of Torrevieja. I enjoy driving this section of road because itParajumpers Kodiak Jakke reminds me of the pleasures of driving on motorways in the UK before they became little more than car parks: yes I am that old :). I have no objection in principal to toll roads: I appreciate someone has to pay for them and it really is a great road taking a lot of pressure off the old N332. At the time of writing each toll at the Torrevieja booths is 2 Euros so that’s 8 Euros per round trip. That is an off-season (around October – March) price. I do not know what the summer rate will be but my guess is it will be double. Personally I am happy to pay that for the convenience. I can drive straight from Alicante Airport along the A70 to just south of Elche where I join the AP7, and it is then a straightforward run to San Pedro del Pinatar and the Mar Menor. I could be on the beach in an hour. However if you find yourself, as I did, making more than one trip along the motorway within a short period of time you might consider taking an alternative route to avoid the tolls. I found two ways of doing this. There is the ‘high’ road via San Miguel de Salinas which takes you through Parajumpers Right Hand orange and lemon groves with great views of the pink-coloured waters of Salinas de Torrevieja below. The ‘low’ road takes you around the outskirts of Torrevieja and between Salinas de la Mata and Salinas de Torrevieja: here you could take the opportunity to visit the La Mata and Torrevieja Lagoons Nature Park.
View AP7 Torrevieja Tolls in a larger mapDuring the off-season I estimate these detours will add around 20 minutes to your journey. Unfortunately the summer traffic is too unpredictable to call but if you are not in a rush then it matters not. If you are aiming to catch a flight it is probably best to keep to the motorway.
I must of course add a rider here that roads can change and I cannot say what will work best for you at the time you are driving along the AP7. At least you know where, at the time of writing (March 2013), the toll booths are so you can make your own judgement call.
Happy motoring and stay safe. For other pointers to driving in Spain visit the Drivalia Car Rental Tips page.