Knowing which Spanish airports have the most flights gives us a fairly good idea of which cities see the most air-passenger traffic – and it turns out that 75 percent of that traffic is concentrated in Spain‘s seven main ones. But in the summer months (especially July and August), which see the most leisure travel all year, these are the ten most popular, measured by passenger numbers,* counting down to the number one:
If the Canary Islands are one of Spain’s great summer destinations, the Balearic Islands aren’t far behind, and the second largest allures with its its mostly cove beaches, its nature, and its low-key charm, including historic towns and cities as well as mysterious stone monument dating back to the Bronze Age. This past mont710,000h its airport MAH received nearly 710,000 passengers – a whopping 45-percent jump over 2021!
With an atmospheric medieval old quarter, spectacular attractions like the City of Arts and Sciences, and fabulous nearby beaches, Valencia is a prime holiday magnet each summer, and last season VLC saw nearly 879,000 passengers come and go – a significant rise over previous arrival numbers.
The Canary Islands are one of the most popular holiday destinations for both domestic and foreign visitors, thanks to their mild climate, beaches, volcanic terrain, and cuisine. One of two airports on Tenerife, TFS in the south of the island is the Canaries’ second busiest, with more than 879,000 passengers moving through in July of 2021.
Part of the Valencian Community, Alicante is another huge Spanish beach destination – home to resort powerhouse Benidorm (especially popular with Brits) as well as towns like Altea, Calpe, Jaeva/Xabia, Villajoyosa, and of course Alicante city itself. Its popularity is reflected in traffic through ALC, which in July and August last year numbered more than 2.4 million.
And though since the 1970s this has been most reknowned as a “party island” which attracts multitudes of young people to its beaches and rocking nightlife, there are also plenty of other attractions for older visitors as well as those more interested in nature and idyllic villages. And figures for passengers passing through IBZ reach 2.9 million last summer.
Beyond its gorgeous beaches, the largest of the Canary Islands offers charistmatic cities and towns, and LPA near capital La Palma is the single airport with the most flights in all the Canary Islands, carrying more than 3.1 million passengers in and out.
Spain’s sixth largest city is also the gateway to one of the country’s most popular holiday coasts, the Costa del Sol (our country’s third most popular destination for international visitors for its beaches and charming small towns). There’s also an increasing number of cultural offerings in Málaga itself as well as the coasts next largest city Marbella. August traffic in particular is given a huge boost by the annual weeklong exrtavaganza Feria de Málaga (just held this year the 13th through the 20th). All told, nearly 4 million passengers passed through AGP last year.
Spain’s third busiest summer airport is just outside the capital of Majorca (as well as the Balearic Islands as a whole), which in addition to being a jumping off point for the resort areas and beaches all around the island’s coasts is in its own right an appealing city with a fascinating history and great eating. No wonder that more than 5 million come and go at PMI each summer!
The silver medal goes to this grand, historic city which is the country’s single top tourism magnet, offering a wealth of magnificent modern and classic architecture (including the famous Art Nouveau of Antoni Gaudí and others); culture of all kinds; fabulous restaurants cuisine; appealing city beaches; and fascinating sites dating back two millennia to the era of Roman Empire rule. It’s also of course the gateway to the many beach resort and inland areas of Catalonia. Barcelona’s appeal is compounded even more by business travel. meaning a brisk business going in and out of BCN all year round, but passenger traffic peaks in July and August, to the tune of eight million.
Perhaps unsurprsingly, the capital of Spain lands once again in first place, with a staggering 11.6 million passengers arriving or landing at MAD last summer. In addition to offering holidaymakers an extremely rich museum/cultural, historical, architectural, and culinary menu (including a new UNESCO World Heritage Site), Madrid is the gateway to many other marvelous nearby destinations including Ávila, El Escorial, Salamanca, Segovia, and Toledo, in addition to smaller towns and nature reserves in the Madrid region itself. Also contributing to these numbers is the city’s status as Spain’s primary international gateway, not just to/from Europe but especially other continents. And finally, Madrid is of course Spain’s main business capital, so passenger traffic remains heavy all year round – but in the peak summer months.