Spain’snational airline is IBERIA (IB).
Many airlines operate to Spain, including an increasing
number of low-cost airlines from the UK.
Approximate flight times: From
Barcelona to London is 2 hours; from Ibiza is
2 hours 20 minutes; from Madrid is 2 hours 15
minutes and from Málaga is 2 hours 40 minutes.
From Madrid to Los Angeles is 13 hours; to New
York is 7 hours 25 minutes; to Sydney is 30
boasts over 30 international airports. Information
on the major airports follows; information on
any of the others can be obtained from AENA (Aeropuertos
Espanoles y Navegación Aérea) Calle
Arturo Soria 109, Madrid 28043 (tel: (91) 321
2950; fax: (91) 321 2955; website: http://www.aena.es)
which is the organisation responsible for running
all of the Spanish airports.
Madrid (MAD) (Barajas) is 13km (8 miles) northeast
of the city. A coach service departs to the city
around every 10 minutes (0445-0200) and underground
services run every 5 minutes (0630-0130). Taxi
service is available. Airport facilities include
restaurants and bars, bank, several car hire offices,
hotel reservation and tourist information desks,
and outgoing duty-free shop.
Barcelona (BCN) (del Prat) is 13km (8 miles)
southwest of the city. Bus service to the city
departs Mon-Fri every 15 minutes, Sat every 30
mins and Sun every 20 mins (0600-2400). Rail service
is every 30 minutes (0613-2340). Taxi service
to the city is available. Airport facilities include
a bank, restaurant, bar, several car hire companies,
hotel reservation and tourist information desks
and duty-free shops.
Alicante (ALC) (Altet) is 12km (7 miles) southwest
of the city. Bus service runs to the city (0700-2335).
A taxi service is available to the city. There
is a taxi connection between Alicante and Valencia
Airport. Airport facilities include a duty-free
shop, bank, bureau de change, car hire, tourist
information and restaurant.
Bilbao (BIO) (Sondika) is 11km (7 miles) north
of the city. Bus, taxi and rail services to the
city are available. Airport facilities include
a restaurant, duty-free shop, tourist information
desk and car hire.
Málaga (AGP) is 11km (7 miles) southwest
of the city. Buses run every 30 minutes. Train
service runs every 30 minutes. Taxi service to
the city is available. Airport facilities include
duty-free shop, bank/bureau de change, restaurant
and car hire.
Santiago de Compostela (SCQ) is 10km (6 miles)
northeast of the city. Buses and taxis are available
to the city centre. Airport facilities include
bar, banks, car hire and shops.
Seville (SVQ) is 12km (7 miles) from the city.
Taxis and buses are available to the city centre.
Valencia (VLC) (Manises) is 10km (6 miles) west
of the city. A rail service, taxis and buses (0600-2020,
every 80 minutes) are available to the city centre.
Airport facilities include several car hire firms,
bank/bureau de change, restaurant, bar and duty-free
The main route from the UK is via France. The
main motorways to Spain from France are via Bordeaux
or Toulouse to Bilbao (northern Spain) and via
Marseille or Toulouse to Barcelona (eastern Spain).
A number of coach operators offer services to
Spain. In the UK Eurolines, departing from Victoria
Coach Station in London, serves more than 20 destinations
in Spain. For further information, contact Eurolines
(4 Cardiff Road, Luton, Bedfordshire, L41 1PP;
tel: (08705) 143 219; fax: (01582) 400 694; website:
For information on documentation and traffic regulations,
see Travel – Internal section.
There are direct trains between Madrid–Paris
and Madrid–Lisbon, as well as Barcelona–Paris,
Barcelona–Zürich or Milan and Barcelona–Geneva.
These services are called Talgo, Estrella or Train-Hotel.
On other international services to and from Spain,
a change of train is necessary. However, work
on the AVE (high-velocity train) route between
Madrid and Barcelona and is expected to be completed
in 2006, after which the French border connection
is expected to be fully operational in 2010 and
it will be possible to connect with the French
TGV (high-velocity route) and the rest of the
high-velocity routes in Europe. Motorail services
run between Paris and Madrid. For more information,
contact the Spanish Rail service (tel: (020) 8080
0320; fax: (020) 8080 0215; e-mail: email@example.com;
Travelling from the UK, the quickest way is to
travel by Eurostar through the Channel Tunnel
to Paris (travel time – 3 hours) and, from
there, to Spain. For further information and reservations
contact Eurostar (tel: (0870) 600 0792 (travel
agents) or (08705) 186 186 (public; within the
UK) or (+44 1233) 617 575 (public; outside the
UK only); website: http://www.eurostar.com);
or Rail Europe (tel: (08705) 848 848). Travel
agents can obtain refunds for unused tickets from
Eurostar For Agents, 2nd Floor, Kent House, 81
Station Road, Ashford, Kent TN23 1PD, UK. Complaints
and comments may be sent to Eurostar Customer
Relations, Eurostar House, Waterloo Station, London
SE1 8SE, UK (tel: (020) 7928 5163; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Discount Rail Travel: The Spanish
rail system is one of the cheapest in Europe and
various discounts are available. Travellers under
26 can purchase a RENFE Tarjeta Explorerail, which
allows unlimited travel on all but some regionales
and fast trains. It can be bought in Spain, or
in the UK from selected travel agents, and is
available for 7-, 15- and 30-day periods. Travellers
can also enjoy savings by using any one of the
European passes available, such as the Euro Domino
Freedom Pass, which enables holders to make flexible
travel arrangements. The pass is available in
19 European countries, but must be bought in the
country of residence for which a valid passport
or other form of ID has to be shown. In the UK,
this pass is available from Rail Europe 179 Picadilly,
London, W1, UK (tel: (0870) 584 8848; website:
http://www.raileurope.co.uk). The tickets are valid
for 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8 days within 1 month. Also
available from Rail Europe, the Inter-Rail Pass
allows up to 50 per cent reductions for 2nd class
rail travel in 28 countries; the pass is now also
available for those aged over 26 (at a higher
cost). The Rail Senior Plus card entitles senior
citizens to 30 per cent discount on rail travel
into and out of Spain, even during peak hours.
This discount does not apply when only travelling
internally. The card is available from most British
Note: Seat reservations are
required on all intercity trains. This ruling
applies to the passes and cards mentioned above.
High-Speed Trains: The Ave service
averages 300kph and connects Madrid and Seville
in 2 hours 15 minutes, with 12 services each way
via Córdoba. Some services also stop at
Ciudad Real and Puerto Llano (La Mancha). The
stretch from Madrid to Lleida has been in operation
for several years. Planned completion of the Madrid
to Barcelona leg is due in 2006; and the high-speed
border connection with France in 2010. Also in
2010, the stretches from Cordoba to Malaga, Madrid
to Valencia and Madrid to Valladolid should be
ready. The Talgo 200 connects Madrid and Malaga
thrice daily in 4 hours 35 minutes. Holders of
most of the cards and passes mentioned above qualify
for discounts, albeit less substantial than the
rates quoted above.
Tourist Trains: The Transcantábrico
and Andalus Express offer a pleasant way of discovering
their respective regions. There are also a number
of privately-run narrow-gauge railways in Spain,
located mainly in the north of Spain as well as
the Mediterranean coast and the Balearic Islands,
which run at a leisurely pace through picturesque
scenery. For more information on tourist trains,
contact the Spanish National Tourist Office.
No person under 18 may hire or ride a vehicle
over 75cc. Crash helmets must be worn. Regulations:
Traffic drives on the right. Side lights must
be used at night in built-up areas. Spare bulbs
and red hazard triangles must be kept in all vehicles.
Traffic lights: two red lights mean ‘No
Entry’. Parking laws are rigorously enforced.
The speed limit for motorways is 120kph (80mph)
in general, but for buses and lorries the limit
is 100kph (60mph); in built-up areas the limit
is 50kph (30mph); for other roads it is 90kph
There are bus lines which are efficient and cheap,
operating between cities and towns. Departures
are generally from a central terminal at which
the operators will have individual booths selling
tickets. Most places have a bus link of some kind,
even the more remote villages. Car hire: All major
car hire companies are represented in major cities.