Spain’s international carrier is Iberia Airlines and it has more connections into and within Spain than any other airline. Other Spanish competitor airlines include Air Europa and Spanair but most other international airlines also offer direct connections to Spain.
The country has numerous international airports including Madrid, Barcelona, Alicante, Bilbao, Malaga, Seville, Valencia and Santiago de Compostela. All are served by either a bus or rail service which will depart regularly and will take you to the respective city centre in a matter of minutes.
Spain also has direct rail connections between Madrid and Paris, Madrid and Lisbon, Barcelona and Paris, Barcelona, Zurich and Milan and Barcelona and Geneva. For other international services to and from the country you will need to change trains. Coming from the UK the most convenient way to travel by rail is to take the Eurostar to Paris and travel from there to Spain.
If you are traveling by road the main motorways from France are via Bordeaux or Toulous to Bilbao or via Marseille or Toulouse to Barcelona. There are a number of tour operators who operate coach services. Eurolines is just one which serves more than twenty destinations in Spain.
Finally, if you wish to sail, Brittany Ferries operate a service to Santander from Plymouth and P&O European Ferries sail twice weekly between Portsmouth and Bilbao.
The state railway network, RENFE, covers the entire country and is the cheapest in Europe. It has two principal classes and numerous special prices and discounts which make economy travel a great deal easier for the budget traveller. You should look out for ‘Dias Azules’ or blue days on which you will receive a fifty per cent discount. There is also a ‘Tarjeta Turistica’ or tourist card which is only available to non-Spanish residents and this will entitle you to numerous discounts on either class for periods of three, five or ten days.
As well as its regular trains and sleepers, RENFE have recently launched AVE, a high speed train linking Madrid and Seville as well as a number of special tourist trains. The most impressive of these services is the ‘Expresso Al Andalus’ which leaves Seville on a weekly basis and spends five days touring Seville, Cordoba, Granada, Malaga and Jerez de la Frontera. The ticket price also includes meals at top restaurants in each city, shows, lodging etc. For information on all the train services in the country you should contact any of the RENFE offices.
The country also has an extensive bus network which is operated by a host of different independent companies. It serves some of the more remote towns and villages which the train service doesn’t reach so quite often it is the better option for those of you who want to head to into the great unknown. Most towns and cities have one main bus station where buses arrive and depart and information is usually easy to come by in the terminal.