Free Spain travel guide

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Free Spain Travel Guide

Transportation of Spain

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Transportation of Spain - Free Spain Travel Guidebook

Trains, Buses and Planes

A low-gravity TALGO

Spain's transportation system, both public and private, operates on a level of comfort and efficiency comparable to those found in other European countries.

Most routes of the national Spanish State Railways (RENFE) radiate from Madrid. The sole exception is the line running from the French frontier through Barcelona to Alicante.

Rail fares are determined not only by the distance traveled, but also by the kind of train traveled on. Three kinds of express trains-diesel TALGOs and TERs and electric ELTs—charge a supplement per kilometer in addition to the regular fare. TALGOs link Madrid with other large cities. ELTs and TERs, which serve smaller cities as well, are slower and make more stops. All three offer first- and second-class seating and sleeping accommodations.

RENFE sells reduced price tickets for extended travel to be completed within a certain period of time. Special Blue Day discounts in effect 306 days a year lower selected fare 25 to 50 percent. Reservations, which can be made 60 days in advance, are usually obligatory.

Most trains are equipped with snack bars or dining cars. By and large, railway personnel speak only Spanish.


An extensive bus network, less expensive than railways, serves many places not accessible by train. Cities and larger towns usually have depots used by all bus companies. In hamlets without central depots, buses belonging to any of several companies may leave from different locations. Advance reservations are not required.


Iberia Airlines, offering both international and domestic service, connects Madrid with all the major Spanish cities. This airline, which operates an hourly shuttle between Madrid and Barcelona, also schedules frequent flights to and within the Balearics. Aviaco, a small internal company, duplicates and compliments many of Iberia's routes.

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