Travelling around Spain by train is a dream thanks to the AVE high speed trains. The first AVE line began operations in 1992 on the Madrid-Cordoba-Seville route which gets you from Madrid to Seville in just 2½ hours. Next came the Madrid to Zaragoza route which opened in 2003 and has now been extended to connect the capital with Barcelona in just 2½ hours. In 2010 the Madrid to Valencia line was completed and connects the cities in 1½ hours.
This is one of Europe’s finest rail services with a guarantee on the Madrid-Seville route that if your train is more than 5 minutes late you’re entitled to a full refund. This guarantee applies on the Madrid-Barcelona route but for delays over 15 minutes. Such punctuality has been one of the key elements that has contributed most to the growth of the AVE network together with the excellent customer service provided during the ticket sales process and during the train journey itself.
Booking AVE Tickets
You can now Book AVE Tickets Online thanks to a new initiative between RENFE (Spanish Rail) and Rail Europe who operate the sale of European rail passes. For more information about the AVE service and for online reservations please go to the Rail Europe Website.
Ave High Speed Rail Map
See Spain on Alvia Trains
Whilst the AVE trains are the quickest way to get around Spain by train they are also the most expensive. An alternative is to book journeys on the excellent Alvia trains which travel on the same high speed railway lines but are less expensive. They can also travel on the older rail tracks so are available to many more destinations. These Alvia trains are very comfortable with plenty of legroom and reclining seats and are only a little slower than the AVE on the same routes. For more information about the Alvia train service and for online reservations please go to the Rail Europe Website.
Luxury Elipsos Train Hotels to Spain
Luxury hotel trains operate from Paris, Milan and Zurich to Barcelona and from Paris to Madrid. They represent the highest calibre train travel with an a la carte restaurant and exceptional sleeping facilities onboard. The Trenhotels consist of small, private coaches which are designed especially for night travel. There is a range of accommodation types to suit every traveller’s needs, from “Gran Class” Sleepers offering cabins with a wash basin and shower to a “Sleeperette” reclining seat. Quality and privacy are guaranteed. For more information on booking the luxurious Elipsos train services to Spain please refer to the Rail Europe Website.
Get an InterRail Spain Pass
If you’re travelling around in Spain you’d be as well getting an InterRail Spain Pass which provides you with the flexibility to get around what is Europe’s 3rd largest country (after France and the Ukraine). Details of different passes that are available together with an explanation of how they can be used appears on the Rail Europe Website.
Useful Spain by Train Links
Spanish Rail (RENFE)
Check train routes, times and fares on the official website of Spanish Rail.
How to get from London to Spain by train together with an exhaustive selection of useful information about travelling all over Europe and the world by rail.