In contrast to many other European countries, Spain has a comprehensive national network of bus and coach services allowing visitors to get pretty much anywhere at a reasonable price. Buses tend to be considerably cheaper than trains so there are a lot more Spanish people who choose bus travel over train travel when getting around by public transport.
Bus Tickets in Spain
Getting a seat is not normally a problem and for relatively short journeys (e.g. Madrid to Valladolid) you can just turn up and buy your ticket for the next service. However, for longer distance trips and especially popular routes in peak season (e.g. Madrid to the Costa del Sol) it is advisable to book at least a day or two in advance.
Return tickets represent better value than two singles. Also, if you are buying long-distance tickets in advance, or by internet, remember to have your passport handy as some operators ask to see proof of ID before allowing you to board.
Useful websites for ordering bus tickets online include the following:
- ALSA – national services and several airport connections.
- Movelia – for information on all major operators.
- Socibus – Madrid to Seville bus services
ALSA Bus Travel in Spain
Don’t think that taking the bus has to mean compromising on comfort. In Spain, the major operators offer modern and comfortable vehicles. For example, ALSA, Spain’s leading coach company and part of the leading international transport group National Express Group, operates a large national network and has services to suit all budgets.
In addition to standard class, ALSA’s superior “eurobus” and “supra” vehicles also operate on key routes. Supra coaches generally travel non-stop, and as well as saving time, they are fully fitted with leather seats and have bags of extra leg room. They also have on-board catering with hostess service included in the ticket price – truly bus travel for the 21st century!
Travelling by bus in Spain is easy, comfortable and affordable. As there is more than one bus station in large cities, it’s important to find out from which station your bus leaves.
Multi-Day Coach Tours of Spain
An often overlooked way of seeing Spain is to book a coach tour. These tours are available from a number of major locations in Spain and Portugal with a wide range of itineraries to suit anyone interested in this mode of transport. Whilst there are tours originating in other European countries which then drive down to Spain there are others which begin in Spain so you’ll need to arrange your own transport to Spain before beginning the tour.
The length of individual tours ranges from just two days travel with just one overnight to as much as 18 nights which is a grand tour of Spain and Portugal. Some itineraries also allow for extensions into Morocco. Departures are available from Madrid, Barcelona, the Costa del Sol and Lisbon.