Spain has a fantastic high-speed rail network called the AVE which can whisk you from Malaga to Madrid in just 2 hours in comfort and for reasonable prices. The line has been serving Malaga, Madrid, Seville, Cordoba, Toledo, Zaragoza and Barcelona for the last few years.
This month it has started its route from Madrid to Valencia and will take you there in just 1.5 hours. They are trying to keep costs low to encourage more people to take the train rather than fly. They announced last month that for the new Valencia route they will be offering standard tickets for under 80€ and are also offering special discounts over the Christmas period. A route which connects Madrid to Bilbao in the North is currently under construction.
The AVE is a fantastic way to get around a country as large and varied as Spain and allows you to take day trips to some of these great cities. We did a weekend break in Madrid by train and it was a very civilised way to travel and maximised our time in Madrid. We went on the slower Talgo train, but even so it was quicker than flying when you take into consideration the travel time to and from the airport and also the check-in time.
If you speak Spanish, tickets can be bought direct from the train operator RENFE’s website https://www.renfe.com/ but it is not the most user-friendly website. RailEurope.com is in English and seems to offer good information and easy booking.
Check out our website for Spain rental accommodation if you’re planning a trip around Spain by train, plane or automobile.