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Travel between cities in Spain

Many, many thanks for the responses on this Forum--incredibly helpful! We have Ricks book but the forum site really helps with pesky details. We will be in Spain for 14 nights in mid-March--first trip, no possibility to increase our time :( . Two active couples in our early 60s. We are interested in seeing as much of Spain as possible, experience the culture and have an itinerary worked out--ambitious but has some pauses. Most of my questions are about train travel since we will use that method as much as possible.
A Spanish name question: Is it Seville or Sevilla? I see it both ways everywhere? ( I speak moderate level Spanish and know how to pronounce it but the spelling???)

1) Is there a train(regional or 'not too slow') that goes from Sevilla to Granada? I find it on some sites but wanted to be sure. Our plan is to train from Madrid to Sevilla, spend 3 nights in Sevilla, then train to Granada and drive back west through the hill towns--spenign 3 days doing that, and ending in Sevilla to take the train back to Madrid. (We have two people in the group who cannot do the Cordoba to Granada bus trip--or any buses due to motion sickness.)

2) We plan to train from Madrid to Sevilla but stop for a few hours in Cordoba then continue on to Sevilla for the night. then after several days take the train from Sevilla to Madrid. Should we buy these 3 trips as separate legs?

3) Ideas about when Renfe will open for train reservations for mid-March? We have a Barcelona-Madrid, and the Madrid to Sevilla trips and are anxious to try for discounts?

Again, many thanks!
SusanHabla

Posted by
18349 posts
  • In Spanish, the city's name is "Sevilla". "Seville" is the English version. Here we tend to slip back and forth on city names--or at least I do.

  • I see that Feb 28 tickets are purchasable but Mar 1 tickets are not. I'd guess that March could show up any day now (perhaps as soon as work resumes after the holiday). I'd be checking multiple times a day if possible.

  • I believe you need to buy separate tickets for the travel legs you mentioned since you have the Cordoba stopover, but we need someone more knowledgeable about Spanish trains to confirm that.

Posted by
14235 posts

For Sevilla, choose the Sevilla-Santa Justa station. Names on the Renfe site are in Spanish.

I'd spend at least one night in Cordoba after Madrid, it's lovely in the evenings. If you stop on the way to Sevilla, you need separate train tickets. You can store your luggage in the bus station across the street from the train station. If you already have the Madrid-Sevilla tickets (which is what you wrote), you won't be able to stop in Cordoba . . . unless you buy new tickets for Cordoba-Sevilla. You could stop on the way back from Sevilla to Madrid. It seems that you are splitting your time in SEvilla to two separate stays?

It looks like the MD (fast) train from Sevilla does go all the way to Granada now. That or driving seem to be your only choices. I hope your folks can handle the mountain driving without queasy stomachs.

Renfe is erratic. Most trains are offered 62 days in advance, but some show up a month or more earlier than that, while others may not show up until a week or so beforehand. All you can do is keep checking.

Posted by
12 posts

Thanks for the replies. (I would have spent a night or two in Cordoba(next time) but others in the group felt differently--however am very glad to have some hours there.) We don't have our train tickets yet so very helpful to know about separate purchases. I'll keep checking Renfe for our routes.

Posted by
1734 posts

I'm looking for March tickets too. I signed up on Loco train's website for an alert when they open up. Not sure it will work, but it can't hurt :)

Posted by
3694 posts

I signed up for the Loco site alert when tickets first become available for our train tickets across Italy & France last year. Yes, it worked very well.

Posted by
12 posts

Great to know Loco2 worked, I signed up for their notification.

Posted by
4556 posts

Susan,

I would have spent a night or two in Cordoba(next time) but others in the group felt differently--however am very glad to have some hours there.

It's unfortunate that your group does not want to spend at least one night in Córdoba.
I agree with Chani; Córdoba is lovely, especially at night, once the day trippers depart.

You can book your train tickets usually 60- 90 days in advance. As the others have mentioned, you will need separate tickets;
Madrid >> Córdoba, and, Córdoba >> Sevilla, if you plan to visit Córdoba en-route to Sevilla.

Don't forget to book your Alhambra tickets now ;-)

Enjoy your trip!

Posted by
7124 posts

You do have trains from Cordoba to Granada. If you are in County Durham UK, you also have direct flights with easyjet from LGW to Granada on Tue/Thu/Sat/Sun.

Arrive in Madrid. Train to Cordoba (2N)
Train to Granada (2N)
Drive through the hill towns (3N) to Sevilla (3N)
Train back to Madrid (4N)

Posted by
910 posts

So on the Seville-Granada route, when Renfe says "Travelers traveling on the Antequera Santa Ana, Antequera Ciudad, Loja and Granada section will make the same route by bus", does it mean part of the route is by bus (like Granada-Madrid currently)? Or it is talking about something else entirely and if we are going straight to Granada, it is all by train? I was interpreting it to mean part of the trip is by bus, but sure don't know.

Posted by
14235 posts

They've been working on the track upgrades between Antequera and Granada for over a year and a half now. It was supposed to take a few months. In the meantime, trains go to Antequera and then Renfe provides a connecting bus to the Granada train station. When I first looked at Renfe and responded to your post, it looked like the MD went all the way to Granada, but apparently that was a glitch on the website. It now shows all trains with the little red ! that means part of the time will be by bus.

If some of you absolutely cannot ride a bus, then your only option is to rent a car.

Posted by
12 posts

Chani, many, many thanks for rechecking the train route. When we planned the itinerary the Renfe site did show a train straight through to Granada. I saw the ! a couple of days ago but was not sure what it meant--but did seem to say a bus was needed. We will have to give the motion sick folks a lot of meds or do a short car rental as you said for the bus leg. It seems the road that goes from Antequerra train station to Granada is not too twisty--we will check google earth, etc. Anyone familiar with that road?

Posted by
14235 posts

I drove that road. I remember it being pretty flat and straight. It's a modern, divided highway and Antequera is on a peak in the middle of a plain.

Posted by
21028 posts

The is another option regarding tickets. You can purchase a senior discount card at any station. It was 6 Euro last year but could be higher this year. It gives a discount of 40% for weekday travel and 25% for weekend off the walk up price. The discount is not quite as good as the advance sales but has a huge advantage of flexibility. You can buy your tickets at the last minute and still get the discount. We never buy tickets in advance in Spain. The saving is small over the discount card.

You must have a specific ticket (seat reservation, etc.) for each leg of your trip. You cannot buy a ticket from A to D and get off and on at B and C.

Posted by
18349 posts

I used the senior card Frank is describing, and it did save me some money. As I recall, Friday is considered part of the weekend.

Posted by
1734 posts

I just wanted to post that after tying to buy tickets from Madrid to Seville via both LocoTrain and TrainEU and having issues I decided to try the "Hard" option, Renfe!

Amazingly, I got exactly what I wanted for a lower cost and the payment process was painless (I did not use PayPal as I only use them if there are ABSOLUTELY no other options. Used a Chase VIsa that does not have transaction fees) My only warning is watch for Dynamic Currency Conversion. When that screen pops up the "Yes" is bright green and the "NO" almost looks grayed out like it's not an option, but it works if you click on it!

Posted by
162 posts
  1. buy your senior discount card at the airport when you arrive. It does make a difference. When you purchase the ticket online you will put the number in the spot and it gives you a discount. You can only buy those in person at a train station! You can also then purchase all your train tickets right there (there is a train office at the airport). If you are traveling in March, you won't have any problems getting tickets.

  2. The train from Madrid to Toledo does not continue on to Seville. You have to go back to Madrid, get off the train and change platforms and go onto Seville. It can be done in one day. It is a short trip to Madrid/Toledo.

  3. yes, you purchase the tickets as separate legs.

  4. you can get a Renfe ticket Seville to Granada, but the train actually stops and they put you on a bus to finish the trip. Not sure when the rail line will be finished, but I think soon.