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2 weeks in Spain...many questions on travel

We will be in Spain June 25 thru Jul 9th. We worked ahead to get all hotels booked. We are flying in and out of Madrid. We have questions on traveling between the cities we're visiting: 1. Day trip from Madrid to Segovia 2. Travel from Madrid to Toledo (overnight stay) 3. Travel from Toledo to Seville (overnight stay) We will be renting a car in Seville to drive down to Tarifa and then over to Granada. Then we'll be getting a hopper flight from Granada to Barcelona. 4.Travel from Barcelona to San Sebastian (overnight) 5. Travel from San Sebastian to Pamplona for day trip
6. Travel from San Sebastian to Madrid I know this is a lot but I appreciate any help you can give us!

Posted by
1003 posts

Madrid to Segovia day trip you can do by bus or train. I did it by bus from Principe Pio station because it was cheaper and easier (just one bus rather than a train then a bus in Segovia), though perhaps takes slightly longer. Train leaves from Chamartin station north of the city center. Madrid to Toledo you do by fast train from Atocha, only about a half hour and very easy. Toledo to Seville you have to do through Madrid - take the same short half hour train to Madrid, then catch train to Seville. Atocha is big, I would make sure you have at least 20 min or so for that connection. I did a similar trip but stopping in Cordoba (on same line to Seville) instead, and it was easy. I haven't done trips to the others so I'm sure someone else can help. That said, you should really get Rick's Spain book because these transport connections are clearly outlined in there (at least, the ones I describe above are). While I don't always use all of his advice, I believe he can't be beat for his help with these practical needs like connections and transportation help and I always have his book with me for information exactly like what you're asking for.

Posted by
59 posts

My wife and I returned two weeks ago from a two-week trip in Spain. I can give my thoughts on some of the legs in your post. 1. We took the train, with no problems. We bought the tickets the day of our trip, and took a cab from the train station to the center of town. We were traveling with another couple, so the four of us could travel in a cab cheaper than each of us paying bus fare. 2. As mentioned in RS Spain guidebook, the Madrid-Toledo trains tend to sell out, so you should buy your tickets ahead of time. But don't buy them from the automated machines at the Atocha station! After carefully picking the desired trains for our day trip to Toledo (for the next day) and feeding our credit card into the machine, it spit out tickets for a different train...one that gave us only 4 hours in Toledo rather than the 6.5 hrs we wanted. Buy the tickets over the internet, or use the ticket windows (which we would have used, except that there was a one-hour wait). 3. We rented a car in Madrid and drove to Seville. Great drive. If not too late to change your plans, you might consider not taking the train to Seville. Pay heed to the warnings in the RS Spain guide book about the difficulty of driving and parking in Granada. There are restricted areas in Granada where you can be ticketed if you don't have advanced permission from the hotel, if the hotel is the restricted area. We avoided any tickets (we think...I will be watching my credit card bill for the next few months), but finding parking in a parking garage was a real hassle. We started in Barcelona, but didn't go to any of your destinations in 4, 5, or 6. We really enjoyed Spain. Have a good trip.

Posted by
4132 posts

Here is something that worked out really well for us. Like your plan, we spent a night in Toledo. For us, it was our first night. A magnificent introduction to Spain, and a great place to work off jet lag. Our next stop was Madrid of course, and when it came time to move on from there we didn't need to travel to the rail hub in Madrid because we were already there. We took the bus between Madrid and Toledo.

Posted by
15766 posts

It is good you are spending the night in Toledo. We loved it there. Either bus or train works for going TO Toledo, but for the return to Madrid to catch the AVE to Sevilla you will definitely want the train so you end up at Atocha. Make sure to allow at least 20-30 minutes between trains-you cannot just cross over the platform from one train to the other at Atocha. It is more like boarding a plane. You have to leave the track platform, go up and around through security ( very quick) and re-enter the boarding lounge to wait for the boarding gate to be announced. You show your ticket to go through the gate and then head to the train. There are still Promo fares on Renfe for some trains in late June from Madrid to Sevilla. Promo fares are around 34 to 46 € instead of the regular fare of 75€. You need to buy those online. At the station you will pay full fare (unless senior discount applies). Barcelona to San Sebastian/Donastia and from SS to Madrid are each about 5.5 hours by train. Again,mthere are still Promo fares available in early July.