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Travel to Spain

Iberia Spanish plane

Spain has over 40 airports, including on the islands.  The largest airports are at Madrid, Barcelona, Malaga, Bilbao, Sevilla, Valencia and Palma (Majorca).  Málaga and Barcelona are two of the country’s most popular, greeting large amounts of holiday-makers each year and subsequently there is a plethora of low cost flight deals to these destinations.  See the following list of airlines covering these routes and for more information about flights to Spain visit the Spanish Airport Authority web site.

Barcelona’s airport is called El Prat and is located 12 km from the city centre.  International flights arrive and depart at Terminal A and trains leave for Plaça de Catalunya every thirty minutes.  There is also a shuttle bus (Aerobús) which goes every 15 minutes to Plaça de Catalunya while a taxi to the town centre will cost approximately €20.


Málaga Airport is eight km west of the city of Málaga and is main flight path for people visiting the Costa del Sol.  The airport is next to the main A7 coast road that links to the AP7 Autopista del Sol motorway for Torremolinos, Benalmadena, Fuengirola and Marbella with Gibraltar to the west and Málaga, Nerja and Granada to the East.  Over the years Málaga airport has grown considerably and due to the large influx of travellers each year further expansion plans continue.  There is a half hour train journey to the centre of Málaga every 15-20 minutes from outside the main terminal, which costs approximately €3 - but ensure you buy your ticket before the journey or you risk being fined.  There is also a train to Fuengirola and a half hour airport bus from outside the arrivals hall into the centre of Málaga.  A taxi into town from the airport will cost around €15


Getting to Spain from the UK

The major airline companies in Spain are Iberia/Aviaco and AirEuropa and Spanair, and there is a huge array of airlines flying into Spain from the UK.  British Airways flies from London Heathrow to Barcelona four times a day with return fares from £69 inclusive and their franchise partner GB Airways flies from London Gatwick to Barcelona twice daily and three times a day on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday with fares from £69 return inclusive.


In addition, their subsidiary, BA Connect, flies from Birmingham to Barcelona once a day on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday with fares starting from £69.  EasyJet flies to Barcelona from London Gatwick three return flights daily, London Luton three return flights daily, London Stansted two return flights daily, Bristol one return flight daily, Newcastle one return flight daily and Liverpool two return flights daily.  Prices are from £19.99 one-way, including taxes.  Iberia also has reduced fares from Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester.


On the Málaga route, GB Airways flies from both London Heathrow and London Gatwick twice daily and once daily respectively with return fares from £69 inclusive.  BA Connect also flies from Manchester to Málaga daily with the same fare of £69.

EasyJet flies to Málaga from London Gatwick with two return flights daily, London Luton two return flights daily (apart from Saturday which operates three return flights), London Stansted two return flights daily (apart form Saturday with three return flights), Bristol two return flights daily, Newcastle one return flight daily, Belfast one return flight daily apart from Thursdays, Liverpool two return flights daily apart from Saturdays (with three return flights) and Nottingham East Midlands one return flight daily.  Prices are from £24.99 one-way (including taxes).  Iberia also has reduced fares from Heathrow, Gatwick and Manchester.


There are also plenty of budget airlines flying from the UK to Spain.  Those flying to Málaga include BMI Baby from Birmingham, Cardiff, East Midlands, Manchester and Teeside, CityJet from Dublin, Flybe from Birmingham, Exeter Guernsey, Norwich and Southampton, My Travel Lite from Birmingham, Palmair from Bournemouth.  Those flying to both Málaga and Barcelona include Aerlingus from Dublin, Air Berlin from London Stansted, Globespan from Edinburgh and Glasgow, Jet2 from Belfast, Leeds Manchester and Newcastle, Monarch from Birmingham, Gatwick, Luton & Manchester, Thomsonfly from Bournemouth, Coventry and Doncaster/Sheffield.


By road, rail and sea from the UK

If you would prefer not to fly from the UK to Spain there are several train routes to consider, such as Paris to Barcelona via Hendaye and San Sebastian or Paris to Barcelona via Portbou starting with a Eurostar train from London St Pancras.  Trains from London reach Barcelona via Cerbère where there are connections with Talgo, the fast intercity trains and long distance services to Málaga, Seville and Madrid.  Alternatively you can drive to Spain via the French motorways, across the Pyrenées passing Portbou in the east.  Driving licences from any EU country are automatically valid in Spain and driving is on the right with tolls to be paid on some motorways - the autopistas - but not on the autorias.


Another option is to take the ferry, these run between the months of mid March to November or December.  Brittany Ferries runs a service between Plymouth and Santander and P&O Portsmouth between Portsmouth and Bilbao.


Getting to Spain from the US/Canada

Flights from the US East coast and Canada take around seven hours.  Try Iberia airlines, which have more routes in and out of Spain than any other airline, or American Airlines which has services to Madrid from Miami.  Other airlines to try are Delta and Continental.

Getting around Spain

Major improvements have been made to road travel and intercity rail in Spain following Expo 92 in Seville and the Olympic Games in Barcelona.   Cars can be hired from the airports, train stations, large hotels and within cities, towns, and villages all around the country.  The national traffic agency is the Dirección General de Tráfico and to drive in Spain you should have an international driving licence, or one from your country of origin (driving licences from EU countries are automatically valid in Spain).


RENFE is Spain’s national state railway which has excellent intercity services.  Madrid has two main train stations; Atocha which is near the city centre and has trains to Andalucia and the Mediterranean coast, then Charmartin which goes to the north and to Barcelona.  There are plenty of taxis in Madrid, which are traditionally white cars marked with a red stripe. 


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