Specific Train Travel in Spain questions
I am going to Spain in September and would like info on the trains to help me plan:
1. For the following routes: Madrd to Sevilla; Cordoba to Granada; Granada to Madrid; Madrid to Barcelona
Question on reservations - is it best to make them in advance, or can it be done a few days before?
Is there flexibility on a reservation once made, allowed to change the time?
2. Sevilla to Cordoba - is a reservation needed? Trains are quite frequent.
Thanks in advance.
I am a fan of getting a Euro Rail Pass from Rail Europe and making reservations for each leg. You can also use the site to see the cost of each leg and decide if it is worth to buy a Euro Rail Spain Pass vs Individual Tickets.
I took the train back and forth from Barcelona to Granada using a sleeper car, which was 40 Euros per trip. It saved a lot of lost time from traveling because Barcelona to Granada by train is 10 hours and I was on a strict school schedule. I also took shorter trips in Italy, and it was better to reserve a seat rather than get whatever was available, which might be a fold down seat or standing.
The Rail Europe site is also a great planning site because it tells you the train schedules and travel time.
From what it sounds like, I think your best bet is Barcelona- Madrid, Madrid-Sevilla, short train trips in Andalucia, Granada-Barcelona (But I love Barcelona, so this is not unbias advice). You might consider stopping in Valencia on your way to Barcelona. You can see the Holy Grail in the Cathedral of Valencia
ETA: BTW, I am also a fan of Wikitravel. I know, it is "what everybody has seen", but a person really only has an authetic experience if they staying in one place for weeks and make friends with locals, not by traveling around and sight seeing (and making friends with other tourists).
Last edited by bardtoob; 07-05-2010 at 03:31 AM.
Trains do fill up during the high tourist season, so you may be able to travel but not during the best times. In September, most Europeans from the north are done with their summer holiday, which is normally the 4 weeks in August, but college students often do not start college until the end of September and the weather is still good so it may still be pretty crowded with tourist. It also makes a difference if your are traveling alone vs with friends; if you want to ride together then reserve together.
It is not impossible to change reservations, but you may run into a language barrier if somebody does not speak English behind the ticket counter and your Castillian and/or Catalan is not that great.
Last edited by bardtoob; 07-05-2010 at 03:32 PM.