Up to 60 million visitors travel to Spain every year to enjoy the 315 sunny days of the country and its rich and diverse history and culture. As a result, the Spanish government spends millions of euros a year on travel and transport infrastructure to serve the growing population of the country and its growing number of visitors.
Therefore, Spain must be one of the most popular and affordable destinations in the world in terms of its accessibility, especially for the United Kingdom and North America. For example, there are daily cheap flights available from all British airports to major and regional airports throughout Spain and direct flights from major Spanish centers in the United States. As an alternative for British and European travelers, there are fantastic train, bus and ferry links and great access for those who prefer to travel by car.
This article breaks down the main Spanish travel options by region.
Northern Spain – The easiest way to access this region is by plane from one of the main airports in the United Kingdom that fly directly to Bilbao or from the United States to Malaga with a transfer to Bilbao. It is possible to connect with Iberia flights for connections through the north and throughout Spain. Alsa and Eurolines have sophisticated bus networks and it is possible to travel all over Europe to Bilbao or San Sebastian and then pick up local buses or rail connections. You can also sail from the UK port to Plymouth in Santander with Brittany Ferries, or you can take the P&O route from Portsmouth to Bilbao.
Castile and La Rioja – The cheapest way to access these regions is possibly to fly to one of the main Spanish centers: for example, Barcelona, Bilbao or Madrid and, therefore, to drive or obtain connecting flights. You can connect with Iberia for flights to Logrona to La Rioja or Valladolid to Castile. Castilla, Rioja and Navarra are served by an excellent road network that facilitates travel and, once again, Alsa coaches will connect you with important and minor destinations in the regions and throughout the country.
Aragon, Navarre and the Pyrenees – Since these regions are easily accessible by car or bus from Madrid, it may be best to get a cheap flight to Madrid and drive the E90 to the heart of the region. You might consider getting a connecting flight to Zaragoza in the middle of the region, which is a good starting point for explorations in this stunning area of Spain. You can also access this region by rail or bus. Eurolines buses will connect you to Pamplona or Zaragoza; The Eurostar train will take you from the United Kingdom to Paris and from Paris you can take a high-speed rail link overnight to Madrid … from Madrid the options are varied, from local rail and coach connections, car hire cars and local flight connections with Iberia.
Costa Brava and Costa Daurada – As we move east towards the beautiful coastal regions of northern Catalonia on the Costa Brava and the Costa Daurada, accessibility will increase. Barcelona Airport is the main airport in these regions and hosts cheap flights from the United Kingdom and the United States. Then you can connect with Girona in the counties of the Costa Brava or Reus in the counties of the Costa Dorada Barcelona has a network of underground trains to access the whole city and, if you want to travel further, the Spanish rail service RENFE has many local and regional services that serve both regions. The main coastal road of the Costa Brava is the A7, with the A2 that takes you west of Barcelona and the C32, which will take you south of Barcelona to the Costa Daurada. Barcelona has a port with ferry services to Genoa, Rome, Mallorca, Menorca and Ibiza.
Central Spain and Madrid – The main airport in central Spain is Madrid and hosts direct flights from all major airports in the United Kingdom and the United States and also from smaller ones. Because Madrid is such an important city, you can imagine that it acts as an important travel hub for all of Spain. Bus and rail networks and major car routes radiate from the city. Madrid has two main stations with trains for regional and international destinations, and the city also has an underground metro system.
Costa del Azahar – The main tourist center of this region is Valencia, with the city’s airport enjoying direct flights to the United Kingdom. To access the rest of the region, you can take advantage of RENFE services from Valencia or enjoy the city via FGV trams and underground trains. If you want to travel from the coast to Madrid, take the N430 and the A3; to explore the coast, take the A7. Once again, Eurolines coaches connect with cities and towns in this region, such as Valencia, Sagunto and Vinaros. And last but not least, Valencia is a port city and has ferries all over the Mediterranean with destinations such as Malta, Ibiza, Italy, etc.
Costa Blanca – Most visitors to this region enter Alicante Airport. With the Costa Brava well maintained by the roads and the airport of Alicante that offer great car rental opportunities, many people prefer to access by road to the rest of the region, although RENFE, Eurolines and Alsa offer excellent railway and coach alternatives.
Costa Calida – Murcia is the main airport in this region, although Alicante Airport is also accessible, offering visitors and residents an additional opportunity and advantage. From Murcia there are several important train services that include direct links to Madrid. In terms of roads, Costa Calida is once again a region with an excellent network of roads and important routes: the N340 runs from Alicante to Murcia to the Costa del Sol, the A7 covers the coast and the service of local, national and international bus lines. area. A passenger terminal was built in the port city of Cartagena in 2003, which now serves as a destination for some of the major cruise lines heading to and from destinations in France, Greece and the Black Sea coast.
Almeria Coast – You can choose when it comes to airports in this region, you can fly to Alicante or Murcia and travel by road or rail in the region or you can fly directly to Almeria airport. The cheapest flights are usually to Alicante. RENFE has the main railway services from Almeria to the city of Granada, Eurolines, Alsa and Enatcar offer all bus services along the entire Almeria Coast. The main routes in the region are the N340, which runs from Costa Calida through the city of Almeria and south to the Costa del Sol, the A92 which connects with Granada and the A348 which connects Almeria with the Alpujarras. In terms of access to the sea, Transmediterranea has ferries from the port of Almeria to North Africa.
Costa del Sol and Andalusia – If you can’t fly to this region of Spain, you must be doing something wrong, or maybe you’re just hoping to travel during the high season. The main airport is Malaga and almost every airline you can think of flies from almost every UK and US airport you can think of! If you can’t get a flight and you’re in the UK, you might consider driving to the Costa del Sol. In this case, the best bet would be to sail from Plymouth to Santander or from Portsmouth to Bilbao and then travel the 900 kilometers south. If you are going to Bilbao you will need the A68 and the A1 in Burgos, or from Santander take the N623 to Burgos, and from Burgos take the N1 to Madrid. From Madrid to Granada, from Granada to Malaga … phew! You can also get a Euroline bus from the UK to Estepona or Málaga or travel from Paris by fast night train to Madrid and connect with the AVE fast train to Córdoba, which in turn connects with the regional services of the Costa del Sol .
Coast of Light and Gibraltar – You can fly to Gibraltar or Jerez in the region or make use of the many cheap flights to Spain that land in Malaga. There are ferry services between Tarifa and Algeciras in Spain and Tangier in Morocco, bus and rail services across Europe and through Spain to the Costa de la Luz and close connections with the E15 serving Gibraltar from the mainland.
Whatever your final destination, you should be able to find cheap flights to some of Spain’s major airports and then use local and regional travel services to access the destination of your choice; as I hope I have shown, all of Spain is easily accessible.