The regions of Spain
below for rural holiday accommodation in the regions of Spain
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Spain is a
big country, and distances can be long; driving from
Northern Europe to Spain is a time consuming operation, which explains
why the majority of British or German tourists visiting Spain prefer to
fly and then use some form of local transport - hire
car, bus, or train.
Flying to Spain
Spain is very well served by scheduled flights from Britain and the
north of Europe. Consult the websites of the following airlines, among
others, for route maps and timetables: Flybe, British
Airways, Jet2, Ryanair and
Easyjet. There are busy -
or not-so-busy - airports all along the Spanish coast, particularly on
the Mediterranean. The major airports on the Mediterranean coast are Barcelona, Alicante and Malaga, all of which
are served by scheduled flights and charters from a whole range of UK
and north European airports. Smaller airports are located on the
Mediterranean coast at Girona and Reus - in Catalonia - , at Valencia,
Murcia, and Almeria. There are also two inland airports in southern
Spain, served by international flights; Sevilla (Seville) and Granada.
Naturally, all of the main Spanish islands also have well-served
airports; Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca, Tenerife, and others.
Along the north coast of Spain, there
are airports at Bilbao, Santander, Oviedo, La
Santiago and Vigo - though these are not served as well as the airports
in the south.
To all intents and purposes, there is
only one international airport in central Spain, and that is Madrid.
Madrid is a major international hub, with worldwide connections, and
connecting flights to domestic airports throughout Spain, including
some not served by any international flights.
Driving in Spain
Spain can be a great place for driving, or else a nightmare; it depends
on the location. Most of the time, Spain offers a stress-free driving
experience, especially on
long cross-country routes, where the roads are frequently good, and the
traffic sparse. Spain has received a lot of EU funding, in order to
develop its road infrastructure, and the result is a network of top
quality highways, and motorways, that are free of congestion and in
some cases almost empty. Take the A66 motorway, for instance, that will
eventually run from Oviedo to Sevilla, down the west side of Spain.
Some long stretches of this are open, but virtually traffic-free! There
are plenty of other good roads that offer the same kind of hassle-free
At the other end of the scale, there are the
nightmare locations; between Girona and Valencia, the Mediterranean
Motorway can be hell on earth, specially at peak periods. The stretch
round Barcelona is particularly busy, with the added enjoyment of
perpetual roadworks and relatively poor signposting. In fact, motorways
in any suburban area of Spain can be pretty alarming, as they are often
inadequate for the volume of traffic they carry. Anyone thinking of
driving from the UK or northern Europe down to the south of
Spain should be prepared for some long tiring kilometres
along the north Mediterranean coast. It is not really until after
Murcia that driving conditions really begin to become more relaxed.
Click for more information on driving in
The busy parts of the Spanish inter-city motorway system are
toll-roads, called Autopistas, and relatively expensive; these are
designated by the letters AP, as in AP7, which is the Mediterranean
coast motorway on which you enter Spain if you come in from France at
La Junquera. However most of the network apart from the busiest routes
consists of free motorways, known as Autovias. For example the AP7
turns into the A7 after Valencia. The speed limit on Autopistas and
Autovias is generally 120 km/h.
hire in Spain
Cars can be hired all over Spain, and there is plenty of choice of car
rentals at Spanish airports. Generally speaking, hire is relatively
cheap compared to many other parts of Europe - but take care if you
rent or hire from a cheap-o independent car hire company; While you may
get a perfectly good hire at a bargain rate, on the other hand the
quality and safety of the vehicles hired out is not always up to the
mark. Watch out for dangerously worn tyres, missing equipment, or even
headlights that do not work.
Public transport in Spain
Spain has Europe's most extensive network of high-speed railways. AVE
lines link Madrid with Seville, via Cordoba, and with Saragossa and
Barcelona in the north east. The Barcelona AVE line opened in March
2008. With maximum speeds of 220 km/h, the AVE is fast, but not quite
up to the level of the French TGVs, which run at up to 300
You can check out times and routes, and book AVE and other
Spanish train tickets in English through Rail Europe, the centralized
European train operators booking site.
Where there is no AVE service, the train in Spain
is a relatively slow-moving beast, and many Spaniards will prefer to
use the country's good network of long-distance bus services. These
services - by air-conditioned coach - link most big towns and cities,
and offer fast and comfortable transport, which is above all cheap and
good value for money.
Gitelink Spain - home
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