Is it more economical to buy Eurail or Renfe pass?

Hi, Jeff! We are traveling from Barcelona to Madrid (Sept 27); Madrid -Segovia -Madrid (Sept 29); Madrid -Toledo -Madrid (Oct 1); Madrid-Seville (Oct 3),; Seville to Granada (Oct 7). 2 questions: (1) What would be the fastest and most economical—Renfe pass or Eurail, or point to point ticket purchase? (2) If direct travel from Seville to Granada is still not possible, how long does it take for the bus ride from Antequera to Granada? Is the cost of the bus included in the Renfe pass?
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  • Hi Betsy,
    For the requested itinerary, your best option would be the Eurail Spain Pass for 3 days in combination with regular tickets just for your Madrid-Segovia and Madrid-Toledo trips. This would be more economical than purchasing the Renfe Spain Pass.
    For the Eurail Spain Pass, you would click here: https://www.raileurope.com/pass/spain-pass-5931.
    Barcelona to Madrid
    Trains from Barcelona to Madrid are AVE high-speed trains, which require reservations as a supplement to the Eurail Spain Pass.
    For travel with a rail pass, you would purchase reservations from Barcelona to Madrid by searching the route on our homepage (www.raileurope.com), checking the box that says ‘I have a rail pass’, and then indicating the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling (i.e. a ‘Eurail Spain Pass’).
    Madrid-Segovia-Madrid
    Trains between Madrid and Segovia are Alvia and Avant trains. These trains do require reservations; however, the ride is so short that it would not be worth devoting a 'travel day' on your pass to this trip. With that being the case, as I alluded to above, I actually just recommend that you purchase regular point-to-point tickets for this part of your trip.
    You would purchase tickets from Madrid to Segovia by searching the route under 'BOOK TRAIN TICKETS' on the homepage of our website, www.raileurope.com. To purchase regular tickets (as opposed to reservations), you would just have to be sure to leave the 'I have a rail pass' button unchecked.
    Madrid-Toledo-Madrid
    Trains between Madrid and Toledo are Avant trains. These trains do require reservations, but just like the Madrid-Segovia trip, the ride is so short that it would not be worth devoting a 'travel day' on your pass to this trip. Therefore, I would just recommend purchasing regular point-to-point tickets for this part of your trip as well.
    You would purchase tickets from Madrid to Toledo by searching the route under 'BOOK TRAIN TICKETS' on the homepage of our website, www.raileurope.com. To purchase regular tickets (as opposed to reservations), you would just have to be sure to leave the 'I have a rail pass' button unchecked.
    Madrid to Seville
    Trains from Madrid to Seville are AVE high-speed trains, which require reservations as a supplement to the Eurail Spain Pass.
    For travel with a rail pass, you would purchase reservations from Madrid to Seville by searching the route on our homepage (www.raileurope.com), checking the box that says ‘I have a rail pass’, and then indicating the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling (i.e. a ‘Eurail Spain Pass’).
    Seville to Granada
    The construction on the rail line outside of Granada is still not complete, so travel to Granada would still involve taking a bus from Antequera. The trains from Seville to Antequera are AVE/Avant trains, which do require reservations as a supplement to the Eurail Spain Pass. So that you'll also be covered on the Antequera-Granada bus, you would need to search the full route from Seville to Granada when you go to purchase reservations on our website (www.raileurope.com). When purchasing these reservations, just be sure to check the box that says ‘I have a rail pass’, and indicate the type of rail pass with which you'll be traveling (i.e. a ‘Eurail Spain Pass’). The bus ride can take anywhere from around 1 hour and 20 minutes to 2 hours.
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