Too many people going in too many directions!

We are a family of 5 traveling to Spain this Spring. My eldest son is going to Madrid for work and we are meeting him there. He is going to Barcelona prior to our arrival. Once we arrive we hope to travel to Seville, Granada, Cordoba, & Toledo before he needs to return to the states for work. The next week, we hope to go to Santiago de Compostella to see our exchange student from last year. What train pass would you recommend?
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) April 18, 2016 18:43
    Hi Ellen,

    For Spain, there are actually two different options of rail passes to consider: The 'Eurail Spain Pass' and the 'Renfe Spain Pass'.

    The Eurail Spain Pass

    The Eurail Spain Pass, like other passes throughout Europe, is only able to be issued as a paper document that would have to be shipped to you before your trip. The Eurail Spain Pass is a 'flexipass', which means that you'd have a certain number of 'travel days' to be completed within a longer time frame (that 'longer time frame' being 1 month in the case of the Eurail Spain Pass).

    'Travel days' on a flexipass refer to how many separate days you plan on using your rail pass. A ‘travel day’ is a 24 hour period from midnight to midnight. You may take as many trains as you wish during the 24 hour time frame and still only use one day of travel on a pass. For instance, if you were take a day train from 'city A' to 'city B' and then take a connecting train to 'city C' on the same day, then you would only use up one day of travel on your rail pass. In contrast, if you were to take that connecting train to 'city C' on the next day, that would constitute 2 days of rail travel on your pass.

    The Eurail Spain Pass covers the ticket costs on trains between different cities in Spain. Reservations, which are required on all high-speed trains in Spain, are a supplementary cost to the Eurail Spain Pass. In Spain, the major cities are connected almost exclusively by high-speed trains. Therefore, it is likely that reservations will be required for many of your trips in there.

    For travel with the Eurail Spain Pass, you would purchase reservations by entering a route on our homepage (www.raileurope.com) and indicating that you'll be traveling with the pass when you're prompted. Generally, trains in Spain can be reserved once within 60 to 90 days of an intended date of departure.

    You would purchase the Eurail Spain Pass here: https://www.raileurope.com/rail-tickets-passes/eurail-spain-pass/index.html

    The Renfe Spain Pass

    The Renfe Spain Pass is unique from the Eurail Spain Pass (and most other rail passes) in that it is issued electronically (you would receive an email from us with a link to print the pass.) It is also unique in that reservation costs are included in the cost of the pass itself. Considering that reservations are a supplementary cost to the Eurail Spain Pass, the Renfe Spain Pass often works out to be the most economical option for itineraries in Spain involving multiple train trips.

    The Renfe Spain Pass is also distinguishable from other passes in that it would be purchased for 'segments', as opposed to 'travel days'. A 'segment' refers to each individual train you take (i.e. '6 Segments in 1 Month'=6 different trains in 1 month).

    Even though there is no additional charge for reservations with the Renfe Spain Pass, it would still be required that you make reservations on each train. With that said, the process for making reservations is different with this pass. If you purchase the Renfe Spain Pass, you would request your reservations just by replying to an email that we send to you when the order for your pass is processed. For planning purposes, you can still just check the schedules for a particular trip by doing a search on our homepage (www.raileurope.com).

    You would purchase the Renfe Spain Pass here: https://www.raileurope.com/rail-tickets-passes/renfe-spain-pass/index.html
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