Madrid (daytrips to Toledo, Segovia, & El Escorial), Cordoba, Seville, Barcelona (daytrip to Montserrat). What should I purchase?

I am honeymooning in Spain this October and plan to travel by train, I am unsure if I should get a rail pass or not. I will be staying in Madrid 5 nights, while there taking a 3 different day trips to Toledo, Segovia, and El Escorial. Following that we will leave Madrid to Cordoba and then from there to Seville to stay another 4 nights. Next we will leave Seville and head to Barcelona via high speed train for another 5 nights while there taking a day trip to Montserrat. I guess my question is what are my best options?
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  • Jeff (Official Rep) May 29, 2015 15:37
    Hi Bryan.

    Instead of purchasing regular tickets for all your trips or even the 'Eurail Spain Pass', I would recommend considering a brand-new pass called the 'Renfe Spain Pass'. The most economical option for multi-city travel within Spain is often the Renfe Spain Pass. You can check costs and information for the Renfe Spain Pass here: http://www.raileurope.com/rail-tickets-passes/renfe-spain-pass/index.html.

    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) and reservation costs would be included. Considering that reservations would be a supplementary to the Eurail Spain Pass, the Renfe Spain Pass would generally be the most economical option for multiple train travels in Spain.

    The Renfe Spain Pass is also distinguishable from our other passes in that it would be purchased for 'segments', as opposed to 'travel days'. A segment refers to each individual train you would be taking (i.e. '4 Segments in 1 Month'=4 different trains in 1 month). The minimum number of 'segments' for the Renfe Spain Pass is 4. In fact, for your specific itinerary, I would recommend purchasing it for only the minimum of 4 segments and then purchasing regular tickets for your day-trips from Madrid to Toledo, Segovia, and El Escorial, as well as your day-trip between Barcelona and Montserrat. Therefore, you would actually only be using the Renfe Spain Pass to cover your trains from Madrid to Cordoba, Cordoba to Seville, and Seville to Barcelona. Since this only amounts to 3 segments, you would still have 1 segment left over that you could use on one leg of one of your day-trips between Madrid and either Toledo or Segovia.

    For example, you could use the remaining segment of your Renfe Spain Pass to cover you on your outbound trip from Madrid to Toledo, and then you would only need to purchase a ticket for the return from Toledo back to Madrid.

    You would purchase regular tickets for trains between Madrid and Toledo ('Avant' trains), as well as for trains between Madrid and Segovia ('Avant', 'Alvia', or 'InterCity' trains), by clicking on 'Find Fares & Schedules' on our homepage and entering the route.

    Tickets for the trains between Madrid and El Escorial and tickets for the trains between Barcelona and Montserrat both can only be purchased locally in Spain.

    To get to El Escorial, you would take a 'Cercanias' commuter train (Line C3) from Madrid. You can board one of these trains at either of the 2 main stations in Madrid--the Atocha station (Puerta de Atocha) or the Chamartin station--as well as the Sol (Puerta del Sol) and Nuevos Ministerios stations in central Madrid. The ride between Madrid and El Escorial would only take about an hour in duration, and the trains depart once every 1 or 2 hours throughout the day. From the station in El Escorial, you would still have to take a bus to the top of the hill and then walk to the palace itself.

    To get to Montserrat, you would take a local 'R5' train out of the Placa d'Espanya station in Barcelona. The R5 train will take you to either Aeri stop or the Cremallera stop, both located at the base of Monteserrat. The ride between Barcelona and these stops would take about an hour in duration, and the trains depart once every hour throughout the day. You would get off at the Aeri stop for access to the cable cars up the mountain ('Aeri de Montserrat'), and you would get off at the Cremallera stop for access to the rack railway up the mountain ('Cremallera de Montserrat').

    You would still request reservations for the trains you'll be taking with your Renfe Spain Pass (Madrid to Toledo or Segovia, Madrid to Cordoba, Cordoba to Seville, and Seville to Barcelona), there would just be no additional charge to do so, and the process for requesting reservations is different with this pass. If you purchase the Renfe Spain Pass, you would just request the reservations by calling us or by replying to an email that we send to you when your order gets processed (In contrast, if you were to purchase the Eurail Spain Pass, for instance, you would purchase reservations for an additional cost under 'Book your Rail Pass Reservations' on our website.)
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