Rail travel in the Costa Del Sol
The Spanish state-operated railway network consists of a total of 13,000 kilometres of tracks, covering the entire country. The state-run company RENFE covers an ample number of domestic lines that connect all the regions on the Iberian Peninsula.
Spanish trains, the most inexpensive in Europe, have two classes. RENFE has established a series of special prices and discounts that make travelling by rail in Spain that much more convenient. The most interesting offers are the following: The so-called "Dias Azules" (Blue Days) are dates that do not generally coincide with holidays, the eves of holidays or the most common holiday periods. There are many such dates throughout the year on which it is possible to travel by rail with a 50% discount.
The "Tarjeta Joven" (Youth Card) allows the bearer, whose age must be between 12 and 25, to travel with a 50% discount on all tickets providing that travelling dates coincide with the "Blue Days". The "Tarjeta Turistica" (Tourist Card), reserved for non-residents of Spain, independent of their nationality, allows unrestricted circulation, without kilometre limitation, on any RENFE line, without having to pay supplements. This card may be for either first or second class travel and its price varies depending on the duration of travel time requested, which may be 3, 5 or 10 days.
The "Euro- Railpass" (Eurail Pass) is also a discount ticket reserved for visiting guests. It can be purchased in the country of origin and provides unlimited travel rights on any date, on any line, without supplements. Its price also varies according to duration, which can be 15, 25, 30, 60, or 90 days.
Besides the regular trains and sleeper cars, RENFE has recently inaugurated the AVE, a high speed train linking Madrid and Seville in a time of three hours, as well as series of special trains, of particular interest to the tourist. The most outstanding is the so-called "Expreso Al.Andalus" (Al Andalus Express) which departs from Seville each week and for 5 days tours the beautiful cities of Seville, Cordoba, Granada, Malaga, and Jerez de la Frontera. The price of the ticket includes the visits to these cities, meals at the finest restaurants in each one, "fiestas" and typical shows plus dinner and lodging on a truly special train that includes a discotheque, video room, bars and the luxury and comfort of the finest hotel. Another tourist train with similar characteristics is the "Transcantabrico" which tours the north of Spain. For information call RENFE, tel: (91) 530 0202, (93) 4900202 and for reservations call (91) 527 3333 in Madrid.