From North America: Flights from the U.S. east coast to Spain take 6 to 7 hours. Iberia Airlines (tel. 800/772-4642) has more routes into and within Spain than any other airline. It offers daily nonstop service to Madrid from New York all year, and from Chicago, Boston, and Miami seasonally. Iberia flights are often codeshares with American Airlines (tel. 800/433-7300), which runs daily nonstop service to Madrid from New York (JFK), Philadelphia, and Miami. Iberia’s main Spain-based competitor, Air Europa (tel. 011-34-90-240-15-01), offers nonstop flights from New York (JFK) to Madrid and seasonal nonstop flights from Miami to Madrid. Air Europa makes connections from other U.S. cities through its codeshare partner Delta (tel. 800/221-1212), which also runs daily nonstop service from Atlanta and New York to both Madrid and Barcelona. European discount carrier Norwegian (tel. 800/357-4159) offers nonstop service to Spain from Los Angeles, Newark NJ, Fort Lauderdale, and Oakland CA.
From the U.K. & Ireland: The airfare market from the U.K. and Ireland is highly volatile. British Airways (tel. 0844-493-0787, or 800/247-9297 in the U.S.) and Iberia (tel. 0870-609-0500 in London) are the two major carriers flying between England and Spain. More than a dozen daily flights, on either British Airways or Iberia, depart from London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports, about seven flights a day to Madrid and back, and at least six to Barcelona. Flights from Manchester and Birmingham serve travelers from the Midlands or Scotland. Vueling (www.vueling.com) offers bargain flights between London Gatwick and several points in Spain, and EasyJet flies from several U.K. airports to Madrid, Barcelona, Málaga, and the Balearic Islands. RyanAir flies to Madrid, Barcelona, Girona, Valencia, Sevilla, and Málaga from London Stansted, Dublin, and Shannon.
If you’re already in Europe, you might want to go to Spain by train, especially if you’re traveling on a Eurailpass. Even without a pass, you’ll find that the cost of a train ticket is relatively moderate. Rail passengers from Britain or France should reserve couchettes and sleepers far in advance. To go from London to Spain by rail, you’ll need to transfer stations in Paris to board an express train to Spain.
For long journeys on Spanish rails, seat reservations are mandatory. For more information visit Renfe or call tel. 91-631-38-00.
Highway approaches to Spain are across France on expressways. The most popular border crossing is near Biarritz, but there are 17 other border stations between Spain and France. If you plan to visit the north or west of Spain (Galicia), the Hendaye-Irún border is the most convenient frontier crossing. If you’re going to Barcelona or Catalunya and along the Levante coast (Valencia), take the expressway in France to Toulouse, then the A-61 to Narbonne, and then the A-9 toward the border crossing at La Junquera. You can also take the RN-20, with a border station at Puigcerdà.
Bus travel to Spain is possible but not popular—it’s quite slow. (Service from London will take 24 hr. or more.) But coach services do operate regularly from major capitals of Western Europe and, once they’re in Spain, usually head for Madrid or Barcelona. The major bus line from London to Spain is FlixBus (tel. 0855-626-8585).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.