The national airline of Spain is Iberia, although there are many airlines flying to most European countries, Africa, America and Asia. Virtually all European low-cost carriers offer frequent connections to Spain, including: Monarch, Thomson, Vueling, EasyJet, Ryanair and Jet2.com.
The busiest airports are Madrid-Barajas, Barcelona, Palma de Mallorca and Malaga, followed by Seville, Valencia, Bilbao, Alicante and Santiago de Compostela.
If your final destination is mainland Spain, Madrid Barajas (IATA: MAD), Barcelona (IATA: BCN) and Malaga (IATA: AGP) are the most likely entry points as they have by far the most international flights. If your final destination is on one of these islands, you will most likely arrive directly at one of the island’s airports without going via another Spanish airport.
The railway system in Spain is modern and reliable, most trains are new and the punctuality rate is one of the highest in Europe. The only problem is that not all populated areas have a train station; sometimes small towns don’t have one, in which case you have to take a bus. Another issue with the Spanish railway network is that the lines are arranged radially, so almost all lines go to Madrid. Therefore, it happens that travelling from one city to another geographically close city by train takes more time than by bus if they are not on the same line. Always check whether bus or train is more convenient. Nevertheless, the Spanish high-speed system is more reliable than the German one, for example, because the track gauge of conventional and high-speed trains is different and the high-speed lines are only used by high-speed passenger trains, which means fewer delays due to crowded lines or technical issues. All cross-border lines in France are either gauge (requiring a change or a long gauge change) or high-speed, making high-speed trains the clearly preferred option for crossing the border. Trains between Barcelona and France are operated by SNCF and RENFE, both of which sell tickets for all international trains on this route.
Bus tours in Spain are becoming increasingly attractive for people travelling on a tight budget.
There are many private bus companies offering routes to all major Spanish cities.
Bus travel in Spain is generally reliable (except on peak days when the roads are very busy and you can expect long delays on the busiest routes), the buses are modern and comfortable. You can expect to pay around 8 euros per 100 km.
From the UK, Brittany Ferries offers connections from Portsmouth and Plymouth to Santander and from Portsmouth to Bilbao. The journey time from Portsmouth to Santander is about 12 hours.
In addition to the UK, Spain is also well connected by ferry to North Africa (especially Tunisia and Morocco) and the Canary Islands, which are part of Spain. Of course, there are also routes to the Spanish Balearic Islands of Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera.
Another popular route is from Barcelona to Genoa.