I'm having trouble finding a couple of train routes through Spain. Most are my problems are related to the fact that I don't speak Spanish.
The train routes I am looking for are:
Madrid to Granada
Granada to Seville
I would prefer trains that leave in the morning. I checked out the site http://www.renfe.es/horarios/english/index.html, but couldn't get the english platform to work and had trouble finding the dates.
Raileurope also couldn't help as they gave me a number to call but the offices appear to be closed.
One pointer for the Renfe website is that it only looks at rides 2 months in advance. I don't know for which date you are looking for.
For traintravel in Europe I would recommend the website of German Rail, it list the whole of Europe (and with a section for International guests in English): German Rail
As far as your question is concerned:
Madrid - Granada: is a trip of 4,5 hours leaving twice a day from Atocha Station in Madrid. One in the morning and one in the afternoon. If you want to book online on the Renfe site, check for the Web price, which is the cheapest, but also sold out most of the time. I know of people having problems paying with their creditcard, it seems that it depends on the company and your location.
An alternative is to take a cheap flight from Madrid to Granada, which should take about 50 minutes, but with all the hassle of getting to the airport, check in etc etc, you will not be saving a lot of time.
For Granada - Sevilla there are 3 or 4 trains a day, taking about 3 hours, which is the same duration as the bus. When I did this trip I just went to the station in Granada, and bought my ticket there.
Agree with above - your dates may be too far in advance. Try to test book for closer dates and see if it works. Check TripAdvisor under the Spain forum for step-by-step guide for booking on Renfe. Trust me, you're not the only one with problems with this site.
I don't speak Spanish either and managed to book the same trips. I booked early enough that I received the cheapest rate for Madrid to Granada.
I went from Seville to Granada by train - it's a local train (not high speed) and there are no discounts rates. All prices are the same and the times of departure are same. I did take the bus for other destinations in Spain and found that comfortable too but the trip time was much shorter. I prefer the train for longer trips because there is a bathroom.
[ Edit: Edited on 27-Dec-2009, at 08:44 by canadiank ]
Great thanks for the useful replies.
Pardon my ignorance on this issue as this will be my first trip to Europe. Since I purchased the 3 month Eurail pass, will I still have to pay if I book in advance since I want to use the Eurail pass on these two destinations?
To clear things up a bit,
I'm validating the pass on the 4th of January and will be traveling to Granada on the 14th of January and Seville on the 16th of January of 2010.
Didn't know you had a pass - what was posted won't apply to you.
To check for timetables the German site is your best bet >>> http://www.bahn.de/i/view/USA/en/index.shtml
For Madrid to Granada on Jan.14, 2010: trains at 9:05 and 17:05 (I guess you would want the 9:05 train)
The trick to keep Renfe in English:
When in the homepage, click on English then click directly on the "buy ticket" logo at the very top of the page. This will direct you to another page >> now you will have to select "English" (on the lower left hand side) then everything will remain in English and you can book what you want.
IF you have a pass, don't even bother with Renfe to look for the train times if it's too complicated for you. Just use the Bahn site for your timetable and reserve the trip at the station when you get into Madrid. You can reserve ahead if you are worried it will be sold out but you will have to use the Eurail website to do so.
All you need to know about the Eurail reservation details can be found here (very good site for train information):
There will be a small supplement if you reserve in person or you will have to pay for postage if reserving via website (and an additional fee if you do it by phone).
For Granada to Seville on Jan. 16, 2010:
Departures at 08:18, 11:33, 16:32, 20:23
You're in Granada for only 2 days? Granada was my favorite city during my trip so I'm a little biased but I could easily spend a week there.
Thanks you rock! That seat61 site is exactly what I was looking for and I was finally able to figure out depature times for those two spanish destinations.
Ya I booked two days in granada, but my schedule is such that I can spend a little more time if I really enjoy it.
If you have a spare day, spend it in Cordoba! It's only 41 minutes from Seville.
The Mezquita in Cordoba is amazing too. If there is time, a day trip to Cordoba would be well worth it. You don't even need to take the train - there should be a bus between Seville & Cordoba.