Getting Around Spain

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Getting Around Spain

Once in Spain, you can travel by bus, car, or train. Buses are often faster than local trains, and bus fares tend to be lower. Service is extensive, though less frequent on weekends.

For rail travel, the local-route RENFE trains are economical and run on convenient schedules; the AVE, Spain's high-speed train, is wonderfully fast—it can go from Madrid to Seville or to Barcelona in under three hours. Rail passes like the Eurailpass must be purchased before you leave for Europe.

Large, chain car-rental companies all have branches in Spain, though the online outfit Pepe Car (www.pepecar.com) may have better deals. Its modus operandi is the earlier you book, the less you pay. In Spain, most vehicles have manual transmissions; if you order a compact, make sure it has air-conditioning. If you don't want a stick shift, reserve well in advance and specify automatic transmission.

A few rules of the road: children under 12 may not ride in the front seat, and seat belts are mandatory for all passengers. Follow speed limits. Rental cars are frequently targeted by police monitoring speeding vehicles, and speed cameras are common.

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