Fastest journey10hr 14m
Travelling by train from Barcelona to Almería means a long traverse across Spain, around 11 hrs 20 mins. The fastest daytime connection is actually via Madrid, even though this adds to the overall distance. After you arrive in Madrid on a high-speed AVE train, you then board a Talgo train to Almería.
For good coastal scenery, consider a more direct route (not via Madrid), which takes a little longer and requires a single change of train at Linares-Baeza. This alternative route does not involve a high-speed AVE train, relying instead on slower services. It also often has very cheap fares.
On some days there is also an overnight option: take the night train from Barcelona to Granada, changing there the next morning for the short onward hop to Almería.
Tickets for this route are released in batches, and often the cheapest tickets are available 120 days or more in advance. If you’re having trouble finding tickets, contact us and we’ll email you as soon as booking opens.
Barcelona to Madrid
Take a high-speed AVE train directly from Barcelona Sants station to Madrid Atocha. At peak times Barcelona to Madrid trains depart every 30 minutes, with the fastest services taking just 2 hrs 30 mins to reach the Spanish capital. Trains that stop up to four times along the way may take 30 to 40 minutes longer. This journey along Spain's premier high-speed rail route reveals a variety of passing landscapes as you speed from Catalonia through Aragon to the Spanish heartland.
Madrid interchange: Madrid Atocha to Madrid-Atocha Cercanías
Arriving at Madrid Puerta de Atocha, you'll need to transfer to Atocha Cercanías station. Cercanías means ‘suburban’ and the station is in the same complex as Atocha station. Just follow the signs to Atocha Cercanías. It is an easy 10-minute walk.
Madrid to Almería
The twice-daily Talgo trains to Almería start in Madrid at Chamartin station, stopping 20 minutes later at Madrid Atocha Cercanías. The latter stop is especially useful for travellers wanting to connect onto the Almería train using high-speed AVE trains from other parts of Spain (all AVEs arrive in the Spanish capital at Atocha). The morning train from Madrid to Almería makes three stops en route; the afternoon service stops more often. Look out for La Mancha windmills and then enjoy the rugged grandeur of Despenaperros Pass as the train cuts through the hills to get to Andalucía.
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Image credits: Domingo Leiva