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Renfe alternatives for train travel in Spain

In recent years, the Spanish rail sector has experienced a boom. The liberalization of high-speed trains has led to the emergence of new operators that are struggling to gain a foothold with low prices and occasional offers.

In 2020, AVLO, Renfe's low-cost high-speed service, started operating. Subsequently, France's Ouigo entered the Spanish market, followed by Iryo. These three companies run in different Spanish autonomous communities as an alternative to Renfe, which enjoyed a monopoly for a long time.

The options in the railway sector have opened up. Suppose you want to know what these companies offer. Keep reading! we'll tell you everything about it!



Ouigo, belonging to the French railway operator SNCF, offers a low-cost high-speed service with a large passenger capacity, accommodating 509 people on its trains spread over two floors.

Tickets are available from 9 euros. The cheapest fare includes the free transport of a cabin suitcase (55x35x25 cm) and a handbag or backpack (27x36x25 cm) with no weight limit. For luggage, a surcharge of 5 euros has to be charged, which can be up to 20 euros if it is carried at the station.

If you are travelling with bicycles or scooters, you should know that these count as additional baggage and must be stored in specific cases with a maximum size and weight of 120x90 cm and 30 kg.

There is also a cafeteria car, wifi for 3 euros and the possibility of reserving an XL seat for 9 euros.

Important! If you want to change the date of your journey, you will have to pay 30 euros more, apart from the difference in price between the tickets if there is one.

Where can I travel with Ouigo?

  • Madrid-Barcelona
  • Madrid-Zaragoza
  • Barcelona-Zaragoza
  • Madrid-Valencia
  • Madrid-Alicante
  • Madrid-Albacete


Avlo was created by Renfe, being its high-speed train service low cost. The ticket's price is between 7 and 59 euros, representing a saving of up to 90% compared to conventional AVE fares.

This company offers 350 seats with reclining seats, toilets for people with reduced mobility, sockets in all seats, space for suitcases and reading light.

The price includes free cabin luggage (55x35x25 cm) and a handbag or backpack (27x36x25 cm) with no weight limit. For luggage, a surcharge of 10 euros has to be paid, which will be 30 euros if the change is made at the station. Prams and folding bicycles are free of charge.

Important! Choosing a seat, and changing or cancelling your ticket will also incur a surcharge of 8 euros on the fare.

Where can I travel with Avlo?

  • Madrid-Barcelona, with stops in Guadalajara, Calatayud, Zaragoza, Lleida, Camp de Tarragona, Girona and Figueres.
  • Madrid-Valencia, with stops in Cuenca and Requena-Utiel.
  • Madrid-Alicante, with stops in Cuenca, Albacete and Villena.
  • Madrid-Málaga, with stops in Ciudad Real, Puertollano, Villanueva de Córdoba, Córdoba, Puente Genil and Antequera.
  • Madrid-Sevilla, with stops in Ciudad Real, Puertollano, Villanueva de Córdoba and Córdoba.



Iryo is a company promoted by Air Nostrum and Trenitalia. For its connections in Spain, it uses a train that is considered the fastest, quietest and most sustainable in Europe. These high-speed trains can reach up to 360 km/h and carry a total of 419 passengers.

The case of Iryo is different from the previous ones. It is positioned as the best company for business trips. It offers flexible tickets that allow changes even on the same day of travel, paying only the difference with the new ticket.

Up to 3 pieces of luggage are included in the price of your tickets. Two pieces of luggage with a maximum size of 85x55x35 cm and a handbag with a maximum size of 36x27x15 cm. Prams, bicycles and scooters can also be carried free of charge. 

One of the strong points is its gastronomic proposal, Haizea, designed by a professional chef. So if you choose this option, you will be sure that you will eat very well!

Where can I travel with Iryo?

  • Madrid - Barcelona - Madrid
  • Zaragoza - Madrid
  • Zaragoza - Barcelona
  • Madrid - Cuenca - Valencia - Madrid
  • Madrid - Cordoba - Seville - Madrid
  • Madrid - Córdoba - Málaga - Madrid
  • Madrid - Cuenca - Albacete - Alicante

Now that you know all the options, choose the one that suits you best and have a good trip!


6% discount only when booking from the App

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