Step on board for Europe's most thrilling high speed rail journey, on which you'll be travelling at more than 300 km/h across the heart of Spain more than four hours!
These AVE services are now the only direct trains from Barcelona to Malaga.
Final Destination: Malaga-Maria Zambrano
These trains also call at: Cordoba
Boarding in Barcelona:
Aim to be at Barcelona Sants a minimum of 20 mins before departure, in order to allow time to pass through the security checks.
At Barcelona Sants station these trains depart from the part of the station used by the high speed trains - vias (platforms/tracks) 1 - 6.
So when you're in the station follow the signs that are pointing the way to the ' Alta-Velocidad' trains.
1 x train per day
Book early and save: Yes
Online bookings open: up to 6 months ahead of the travel date - depending on the time of year.
The online booking window can be shorter between late July and early October.
When looking up journeys (not travelling) between late July and early October, it's likely you won't be able to book for journeys beyond the second Sunday in December.
Book ahead for this journey, these tend to be very popular trains, so can sell out days in advance, particularly in the summer.
Spanish national rail operator Renfe doesn't seemingly operate a 'Ticket Price From... €x' on this route, prices are set according to demand - hence the lack of price info below.
When looking up this journey, this direct trains is typically due to depart at 15:15, so focus on those times when looking up this journey.
Many other journey options will be available, which will involve making connections between trains in Madrid.
Rail Pass Users:
The mandatory reservations for for rail passes are not available on the Eurail/Interrail reservation service for journeys within Spain.
The only option, other than booking them at a station in Spain, is to pre-reserve seats by calling Renfe phone sales: +34 91 232 03 20.
Pre-reserving a seat is possible up to 24 hours before a train's departure. You will receive a PNR code which you must use to pick up and pay for your reservation at a local station ticket office, making sure to show your Interrail Pass. You must collect your reservation within 72 hours. After this time the pre-reservation will expire.
Please note that a pre-reservation is not the same as a reservation. It only holds a seat for you for 72 hours.
Seats on these trains call sell out in 1st/Preferente and 2nd/Turista class, days in advance, so if you wait until you arrive at a Spanish station to make the reservation, there's a chance that no seats will be available.
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Note that this trains heading to Malaga will be joined to a train heading for Sevilla on departure from Barcelona.
So don't be confused if you see both departures listed separately on the departure screens at Barcelona Sants.
Your reserved seats(s) will be in the part of the train which will be heading to Malaga.
This is SMTJ's favourite high speed journey which can be taken in Europe!
Hence its inclusion on our list of the Most Epic Express Train Journeys in Europe - though we travelled in the opposite direction from Malaga to Barcelona.
Hence the video clips being taken when travelling in that direction, but ShowMeTheJourney has featured them because they showcase what gives this journey its wow factor!
Between Barcelona and Zaragoza:Between Zaragoza and the outskirts of Madrid:
Between Madrid and Cordoba:
Between Cordoba and Malaga:As can be you won't see typical stunning views of mountains and coasts, but the combination of incredible speed and sweeping distant views over central Spain can be exhilarating.
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This is one of more than 100 train travel guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.